LG Fashion Week: Going on a trip with design duo JUMA
Sibling design duo Alia and Jamil Juma, the brains behind New York based JUMA, are no strangers to the spotlight of fashion week. Launched in 2003, JUMA’s mandate is to create internationally inspired, unisex clothing and accessories that push boundaries and well, look great. Featured in publications all over the world, the pair have a fresh and exciting approach to patterns and structure. All of that being said, the turn out for the show was huge, and as it was the last show of the night on the first day of LG Fashion Week, it was running over an hour late. Let me tell you, the fashion industry does not like to wait, and after a packed day of schmoozing and boozing, the temperature in the queue was rising. Finally, the doors open, and the guests forced their way into the brand new studio space, a much more intimate setting than the often overwhelming main stage. As the lights finally went down and the music started, a model walked out wearing a loosely draped chiffon dress. The crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief as it became clear what was coming was worth the wait.
The first series of looks were a vibrant array of beautiful textiles draped loosely and scarf-like into dream-like dresses, and structured dresses that brought to mind another design duo, Proenza Schouler. The male (or unisex) side of things mixed a twist on basic pieces, i.e. Over-sized tees with asymmetrical hems, and pajama-like button-ups and trousers, with the same scarf-like material as the women, draped as scarves or sewn into the garments.
As the show went on, the palette grew darker, and the style became much more structured and tailored. A surprisingly appealing women’s suit was crafted out of an almost metallic blue paisley, which one would think would appear garish, but in fact came off as downtown-chic. It seemed that many aspects of this collection toed the line between Bob Mackie and well, not Bob Mackie. But in no way do I mean that as any sort of criticism. What I find so exciting about JUMA is that they push the boundaries as far as they can, but have the editing eye to keep it stylish.
My favourite pieces from the collection were cheeky and playful cat-suits and what I can only think to describe as pj’s featuring kaleidoscope graphics that made me feel like a kid again. Well, a much cooler version of my kid-self. All in all, despite sweat-inducing wait-times, and cranky chicks in stilettos, JUMA’s presentation managed to lift our spirits, and give us the strength to drag our weathered asses over to the after party. What a life.