Fashion in Nigeria has really gone a long way and has even evolved a large number of times from decade to decade, generation to generation and also, century to century. Way before the white men stepped their feet on this revered soil, Nigeria’s indigenous fashion had taken various forms and features, owing to the large number of ethnic groups, tribes and cultures. You might call it traditional, you might say we are accustomed to it, but Nigerian fashion is definitely unique and amazing. From beads to chains, caps to head gears, blouses to shirts, wrappers to trousers and local tie and dye known as “Adire” to hand loomed woven cloth popularly referred to as “Aso oke”, Nigerian fashion has interestingly spread to many parts of the world; transforming people, cultures and places. Here are some of the features of Nigerian fashion that has evolved over time;
Beads and Jewelry
The transformation of the use of beads and other forms of jewelry is incessant and remarkable. In the ancient times, beads either belonged to and were worn by members of royal families or wealthy people. But now, a whole lot of female folks use beautiful and elegant beads that come in different styles, designs and forms. Some of those jewelries include; nose rings, waist beads, anklets, armlets, bracelets and host of others.
People are even interested in acquiring bead making skills as there is a large market for it. You’ll be amazed about how many ladies and even guys you see in a Nigerian party, using beads.
Fabrics and Attires
You definitely cannot talk about fashion in Nigeria without mentioning the kind of fabrics that are being used and the attires Nigerians wear using those fabrics. Fabrics like Aso oke (Yoruba), Adire (Yoruba), Ankara, A’nger (Tiv), Hollandis, George and Akwa oche (Igbo) have all evolved over time. So many lovely and exquisite outfits have been designed using these fabrics.
Even top fashion designers in America and Europe use these fabrics in making quality clothes, styling top models and showcasing them in world class fashion shows in Milan, Paris, New York and London. Such fashion shows have made Lagos the fashion capital of Africa. These fabrics have gone international and will surely remain there.
Local Tattoos and Facial Marks
Facial marks as embarrassing as they might seem, are parts of the Nigerian fashion. Facial marks in the olden days, were used for tribal and slave identification and also for beautification. Although, its evolution is somewhat negative due to the fact that its practice is fading. Pele and Gombo are popular among the Yoruba people while Zube and Yan baka are popular among the Hausas.
Local tattoos have also faded over time but were used greatly in ancient times. A couple of oldies still wear some of them.
The transformation of Nigerian fashion cannot be over emphasized and will not stop any time soon.