Cool as ice and twice as stylish, Ohimai Atafo was the creative mind behind Funke Akindele’s one-of-kind sleeveless wedding dress. A three-day marathon from idea to first fitting, the stunning outfit on her wedding day was well worth it as the actress glowed in her dress. Ohimai Atafo, the designer and owner of Weddings by MAI (Mai Atafo Inspired) is also the creative mind behind Genevieve’s fashion pages.
From Genevieve Magazine:
Funke and I have been friends for a while now so when she called I thought it was one of our chit-chat till she said, ‘Hi bro, I am getting married on Saturday and you are making my dress!” – This was on a Monday. She said they had intended to do the white wedding later and the engagement, traditional and Nikkai now, but because of the attention and buzz the wedding was receiving they decided to do everything at once.
What was the inspiration behind Funke’s wedding dress?
After our short consultation it was clear Funke knew what she wanted – Simple, Classy, and Elegant, were the words that kept coming up. She specifically said “I don’t want a dramatic dress; no balls gowns, elaborate mermaids gowns.” She confessed her personality is associated with “drama” so she’d like to play down with her dress. To be honest, I was really impressed because most Nigerian brides want dramatic and elaborate wedding dresses.
Did she lose her composure at any time during the process?
No, she didn’t at all. We had 2 fittings – the first one was a day to the wedding, she insisted I keep the clothes and bring them on the wedding day; this included her husband, Kehinde’s, complete outfit. I must say this, Kehinde is very charming and has a calm demeanour. I am not surprised he stole her heart!
Did Funke share her reasons for choosing “Weddings by Mai”?
She didn’t but she had seen and complemented my previous wedding collection. And her stylist, Lilian Unachuckwu, called me before-hand so I am sure she also had a hand in choosing ‘Weddings by Mai’
Did Funke make any specific input in the making of the dress?
Yes, she did. She understands her body and insisted on the soft folds/pleats on the top of the dress and the silhouette of the dress.
How long did it take you to make the dress?
From start to first fitting, when the dress was about 90% ready, it took 3 days.
Was she pleased with the dress at first sight?
For the first fitting we had the gown on a mannequin in the middle of the atelier and once she entered she screamed with joy saying, ‘is that my dress?!’
When she put on the dress, what was the first thought that crossed your mind?
My job here is almost done. A happy bride and a lovely dress!
As a designer for many years, what is the best kept fashion secret?
When you consult with your clients, always listen to the words in-between because half the time that’s where the insight to what they really want is.
It was a beautiful wedding, wasn’t it?
Oh, yes it was! Most importantly, the couple was very happy. I would like to use this medium to thank Funke for the opportunity; and that particular design of her wedding dress will be named after her – ‘beau Jenifa’