I didn`t quite get up to so much last week however I did manage to meet with my compatriots Seyi,Bunmi and Arieta over coffee and we brainstormed over projects of mutual benefit.
I did personally call for the meeting as I needed to bang heads together with Nigerians with creative and independent minds.Needless to say that I was very chuffed with what each person brought to the table hence the follow up meeting this weekend at Southbank. Funny enough everyone in attendance was already thinking in the same line as me so it was easy to reach a consensus very swiftly.
These three folks mentioned are talented compariots in diaspora with authentic love for Nigeria and yet people back home rarely read about them.Well,hopefully we are about to change that,thanks to youtube!
Have you guys ever heard the song “Nigeria go survive,Africa go survive”.That is exactly the tune I`m belting out now.
I haven`t seen these lots for sometime so it was a great and brain energising moment.
This is me with Bunmi Thomas who is a singer,poet and a photographer. I could listen to Bunmi talk for days because of the quality and creativity of the words she employs whilst speaking coupled with the fact that her accent is authentic; you wouldn`t necessarily call it British or Nigerian.It is just Bunmi.
Bunmi`s words are so poetic and fun to listen to.
Unfortunately Arieta was rushing off to another appointment so she missed the photo session,lolll.
No, I have not used the wrong word! The only logical description of what some makeup artists do in the name of ‘makeup’ is a ‘total transfiguration’!
The media, especially social media, is flooded with so many before and after images showing such incredible transformation that some of these artists should be made to undergo a rigorous accreditation process by FBI, CIA, KGB and every international intelligence agencies out there! Dem fit change pesin so tey, even d mama wey born am no go recognise am! I swear!
Una dey see wetin I dey tok about? ?? || Read more
Can I just say I love you guys for keeping faith with me after the unannounced hiatus that occurred last time by coming back in your droves to read the crap I post here hehehe? Ok,I guess a huge majority of you reckon I make quite some sense and for that I`m genuinely thankful.
I must apologise for my inability to present you with the usual Monday dose of winners and losers.There are cogent reasons for this however I would`n want to bore you with it.Supply will restart this Wednesday hopefully.
And oh,we are back to attacking poverty stricken mentality as evident in Linda Ikeji and co so check it out and also share or retweet so we can keep this movement growing stronger.
Linda Ikeji is officially the poster child of poverty stricken mentality but our aim on this platform is to subtly or aggressively acquaint her with the simple knowledge that she has the option of chatting a different course.
Over the past couple of weeks I have stepped out for different engagements ranging from business meeting to linking up with buddies for a cuppa.
Well,just for the viewing pleasure of you guys,I documented some of these moment with the photos below.
On Shaftesbury Avenue
A model in Emmy Collins || Read more
A couple of weeks or thereabout ago, my Editor who is a hard core Deltan with the Delta brand of ‘Pidgin English’ for authentication, posted a message on facebook in which she was desperately seeking to be adopted by citizens from other states other than her once beloved Delta State. Now, seeing that a dear friend was in deep distress, I made enquiries to ascertain the genesis of her conundrum to see if I might be of help.
Well, on receiving my enquiries, my friend who by the way goes by the name Nancy, (the same Nancy) with crestfallen disposition, informed me to my chagrin that she had regressed from being a very proud Deltan to an extremely embarrassed one! Apparently, she became this desperate when a certain demographic of Deltans began to unashamedly distribute flyers in preparation for…. wait for it…..a crusade! They were planning for an event where they would offer “special prayers” for the release of their jailed ex-Governor, James Ibori. HUH? Same Ibori?
The offensive flyer
Since Nancy is an irredeemable prankstar, I believed she was being her usual mischievous || Read more
As I have mentioned repeatedly on this platform, facebook is like a market where you bump into all sorts and I mean all sorts. Actually a better description would be to liken facebook to a bail of vintage garments aka okirika as we call it in my homeland, Nigeria. Personally, I believe a bail of used garments contain crap 98% of the time. In a bail of okirika you have just a 2% chance of finding one of the best pieces ever designed by man (and even aliens) in terms of quality of fabric, tailoring, silhouette, design, just name it and the possibility of uncovering it tucked within the pile of crap exists.
Well, within this pile of rumpled crap called facebook, I discovered an authentic piece, Nancy Keshy Ademolu. Presently Nancy doubles as a guest blogger on this platform as well as the editor. Yes, I put the article together but the nitty gritty of sifting through it to get rid of the chaff isn’t my best virtue and thankfully, Nancy takes that teeny tiny but nonetheless niggling issue off my skinny ass.
