Designer Amaka Osakwe often uses stories and feelings from her homeland of Nigeria for her brand, Maki Oh, and spring was no different. Osakwe used Bukas, traditional street-side stands found throughout the country that make food and serve as social gathering points, as a way to build her spring offering.

“Bukas are full of so many different characters, there is food there, but it’s not like a market, it’s just something very local,” Osakwe said backstage while previewing the collection.

She took her feelings and memories of the people and food of her homeland and applied them to an energetic collection. On the literal side, a Buka menu was printed on white novelty Ts with sheer details, but it was the more loose interpretations that really came from her heart, like tie-dyed tops based on her favorite okra soup, silver lamé pieces in hues like pots and pans came in voluminous shapes to mimic the motherly women who might be serving that day, stain prints on loose tops and skirts meant to symbolize eating with your hands. Her runway show even used a Nigerian band to play the songs you’d hear when eating at one of these street-side shakes, the music added an energy to the clothes as they came down the runway.

Food may be a focus here, but there was nothing messy about her collection, rather it was full of silhouettes — sometimes asymmetric, colorful fabrics — that were pulled together, wearable and had a bit of whimsy woven in.

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