Kenyan brand KikoRomeo debuted its latest ILLE collection at Heineken Lagos Fashion Week on Friday, 28th October 2022 in Victoria Island, Nigeria.
ILLE Collections showed outstanding innovation in its textiles and silhouette, marrying traditional dyeing and weaving techniques with new textures, patterns and silhouettes.
The men and women collection featured easy to wear fluid pieces with space for movement around the body.
Sharp “V” necklines, were contrasted by asymmetric hems, parallel pants and deep pleats.
Flowing jumpsuits and dresses in regenerated orange peel and rose petal textiles contrasted with boxy cuts of handwoven cotton.
Patterns were rich with linear stripes of brightly-coloured beads, blurry stripes of hand dyes and soft geometric diamonds in blues, oranges and browns.
The designs were combined with undyed natural yarn and napa leather.
Finely crafted coconut shell buttons and laser-cut cowhorn buttons, both upcycled by-products of the food industry were also featured on the designs.
ILLE Collections: inspired by Rendille and Samburu
Lona McCreath, KikoRomeo head designer and creative director said “the designs come with inspiration stemming from the Rendille and Samburu and the processes of hybridisation and evolution that they have faced in relation to each other.”
“The body as a form of adornment is another theme that this collection explores.
Primarily from the perspective of Nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples who move around constantly.
Thus, through processes of permanence (through scarring, piercings etc) and impermanence, (through body painting and jewelry) the body becomes a way to convey cultural processes and tell stories.
Within this collection, these themes are explored through the individual textiles and their pairings.” said McCreath.
KikoRomeo meaning “Adam’s Apple” in Kiswahili, was founded in 1996.
The fashion company employs handmade and hand-dyed fabrics as well as hand-carved trims, sourced from Africa.
Their fabrics come mainly from natural fibres including cottons, linens and silk, as well as explorations into alternative fibres such as those derived from sisal and orange peel.