The centenary of bespoke pieces have been inescapable in the Nigerian Fashion Industry, its most extraordinary manifestation being the red tide of hundreds of thousands of properly crafted suits, blazers and coats invading our runways year after year. It would have been a surprise if no one in Nigerian fashion acknowledged such a galvanizing moment in men’s fashion since its inspiration from the colonial days. Equally, it makes perfect sense to own this trend as opposed to standard imitation and on that note it would be Nigerian Menswear designer Rodney Emeka of McMeka who has most recently transmogrified its history into a signature fashion statement with atypical style. McMeka’s spring 2015 collection titled “The Classisist” carries the opulent craftsmanship the bespoke brand is known for! First seen at the New York Fashion Week 2014, here’s what Rodney had to say about the collection; “This collection was designed to mirror a specific sect of men, Men whose conflicting personalities do not meddle with the unified school of thought, men socially bound by a cause, whose appearance journey through time reflecting the past, the present and the future of menswear, Men with a clear-cut point of view, a movement of ambitious dandy men staging a forceful come back to power the rise and rise of Sartorial Elegance.” I took an intensive look at the pieces in this collection in comparison to his previous collections and the Royalty of McMeka bespoke sophistiqué is intensely evident as “The Classisist” helps establish Rodney’s perception of what modern day Sartorialist should look like.
The interpretation of my understanding of what “The Classisist” represents and how it establishes the selling point of the McMeka brand is as follows:
The return of a Red Tale:
While working backstage at Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2013 I experienced firsthand McMeka’s Victory as he was crowned MTN British Council Young Designer of the Year 2013. The Most Iconic Piece of his winning collection for was a slightly double breasted red suit with an asymmetrically cut collar. In his look book for the Man-About-Town collection the red suit made an appearance with Alex Ekubo doing justice to the badboy fitting; however despite the long lasting fever for the rouge detail the next collection; Uptown Exploration didn’t have any red suit in the menu! “The Classisist” has reintroduced the red suit in a highly developed redemption with more versions with a red trench coat, double breasted blazer, velvet suit, one buttoned suit and a three piece suit in the Color of the year: Marsela! The red tale of bespoke sophistication is back with a resounding bang that further classifies it as McMeka’s idea of Men’s Fashion as a bold reflection on the new way in cool.
A Royal Taste:
The lush touch of royalty was added with the finest royal velvet fabrics crafted into beautiful blazers and suits. This is the first time the designer would work with any fabric as heavy as velvet even using graphic prints to explore its texture in different blazers and suits. The one buttoned green and red velvet suits carry a spilt detail with an extended back cut and they fit perfectly with the printed pants in the collection as seen in the lookbook photos.
Tastefully arranged in a class of an artistically sartorialised vision of what Manly Elegance should embody, “The Classisist” also featured printed suits and pants in floral prints, music cord prints, newspaper prints and abstract designs. This also fits into the general theme of the collection, representing Rodney’s style guided timeline when he said; “men socially bound by a cause, whose appearance journey through time reflecting the past, the present and the future of menswear”.
With the detailed increase in Rodney’s sophisticated approach to menswear and how his designs push the barriers of the generally imprisoned idea of how restricted men’s fashion should be!