This year’s Ubuntu Project, organised by Theo Omambala and Errol Hendrickse, showcased the amazing designs of African talents such as Ayo Van Elmar, House of J’Ola, and Jose Hendo.

While our breaths were taken away by the fashion that followed the hour delay and backstage chaos, here are some other memorable moments from the show – 10 things Team FAB thought worth sharing…








1. Clinton Lotter’s finger gloves. The South African designer had models take the long walk dressed fabulously from head to toe – finger tips included. Black gloves that worked like sleeves for fingers added drama to every look and had us initially wondering if the models’ hands had been dipped in paint… Officially off to cut up the trousers of my Sylvanian Families’ collection.



Clinton Lotter's finger gloves caught our eyes

2. Burning heads from Ayo Van Elmar. The Nigerian designer had her show unfold without her (late arriving visa to blame) but topped her g-awe-geous looks off with an interesting accessory – incense sticks atop bold red hats, lit and smoking down the runway. Not only did the collection punctuate the show but the quirky look left the venue smelling fabulous. Perfect prints, bold colour and atmospheric charm. Hot stuff.



The beautiful work of Ayo Van Elmar - incense stick burning on top of the hat

3. Fashionably bare feet. The same set of models were used for each designer at the Ubuntu show, and since Ayo Van Elmar and Jose Hendo sent them out shoeless, it was only right that their feet were decorated. While Ayo’s showcase saw models’ ankles adorned in chunky anklets (or ‘ank-hors’ rather – they were huge), Ugandan designer Hendo let henna do the talking with black swirly ink drawn over feet. Inkcredibly cool considering shoes are usually Team FAB’s thing.



Ayo Van Elmar's decorated anklesHenna alone on Jose Hendon's bare feet

4. Frankli Wild showstoppers. The South African jewellery brand that is exactly what it says on the tin saw models walk down the catwalk in nothing but black catsuits to show off the crazy coloured cool that were the pieces – sparkling, bright and upcycled from everyday objects like bicycle lights and computer parts. An unfortunate but memorable moment came as one model’s necklace (a fabulous piece crafted from golf balls and golf tees) dropped to the floor and shattered – not just physically but also emotionally if you count the crowd who all gasped and cried inside as the beautiful necklace fell to its demise. If only we had a dustpan, brush and glue, and were as talented as Kevin Friedman (designer behind the brand).

Ouch! Tragedy struck during Frankli Wild's showcaseFrankli Wild accessories you need to know about

5. Imade Ogbewi. The 2011 Nigeria’s Next Supermodel winner, picked out at the competition held in Lagos last November, stalked the catwalk at Ubuntu project like the pro she is growing into, standing out among the others with her doe eyes and beaming complexion. Aside from the fact she looked gorgeous in the amazing designs being showcases, it was nice to see her walk during London Fashion Week and as a fully fledged fabulous model. It was also nice spying our Celebration Issue cover model Elena too.

Imade walking tall at The Ubuntu Project




Beautiful face of our Celebration Issue Elena...

....and again here in Ayo Van Elmar






6. House of J’Ola teaser. The much-loved Nigerian brand House of J’Ola by famed designer Joan Okorodudu, sent a small collection from her latest line down the catwalk, leaving show spectators reeling for more. If what we were lucky enough to witness was an indication of what else is to come, we at FAB can’t wait to indulge. For now we wait, hungry for more House of J’Ola.



Stunning sneak peek from House of J'Ola


7. One model, one shoe and a limp. An unlucky model managed to loose her shoe somehow while walking for Clinton Lotter, yet soldiered on with an invisible (but slightly ill-fitting) replacement shoe. A little lol for the Frow who caught it, and a blessing in disguise for the guy who quickly collected it. Sounveneir straight off the catwalk.



Shoeless, this model soldiers down the runway in Clinton Lotter

8. Frow spotting. Anybody who’s anybody in African fashion, business and entertainment turned up to line the front row, making an eclectic who’s-who to entertain ourselves with during the wait for the start of the show. Faces included Shevelle Rhule (Pride Magazine fashion editor), Helen Jennings (author of New African Fashion) Beverley Knight, designers Eki Orleans, Nkwo, Adebayo Jones, and the founder of FC Johansen football club Aysha Johansen (who we hear flew in from Sierra Leone), meaning if you weren’t there, not only did you miss out on FABulous African fashion but also a very stylish social gathering.



Team FAB on the front row at The Ubuntu Project

9. Nigerian models make history. Scoring a first for Nigerian-based models, this was the first ever London Fashion Week show that showcased Nigeria-based models who flew in for the show. Repping Naija, the long limbed sultresses strutted their stuff, hopefully paving the way for more to come.



Joke rocking Frankli Wild and repping for Nigerian-based models at LFW

10. Bums on seats at Ubuntu. Considering last year’s Ubuntu Project saw an early start infront of a smallish crowd that barely covered the first few rows, this year’s showed definate growth in terms of the crowd it drew in. The frontrow as mentioned, was decked with vi-players in the fashion and entertainment industry, and from the front to back row, seats were filled with very well styled rears of people keen to catch a look at African-designed clothes. And the standing room resembled sardines in an upright can, which is nice to see (from my comfy Frow perch); African fashion on the rise and on the radar of the fash pack.

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