5 tips for rocking revealing clothing

By Chinonso Ihekire 

Natural hair is great. Body-fitting dresses are awesome, sometimes. The cross-cultural wigs and weave too are not bad. However, the style of wearing revealing clothing is emerging popular. There are some who get the right ideas for it and rock the covers of Vogue, Time, et cetera, or get it wrong and end up looking like a gypsy on the streets. However, there are still the issues that your tenure fails to recognize theatre productions.

5 key steps in wearing revealing clothing, in a very artistic manner includes.

  1. Wear see-through.
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Source: Maxivive/Instagram

If you ask me, the best form of exposure is the one that’s blur. That might sound like a sin in Photography, but in fashion it is not. In fact, the saying: the less you see, the more you look and vice versa, goes down with this reality. See through like shirts, blouses, crop tops, netted skirts or gowns, or shorts, have a psychological effect of leaving the beholder imagining more than is revealed. It’s a stronger eye turner than full skin exposure, and definitely a stronger eye-gluer.

2. Go for the Synecdoche

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Source: Maxivive/Instagram 

Yeah! Kanye West, Badgirl Riri and a host of other fashion influencers are renowned for wearing very revealing outfits, especially ripped clothing. Now, the ripped clothing enigma works like a powerful chemical reaction when you apply the principle of the part represents the whole, a.k.a. Synecdoche. A slight rip on the thigh and knee, a rip on the arm, slight opening of cleavage, or back, or middle body, wherever that’s best comfortable can serve as the point of entry, without having to over-dramatize and expose multiple parts. This works too, for certain personality types. However, the Synecdoche stands out as elegant and definitely and eye-gluer.

3. PLAY with colours

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Source: Tufafifashion/Instagram

What is life without colour? What is fashion without a mesh of different radiant colours? It means wherever you go, whatever you wear, apply a little colour like your ‘fashion make-up’ and watch how the colours dance spritely. So, revealing a little, plus a little colour, on any skin colour or body shape, definitely sends happy vibes down the eye paths of the beholder.

4. Balance the amount of skin exposure

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Source: Saymariahcollection/Instagram

 

 

Balance is very important. In as much as you’d rock your vintage ripped shirt, or your Yeezus sweatshirt with multiple ripped holes, or even a ripped dinner gown (I’d like to see that one more often), you need to balance the amount of skin exposure. Your arm can’t be too exposed and your lower body all covered up. Your outfit might seem torn and raggedy, instead of ripped. It’s best to have two or three ripped parts, and if it’s just a slight slit on your knee line, the outfit has to portray a feeling of completeness, that is, you don’t go thinking that a piece of your outfit was not manufactured or something. Balance!

5. Be comfortable to wear it

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Source: Maxivive/Instagram

ALWAYS FEEL COMFORTABLE in whatever you do and wear. Confidence itself is an outfit. You deserve to be adorned with comfort whenever you dress up. So, if revealing cleavage or your lower back or your chest, will keep you insecure all day, it’s best to flip the script and go revealing nothing, well except beauty of course. Ha-ha! It’s also a ground norm for you to ensure your outfit is clean. Nothing puts you off more than a dirty-looking outfit.  It’s necessary for every outfit to stay on your body as a child clings to his breastfeeding mother, tenderly and comfortably.

Bonus tip: You need to constantly practice your dress outfits. Repetition! That’s if like me, you are neo-conservative and settling down to revealing clothing (which are absolutely cool) is a much slower process for you. Try going out with ripped clothing, little by little. Sooner, you’ll get so relaxed about it. Again, always save pictures of other people in revealing clothing that you think might suit you and try those looks some time. Life is too short to not smile in your outfits! There you have it.

 

 

 

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Natural hair should’t remain an underrated fashion-art form

By Chinonso Ihekire

YES! The natural hair form traces long to the ancient pre-colonial Nigeria. It was an ancient beauty that every local valued and styled, according to tribal traditions. It was glorified. With the white man’s entry later in the 19th century, the cultural transfer brought in a new wave of styling human hair – a more western form, and that reality has travelled down to this day. However, this is not a history class. It’s just a statement of truth that natural hair is a graceful and elegant fashion-art form that should not be as underrated as it is today.

 

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Source: Pinterest 

Why? Natural hair styling exudes a true inner beauty of the human hair, and for we Africans, revealing its full, nappy and splendid spongy nature. It depicts the human head as a true canvass for exploration of our artistic desire. It compliments any fashion statement that journeys to the realm of the magnificent. Sadly, it is frowned upon at urban workplaces across the country. It is an unwritten rule that Nigerian workers have to dress up and look like their western colonialists who gave them the corporate world of business. Bangladash, if you ask me! Natural hair is revolutionary, and it rocks too.

