by Hauwa Gambo
Arise Magazine Fashion Week (AMFW) delivered three successful fashion shows of reputable proportions in the past, so one would expect an even better outing this year as opposed to the kind of hot mess the first two days have been so far.
Only a few days ago, designer, Emmy Collins took to twitter to air his views as regards Arise. From his tweets, he insinuated that Arise and the organising team were disorganised. In short, he did not mince words when he said the show was going to flop. Perhaps, he was correct.
Arise, 2012 has so far taken a rather strange and tremendously chaotic turn. The first day did not go as planned but that was to be expected, after all, everyone was just settling in and things were about to take off.
It only became disturbing when after 36 hours things were still “taking off”. Designers scheduled to show on the first day were re-scheduled for today. There was no seminar held or musical act in sight. Contrary to a supposedly planned schedule of rich fashion activities, the day was instead turned into a catch-up/networking/cock-tails-for-all (perhaps compensatory) day.
Everyone returned for a refreshing day 2 packed with several fashion greats but alas, they were disappointed. What the failure of day 2 did was magnify, the level of disarray that occurred at Day 1 of Arise.
At 4pm when the show was scheduled to start, structures were still being erected. The red carpet (entrance into the tent) was far from completion. Models were gallivanting and so were the rest of us. Well, we were gallivanting for another 2 hours after news got around that the show had been shifted to 6pm.
At 6pm, there was no sign that the show was going to kick-start. Restlessness spread round the venue like a plague, yet people waited to enjoy a blissful night of fashion. After another 4 hours of restrained impatient waiting, tension started to mount and people began to talk. The dilemma was this, Federal Palace Hotel was probably going to shut down the venue at 12 midnight so even if the show was to go on, for how many hours? Also, people had become fatigued and disinterested from waiting; did they still want to see a show?
Even more pitiful were the models that had been dolled up for hours, waiting aimlessly to rip the runway only to have their fate contemplated last night. After migrating from the hotel lobby where almost everyone converged to the tent and back again several times, people eventually lost faith, and began to leave.
You’d think that this was the highlight of an unfortunately ruined day, you’d be wrong. At past ten, the consensus was that the show had been cancelled for the day, whether this was announced or not.
However, when one of the international models allegedly spilled figures of her daily salary to a crowd of upset to angry models, hell broke loose. The local models immediately rallied up in protest to the president, Thisday, Prince Nduka to express their hurt. The argument was, why are the international models earning $ 5000 (N 750 000) per day while the locals earn $ 200 (N 30 000). His alleged response was ‘As aspiring, unprofessional models, the pay is quite considerable, considering the fact that Arise is putting you on the map’. Beth/Elite CEO, Elohor seconded the notion. While, a few fashion heads think they have acted unprofessional, citing that they entered into a binding contract and should not create a frenzy because some models earn more, instead if they are unhappy with the pay, they should not take the job regardless of what the next girl earns. In the end, there was no real resolution other than some models will show up to continue in their duties while some have angrily opted out.
Following the series of unfortunate events, tongues have been wagging and the social media platforms are on fire. For the most part, people have many things to say about Arise and its supposed inadequacies, others are protesting on behalf of the local models and others like Emmy Collins are saying, ‘I told you so’. However, reports have reached us that the organising team is not entirely to blame for yesterday’s mishap. Apparently, the hotel generator that was supposed to power the tent developed problems in the morning and since then, the organisers ran helter-skelter in search of an alternative but to no avail. Although, many are of the opinion that Arise should have been prepared for any and every occurrence.
Hopefully, the show will go on as planned hence forth and maybe Arise 2012 can save its face and prove skeptics wrong.