Cloth is something we
put on everyday, but when it comes to choosing the proper outfit to match or to bring out new styles, a fashion spirit becomes invokable. In campuses of various tertiary institutions of learning, different fashions are exhibited and divergent fashion views expressed in students daily attires.
As new things come out everyday, one thing that has stood out in the fashion world is change. We are bombarded with new fashion ideas from music, videos, books; even musicians and celebrities influence our fashion.
However, the big question is, ‘what percentage of African culture is sampled or highlighted in our fashion, especially in campuses?
Obviously, fashion has gone beyond what we ordinarily think of it.No one can tell how the short skirts and boots worn by teenagers in England in 1960 made it runways to Paris or how the ripped jeans became so popular among the male and female folks in Nigeria’s campuses.
Imagine the flay pants popularly known as Fela in the early 1990’s coming back into the fashion world in another creative style. Students on campuses these days make fashion statements with simple embroidered brocade, short top aso-oke, designed Ankara, eye glass frames without lenses, torn jeans and many more.
Some undergraduates spoke to The Tide about their styles.
A 400 level student of History and International Relations, Federal University, Otuoke, Judith Nnamaka, told The Tide that fashion is all about comfort and personality. She also said that at times, people that have been so addicted to fashion tend to move from its comfortability to just looking good. A girl can deny herself food for some-days just to wear a particular outfit to a particular event.
“I wear clothes depending on the occasion.Fashion is choice depending on what you want. I get my fashion items online, stores, dealers. It doesn’t need to cost me much to be fashionable”, she said.
A 200 level student of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Aribiba John, said, “choice inspires my dress sense; I like wearing jeans with sneakers and mostly short gowns. I get my fashion items from boutiques and it doesn’t really cost me much, it just depends on what I want and can afford”, she said.
For John Paul a.k.a Finest Boy of the Federal University, Otuoke , his dress sense is inspired by the love to look different, unique and in a good way. He likes trying out new things and doesn’t always follow trends that are too popular.
He also gets his fashionable items from anywhere and with a good combinations and maintenance, he looks good on it.
A 300 level student of Mass Communication, Abia State University, Ijeoma Gbufor, said she “likes to appear real and casual. I like jeans and top, I like the ripped jeans, that is what is trending now. Money na im dey cook better soup. For one to be gorgeous, you have to put in for it; I don’t need to spend much, my comfortability matters and I do most of my shoppings in Port Harcourt”, she said.
An upcoming artiste from University of Port Harcourt, David Eniniyong sees being fashionable as looking good. In his words, “as an upcoming artiste, I wear clothes to express myself and I tend to emulate the hip hop Nigerian musicians,” he said.
According to David, western world has eaten deep into the fashion industry, thus, most students prefer the western fashion to our local Nigerian wears.
“The trending fashion in UNIPORT for both male and female is the rough jeans and it still makes us look good”, he said.
However, for Rachael Green, a 400 level student of English and Communication Studies, Federal University, Otuoke, the stylish Ankara designed outfit remains a great delight anytime any day.
“I am more or less indigenous, I love the African stylish trends. For me, I don’t need to spend more to look beautiful. I wear clothes to look good and I do my shoppings in Port Harcourt and Aba,” she said.
Racheal’s dress sense is inspired by top model, Ronke Fela.
Also, a 300 level student of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Daniella Fiberesima, said that uniqueness matters a lot in dress sense.
“I am not the fashion type but I like looking good. I like wearing canvass and a simple outfit probably jean to match because I feel comfortable in it. I go for the lesser prices and sometimes my uncle sends the expensive ones to me. Naturally, I don’t like flat shoes, it looks flat on me”, she said.
A 400 level student of Sociology and Anthropology, Federal University, Otuoke, Bello Edward, told The Tide that being fashionable differs in individuals. Bello said that apart from wearing clothes that suite him, he also puts on fashionable clothes for people to admire.
“I don’t go for trending wears, and I love the English wears than the native ones. I don’t wear clothes based on occasion. As far as it is good on me, I go for it”, he said.
A 300 level student of Theartre Art and Film Studio, University of Port Harcourt, Charles Wokem, said during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, there was nothing like torn jeans, rather there was this gorgeous flay pants popularly known as Fela accompanied with high heel shoes, but this 21st century, people tend to go for new innovations.
Charles said fashion has gone beyond what we ordinarily think of it.
“The dimension of fashion on some campuses is such that some university guys buy new pairs of sunglasses and pull out the lenses and now wear holes on just the frame. This makes them look good and it draws attention, although this style of wearing eye glass is ridiculous and comic”, he said.
Howbeit, Charles’ dress sense is simply inspired by being neat and appearing gorgeous. I like what is trending and colourful. Naturally, l look good and unique in English and traditional attires. Simplicity is my own tag”, he added.
Nwabueze and Wordu are interns with The Tide
Chinenye Nwabueze & Elvis Wordu