17th September 2023

LABRUM SS24 – London Fashion Week

Foday Dumbuya takes a journey through his native West Africa for LFW. By THE FALL

Nomoli carved stone figurines from the bygone eras of the Sierra Leonean and Liberian empires formed the basis on which Sierra Leone-born, British-based designer Foday Dumbuya built his new LABRUM SS24 collection at London Fashion Week this weekend.  Nomoli Odyssey paid homage to the region’s rich culture heritage through the use of Mende and Temne tribal mask motifs as artistic underpinnings to the designer’s new story.

“The storytelling of this adventure is on textiles through daring colours and patterns,” revealed Dumbuya.  “As well as techniques such as screen printing, quilting, weave and knitwear all used to highlight this odyssey further.”  This inspiration was given life by the bold Jacquard masks seen on shirts and shorts, and then replicated to greater effect in print on tailored suit blazers and coats.

The exciting accentuated shapes and exaggerated volumes of the new silhouettes drew from ideas of 1970’s migration to situate the collection in the show’s location – the former Port of London authority building (now a Four Seasons hotel).  All at once we were seeing a nomadic and expansive narrative unfolding in front of our eyes that demanded study and real examination.

The colour palette ranged from cool neutrals and earthen reds, to clean, fresh white and muted greens to match the moods of the summer.  A type of ‘West African’ blue, favoured by other designers native to the region like Virgil Abloh and Ib Kamara, punctuated the range along with grass skirts, heavy fringing and intricate graphic designs; grounding the homage in Dumbuya’s own cultural perspective.

The LABRUM SS24 collection perfectly underscored why its designer won the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design earlier this year.  As Dumbuya’s own star continues to rise we saw stars of sport and entertainment like Ian Wright, Unknown T and Wretch 32 take to the LFW catwalk for him, personifying the endless possibilities for us all on this particular fashion odyssey.


To read our review of the Ahluwalia SS24 show from LFW, click here

Click here for more information on LABRUM SS24

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