Sun | Sep 19, 2021

When Nigerian fashion reigns

Published:Tuesday | October 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Williams
Saint International models dressed as Fulani girls.
Saint International models depicting a Benin couple
Nekesa McCloud representing the Calabari bride.
Nigerian Ambassador, Janet Olisa and her husband, Dada Olisa.

The evening was going well, and the fashion spoke for itself. It was rich, colourful, fit for royals. And there were many stylish chiefs, chieftainesses, kings and queens, princes and princesses, strutting their finery on the lawns of Nigeria House at 2 Millsborough Close in St Andrew.

It was Nigeria Day, the celebration of the 58th year of independence for the west African country, hosted by the Nigerian high commissioner to Belize, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Jamaica, Her Excellency Janet Omoleegho Olisa and her husband, His Excellency Ambassador Dada Olisa.

At the onset of twilight, the formalities commenced with the singing of the national anthem of Nigeria, and then Jamaica, led by students of Pembroke Hall and Calabar high schools. When the chorus of Eternal Father started, rain began to fall on patrons' heads and shoulders.

Soon, water was coming from the skies in the land of wood and water. It looked like it was really going to rain on the parade of fashion, from the understated to the modest, to the glamorous. It was no longer time to strut, as people scurried to find shelter.

The rain came and indeed put a damper on things, even the clothes. Guests were ushered inside Nigeria House, the official residence of the Nigerian high commissioner.

By now, night had descended, and it seemed like inside was going to be the place. But, the passing cloud drifted away to bless other people in another place.

Mopping up was done, patrons trod once again on the lawns, now wet, for the threat was gone. As soon as things were ready, the spotlights shone on the catwalk. The real parade of fashion, Nigeria fashion, was about to start.

Saint International models, ably assisted by some Nigerians themselves, rocked the runway with fashions from various Nigerian ethnic groups and regions. It was a rich display of ethic ensembles, each telling a brief story of the people they were representing, and the cameras could not get enough of the narratives.

The passing cloud stayed away while the feast of fashion and food unfolded, but about a few minutes after 8, it returned with more water, more blessings. By then, people were already leaving, to come back next year, to strut in the Nigerian fashion parade.