by Ngozi Ufere
Not too long ago while surfing the net, I stumbled upon a design by a prominent African fashion designer, Jide Adedeji ( J Reason) – a floral printed suit, and no, it wasn’t for the ladies. My thought at that instant was “Wow! This is really daring” and yes only dare devils might be willing to pull off this look. Now if the streets are willing to embrace this trend is a different question entirely, but as the cliché goes – Never Say Never!
The oldies are back! And no, I do not mean the music we jam to, but the fashion. Remember those pictures of your parents you saw? That’s it! The ones in which they wore the baggy denims; the jumper trousers; the denim on denim; the bright hues which not too long ago we called colour blocking; the high waists trousers; skirts and shorts; the shirt on the waist trend and the popular ‘fro’ which they rocked effortlessly. Yes, that fashion is back; as fashion is a revolving phenomenon. So I ask, do we scream MAKE IT STOP!! or ‘GOT TO HAVE IT?
If we embrace this trend, would we look something out of an 80’s magazine, or is it a look we yearn to return to? That’s an emphatic yes for me, and I’m sure many fashion forward people would also. In the past I wondered what was more to fashion particularly male fashion. I was fully aware of the daring designs for females but not so much for the men. It was just bland for me. It was the basic black and grey suits; if you dared, you could opt for white, basic and neutral colours- what I like to refer to as “playing safe”. If ever there were patterns, you were sure to find them only on Ankara pieces. Anything short of that was considered distasteful. This was the plight of male fashion few years back.
Flash forward to the future (our present), and designers introduce us to a whole world of daring colours, cuts, patterns, and prints. We’ve started seeing what we saw with our parents or for some, grandparents, on the runways. The 80’s fashion is creeping into our hearts and closets like a climbing stem, and how we just love to embrace it. No more raised eyebrow at a guy wearing a pink coloured suit or those what-in-God’s-name-is-this stares at a lady with her big ‘fro’. I mean, the bigger the better: go big or go home. We would translate the 80’s into our modern age and embrace the weirdness and fun of it all. So I can’t wait to get my 80’s groove on…and so should you.