So. Ok. If you’d asked me when I lived in London if I enjoyed weddings, I would have replied in the negative. However, now I spend more time in Nigeria, I have to say, I really enjoy weddings. You see here Nigerians, well Lagosians give you a Wedding ExtravaganzA! Budget willing, that translates into majorly lavish settings, great range of food, amazing music etc etc AND THE FASHION SHOW OF ALL SHOWS.
It is the latter, I’m focusing on today. You see, up to this point, every Nigerian wedding I’ve attended, I’ve dressed in Western clothing and felt good with my appearance until I got to the wedding reception. It’s at that point I’ve felt like how Cinderella felt the night she watched her step-sisters and step-ma go to the ball in their finery as she remained in her dour rags.
So this year I said- No More, its time for Mama to join the Flash Brigade and get her a traditional attire sewn. That has meant I’ve had to get a crash course lesson in aso-ebi wedding style. What is aso-ebi? It’s a social culture that originated from South-West Nigeria. By direct translation, it means ‘Uniform, solidarity outfit of the family’. When this culture began, it was a uniform outfit worn by family members of a celebrant during an occasion. It was how guests identified themselves. What began as a symbolic gesture, moved to a symbolic F-A-S-H-I-O-N fiesta. The fabrics also evolved from the aso-ebi fabric (one of the oldest Nigerian indigenous fabrics) to aso-ebi worn in different fabrics- lace aso-ebi, ankara aso-ebi etc.
Ok, now you’ve been schooled, let’s see what I’m speaking about shall we? Whilst deciding upon the style, fabric, print etc of the aso-ebi I’ll get sewn, I’ll do these aso-ebi editions, to show you my inspirations and give you a taste of the Glam Factor in Nigerian Wedding Style.
Emerald Green Delight
I love how the aso-ebi can be worn in the full blown traditional syle, Gele(head gear) and all and how it can be worn in a more contemporary way, i.e. using a 50s silhouette. I’ll be going for all the bells and whistles with my aso-ebi. Which is your favourite? Which would you like designed for yourself? Do tell, I’d love to know!
Images Courtesy of Bella Naija