When it comes to fashion, always going for the shock value is not the only means of self-expression.
A regular culprit is Toyin Lawani (Tiannah Styling) – she and her clients were red carpet failures at the AMVCA (African Magic Viewers Choice Awards) because their outfits were over-the-top and impractical.
Having established that avant-garde outfits don’t always work, how can celebrities slay every red carpet appearance?
1. Focus on aesthetics
Aesthetics are important. And basically that refers to how beauty is perceived. It also means the principles with which things are made.
The point of aesthetics is that your overall look must look beautiful to all who see it.
Except if it’s for halloween or a costume party, 20 skulls on your dress looks like you are preparing for a blood ritual and there is no reason why you should wear it.
Compare this look with Nancy Isime’s –- the “Blood Sisters” star simply covered her body with cowries.
These two look shows the importance of aesthetics – one is perceived as beautiful and the other is weird.
2. Focus on the theme
Every event has an underlying theme or dress code. There are smart casual, business casual, casual, brunch casual, evening wear and other themes.
The theme for the event you are going for should influence how you dress and what you wear.
The AMVCA’s theme was evening wear, so dress prestigiously like you are going for a dinner with the Queen of England.
Would you wrap yourself in caution tape if you are dining with royalty? No? Then why do that at the AMVCA?
3. Stick to your personal style
To yourself only be true. This saying applies in fashion too.
On the red carpet, we can discern those who know themselves and others who are seeking to create attention and buzz.
Denola Grey and Denrele Edun are two people with a strong sense of personal style. Denrele has been dressing eccentrically for as long as we have known him, so when we see him on the red carpet, we are not astonished – that’s his style and sometimes it works.
Denola, on the other hand, is always self-assured and confident, you know he is not experimenting, he knows what to wear, the designers to call, what fits his body, and the colour to choose.
What I am saying in essence, is to know who you are and let your style be original.
4. Dress to fit your body
That a style makes sense in your head, doesn’t mean it will look good on you.
Yes, Osas Ighodaro has a great body, but that’s only one step in slaying looks. You need to make sure whatever you are wearing fits you.
You don’t want to be another Mobimpe Adedimeji who looked like an overblown flower because the dress did not fit her body type.
5. Colour and fitting is important
Not every colour looks good on everyone. So before you wear that green, red or pink outfit, think of your skin tone, your hair and makeup. Since we know that colours can be tricky, how about you choose more neutral colours?
Some designers are just tacky, their execution poor. What destroyed Pretty Mike of Lagos’ outfit is its tawdry, low budget look.
Celebrities should spare no expense to get a designer that finishes their clothes perfectly and understands the importance of details.
6. Be creative
One of the best AMVCA outfits so far has to be Nana Akua Addo’s in 2020. That year, she wore a Gaurav Gupta dress that fit her shape so perfectly and had such movement and fluidity to it. It was nothing like the other dresses we saw that night, and it made so much sense.
Creativity does not have to be boring or eccentric and outrageous, it can be beautiful too.
7. Focus on functionality
Why are you wearing a cloth you cannot breathe in or go to the restroom when you want to?
The man who wrapped himself with caution tape would not be able to urinate all through that night – that hardly makes sense.
Simi Drey wore a mask, it is possible she could not see or breath well with it. Plus, Nigeria is in the tropics, she will be sweating gallons. What’s the point?
As much as fashion is a means of self-expression, it should appeal to the eyes.