[MANHATTAN, NY.] The amount of potential that Taokfeek Abijako carries with himself as a creative and the visionary behind the brand Head of State is evidently palpable to the fashion industry and to every pan-African country that continues to be involved in the second world. According to Abijako, the mission for Head of State is to establish a platform that contributes to the pan-African legacy to be embraced from within and cultivate identities by cultural preservation. This season delivered a grander scale to present the Spring Summer 2022 collection at The Kitchen for New York Fashion Week, titled Homecoming.
For the presentation, Abijako pulled inspiration from the international arts festival that took place in the early months of 1977 where thousands of artists, writers, musicians and activists from primarily Africa and the global Black diaspora gathered together in Lagos for the FESTAC ’77 experience. Think Afropunk but much more authentic in the fact that it’s rich rooted cultural influences were from first-hand creatives that lived the pan-African identity without any whitewashing interference. The stage for the performance was directly in front of a stand of bleachers where the attendees witnessed Abu Baker a contemporary dancer who opened the show performing moves that resembled movements seen from the FESTAC festival. As baker was on stage throughout the runway show his choreography positioned him to draw back the curtains revealing a box-shaped fixture where the models emerged to showcase each of the 25 looks.
As streetwear and festival wear become more and more accepted into fashion, Homecoming, was able to blend the festival trends of 1977 to the current style of 2021. When admiring the garments up-close, there’s a lot to consume when the eyes are tracing the hems of say, a red blouse from look 19, where the hem reaches the left hip but the hem on the right side reaches the ribs. That intricacy seems to be a common theme throughout the pieces and its probably worth mentioning that solid colours were a better choice rather than going literal with African prints. Only because with solid colours, we were able to appreciate Abijako’s sewing techniques that give a nice futuristic snug fit. Most of the looks were long sleeved and had long trousers that provided more warmth than it should for summer looks.