London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bunmi Koko

For her A/W 2011 Kaleidoscopia collection fashion designer Bunmi Olaye was inspired by rainbows, supernovas and mirages to create an uber colourful collection with some punchy graphic prints. Shown on Monday 21st February at Fashion Scout.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater.

Bunmi Koko was undoubtedly one of my best new discoveries of last season, so it was with great anticipation that I sat down for this show next to Lucy Jones – director of Fashion Textiles at the University of East London – who I recognised from the FAD awards last year. Designer Bunmi Olaye is one of her star pupils and in fact still operates out of a studio that the university provides for her. Definitely a big boon for a young designer.

Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Andy Bumpus
Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Andy Bumpus.

Bunmi prides herself on her business acumen, which was thoroughly present and correct with the large fabric goodie bag stashed under front row seats. Inside mine was a beautifully presented cupcake (soon to be thoughtlessly squashed) as well as an incredibly thorough press pack that included a lovely set of postcards with fashion illustrations of her S/S collection, an explanatory foldout detailing Bunmi’s achievements and inspirations behind Kaleidoscopia, and then to top it all off a mini newspaper: The Bunmi Koko Times. This girl sure knows how to market herself!

Bunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater.

Bunmi’s show began with a short movie – a great idea in theory but a bit odd in practice – involving as it did some clubby graphics and James Bond-ish silhouettes. I wasn’t really sure what it contributed to the whole. Then the show was off with a run – and when I say run I really do mean run. The models were moving quickly at most shows, but at Bunmi’s they were moving at such a lick that it was nigh on impossible to capture them through a lens.

Bunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

It’s a good thing I like to capture models on the hop rather than front on like the paps. The clubby graphics – inspired by rainbows, supernovas and mirages – splashed across wide tutus, wrap dresses and clutch bags. I particularly liked the clever of use of futuristic ruching over shoulders and across breastbones.

Bunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I loved the elegant purple suit and an eye-popping orange woolly dress, which bounced down the catwalk in a spray of moth-orgasmic fluff. I wasn’t so keen on the metallic leather pieces, which looked cheap by comparison.

Bunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Andy Bumpus
Bunmi Koko A/W 2011 by Andy Bumpus.

Despite the clever styling with diamante encrusted visors, Kaleidoscopia felt far less cohesive than her last collection and left me wondering what exactly the Bunmi aesthetic is. It was all over so quickly that I hardly had time to digest it before Bunmi herself spilled out onto the catwalk, grinning broadly and sporting a t-shirt for Fill The Cup – a fashion range that will send profits to feed hungry children across the world. The conclusion? Good work from a promising young designer, but needs refining.

Bunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryBunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Bunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

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3 Responses to “London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bunmi Koko”

  1. BLADY hell, i loved this show ever so much.
    Brilliant article Amelia!
    <3 xxx

  2. Sarah White says:

    WOW! This show was amazing.
    I strongly disagree with your views, the concept worked with the theme very well, and the models walked to the beat of the music very powerfully. And to add, Bunmi Koko is an award winning designer, who is doing great things!
    BTW – Love your images!

  3. Amelia says:

    Hi Sarah thanks for your comment! I’m glad you like the images even if you don’t agree with me. Bunmi is indeed a very good designer and I couldn’t have higher praise for her previous collection. There was much to like in this one and I’m sure I’ll like many more to come… x

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