These days of internet and telephone ensured that I could work and communicate with Nancy virtually without physically meeting her. That came to an end last week though, when a meeting was arranged and we hooked up in Central London. || Read more
I must have inherited my adoration for fashion from my late mum. She was a petty trader that dealt with food items but never mocked about with anything that pertained to her personal style and she always ensured that I turned out looking my best as well. Of course I was her last child and being a last child comes with a few attendant privileges, init? *winks*
Up until about my 12th birthday, we resided at Umuahia or thereabout, not very far away from what was then called the Ojukwu Bunker. Ojukwu bunker was an underground well fortified fortress erected to protect the life of the late Biafran leader while the under armed Biafran soldiers were been slaughtered in their droves like fowls at various war fronts. In fact he had two of those optimally equipped and outrageously well protected bunkers at Umuahia GRA and Amafo which was situated slightly on the outskirts of town.
Everything and I mean everything in every sense of the word, one needed to be comfortable was inside this bunker and it had various escape routes. In fact it wouldn’t have been out of place to name that bunker “underground luxury”. As kids we often trooped to the bunker in our droves just to play and sometimes we would play pranks and switch off the light on whoever was the last to leave the bunker. It was quite scary to be left alone in a bunker that was perhaps 70mtrs deep below ground level.
Well, this isn’t about Ojukwu’s bunker, though that story is one I would gladly sink my teeth into at some point because in as much as Ojukwu was a very charismatic man, I believe he was a selfish man who only bothered about the well being of no one but Ojukwu. He was erratic and made erratic decisions that caused the needless loss of lives. My brother, my mum’s first born, was forcefully conscripted into the Biafran army as teenager and had his right thigh properly shattered with bullets to show for it. Of course he was one of the few lucky youths who didn’t come home in a casket, if there were anything like caskets then or if their bodies came home at all. Sad history that must never be replicated again.
Anyway, back to fashion. As mum was ever so busy trying to put food on the table, she would send me to my God-father who was a supplier of fabrics from his small store at the local market. She always ensured I had enough money to pay for the fabrics but my God-father would either not take the cash or he would send me home with more fabrics than the cash I had would cover. My mother didn’t like that one single bit but she wouldn’t dare send me anywhere else. She knew that would have created bad-blood if my God-father had seen me venturing into a different store to purchase exactly what he stocked in his store.
We used to live at a street called Uwalaka Street which I reckon was named after an Ex Enugu Rangers footie player, Emeka Uwalaka. On the next street was situated a funky looking neighbourhood tailor that relocated from Cameroun. He was famous or notorious, if you wish, because he bent over backwards to piss off the entire neighbourhood by constantly blaring his Camerounian tunes more than a few decibels than he should. The more folks complained the bigger the speakers would become and the louder the volume. Dude was a major league ass-hole but oh my gosh, he was also a damn good tailor! Since I wasn’t bothered at all about the fact that he single handily turned the entire neighbourhood into a perpetual discotheque, he was my tailor of choice. He was a patient dude though, as I could neither figure out how he understood the designs I put forward to him nor how I even came up with them in the first instance. One thing was sure though, I never looked like my peers. I have always been bored with whatever my peers were wearing and somehow I always managed to instill that little twist that made the difference needed.
Now, this might sound a bit clichéd but I can authoritatively affirm that I have been designing my own pieces for as long as I could differentiate my left hand from the right because I can’t remember my mum ever engaging in any discussion with my tailor regarding how my clothes should be made. Remember I said her work ethics was very punitive. She woke by 4.30 daily with exception of Sundays when she attended church and then visited friends and got home at about 8-9pm so there was absolutely no time left whatsoever for anything else.
My early interaction with tailors thought me to get into their heads to ascertain whatever was going on inside there. I can tell 9 out of 10 times when a machinist is reluctant to do something simply because it was complicated and he can’t be bothered and when he is simply honest in his assertion that something can’t be done or would come out looking like yesterday’s leftover meal. It also emboldened me to become innovative. As far as I’m concerned, being innovative translates to two things which are
(A) the innovation pans out well and I run with it or (B) It doesn’t pan out well and I jettison it and try something else.
Nothing drastic has ever happened to any creative person for daring to be innovative but didn’t get it quite right, so it is unfathomable to comprehend why folks, especially in homeland Nigeria, who go by the tag “designers” would so blatantly copy pieces and pass them off as if they were originals.
I was gonna bust more “myths” regarding setting up a new label but that has been pushed forward.
Now,it is critiquing time
|| Read more
Ok,I did promise to post my street style images from last week so here they are.
I hereby proffer my apologies in advance just in case any of them is so horrendous it puts you off your morning coffee,hehehe
Waiting at the Shard,London bridge for my partner in crime,Tundun to arrive for the evening section of alcohol binging.Lollll,gotcha,Naaaa,Tundun doesn`t do alcohol likewise myself so we simply enjoyed an evening of great brain stimulating banters and quality dinner before we waved each other good bye. || Read more
I know. It is apparent! Any homo sapien on the look out for scrupulous politicians in Nigeria will definitely be confronted with the “needle in a haystack” situation. But one thing that has never and will never be in short supply in Nigeria is false information. Undoubtedly, there is enough unfounded information to go round. The false information presently doing the rounds amongst Nigerians is enough to last us two life times or even three and I’m not even kidding.