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Source: Pinterest

Again, Natural hair is our African identity. There is a common fashion philosophy that explains that fashion is an artistic expression of your inner self. How then can we adorn ourselves with hairstyles that don’t compliment who we are as Africans? It implies that the purpose of fashion is lost in translation. It is not a sin to have a cross-cultural fashion look, once a while. Yet, it’s not enough to blur our own identity, by overdoing it. You’d hardly find a young Nigerian woman attending a dinner date adorned in natural hair. The blue and black, green and red, woolly and curly braids and wigs from the West have taken over our fashion expressions, sadly.

Natural hair is also a very versatile fashion piece. It compliments every fashion look. Every! From the office-static outlook of corporate dressing, to casual evening date outfits, to ball gowns or religious activities, natural hair is like a crown that can be worn everywhere indicating our royalty.

It’s obvious that the frustration with most African women who do not shave their head, when it comes to keeping natural hair, is that it is quite annoyingly difficult, painful and expensive to maintain. Once a lady finishes secondary education in Nigeria, where it is compulsory to be styled in natural hair, she flips the script, to acclimatise to the dominant trend of braids, wigs and weaves, which could be cheaper and easier to maintain. The problem is lack of will and lack of information.

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Source: Pinterest

How to maintain natural hair – 5 key principles

  1. Drink a lot of water

Yes! Water, the master medicine. Your hair needs a lot of water to grow. Drink at least 3 litres of water, daily, if you are eyeing a healthy and rapid hair growth.

  1. Moisturize thoroughly

It’s necessary. Dryness prevents hair growth. very important to avoid using too many chemical products on your hair. NaturAll Club strongly recommends using specific hair care products like castor, coconut or avocado oil, as well as Shea butter, for your hair.

  1. Wash it regularly

Don’t leave your hair raggedy and unkempt. It has a higher tendency, in this natural state to be disorganized. Wash it weekly to maintain that sparkle. Also avoid blow drying as it accelerates hair dryness.

  1. Comb and style

Comb when wet or when it is thoroughly moisturized, to avoid the pain. Avoid using hot combs. It is also very important to style it immediately; it stays firm and finer that way.

5. Wrap it with a satin scarf before going to bed

It is advisable to avoid the hair becoming dry easily from pillow absorption. Use satin scarfs to retain more moisture.

     6.  Love it

True! You cannot happily carry your hair on your head without loving it in your mind, first. Look in the mirror daily with that natural hair and tell yourself how beautiful you look. Your mind would do the rest.

Yes! Natural hair styling is an ancient, unique and, arguably, the best form of styling hair. For we, Africans, it is a matter of art. It can be styled suitably for every occasion. It is a head-turner, an eye-gluier, and a happiness harbinger.

 

 

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Is the ALTE wave here to stay?

By Chinonso Ihekire

 

The ever expressive and experimental fashion form, iconic for its breaking-of-rules and poetic approach to fashion styling and designing, hallmarked as Alternative dressing or Alte, has continued to silently surface as a unique fashion consciousness for decades, within and outside the country. With the ever strengthened presence of conservative fashion, one might fear that the there is no future for the Alte fashion wave in Nigeria. Yet, time has proved that our dynamism among other factors are the oxygen tanks of the Alte wave in Nigeria.Adekunle 2

Source: Adekunle Gold/Instagram (2019)

History has showed that Nigerians are unique and experimental people. They are creative with their realities, and it’s evident in the chunk of art they churn out (from Burna Boy’s Yawa Dey to African China’s Mr. President, for example). They never conform to a sticky situation of life. They are quite daring and very artistically expressive. Nigerians cross the streets of creativity without looking left or right, and that is going to take them to one destination: The Realm of the Alternative.

Despite the increasing and resplendent face of conventional fashion, strengthened by creative designers like Mai Atafo, Yomi Casual and so on, the Alte movement continues to garner more acceptance. Creative designers like MaxiVive, Orange Culture, Rogue-ng and so on, have continued steering the ship of the Alte fashion revolution. In fact, it has become an identity for many musical artistes from Adekunle Gold, Lady Donli, Burna Boy, to BOJ on the Microphone, to Santi, the list is endless. This only affirms its presence in the country as a respectable style of fashion expression.

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Source: Naatal media/Instagram

The social media boom has also contributed to the rising growth of the Alte movement in Nigeria. It was pioneered and promoted in a Nigeria where the major visual mass medium was the Television. The likes of Charlie Boy and Fela Kuti, among others were the few that stood out as followers of the movement, because they were the few faces we could see on TV. Now, the tide is turned and the Alte wave is popularized by regular people who can amass a huge followership on social media. These ones are the new seeds of the Alte movement, ready to germinate and sprout everywhere they go.

Another strong reason Alte can never die is because the style itself is very intriguing. It’s ability to be experimented with makes it very attractive to people, especially the dominant Generation X (a.k.a Nigerian youth) who make up a mass of the country’s population (over half of the population). You can easily switch up the script on a corporate outfit, with a loose baggey Ankara pant (for instance, the Kunle’s Kembe); or you throw a scarf on that all flowery satin jumpsuit; or it could just be the daring mix of colours! Alte is very experimental and interesting. Like magnet to steel , it would always find its place in people’s hearts.

