|Frank Oshodi and Agbani Darego|
Frank Oshodi is one of the best and most popular Nigerian designers right now. He is famous for designing the green dress Agbani Darego wore when she won Miss World.
He is also one of the most respected designers, haven been in the business for a long time; and is still on top.
The self confessed 'shy' designer granted Punch newspapers an interview recently where he talked about fashion. Excerpts..........
How would you describe fashion?
Fashion is an expression of who you are and the mood you are in. If your spirit feels like bubbling, then you bubble. You express those feelings in your dressing. For some people, you might not know who they are until you come to their home. You will see they express themselves better in their décor.
Are you saying there is nothing wrong with somebody wearing a nightshirt to a mall?
There is really nothing wrong with that. It must be the mood the person is in. some women just love to show their cleavage, there is nothing wrong with it. It is a mood. But wearing such on a red carpet is wrong, it is distasteful. But there might be a reason why the lady is wearing such. Dressing up is the mood you are in at that point. Whatever you put on must be in consonance with your spirit.
more after the jump
How will you rate fashion in Nigeria?
In the whole of Africa, I must tell you that Nigerians are the best dressers. I must give it to our women. We copy and sometimes over do it. But it doesn’t matter. Americans do copy as well. We should not be left out in that regard.
Can you remember the highest amount you have charged for a design?
I can’t remember. But I know that some of our blouses go for N350,000 to N450,000. We made a top for Helen Prest recently and it cost her N450,000. A lot of work is involved in making such blouses. They don’t come cheap. Our wedding dresses don’t come cheap either.
But some people still prefer ordering their wedding dresses from abroad…
It is allowed. Some women just like labels. However, things are changing.
You ought to have a clothing line now, going by the number of years you have been in the fashion industry.
I am not in the business of producing for the masses. I produce for few clients. We work by order. But come to think of it, do we really do mass production in Nigeria? We don’t have all the elements to do such and we don’t even have the factory to do such in Nigeria. In every way you look at it, we just produce a few numbers and put in the shop. Moreover, I am into premium products. They are different from casuals and such attires can’t be mass-produced. Everything in my workshop has been ordered and paid for. It is better for me. I like doing things that are unique and such works for me for now. Until we have the facilities for mass production, I might not get into it.
Is fashion all about what you wear?
No way. Cloth is just an accessory. There are so many other accessories. Your home is even part of fashion.
Do you still do fashion shows?
I do. I have done quite a lot. But these days, once you are invited to a fashion show, you are just coming to entertain guests. I have stopped doing such for a while. I do shows here and I don’t get paid. They will pay the musicians and they will not pay me, meanwhile, all of us entertained the guests.
•You must understand the occasion, it determines what you wear.
•You must dress to suit your body type.
•Understand your spirit.
•Know the right fabric to wear at every moment.
N450,000 for a blouse? *shocked stare* That is how much most people in 3 months down here in Naija.