Labrum London: Menswear SS22
There was something in the air at Saturday night’s Labrum London show. From the brilliant Ghanaian Highlife sounds played live by the Balimaya Project music collective, to the electric fashions and joyous heckles from an audience that glistened with joy. This isn’t just a brand worth knowing about – it should excite you. The menswear label lavishes in cultural hybridity. “Sidestepping trends to tell West African narratives,” as written in the brand’s Instagram bio, the NEWGEN recipient weaves politics, music and community into its collections, bringing West African culture to the fore.
Labrum’s designer Foday Dumbuya hails from Sierra Leone, growing up between Freetown, London and Cyprus (this summer, he was given the job of designing Sierra Leone’s Olympic uniform). Though based in East London, he designs his collections with Madam Wokie Skills Development; an organization in Freetown that provides economic opportunities and practical skills for women. Labrum’s SS22 outing was dedicated to the style and culture brought over to Britain by Caribbean and African migrants through the seventies. Dubbed The Sound of Movement, models strolled in British tailoring cut with West African accents, whether it be exaggerated collars or flared sleeves. Blazers, overcoats and suit trousers came decorated in illustrations depicting village life in Dumbuya’s native country, as well as tribal masks and tie-dye prints by Yinka Ilori.
Super stylist Ib Kamara styled and art directed the collection; his influence could be felt across a series of headwraps that towered high above the models. The designer’s final bow was met a rupture of applause and people up off their seats. Don’t sleep on Labrum, you’re about to see a lot more of this flouring label.
Photography courtesy of Labrum London.