The Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards is one of the biggest nights for red carpet stylists. Industry insiders, celebrities and media plan for this event for weeks on end, and although it came later than usual in 2018 – the frenzy this year was no different. Take for example Ifeoma Odogwu, fashion editor of Genevieve Magazine and freelance fashion stylist who styled Linda Ejiofor, Sika Osei and the 53 Extra ladies.
Some of these looks were prepped almost a month ago and some were last minute additions to the roster. To get a feel of how her hectic schedule played out, Ifeoma gave us a little insight!
BNS:What is it like dressing a client for the red carpet ?
It is a very meticulous procedure from narrowing down my idea(s), presenting a moodboard to my clients and making sure what they pay for is what they get with regards to execution. It’s a whole creative process. As a stylist I’m responsible for deciding everything from hair to make-up, outfit and shoes. Of course carrying my client and the rest of the glam team along. At the end of the day I’m responsible for anything that goes wrong (or right). For a live red carpet ,you have to be on your A-game cos you literally cannot say ‘cut’ or ‘take 2 I would like to adjust something’. [laughs].
BNS:How do you know a look or the dress is ‘the one’?
For me, I take some time, a few days, maybe, just visualising in my mind how I want my client to look, it may be a colour that I’m feeling, a particular silhouette or style. I sleep on it, change it a few times and then I present my idea. Once my client says ok, I hit the designer studios/showrooms to pull pieces that work with our idea. There are usually a lot of options to pick from . Then I proceed to fit my client and we go with which ever look we love the most. Sometimes we make our pieces from scratch.( A custom look). In both cases, it is important to note however, that no matter how perfect a dress is, you must always have a plan B for insurance.
BNS:How has the red carpet at the AMVCA’s changed since you started styling for the event?
Oh the live show is a lot more seamless and fun to watch on tv now. The celebrities have also gotten better with their wardrobe choices. Make up was much better..although I have to say what’s up with all the glow… [laughs]. This year in particular I was quite impressed – there were misses of course, but overall, there were more wins. The women looked so good. Might I also add that social media commentary is just so much fun too.
BNS:How do you get outfit inspiration for the red carpet?
It most always depends on what the theme is, or what kind of event. I get inspiration from any and everywhere. It may be from my fave tv show or walking through the market, or on the internet, flipping through magazines. Anywhere really.
BNS:Biggest red carpet hit so far?
Has to be Rihanna in 2014 when she received the CFDA Icon Award. The Adam Selman nude see-through look….It was very Cher. That was a moment.
On the AMVCA red carpet this year, it’ll have to be Denola Grey in Rhobes. He looked AH- Mazing! Sika Osei was a dream in the Fablane by Derin mustard dress, ditto Linda Ejiofor in Uju Estelo. I also really liked Rita Dominic in Tubo and Bolanle Olukanni in Lady Beellionaire.
BNS: Any wardrobe emergencies this year? How do you deal with them when they happen?
Oh my. It really does take a village and prayers. We did have an emergency at team Sika Osei who was the Live red carpet co-host. Her rehearsals finished behind schedule and we literally had only half of the time we had scheduled, to get ready. It was a race against time shout out to our make up artist who had to practically finish Sika’s make-up whilst she was halfway through the door with the hairstylist Kemi Lewis, also trying to finish. Kemi had earlier had to do a Fast & the Furious 9 on Third Mainland Bridge leaving her ikeja client to get to us as Eko hotel with the traffic and elevators jamming, and me calling her phone every 5 secs. At the end of the day, we still made it as Sika was ready on the carpet with a smile, as the director went action. What a day!