In the running for the hottest show of the season, Newgen's latest additional Tolu Coker took over the BFC space with an intimate affair, which paid homage to spirituality across the African diaspora while showcasing her brilliantly executed cuts and interesting fabrications.

We caught up with Tolu ahead of today’s show…

Describe your SS24 collection in 3 words...
Redeeming. Spiritual. Transformative.

Name one person, living or dead, that you would want to wear the collection.
My dad.

What are your pre-show rituals?
Prayer, convening with people close to me and listening to music.

What will you be listening to pre-show?
I really love calming music and probably music with a really deep drum beat. That's been speaking to me a lot recently and inspired a lot of what you'll see within the collection.

What is the first thing on your show-day packing list/in your bag?
Probably my phone and some pins.

What's your favourite piece in the collection and why?
I think my favourite piece in the collection is the closing look, which is the laced gown and the braided headpieces because it's such a labour of love. It's not even commercially driven, it was just for the love of art and it's a full community effort. Every single piece of lace is cut by different individuals and hand-sewn - the conversations around and throughout the process have been beautiful.

What outfit will you be wearing on show day?
I'm going to try and look cute this time to mark my solo debut – perhaps a look from the collection. If not, most likely a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

What's the first thing you’ll do when the show is over?
Sleep and decompress - it usually takes me a couple of days to fully decompress and process everything such as this key career moment.

What is it about London that continues to energise your creativity?
My community! It's the vibrancy, it's the diversity of different people that exist in London that make it rich and special. What it is to be a Londoner is so vast, there are so many different versions of us which I feel is important and unique.

There's always something new to discover - the energy, the buzz of the city and just the beautiful people that I'm surrounded by, older, younger, all wonderful people.

What drives you to keep making clothes?
I think the conversations that I want to continue having. Clothes for me are a canvas and I think what drives me to continue making it is the way I see that once it's released out into the world, it becomes something personal to someone else and almost a gift from your own personal expression and experiences. Also with fashion being such a very visible space, I feel having conversations through clothing transcends the conversations that you can often
lose with only words.