15 February, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Lola Faturoti creates commemorative Obama Dress
by Hilary Alexander, Fashion Director at New York Fashion Week

Lola Faturoti, the Nigerian-American designer, has designed a commemorative dress in honour of President Obama.

Born the daughter of tribal chiefs in her native Ondo, in Nigeria, Lola studied fashion in London before moving to New York in the early 1990s.

She has always been deeply influenced by her personal history and African roots.

In Nigeria, it is the custom to mark a special moment in history with a commemorative fabric, so Lola created a one-of-a-kind silk print, combining this with her version of the Ashante Kente cloth, as worn for celebrations by the Ashantes in Ghana.

The shift-style dress is printed with a wavy stripe pattern in sky-blue and orange, overlaid with photographic images of President Obama. The tasselled, cowl neckline and hem are in black.

The dress is available in sizes small to large and is one of the more unusual items (available to order exclusively from March, £325) on the website. was launched in May, 2008, by the Cambridge-educated, ex-City investment manager, Susan Muncey, who previously ran Fashion Gallery, the Little Venice boutique, in London.

Like Fashion gallery, is based upon the idea of a curiosity shop, and specialises in individual and highly original ‘investment’ pieces imbued with craftsmanship, including vintage and contemporary clothing, unusual gifts, eco-friendly, recycled items and homewear.

The current collection includes retro bug-bangles, a Swoboda pendant, hand-painted clothing from Karim Bonnet’s Paris-based Impasse de la Defense brand, an iconic, life-size telephone box lamp, by the British designer, Finn Stone, and a papier-mache ‘acorn urn’, for storing ashes after cremation.