Labrum London: Ready-To-Wear AW22

Last season, it was the music that carried Labrum London’s collection through fashion week, but this time it rallied around a borderless verb, an instinctual art, a form of expression: movement. Exploring real-time examples of migration and diaspora, creative director Foday Dumbuya, with Dazed editor-in-chief Ibrahim Kamara, established a narrative using motifs and colours representative of West African lifestyle. Dumbuya was also inspired by museum archives at the V&A and artist Jacob Lawrence’s synthetic cubism ablaze with colour in The Migration Series. Looking at the essence of human survival, the collection was given the name, Poetics of Movement.

Channelling Labrum’s tagline, “Designed by an immigrant”, its ethos and the learnings of journeys past, the AW22 collection explored the beauty of migration aiming to uplift those who face the societal limitations, complexities and nuances of the unresolved label: immigrant. Crafted in Freetown, Sierra Leone – Dumbuya’s hometown – local artisans developed the fabrics from West African cloth, bridging the gap between Western and African culture. 

As the narrative transpired, smart colour-block suits and graphic Aishatu dresses appeared in brilliant oranges, ocean greens and vibrant yellows. Patchy, army prints emerged as pacifying focal points and Dumbuya also threw in striking floral accents for a touch of razzle-dazzle. Classic British cuts, expertly tailored as shimmering or pinstripe co-ord suits, were merged with screen prints of hand-drawn and hand-embroidered Nomoli figures from the Mende and Kissi tribes of Sierra Leone, aptly expressing the cultural hybridity of the diaspora.

As for the accessories? Three unique bag shapes were made in collaboration with luxury leather goods brand Nosakhari using deadstock and off-cut materials in a bid to design sustainably. 

The ethereal choral harmonies that echoed around the vast Central London events hall as the models took their stride were enough to evoke chills – if you closed your eyes and listened, just taking in the divine sound, it was entirely enchanting. This was a sartorial spectacle to be remembered. Labrum London is going places. 

Photography courtesy of Labrum London.

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