Tia Cibani drew inspiration from North African Tuareg craft and 1970 exoticism. Core fans of the brand gathered at the Helen Mills Event Space where music from Javier Peral Music flowed through the speakers and multiple Diop African Art decorative quilts decorated the room.
Movement played a huge role in Cibani’s spring line, partially because some looks like the colored blocked twisted back dress; lamé swathe top paired with a pleated skirt and an asymmetric draped V-neck gown was all created in lightweight crepe, sateen or silk fabrics. The other reason has to do with the collection's guiding light.
North Africa is home to the largest subtropical hot desert, the Sahara. Temperatures easily shoot up to over 100 degrees and the Tuareg people, who dwell in the Saharan regions of Algeria, Mali and Niger, dress in clothing that move like many of Tia Cibani's runway garments.
At the tail end of the show, a double face, linen utility jumpsuits with Julia Lundsten colored blocked lacquered wooden platform sandals and a crossover coat dress paired with kohl colored brogues was shown in a shade of indigo, a color that is the same hue as the garments and turbans worn by nomadic Tuareg men. In most cases, a designer's over dedication to their inspiration can be there downfall—contrary to popular belief there is such thing as going overboard—but Tia Cibani’s commitment to the humble beginnings that made up this collection led her to presenting solid spring offerings. — NIGEL ISAIAH.