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Fruché SS19 “Free Spirits” Celebrates Bini Culture

After stunning guests at the Lagos Fashion Week 2018, Fruché, a women’s wear brand has released its SS19 collection tagged “Free Spirits”

The brand designer, Frank Aghuno, centers the Fruché SS19 woman’s character on the subjects of Solomon Osagie Alonge’s photography. Alonge was the first official photographer for the Royal Court of Benin in the 20th century.

“For this collection, we were very much inspired by Alonge’s subjects and also the richness of Bini culture and tradition. His subjects wore a mix of western and traditional Bini attire and they made these ensembles their own. Those in the upper echelon of society who could afford to do so would come dressed in their best outfits to have their portraits taken,” Aghuno said.

He added, “staring straight into Alonge’s lens, each subject had the power to represent himself or herself in the manner of their own choosing, a significant statement at a time when photos of Africans were often filtered through the gaze of a non-African photographer or anthropologist.”

As for the colour palette, textures, fabric and embellishment used in this collection, Aghuno said they “are things that remind one of Bini culture. Powder blue to represent Water, green to represent the Ikhimwin tree, feathers to represent the Owonwon, burgundy from the traditional burgundy colored velvet wrappers tied by Bini women. The wood grain Adire Eleko (Nigerian wax dye technique) print represents wood carving which Bini is known for, Copper one of Bini’s natural resources and thousands of coral beads (Ivie) have been hand beaded into a dress (Ewu-Ivie) and skirt. King (Oba) and chief heads have been made in bronze Asooke (Hand woven fabric).”

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