The Ladymaker for Vlisco Ramadan shoot
The Ladymaker is a Nigerian lifestyle brand with a design focus on creating classic pieces that form a part of the foundation of a woman’s wardrobe. Launched in 2015, the collections include Ready-to-Wear and custom creations. For this Ramadan inspired shoot, Ladymaker designed five outfits.
All pieces are made and shoot in Lagos, Nigeria.
What would you say is the quintessential Ladymaker aesthetic?
We never veer away substantially from a core feminine aesthetic. Our objective is to celebrate women at their best, and for The Ladymaker, this means enhancing the quiet power of a strong and accomplished lady through her personal style.
Did this influence your inspiration for the outfits for this shoot?
Inspiration was the relatively easy part for us, because our aesthetic fits perfectly with the theme of the shoot, which at its core, was celebrating the enduring and elegant style of Northern women. Northern Nigerian women are exceptionally well dressed, and finding beauty in a conservative setting is an agenda we were able to understand and work towards achieving.
How did you feel these translate into Ramadan?
We focused on the cultural aspects of conservative style, which incidentally, are perfect for showcasing fabrics and designs as there is a lot more clothing and layering.
Was it tough interpreting the Vlisco prints into the theme?
The beauty of great prints is that they inspire you; we had some preconceptions before we received the full brief for the project, and seeing the fabrics helped us reshape and come to creative closure on our ideas. We tried to understand the essence of the motifs of each fabric and incorporate that essence into our designs as much as possible. The prints for this collection are incredibly vivid and striking, which greatly complements the conservative silhouettes of Ramadan.
Do these designs transcend across all ages?
They certainly do – perhaps some designs are for a more fashion forward lady, but any adult lady of style would be very comfortable wearing at least a couple of the designs in the collection.
Which outfit was the most fun designing?
The Cocoon wedding look was the most fun. We love volume and grandeur, and there are not many realistic excuses to fully explore these concepts. The theme of a Northern wedding, however, was perfect, and it was great fun imagining the fall of the cocoon cape in the vibrant prints from the Ramadan collection.
Which would you wear for a Ramadan wedding as a guest? I would wear the Armor dress – (red, gold and black embellished fitted column dress), because the striking print and classic silhouette create a memorable and unexpected look. The linear motifs also resemble a pattern of armor, which we placed to create an interesting visual play of strength and femininity. What are your favorite Vlisco fabrics? Anything my mum had when I was a child, so I really love the classics, but Electric Bulb on a white background (“Boule d'Ambiance”) is my all time favorite. What are your thoughts on this project? The project was extremely intense, but things worked out well that way because we were forced to deliver the best designs we could within a very short time frame. As the Creative Director of a team that treasures African heritage, it was very creatively rewarding to work on this project. What was the best part of the shoot? The best part was seeing the models step on set in full mode after the styling process, which had interpreted and personalized each look for the hypothetical stylish lady. The entire team was also extremely professional, and shared the same passion for making everything come together as beautifully as possible. What are you looking forward in terms of new prints for Vlisco? Expecting the totally unexpected - like a Star Trek inspired print! I also really love monochrome series, like the Indigo prints reissue from a few years ago, because they are very unique and demand a new approach to creating looks.