I will avoid the brewing political dramas and concentrate on the fashion industry which, as you guys are aware, is my core. Nigeria is a country where the aspiring and upcoming designers barely have the necessary information at their finger tips. This painful reality means they grope about in the dark with the hope of making a tangible hit.
There are Two MYTHS out there that need to be busted as a matter of urgency so that upcoming designers and even some of the established ones can get clarity once and for all.
Myth Number One – You must be a machinist to become a designer!
Whilst it is absolutely a positive direction for a designer to possess tailoring skills, a designer mustn’t indeed be a machinist in order to be effective. I often bump into aspiring designers who constantly get their information muddled up about these issues with no one or any information bank to clarify it for them. Most information that we seek are just a click away however most folks will rather use the limited data available to them in Nigeria to chat on social media.
Good tailoring skills come in handy when a designer needs something nipped or tucked in swiftly but hasn’t got the time to approach their machinist to sort it out. Also, it is very advantageous for a designer to have enough tailoring skills to put his/her own samples together and then out-source the actual production to a more equipped factory. No fashion designer has the time to produce all his/her garments.
Designers are never the best machinists just as machinists aren’t the best designers out there hence the necessity for both to work in-sync to churn out the most awe inspiring designs.
One more thing, I must add before I veer off this topic, quality tailoring demands endurance! The last time I bothered to check, designers aren’t the most patient folks created by the Almighty.
In an interview on Vogue sometime ago, Betty Jackson, a British fashion designer who has been on the fashion scene since the seventies and nicked for herself several awards including British Designer of the Year in 1985 with an MBE to boot said “I’m very bad at sewing … Luckily, I have people who can do it.”
That said, it is quite imperative to reiterate that ability to sew is an added advantage but not the deal breaker as some would want you to believe.
Myth Number Two – You must be featured in the blogs/press to make money!
Well, if there was anything I learnt from my mentor, Mr. David Jones (Ah! This reminds me of my upcoming appointment with David next week! Reunion uploading!), a fashion insider well into his 70s and with more than 60yrs experience of the fashion industry under his belt, getting ‘press’ doesn’t always translate to money! Most of the folks making money in the fashion industry rarely talk to the press as they are too busy closing deals and churning great outfits.
When I first made an inroad into the British fashion industry, there was a certain British designer that was getting loads of press at the time. However, I met his business partner who now works as a designer with another fashion firm at Premier Vision Paris a few years back and he confessed to me over coffee that they were indeed struggling to make ends meet at the time. They eventually went under hence his new gig in another company.
Even in Nigeria, one of the few designers making real dough is Mudi. Why? Well, because he has a target market with disposable income or stolen wealth, if you wish, ie politicians to splash on afrocentric fashion and dude is laughing constantly to the bank whilst Daddies, hubbies, boyfriends, girlfriends, family members et al are still propping up the businesses of most of the designers that are so visible in the press! Yes, Mudi does get press sometimes but it isn’t the back bone of his business. He is just a man who pin-pointed his target and never bothered to veer off that lane. So, if you need you ‘trads’ as we call them in Naija and you’ve got the cash to splash, Mudi is your man. He owns quite an imposing edifice in Anthony where he operates from. I’m hard pressed to detect any of the local famous designers that make enough cash from fashion to meet up with their overheads ie rent on a strategic position on Ikoyi, Victoria Island or Lekki, then staff, then power supply and more!
Some local designers do make dough from corporate bodies through cooking up some projects and obtaining sponsorship via daddys/wives/hubbys or personal contacts…. but hey, that isn’t what we are on about here. I’m talking about making dosh from selling the awesome designs you churn out! Kapish?
So…..don’t get fixated on press!
I will be busting more myths perhaps next week but in the meantime let’s sink our teeth into the styling hits and misses of last week.
If you believe this is precisely how Khloe Kardashian looks then you must also believe that I have a plot of land to sell to you in the middle of the atlantic ocean.
This is a myth! DON’T buy into it. Then again I know some folks love phantom stories so knock yourselves out! Lolll.
I have 5000 friends on Facebook, 85% of whom I have probably never met! I won’t bore you with the statistics of how the social media world works or the many possibilities or in fact, dangers of the virtual world…. Google’s just a click away. 5000 friends? Well, I wonder that myself especially since I am not a celebrity or even a quasi-celeb! I am not one of those “uber-extroverts” who share all of their lives and everything in between with total strangers. The only logical reason could be that there are fellow crazy people out there and we sort of connect. Abi? How else I wan tek reason am? || Read more