Photo illustration by Kaushik Kalidindi for OkayAfrica.
A Survival Guide to Lagos Fashion Week
Because Fashion Week in Lagos isn’t for the weak, we have put together a list of must-have essentials for your survival kit.
Slated between October 25 and 29, Lagos Fashion Week returns with a renewed focus on its tentpole offerings. The 13th edition will have runway shows take another swing at offsite presentations while XRetail just finished touring key African cities to promote access to market opportunities for designers.
And although the metaverse may have lost its cultural currency, once a raging buzzword in fashion’s lexicon, Lagos Fashion Week is inviting digital illustrators to design looks that represent the future of fashion in Africa. Anyone attending the event for the first time may have unknowingly entered a covenant with the erratic soul of Lagos.
At this time of the year, the heat is tentatively baking in what would later be the first onslaught of harmattan. If you are coming from out of town, or even outside the country, then it will be right to assume you are coming with a suitcase or travel bag. It’s a no-brainer, but what you have packed could determine how smooth your time at Lagos Fashion Week will be.
In recent years, the prestigious fashion event has been churning head-turning street style, a high-stake gladiator ground for fashionistas and style-conscious crowds. But there’s obviously more to making an appearance in Instagrammable outfits. It will no longer cut it.
To survive Lagos Fashion Week, you need to step up your game of essentials. If this has never been part of your routine, then you are welcome onboard.
Regardless of gender, a tank top in your possession offers a swift wardrobe change to look fresh for afterparties. They have become quite a fixture at Lagos Fashion Week, whether hosted by headline sponsor Hennessy or by individual brands and creatives.
Last year was memorable for Denola Grey’s Skn & Jewelz party, which morphed into a heatwave of Beyoncé’s songs from her Renaissance album. The point is, tank tops scale you down into easy mobility and function. If they never existed as a staple in your wardrobe, then it’s time to invest in one.
You won’t know the necessity of water at Lagos Fashion Week until you are parched with thirst. On account of the event staged in the famed Balmoral tents of Federal Palace Hotel, in Victoria Island, where the price of commodities is in tune with the location’s upscale sensibilities, access to water comes quite overpriced.
Is there a hack? Pack a bottle of water in your bag. The size of bottled water will depend on how much space your bag has. Unless you happen to be important enough to attend offsite shows where refreshments can be served, it’s better to make plans to stay hydrated.
But if you can shell out some money for water, then problem solved.
Depending on your mission at Lagos Fashion Week, a power bank can come in handy. It’s never an odd sight to see someone with a power bank at LFW. Always swarming with celebrities, style influencers, and the average fashion-forward individual, power banks are just as necessary as the curation of the outfit you have on.
Even more necessary for the aforementioned stakeholders. The horror of having your phone drained out of power as you attempt to call a taxi, or make an emergency call, isn’t something that should be experienced.
Ordinarily, going out in Lagos requires one to have change jangling around in the pockets. While we are aware that not everyone comes from the same socioeconomic class, having some money to spend on anything at all can actually improve the experience at Lagos Fashion Week.
Some afterparties require access to tickets that would be paid for. If you don’t own a car, then you need money to take you to Federal Palace and back via a taxi. If you need to stay in a hotel or rented apartment, you need money for that. Money truly makes the world go round and fashion isn’t exempted.
If your outfit for Lagos Fashion Week already incorporates flat footwear, then it must feel blissful to strut around without the thought that you might develop foot cramps/aches later on. Replacing your high heels with something flat can relieve you of foot stress.
While this might apply to women alone, there’s nothing sartorially wrong for men to have another pair of flat footwear in their possession.
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