Categories
Fashion

The Crotchet & Knitting Brand Influencing a Fresh Narrative Upon Nigeria’s Fashion Scene

Crotchet is the procedure of creating textiles with a crochet hook in order to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials. The name is derived from the French term crochet, meaning ‘small hook’. The key difference between crochet and knitting, beyond the implements used for their production, is that each stitch in crochet is completed before the next one is begun, while knitting keeps many stitches open at a time.

A Nigerian, Ibadan based Crotchet and Knitting brand, Modhan is introducing a new fashion narrative with its wool Crotchet and Knitting clothings, interior decoration pieces and accessories one collection at a time.

It’s Founder, Modupe Olakanye sheds light during an interview with Theparakeetshow.com , regarding the birth and survival of her brand amid a Covid-19 outbreak as well as the Uniqueness of her Empire. Happiness Irabor provides the excerpts:

What brought about the birth of Modhan crochet & knit brand?

Growing up I always knew that I never wanted to be regular. (laughs) It all started from being depressed, then I took it up as an hobby and then professionally. I wanted to do something unique that gives me joy and makes me happy, which is how Modhan came into existence.

 

Why did you choose crochet & knit to create your products?

I choose crochet & knit because it helps with my depression as I find it to be therapeutic. It helps me to be patient, it teaches me a lot of things and it is a very cool and creative aspect of creative designing as well. People think this craft is outdated. But, I wanted to show that there are ways to go about it to modernize it to make it fashionable.

 

What gives you inspiration to create your designs?

A lot of things gives me inspiration to create my designs, like nature. I love Art. I draw my inspiration from Art, nature, colours, watching fashion shows, musicals,yeah. (laughs).

How has your clothing brand been able to survive in a society were people prefer the western mode of dressing to African attires?

My brand has been able to survive in this kind of society because it is not regular. It is very unique and you cannot find it anywhere. It is just unique and very creative. There is a story behind every design and piece I create. I want my client to be confident in whatever they put on so by being creative and innovative, we have been able to survive in this society and people really love and admire that about us.

 

Does getting the actual and quality textile for your designs form a kind of challenge to Modhan’s crochet & knit clothing brand and how have you been able to overcome such challenges if it has?

Yes I would say the challenges facing the brand right now pertaining to the materials being used for production is the quality of the yarn. Yes I make use of yarn produced in Nigeria but they are not 100% cotton and a lot of my clients do appreciate the one in cotton wool material. But, the ones produced in Nigeria are not 100% cotton, they are acrylic so to overcome that challenge we have to make use of foreign product and a lot of people don’t want to pay extra for that because we are making use of foreign product and foreign products are quite expensive.
You can Imagine a bundle of wool produced in Nigeria is around 200 naira. But, for foreign it ranges, say from 1,500 naira or more. The least you can get it for is 1,250 naira, of which, that is for just one bundle. So you can imagine. If I am to make use of 10 wools of Nigeria’s product to make a piece that’s like #2000 and our clients wants quality material and I need 10 pieces, at the rate of 1000 naira that is 20,000 naira. That’s just for materials, so, how much am I going to sell it? Thus, I hope that our country produces better quality cotton wool material so it will be very good and our client will be pleased with the outfit at the end of the day.
On our part as a brand, we talk the clients into us using available materials for such production if they can’t afford the foreign material because the local material are very good, durable and long lasting. All we just have to do is to educate them on how best to take care of such materials.

 

How accessible are the materials and textiles you use to create your clothings?

They are very accessible, I make use of majorly the local yarn produced here in Nigeria so it is readily available and accessible. And of course on some instances I do make use of the foreign yarn. But, I majorly use the yarn we produce in Nigeria.

How has your business been surviving the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic?

This covid-19 pandemic is serious. A lot of people are not finding it funny because its affecting a lot of businesses,including mine. But, we try as much as possible to work and deliver by working remotely. Currently, I have been working from home and paying attention to details because at the end we all have to play safe and be good and alive (laughs).

 

What initiative do you think fashion brands need to implement in order to thrive during these tough times?

I believe the best and safest way to thrive during these tough times as a fashion designer is to work remotely, create new content, Modular your target market, invest in a lot of things that will help the business grow, and create more.

 

If you are to do any other thing asides crochet & knit what will it be?

If I am to do anything aside crochet and knit, that will be photography. I love taking pictures, I love modeling, I just love pictures.
Categories
Fashion

Fashion as a Medium of Self Expression

Regina Ogwuche

Fashion has been one of our oldest ways of self expression, and way of life. Every single human can relate to having a fashion instinct influenced by culture, religion, environment, and a persona. From colors we like, textiles, designs, to our pattern of approach and portrayal of ourselves; fashion and humans cannot be separated.
Fashion is birth from within, before it can be exhibited for others to see just like any other form of Art. Each person has a distinct style of expressing his or her fashion instinct; so do fashion creators while creating and showcasing fashion pieces.
An individual’s fashion sense is usually the first impression the world perceives. It is also a way of survival while walking through the sands of time, and it comes and goes with seasons.
Fashion being a way of expression you will need to follow certain structures in order to achieve a perfect fashion expression like feeling comfortable in whatever you are wearing as well as understanding whatever you are wearing.
Thus, we speak with Nigerian Fashion Stylist Teni Oluwo regarding her journey so far as a Fashion stylist and creative, and the prospects of the global Fashion world.

