The good Lord knows I love a good bargain. The truth is as much as I loved my first-ever designer purchases – ’97 Moschino jeans (remember the original skinny rude boy white jeans?) and my Versace silk goddess shirt a la Big Poppa – these days I derive immeasurable pleasures from bending down to select my N2, 000 ankara from the back of the seller’s car. I’ve always said it’s a good thing you can’t haggle at a retail outlet because I’m the type to try and get £49 off a £249 vintage pair of Patrick Cox wannabes.
I take my cheapo bargains very seriously. In oyinbo language, I guess you can jazz this up and say I’m the ultimate ‘Sale’ hunter – I always know when they are on from Harrods to Milan to Paris. I might not go o but I know it’s happening somewhere. I once did a road trip 2 hours outside Birmingham to buy a Burberry Mac in some dingy warehouse type market. Oh and how could I forget the time when I waited for a pair of loafers to get reduced from £50 till £7.99 before I handed my tenner over. Az in, you know, I mean….its operation ‘it-may-be-out-of-season-but-ima rock-it, inn’it!
So you can tell I belong in the market more than the high street. At one point in my life, Portobello and Camden Market were a weekly routine.
In Lagos at the moment, some creative people are redefining how we waste money on weekends. Before before, money at weekends kinda ended up by the sharwama grills at the original Mega Plaza then along came Silverbird then the Palms but now it’s the fantabulously random Sunday fashion ‘markets’.
You know those ones where ‘designers’ sell their glorified tailor pieces on plastic rectangular tables. The ones were retailers have this whole face-me-I-face-you situation going on and there’s ‘cloth’ everywhere; how shoppers actually find anything amongst the clutter still beats me. From fake Gucci belts to Toy Watches with dust on its boxes to Cupcakes, it’s all jumpin jumpin’ like Destiny Child!
Between the ‘Laparifashion marche’ to ‘Con’fusion to ‘Buy-yourself-yet-another-ankara-dress’, the list is endless. Chances are you’ll be invited to attend one this weekend.
What I don’t understand and quite frankly perplexes me at these fairs are the girls who attend. What is up with the clothes these girls think it’s appropriate to go shopping in?
Please remember that most of these fairs take place on Sundays yet there is a no regard for the holy day – Jesus needs to take this wheel or better still their heels.
I overheard one girl asking the other – did you go to church today? In her ankara booty shorts, she replied “yeah, I did, it was really a good service, the pastor was really connecting…”, first I was confused with what “connecting” could possibly mean then I thought well if you looked like that, of course, your pastor will weed you out for a one-on-one prayer counsel.
Some of the girls were rocking micro miniskirts with 5 inch heels – to a market?????! Is it a market or a job interview at Sanusi? It’s like some just didn’t get the memo, like someone announced a few minutes before they left their homes that there’ll be a nightclub under the table of the guy selling makeup. Seriously will you wear stilettos to Oshodi Market?
Since I was there I decided to observe further, I also noticed that these fashionistas were not actually buying anything. That clutch bag she’s holding probably has little more than a cab fare from VI to Onikan in it.
They are like these bored overdressed wanderers moving from one badly labelled stall to the other in hope that a glossy fashion magazine photographer will ask for their picture. And when they get their wish; the girls bring on the sacha fierce with hands on hips, twirls, Naomi walk, Marilyn eye-batting, leg crossing all of that.
But on a serious note, some girls really need to learn how to dress appropriately for occasions – forget fairs for a minute, I have seen girls on Adeniran Ogunsanya trying to hail a taxi in broad day light in their full J-Lo in her Love- Don’t-Cost-a-Thing-days getup – short shorts, gold halter necks, diamante belts, big sunshades, big hair, chains and rings.
And especially since the renaissance of the Ankara and the day-to-day bid to outdo the next girl with what you can do with your material – the dresses are getting shorter and wackier by the minute. I tell you, iro and buba has never deserved more of a comeback than right now.
This week’s Friday Track is Mickey Factz and his massive hit “Paradise”.