Outside Storm Eunice was blowing its last breaths, the winds were still ferocious but calming, leaving behind a cold & dreary rain splattered London, but at Old Selfridges Hotel Labrum designer Foday Dumbuya took us to West Africa once again with a collection steeped in the history, culture and lifestyle of Freetown.
For this season the collection was presented alongside a live choir and as has become a hallmark of the label moved this from a catwalk into an event. The soaring notes of the musicians, both instrumental and vocal, led us into a tapestry of touch points including hand embroidered Nomoli figures and vivid yellows, oranges and greens.
We were treated to a unisex range of the perfectly tailored, elegant but free flowing, the kind of collection that a buyer ticking choices with a pencil would soon find themselves calling for a sharpener to keep adding to the list.
But what of the crowd, an interesting emotional journey was underway, often runways aren’t absorbed by attendees, they view it through their phone screens as they try to create content, disconnected from the reality in front of them, present in body, but focused on the virtual, not so at Labrum on this chilly day.
The audience became increasingly engaged, the music leading the connectivity to the experience, hushed attentiveness in the performance parts, joyous cheers and applause as the models took center stage, and then a release, no an explosion of happiness as the designer arrived for a well earned bow.
Often fashion is considered a place without meaning, a series of blank faces carrying clothes past the assembled cadre of a press thinking about other things, but Labrum, well Labrum is different and it cuts through in a way most designers will envy but never achieve, beautiful collections and beautiful connections.
Story & Performance by @Julianknxx featuring @Thabo_music and choir – Accessories by Nosakhari – Footwear by Dr Martens & Asics