Via: @styleterritory

Hi, can you tell us a bit about yourself and brand?
My name is Teni Oluwo. I’m a graduate of Mass Communications from Bowen University. But I am now, professionally a Fashion Stylist and a Creative Director for my company, Style Territory
How long have you been a stylist?
I have been a Stylist since 2013 but I started my company, Style Territory in 2016 .
Which current trends would you incorporate into your clothing selections?
I’m more of a classic fashion girl , I don’t really do trends but if there’s any trend that comes and goes that I incorporate, it would be Colour Block and clashing prints.
What are the challenges you usually face when dressing and styling clients and how do you address them?
There are many challenges in my field. One I face continuously would be paying an arm and a leg for unique props or accessories, they I know are far cheaper in other countries.

Via: @styleterritory

How do you determine a client’s personal style?
I determine a client’s personal style by asking the right questions and also do some research on things they’ve tried in the past. Taking into consideration what worked and what didn’t . Thinking about how you can potentially bring out the best in them.
Where do you think the fashion climate of the country is heading to?
Fashion in Nigeria is promising and evolving as it is gradually gaining global recognition and I have no doubts that if we keep up this pace our creativity would overwhelm mediocrity and we would retain the place and respect we deserve.
How much influence has African fashion brands and style had over the fashion global scene?
The African fashion has served as a great source of inspiration to pop culture for such a long time. Our fabrics, Vibrancy among other things. I am glad we are finally getting the recognition we deserve.

Via @styleterritory

What were your biggest fashion moments of the decade?
This is an ambiguous question. I am not sure if you mean personally or just in the fashion world. One of mine, would be when I was one of the duo that won Best Dressed at the Bling Lagosian movie premiere. It was unexpected and another moment of being fearless that paid off. Generally, I look forward to every MET GALA event.
How have you been able to leverage on technology in order to produce better services to your customers?
Technology offers Social Media. A helpful marketing tool and it also offers countless means of research, which has helped my job tremendously.
From your experience what African fashion brands should the global scene look out for?
There are lots of African brands excelling and preserving authenticity. I definitely love Sgtc Clothing for making such desirable styles in African prints and ensuring it’s super affordable. I also love Mazzelle Studios and Weizdhurm Frankyln for making such delicate and Structured master pieces .

Via: @styleterritory

Categories
Lifestyle

A Colorful Rich Heritage of the Benin Kingdom

A Rich, Colorful Heritage of the Benin Kingdom

Oluseye Fakinlede

“He, who knows not the Oba, let me show him, he has piled a throne upon a throne…”

The lines of this panegyric revealed the underlined drama, a recount of history and entertainment during the 40th Coronation of the Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Apolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, gallery exhibition at The Thought Pyramid Norman Avenue, Ikoyi Lagos.

Like a time traveler on April 29, 2018, I metamorphosed to become a participant in the coronation of the Oba as he makes his way from Benin, after the transition rites of the late Oba to Uselu, Eko Ehae, Usama Palace, Use Village and back to Benin even as Omoregie Osakpolor, the gallery exhibitionist and a Nigerian Documentary Photojournalist became my eyes and a raconteur telling me all about the coronation and explaining every detail, reason for the crowned prince’s movement at the gallery.

Thought Pyramid, Lagos, Nigeria

Participants of the royal occasion were art admirers; renowned photojournalists; and a writer who loves writing and telling entertaining African visual stories, whilst the colorful and epical avalanche pictures also re-affirmed my earliest beliefs in regards to how Benin is culturally endowed and why the Oba is greatly referenced.

The Ediaken (the crowned prince) leaves Benin for Uselu, after the transition rites are over, to Uselu, a symbolic place in the Benin history.

Asides form the other things he does at Uselu is the climbing of the symbolic palm tree which fed his fore-father, Ewuare, during a time of self-exile. He moves to Eko Ehae, Bachelors Camp, which is another symbolic place the crowned prince goes to for some ritual rites.

Next, he moves to the Usama Palace to Use Village where he plays the Akhue-a game that he played to get his addressed title and he is proclaimed by the Usama as the Oba of Benin with the title. It is noteworthy to know that the crowned prince spends three or seven days in these places to complete his ritual rites of 21 days.

Asides from the beauty and the scenery at the gallery, the coronation pictures, the costume, the improvisation, plot and setting have some underlining elements of drama, re-enactment, entertainment and mysticism.

Thought Pyramid, Lagos , Nigeria

According to my guide, at Uselu, the Ediaken, symbolically climbs the palm tree known as Udin ama meieson, to re-enact the suffering of Oba Ewuare; all crowned princes must go through this rite as a norms for their coronation.

Additional dramatic aspect of the coronation is the re-enactment of the crossing of the bridge at the Omi River which is followed by a mock battle between Oba Ewedo and Ogiamen with his followers.

From the coronation pictures of the Oba, placed on the wall, I could deduce that the whole process has a large percentage of music, songs and dancing as the Ekassa Dancers, are known for the symbolic spiritual cleansing dance.

The mysticism dancers are mostly male, wrapped in their white wrappers. The dance is only performed at the demise of an Oba and the coronation of a new Oba. Asides the Ekassas are the Ikppakohen, Isienmwenro amongst others. The beauties of these dancers are accompanied with songs and various dance steps as captured by the decisive shots of Osakpolor.

Lastly, the coronation pictures also revealed a rich referenced culture. African monarchs are highly referenced and the coronation pictures confirmed this. My raconteur revealed that trading activities in Benin was practically short down during the Oba’s coronation most especially on his way back to Benin after the completion of his 21-days coronation rites.

The gallery exhibition was an avenue to learn about art, history and entertainment even as they accompanied the coronation rites of the Oba of Benin. . . Long live the Oba, long live our traditions.

@theparakeetshow