February 11th, 2014 thirteen women marched single-file to mount carefully placed wooden crates, signaling the start of the William Okpo FW14 presentation. The pieces seemed to simply exuded brightness and warmth on a most cold and dreary day in New York City.The presentation included elements of a homage to their African heritage in the music selections and in the photography displayed in large color format from their partnership with charitable organization 14+.
The looks, which ranged from a blue-and-white crossed- culottes, A-line dress, jumper with skinny pants, draped skirt and top - were clean and crisp. The collection, seemed to shout a return to a time where paint and playtime reigned - yet incorporated an element of sophistication that kept it far from childish. This "unofficial theme" was visible in everything from the denim pieces, part appliquéd with flowers and finished with daisy buttons at the collar, ala 90s Mary-Kate and Ashley; down to the glitter accented sandals and oxfords. When describing the inspiration behind F/W 14 (and arguably all predecessor collections), Darlene Okpo, one-half of the formidable duo behind William Okpo, articulated this desire to channel the spirit of their father. In her thoughts, he was this eclectic man of the 70s, one who took care in how he dressed and took his time, finding himself as a human being. It is this journey of self-discovery that comes out in this collection. With this in mind, the duo was able to make each look fun, incorporating color, and staying true to how Darlene and her co-collaborator Lizzy Okpo felt in the months and days preceding Tuesday night’s presentation. This organic process, Darlene notes, gave them the freedom to create and allowed William Okpo to escape the fate of fellow young labels that are so concentrated on getting into retail stores, they lose their style setting.
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*Reporting done for Fancy-Francy.com by Lami of LifewithLami