Maki-Oh Spring 2013
Photography by Bennett Raglin. For spring 2013 Amaka Osakwe of Maki-Oh’s vision of sensuality and intelligence is further defined. This season she explores the concept of secrets and man’s hapless futility at keeping them. As she explores secrets and their effect on sanity and society, she also takes a look at the intensity of expression in the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly and Wangechi Mutu. As is the case with Osakwe, the female body is key. Hip and thigh high slits and reworked texture are vital in her suggestion of body ideals and movement. She returns to velvet, fringing, raffia, Nigeria’s ‘aso-oke’ and blue indigo ‘adire’ print. The ‘adire’ print which like some of the other fabrics used (washed silk, silk chiffon, lace) features abstract eye prints and a face (perhaps symbolic of her exploration of secrets?) is a collaboration with artist Niki Moth. These eyes and faces adorn blouses and slip dresses. There is something 1930′s-1950′s about Osakwe’s designs this season. Slip dresses seem informed by languid forties nightwear. Her sophisticated palette drives this further home. Starting from porcelains, there is coral, moody maroon, indigo and brooding inky tones. One of the designer’s strength is her uncanny intuition when it comes to color. There is a knowing that she has which guarantees that her palette neither overwhelms or undersells the texture and form of each collection. It is no wonder that the label was recipient of the Designer of the Year Award at Arise Magazine Fashion Week 2012. Osakwe’s ability to not only derive a cohesive story from multiple reference points but also stay true to her aesthetic as a designer continually results in beautiful garments that are clever too.