For her spring 2014 collection, Nigeria-based designer Maki Oh showed a mashup of feminine infused workwear, projecting the image of a post-war housewife's journey into the workforce and back to the home.
Along a backdrop of what resembled a clothesline of hanging linens, clothes followed a pattern of linear masculine cuts with feminine detailing, "It's inspired by women and their confusion about their place in the world. I think we're constantly being displaced on who we should be and how we should act," said Oh. For detailing, the designer referenced Nigeria using gourds as polka dots, a 100-year-old print symbolic of "private parts," and handmade Aso-oke fringe. The first pieces followed the curve of a well-dressed homemaker: white organza shirts paired with a gourd polka dot silk skirt. For the subject's transition into the workforce, Oh used numbers printed on silk and organza paired with slacks to evoke a more masculine look, "She's thrown into the world of sports. This is why we have the numbers." Standout pieces such as the red silk charmeuse overalls had a more violent connotation, representing blood splatter: a symbolic bitterness of a woman being forced back into her role as a housewife.
For a collection that focused on a woman searching for her place in the world, it is evident that Maki Oh has already found hers.