Latasha Ngwube is a fashion industry veteran and she writes BellaNaijaStyle.com’s I Do Not Shoot From The Hip column,and is the Founder and Editor of paradigm shifting platform & movement AboutThatCurvyLife.com a lifestyle site created to celebrate body positivity and diversity and Assistant Editor at Vanguard Allure.
Follow her at @latashalagos for more of her funny and provocative musings.
Everybody is talking about it in hushed tones and secret texts. Some are shaking tables for sport and others for blood, because you know, we’re Nigerians and we are always angry. The Almighty Social Media is displeased because fashion has a way of stirring up deep feelings of pleasure and hate simultaneously and when an event lands on a slow news evening, EVERYbody’s tentacles, data plans and power banks will be working overtime.
I myself did not attend unfortunately, because I simply couldn’t find the right “particular” accessory and so I thought “I’m not this pressed. I’m too tired to look for this thing and without it I’m not going to win the prize money and really that’s the only reason I’m going!” Let me also be honest… I was also a bit confused about the theme. In my Nnewi head, the MET GALA is an event with an ANNUAL theme and so did it mean I was going as the event? Did I misread the invitation with over sabi eyes and now I’m suffering a mild panic attack?
What The Event Was About
There’s a new movie out called Ocean’s 8, (part of the Ocean’s 11 franchise) with an all-female cast starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway and other heavyweight actresses.
The underlying theme is obviously girl power, premise of the movie remains a heist BUT as Waje explained to me Monday night, while we karaoke-d our lungs out at Debola Williams’ house, for the most part, the heart of the film was set AT the Met Gala. That’s where the main action takes place, during the ball and then it ALL made sense to me. I mean, we’d had the whole Wakanda frenzy when Black Panther came out (sponsored by UBA), Pacific Rim had its buzz brought to us by a visit from John Boyega and AccelerateTV.
Why then couldn’t a bevy of beautiful celebrity ladies be dressed to the nines in celebration of art, fashion and pop culture even if said occasion was devoid of any actors from the actual movie? Let’s not forget Filmhouse/IMAX is a cinema that wants as much publicity as possible for any new releases and Diamond Bank was happy to jump on the bandwagon (please I’m sending my business proposal next week).
So come Sunday evening, as I chatted away on a WhatsApp call with Aunty Azuka who is currently on vacation with her best friend Kate Imafiadon in Oslo, flames made from slay, admiration, thousands of Naira worth of makeup, headpieces and high heels consumed the Lagos Instagram cyberspace. I felt the heat when my phone started to buzz with messages pouring in… “Where are you?, Are you at the Met Gala? Tash I can’t see you?”. My DM was bursting with links being sent containing red carpet images. I was impressed, this thing was about to be lit. Literally.
I will save you the trouble of my crazy and maybe shady thoughts and jump skip right my conclusions for the night. By the way, Aunty Azuka Ogujiuba has VERY strong opinions about this event and I expect a wicked read on her Fairground page in ThisDay any moment, lol.
The lady behind this hat/millinery /headpieces brand cashed OUT! She made 90 percent of the headpieces you saw on the red carpet including TV presenter- Taje Prest, Creative Director, Nouva Couture – Bolaji Ayinde, Radio OAP- Simi Drey, CNN Africa’s Stephanie Busari, CEO of The Mose Store – Nowe Isibor and Toke Makinwa. I’ve had my eye on Urez Kulture for a while now and might have even missed an opportunity to work with her, forgive me madam and congratulations. You are killing it!
A f****ing Queen. She was like Yemoja meets Anne Boleyn giving me The Borgias vibe! Styled by Aunty Ndidi Obioha of Enythst Fashionklinik. I saw Dame Bello in person for the first time at Moet & Chandon’s Grand Day brunch and I’m like, this woman is my spirit animal. Yellow like banana, fabulous in her pinstripe suit, Gucci glasses, ugh I cannot. Fitted damask skirt, bustier and bolero jacket topped off with that over the top cross. Her outfit to the premiere was pure flames, fit like a glove, regal and totally age appropriate. Argue with our ancestors.
Nowe Isibor/Taje Prest/Toke Makinwa/Tracy Nwapa
These 4 ladies in no particular order, rank in second place for me. Nowe Isibor was a beautiful fallen angel in silvery white, while curvy girl Taje Prest trod an Oriental path in a lime green number by Makioba channeling Japanese shamaness-Queen Himiko. Toke Makinwa (with whom I have no love lost) was a dramatically sober but stunning figure in all black by South African designer Orapeleng Modutle and Tracy Nwapa went down the Manus x Machina route in a striking metallic silver number which according to her on IG was created in 23 hours.
While I can understand the outrage, I’m also surprised at those who have always firmly distanced themselves as non-fashion lovers who are currently leading the charge and cavalry in some protest against the rationale behind the event. Sister Simi good evening. Without a doubt there were certainly several fashion disasters which I shall not be talking about because the timeline for preparation of this event was indeed short, I will not laugh openly at anyone in attendance (we save that for gossip between bffs). Solid A’s to my ladies in attendance for gusto, effort and womanity while I shoutout girl boss Liz Osho and her team for pulling this local sartorial heist off!
Let nobody forget how fashion saved Nigeria last week via Wizkid x Dolce & Gabbana while the Eagles re-enacted Failure to Launch. Don’t worry ladies, by Friday evening Nigerians will have forgotten all about this and be roasting the talons of some eagles and hopefully the smoke from those flames magically reach to Russia and inspire goals aplenty. Evidently, beauty is pain and Naira, but we must do it for the culture.(and the ‘gram).
Warner Brothers/Diamond Bank/FilmHouse
These are the ultimate winners of this venture because like it or not, word and images of this Ocean’s 8 premiere in Lagos have travelled far and wide across the globe thanks to social media. CNN and several other international platforms have done style features already, creating more talkability and awareness for the film. The sponsor of the FilmHouse release, Diamond Bank has gotten its fair share of buzz from this and is probably itching for another taste of the spotlight.
Everybody has reaped the returns of their investment except the other attendees who did not win best dressed. I no gree sha…somebody should tell Rihanna to give us fashion shout out the way Diddy hailed Falz.