The following post is an interview piece with BA Fashion student Barbara Okonji. Her love for fashion is explained as well as thoughts on how fashion is evolving in the 21st century with technology.

How do you define fashion?

Fashion from time immemorial has been one major way man has been able to communicate. Every era of man has come with its fashion trends and evolution. It is a natural instinct that wells up from inside that defines your outer world. It evolves in a general direction from one era to another and from one trend to another. Fashion icons such as Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Dolce and Gabbana have accentuated fashion from mere trends, to immeasurable expressions of mood, culture, perceptions, and taste taking fashion from a platonic level of expression to a deeper one.

Fashion is a culmination of expressions and the ultimate form of inner strength and beauty, especially when it is original, and uniquely appealing to a people it targets. Its originality creates wealth.

One amazing aspect of fashion is expressed through every season with ease. It dictates the trend in winter, spring, summer and autumn. It creates identity, and the identity creates acceptance and captivates the hearts of those it appeals to. It creates brands that express the minds of the owner to its customers creating brand loyalty - essential in brand marketing. Fashion expressions never end from one season to another; there is always a fresh twist in its appearance.

Why does fashion appeal to you?

Certainly, fashion has transcended expressions, to fabric, fashion accessories, haute couture fashion, an expression of extraordinary talent, run way fashion, hair fashion expressions and so on. Fashion gives identity, encourages creativity and innovation, creating enormous wealth which can boost an economy, increasing its relevance in industry growth.

Evidently, fashion is more appealing when its expressions break boundaries, which has the capacity to expose huge potentials. As a student at LCCA, taking a course in fashion illustration, I was exposed to some of the works of late Alexander McQueen’s fashion during the summer of 2012, and I immediately identified the infusion of the African prints, and saw his fashion transcending beyond Western culture, creating a pleasant infusion and expression of the combo of Western and African culture, that made it unique and appealing to me.

Undoubtedly fashion finds its expressions and identity through arts and celebrity fashion. Every musical artist or entertainment celebrity has an expression of fashion which creates their identity, helps them find relevance among their fan base and their art. I would say at this point that an artiste that has no fashion expression has no originality or uniqueness to portray, which is a denial of the art he is a part of. Fashion should be an expression of your inner beauty. Its ideals are meant to be a representation of your inner personality.

What part does technology play?

One aspect of fashion that needs more exploration, is that of fashion and technology. In an era of rapid technological growth, fashion must continuously transform rapidly from analogue to digital technology (relevant and modern) in its forms of expression, but not without counting the cost of this transformation to the environment. One major trend in fashion is that it imbibes technology, such as 3D design software, making fashion expressions more accurate and precise. In as much as fashion incorporates technology into its various forms of expressions; I believe it should be sustainable while improving chances of positive innovation on fashion evolution. One way forward in ensuring fashion sustainability would be to unify all fashion innovators to discuss new possibilities of expressing fashion in ways that are environment friendly and highly sustainable, yet profitable to all innovators in the system. This topic remains another yet to be explored.

Having considered the huge potentials in the infusion of technology and sustainability it is evident that fashion is a culmination of expressions that is dynamic and evolves from one era to another, making the possibilities endless and undying.

Any final comments?

My love and expression for fashion grew as I took a bold step to register for a course in LCCA, and since then, my love for this passion has aroused an interest that is growing unabated.

Thank you LCCA for the opportunity to express my thoughts about fashion, this has definitely ignited another passion hidden in me. Fashion can be a beautiful form of expression.

Barbara C. Okonji

For more inspirational fashion tips, news and interviews, check out more on the LCCA blog page.