London recently hosted Camer Couture 2009 - a showcase for up-and-coming Cameroonian designers based in Europe. "We are quite daring and we don't hold back," a Cameroonian in the audience said about the designs.
"All [the designers] stand out as individuals, but they still also give us energetic, futuristic, strong representations of Africa," said the show's stylist George Eko.
The show began over an hour late. "I'm very nervous, I feel like a dad waiting for his kids to be born," said George Eko, waiting backstage.
Kirette Couture was the first collection to hit the catwalk. "It's very common for us to come abroad, find different cultures and get lost. We want to stay Cameroonian but in a contemporary way," one of the fashion house's designers said.
Camer Couture's organiser Cynthia Anduhtabe says Cameroonian culture needs more exposure in the UK: "When people ask what African country I come from, I always have to say the country next to Nigeria, I want us to stop saying that."
Some designers seemed more intent on globalising their brand by appealing to an audience outside of Cameroon. Cannes-based designer Olivia Ervi said her style was more "red carpet glamour".
"It's really exciting," said one audience member. "We are getting a new generation of people who have grown up here [outside Cameroon], they are trying to see Africa in another way."
"I love their outfits," said a Nigerian member of the audience. "We wear a lot of it in Nigeria. There's a lot of detail, I tend to prefer them more and I think a lot of us younger ones do as well."
"What we have done is taken the Togho, a traditional dress from the north west of Cameroon, and made it more stylish, more high-end and more contemporary," said the designers behind Kirette Couture.
“Not only is it showing the creativity from Cameroon, it is showcasing the culture of Cameroon,” Ms Anduhtabe said about the show. [Interviews: BBC Network Africa's Sharon Hemans. Photos: Camer Couture's Angel Sylvester, Koji and Charlotte Allen]
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