Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fast Rising - Oroma Cookey-Gam of ALALI Boutique

After participating in last year’s MTNLFDW which swiftly brought her to limelight, ALALI BOUTIQUE is gradually but with intense force gaining a big space in the hearts of fashion lovers. 

“Please be very real, tell me your exact thoughts – how you feel about the collection and all. Basically, I want you to critique the collection, just let me know your impression”. Those were Oroma Cookey-Gam, Creative Director of AlaliBoutique words to me back in Ghana at the Ghana Fashion & Design Week 2012. “Sure, I’ll definitely do that”, I replied.
There are few words to describe Oroma herself – calm, insightful, pretty concise and sweet but her designs however are pragmatic, desirable like a fairytale and most importantly ready-to-wear. There’s something about her designs that brings out the romantic in the wearer. It’s the unseen glamour, the restraint in the hemlines as seen in the manners, the strong poise each piece exudes when worn, the feeling of not giving everything away even though a mass of heavy emotions effervesces gently but in a furious manner all over the personality.
On my first visit to Alali Boutique’s studio in Lekki I felt adopted – in a good way, everything in the space carries a reminder of the brand’s motif. The interior design, the line of clothes on the rack, her mood board and pages of past and present sketches, the blinds along the windows and even the weather all seemed to be playing a big role in the brand’s fairytale. Doubtless, all these and more she exhibited again at this year’s MTN LFDW where all last year’s contestants where privileged to showcase.
Her collection this year, titled jkhuhygygygyg is a focused on simple, comfortable pieces that bears a sporty theme. Sport, better put, the Olympics was Oroma’s inspiration for the Spring/Summer ‘133 collection at AlaliBoutique. “I wanted to create pieces that are very sporty, comfortable yet wearable for any stylish woman” says the designer, Oroma Cookey-Gam of Alali Boutique. The collection perhaps tells a story of being tough, contemporary, youthful but in a ladylike manner, this the entire collection told. This collection which was officially unveiled during the Lagos Fashion and Design Week was a bravura display of her signature and ultimately gave the offering a handcrafted, powerful feel. With the playful use of mesh, embossing and incised florals, mimicking the traditional sporty and athletic uniforms – the collection beat the regular expectations- jacket, skirts and dinner dresses to it. Oroma’s workmanship in this collection carries a lightness, one that is quite literary, as the use of mesh and sheer was taken to extremes of creativity, making it perfectly permissible considering it’s a summer collection. As often her style, Oroma ensures to skillfully work fabrics and accessories with such technique that attracts any woman no matter her style taste. Above all, Oroma Cookey-Gam has found the ability to focus on the things she likes and plays them to her strengths. It’s apparent she is no pushover, and this lady and her brand is one to watch.

Article was first published in Mania Magazine, December 2012

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