Am going home to make a whole full collection of dresses inspired by what I have seen, not the dresses that I’ve seen; my aesthetics but with the fabrics from here, the color rain, color palate from here, I want that front vibrant look. My whole spring collection will be based off of my experience in Nigeria, and its gonna be all dresses for women , different color but all dresses.
Guest fashion designer from the United States Of America, Latasha Henderson of Project Runway who graced “The Eleventh Fashion Show” in Nigeria with her urban style told Smart Joseph of Smart9ja that her intentions for the coming spring were inspired by her experience in Nigeria.
Tasha as she is mostly called expressed her love for Nigeria and how she almost felt at home, although expressed displeasure about the hit saying (jokingly) that “it is on the level of hell”
You have been about a week in Nigeria, How has it been, the reception, the atmosphere…?
I love the love, for us as black people that we have here, every thing is so united and community; everybody look out for each other and my experience at the show, I had never experienced that in a show, like the productions before Angie’s, every body literally caters to each other, and make sure every body is taken care of, every body has what they need, they keep checking on me… I almost felt like I was at home, I mean literally like I was at home, and I haven’t had that feeling at different fashion show ever, unless its my own. so I love… The Love is genuine, its raw, I like how raw every body is here, how every body go so hard for whatever it is they love to do, every body work so hard, so I love the energy here. The only thing I don’t like is the heat (Laughs) Its on a level of hell.
Its Safe to say that you will come again if asked…?
I told Angie, if she is organizing any event, I’m coming…
The designer also sheared her inspiration after admitting that she is hard to please, however, expressed that she was very pleased with the Nigerian designers and how they manipulated color and fabric
During the show, your designs were dope but your models danced through the runway, was that your idea?
Oh! Yes, I told them please dance, please have fun, Usually when I do fashion productions, I like entertainment and I like things to happen on the runway and being that I couldn’t bring some of my models from the U.S, they all professional dancers and I have seen the girls back here having fun, they wanted to have fun and I wanted them to bring the fun runway type of thing so that people could see that history is for every body, it is urban and that was the flavor behind all of that.
Still on your runway and dancing style, Models are perceived as professionals, I mean like a stage Manikin?
That’s too standard for me, I don’t like standards, I break standards, I mean I don’t like stuff to be stiff, I like people to be real life because if you are a designer, I want to see how the designs functions, I want to see it move, I want to see people in it dancing so I know what it looks like when I buy it. against you being a stage manikin, I look at life in colors in fun and not some overly seriousness if you know what I mean.
What would you say is that thing that interest you which you will take home and replicate in your designs, haven seen the Nigerian fabric, design and style?
I was sitting in the show and my friend John was with me, and I told him, literally, am going home to make a whole full collection of dresses inspired by what I have seen, not the dresses that I’ve seen; my aesthetic but with the fabrics from here, the color rain, color palate that they have here, I want that front vibrant look. My whole spring collection will be based off of my experience in Nigeria, and its gonna be all dresses for women, different color but all dresses and am gonna do that and am gonna marry them, make it cohesive with the color palate that I choose which will be the bright and vibrant colors that I have seen on the runway.
Another thing that Inspired me was how all the designers use African fabric, their placements where crazy, they all put it in locations you will never expect, some of them you’d expect, but some of them blew my mind, so I took that in my heart, and I said I want to go back and create a collection of dresses for cruses, for vocation and for the summer time and I present it in the spring. I got that inspiration from here (Nigeria) and I have never been inspired to go home and do a whole collection before from a place, I’m very hard to please when it comes to fashion. I was really blown away and am very Impressed, I am pleased, and I thank God I was part of this and obedient to come through.
If and when you create these spring collection of yours,(with African Fabrics, Your Style) are you going to export them back to Nigeria for the Nigerian market?
Yes, That’s why I want to connect with fashion industries in different countries, I want for people to be able to get the designs, I want to collaborate with different designers from Nigeria, I don’t want to do it because I only was inspired, I want to collaborate in pieces with designers on the TEFS runway here in Nigeria, they bring their style I bring my style, we marry it. And if their is an organization dealing with Kids, I would love to give a percentage to them because am really big on helping kids, so I want to do things like that, that’s what God is calling me to do from what I got from here.
With all you have seen, when you organize fashion shows back in America, will their be an opportunity for Nigerian Designers to showcase their designs In America?
I would love to do that, like me and my friend Angie have talked about that, like we take turns, we come for shows here and they come for shows over there in America, I’d let them experience the runway and roll out the red carpet for them as it was done for me, I would love to do that for them.
Tasha chose House of Elegance and Esanye as the Top two designers who trilled her the most with the way they designed with pieces you could wear in different styles.
Latash is from Louisiana but lives in Georgia, she is also a celebrity stylist.
The “Eleventh Fashion Show” was organized by Mrs Angie Thomas Jibodu, CEO at JtAngies Emporium Ltd in Lagos Nigeria, at the Bespoke event center in Lekki on 13 Nov. 2016
See more pictures from #TEFS2016
Photo Credit! Mip Photos
Show Directed by: Smart Joseph