21 Oct Fashion Pick!: SUPAFRIK Pops in at Gallery O
With all of its attractions, it is rare to find such an array of artistry in just one small venue here in our beloved District. However, the opening of the latest exhibition “SUPAFRIK” at the Gallery O on H Street, proved that such rarities can and will occur. I attended the opening reception where several artists debuted their recent works in a presentation that could easily be described as a work of art in and of itself. Among the rich and colorful acrylic and mixed media paintings hanging on the walls, were vacant picture frames acting as racks to suspend a variety of Afro-inspired designs. All of the featured pieces were readily available for wear and sale, should one of the patches of champagne dupioni silk attached to a sheer weightless chiffon blouse, invoke an immediate reflex to reach for one’s wallet. I had to practice some sincere self-control since designer Chinedu Ukabam, the creative director of chinedesign, clearly shares and understands his customer’s aesthetic.
Chinedu playfully combines color and texture with straightforward silhouettes and strict tailoring. As part of opening night, I was able to catch a glimpse of Chinedu’s latest collection entitled “Marrakesh” in action. This line featured more beautiful textiles cut in styles that combine European and traditional Moroccan dress concepts. The one piece worth more than mentioning was a black long-sleeved floor length tunic, which boasted a multicolored empire waist with lace overlay. That was almost too much for me to describe. Gold metallic skinny jeans, tailored silk tops with asymmetrical peplums, floral robes and multicolored tulip skirts. Down the runway each model walked confidently donning the designer’s garments any of which, would make a fine addition to a stylish wardrobe. Finally! Luxury that is achieved at agreeable price points; he is definitely a designer to follow.
Also mixed into this cocktail was an assortment of accessories by design company Ann and Arayata. Their delicately woven raffia clutches and hand bags were sprinkled throughout the exhibit for viewing fitting in beautifully with the SUPAFRIK premise. They seem quite fragile at the first glance but once you actually hold them the artisanship and quality make themselves known. The exhibit also carries hand painted pillows, silk pashminas, canvas tennis shoes and much, much more. SUPAFRIK DC will be on display at Gallery O on H (1354 H St, NE) until the 21st of October.
Visit supafrik.com for more details
Sharon Cyrus also known as The Silent Stylist, is our fashion watch writer who knows about trends and keeps us up on emerging designers. Got a Pick! for Sharon? Contact her here.