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Qwesi Asephua | GFDW2016Ayo Van Elmar's work on the catwalk

Ghana Fashion and Design Week in review

This year's Ghana Fashion and Design Week was the biggest and best yet. Joseph Nti takes stock of this marvellous event and what it really means for Ghana's fashion scene

Written by
Daniel Neilson

Ghana Fashion and Design Week just wrapped in Accra with the usual mix of runway shows, presentations and a myriad of seminars. The three day event ended with a cocktail social which saw designers, models and fashion enthusiasts throng the Sai Wine and Champagne Café located in Labone, for a night of networking and light-hearted banter.

This year, the venue was the Labadi Beach Hotel, which, though considerably smaller than last year’s Kempinksi Hotel's grand auditorium, served its purpose with the help of partitions and a good floor plan. The presentation was quite simple; there were four rows of seats covered with white on each side of the runway which opened to an elevated cube adorned with rose petals and of course, two crystal chandeliers directly above the catwalk.

Giving the franchise’s commitment to highlighting up and coming designers, Radford University's topmost fashion students were given the opportunity to showcase their work and they did not disappoint. They opened the runway show with some very intriguing collections.

Between Owusu Kofi's rainfall inspired patterns, Shika Odamtten's edgy get ups and Steve French's Avant-garde pieces, it seemed the fashion school really did put their best foot forward.

As always, the event features international designers and this year was no different. From Senegal, Mariam Diop and Fatimatou Sarr introduced us to the wonders of Mauritanian veil with their fashion brand Nomade. Nigeria’s Amerlis and Ayo Van Elmar, featured on the runway as well with their chic style and Afro-European fusion fashion respectfully. Ghanaian designers at the event included Bello Adu , Tutuwaa, Gary Pie and Hazza. They presented some very bold collections themselves; a rare combination of gold, bold cuts and interesting pant legs and patterns.

The three day event, held from the 20th to the 23rd of October this year, provides a splendid opportunity for designers and stakeholders of the fashion industry to interact and draw inspiration from each other.

Fashion, though underdeveloped in Ghana, is growing rather steadily and events like the Ghana Fashion and Design week is just what young creatives and lovers of fashion need to pump life into the art form which has remained in its infancy for quite a while. Because of the kind of the crowd it draws in attendance, the event exposes designers to the world and sets in motion, a series of events that oil the ever gracious wheels of the fashion industry.

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