by Esho Wemimo
At one point in time, it was very fashionable to wear ‘ready-made clothes” and the traditional or ethnic printed fabric were only sewn into ‘iro and buba” which was regarded archaic.
However in Nigeria today, things have turned around one eighty degrees and now, wearing ethnic printed clothing is very in.
It’s so much easier to have clothing sewn from traditional fabric now, be it Ankara, Kente, lace, dry lace, Guinea, French lace, Adire, Aso-oke- just go to your tailor and describe what you want to him or her, and voila!
The great thing about various prints is that you can design every detail of how you want your outfit to look; the transformation is carried out by tailors. They turn your plain materials to elegant pieces or in some cases, screwed up caricatures.
Ankara has now become a popular commodity; it’s even imbibed in fashion shows and seen on international celebrities. Nigerian designers such as Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi of LDA, Kiki Kamanu, Ituen Basi, JD7, and Lisa Folawiyo of Jewel by Lisa, Zizi Cardow, and Ade Bakare amongst others have taken the indigenous fabric and transformed them into eye candy and show cased them on an international level.
Clothing accessories are not left out; traditional fabric has been used on bracelets, shoes, clutch purses, brooches, ties and what not.
The ‘iro’ and ‘buba’ has been revamped now, there ‘oleku’ version has returned from the eighties to grace us with it chic elegance. The ‘oleku’ is basically the shorter version of the traditional Yoruba ‘iro’ and ‘buba’, this looks really great on ladies, age and size irrespective
I suggest we all get off our hides and begin to fill our closets with items of Ankara, for it adds flavour to any outfit any day, anytime.