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Source: Kunle Afolayan/Instagram

What other reason do you need? The style is transcendental. Perpetual. It lives on like an Abiku. Generations unborn would still become ardent followers, because there would always be a thirst for creative expression. Nigerians would always break the norm, because as the Nok Art proves, we’ve been artists for a very long time.

 

 

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Untalented?

 ‘What’s the matter? Why are you sad? Isn’t this the opportunity you’ve always wanted? Write man! Scribble something, or do you want him to take you for a quack?’

 ‘He’s waiting!’

The voice in my head kept preventing the rhythms from coming into my mind. I stared and stammered inside my mind, yet no lyrics. I sighed. Two minutes gone. A songwriting audition with Don Jazzy was a dream come true, now would that dream just slip away from my reality’s grasp? ‘Oh Lord! Please help, I muttered.

I watched and watched as the crowd lit up in glee with their eyes down the whole auditorium. Was this really me? I didn’t even know. ‘Obeezy’ they yelled. Was this really me? I didn’t truly know. 

Few years ago, I never thought myself bold or talented enough to mount this stage. I had frequently toured the streets of my life with my degree of  low esteem in search of an opportunity, but now I’ve gone back to the classroom and learned now that I am all I believe I am: talented or quack. 

‘What’s going on?’ I asked him as a tear dropped out of my sore eye. ‘What do you mean, Obee?’

 ‘Didn’t you see the way they all yelled my name out there? Do you think that was really me they love that much?’ I pressed further. 

He laughed. Perhaps he sensed my shock. Perhaps it was my immaturity in this lifestyle. 

‘Obee, that was never really you on that stage. The you I know you know is a shy, lazy, cowardly, untalented quack truly incapable of wowing even himself – the you you always thought yourself to be, before now. Now, you know that is a lie you’ve told yourself all along. Obee you’re the lie you tell yourself you are, or the truth you believe you are. 

‘Now, are you ready to mount the next stage of your life, or are you ready to remain a invincible talent never to shine in the sky among the stars of your kind?’ 

I was just about to say yes when he tapped me. I had slept off after writing a verse. Don Jazzy had entered the studio and was sitting there looking at me.

 ‘Hey, na so you wan write your song abi na what?’ He said.

‘No sir! I’m ready!’

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Things I should have told you

(IN an open courtyard, just after the Pearly Gates, The King of Kings sits on his Throne conversing with a son that just arrived home) 
Father: Welcome Son (stretches arms)    It’s been too long. 
Son: (Sigh) Too long indeed Father. How could you? 
F: What is wrong Son? Why is your patience depleting like the Ozone layer of our earth? You can’t even greet. 
S: Forgive me Father. But Baba mi is it fair? Ki ni mo n se? What did I do wrong? Baba, I have been touring these tortuous streets of Life for many years and yet nothing beautiful I find. Nothing. This is not what you told me I would find. (Holds hands on his head)
F: So what did you find Omo mi? Where did you spread your fishing nets that its hooks could not catch any fish?
S: Inside the waters of Nigeria. You put me there. Arable land. Great country. You told me I would find food, shelter, family and fame. Yet all I find are the opposite. Nothing, only misery and pain.
F: Ah!! But many others like you have gone and succeeded? (Turns to his palace angels) Abi, was Azikiwe not from there? Or is Dangote not currently there now? Tell me, what exactly did you do? So fun mi.
S: Father I graduated with a First class degree. I’m academically smart. I thought that was all, but alas! There are many things I needed to know which you did not tell me.

F: Go on.

S: Of pain and it’s bitter taste I have gotten used to. Of failure and it’s demoralizing sting. Of temptation and it’s captivating chains. Of focus and it’s solid yet fragile state. Of passion and it’s confusing aura. Of Lagos, and even its notorious hardships. Ah I cried!
F: You see. I know that this life is hard. Do you forget I was once there? Whatever you face, I have seen it’s face. But the beauty of labor and the lessons of pain cannot be erased from the mind who has gone through them. You need to carry this cross alone. It is only then you would be strong enough to unlock the Iron doors of wealth, power and prestige as you so desire. One more thing I should have told you is no one can tell you how to live your life. I will help you live it wisely, but it’s still your choice to be wise. One advice: Chase love, Live happily, for you can’t live your life twice.  Don’t forget no one knows tomorrow, except I who holds tomorrow. Oya! Pada wa!! (Go back!)
S: Ahhh!! To Lagos again? Please United States, or Canada. Anywhere, but Lagos.
F: Better go now before I take you to Korea. Your time is running. What you know are the things that I should have told you. Are the things you need to know, to grow. O dabo! Till we see soon.

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