Tia Adeola has returned to the runway to showcase her Fall 2023 Ready-To-Wear collection. Upon first look, everything from the design direction to styling, appears as an ode to the 90s and early 2000s with a Renaissance twist. This manifested on the runway through Y2K-inspired silhouettes, 90’s french rolled updos, and pin-thin brows. While Tia Adeola has quickly grown a cult following amongst those who favor her romantic and sensual designs, her creative direction has come with great criticism from her reserved Nigerian roots. So her comeback to NYFW following her more conservative homecoming show in Nigeria for Lagos Fashion Week allows her to create again without limitation.
“There has been so much discourse around the conservatism surrounding my clothing and I feel there shouldn’t be so much focus on how women want to display their sexuality in how they dress,” Adeola explains to ESSEENCE discussing what all the details meant as a part of the story of her collection. “I would rather the focus be on the beauty of the lace, how the beads are falling, and not so much on the transparency of the fabric. I want to show my clothes and fabrics in their purest form. I am also taking those details fundamental to my brand, such as ruffles and feathers, and elevating them. I want to think more critically about the details of my designs. The world is so dark, so I choose to make beautiful things to bring a bit of light.”
The 21-look collection opened with Opera singer Rebecca Hargrove crooning over the runway’s soundtrack in a floor-length petite ruffled dress with a lone latex — setting the mood for the remainder of the idyllic collection. The show featured a refined color palette of white and black with warm hues of yellow and pearled shades of blue. Amorous, another word to describe the brand’s signature details of lace, ruffles, feathers, satin-like silks, and sheer cloaked fabrics, reaffirm the story Adeola hopes to tell. These elements were filled in poetic silhouettes of floor-length ruffled dresses, mulleted mini dresses, and ethereally draped gowns that lightly veil neglige.
When asked about the impact of styling on her final presentation, she said, “Collaborating with great people like stylist Mel Reneé has taken my collection to the next level. You see more alternative elements I’m not used to playing with, like, body jewelry, accessories, and even latex gloves.” The looks were further accentuated by hair and beauty undertaking with T. Cooper for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and Mike Martinez for Cutler Salon in collaboration with BREAD Beauty Supply. The show’s glam worked to recreate the unapologetically black looks lending to that of the 90’s classic BAPS. Sculpted half up half down french rolls and slicked bangs, swooped baby hairs, lengthened acrylics, dark lined lips, and micro brows were the intentional finishing that closed out the Black Renaissance experience Adeola was hoping to send her audience on.
Discover a preview of the collection below.