Eko For Show: Bold Attire From The Fashion-Forward City
By Olamide Akinwuntan
The ‘local’ name for the city of Lagos, Nigeria.
a theatrical production, performance, or company.
When in Lagos, you show up and show out. Whilst nightclubs remain shut for the foreseeable future and mass gatherings are temporarily put on hold across many parts of the continent, these wardrobe picks will turn heads as you turn up within your Covid bubble.
Although it was retired as the capital city in 1991, Lagos remains the Nigeria’s economic and cultural centre and is home to a thriving fashion culture both commercially and informally. The flamboyant attitude of Lagosians towards fashion is reflected in the saying ‘Eko for Show’ – a fond tribute to the showmanship that accompanies many aspects of life in the megacity. From the streets to the runway, shows abound in Lagos via the sartorial choices of its designers and residents.
As a new global monoculture develops, Lagos has merged the cuts and styles of western fashion with the customary outfits to birth new combinations of style and colour. Immaculately tailored suits are brought to life with innovative beading and accessories, or otherwise given a twist with the incorporation of regional fabrics.
Traditional attire is married to western conventions for an Eko-politan style.
These fabrics give familiar silhouettes a local flavour, including the ubiquitous Ankara (or Dutch wax) prints made of colourful cotton inspired by an Indonesian method of batik dyeing commonly produced in the Netherlands. Ankara patterns can be purely aesthetic but some carry added significance and can be used to commemorate special occasions. From structured blazers to streetwear, there is an Ankara outfit for every season.
When in Lagos, one must accessorise, and do so with aplomb. Everything is up for grabs here, and beyond the usual offerings of handbags and jewellery, look out for daring and unique details. Again, here the particular essence of Africa’s biggest city shines with intricate fringing, elaborate hairstyles and audacious colour combinations.
The city’s glitterati are set for this year’s socially- distanced fashion and design season, and the face masks offered by Lagos designers are on the up, the city remains abreast of COVID-19 couture with stylish face masks available to crown any outfit.