The Woyingi Blog

Black Blog Review: Ijaw Girl

Posted in Black Blog Review, Nigerian Blogs, Peoples: The Ijo by the woyingi blogger on August 31, 2009

This week, I’ll share with you a blog I stumbled up. I was interested in reading Ijaw Girl because I myself am half-Ijaw. I expected a blog about the struggle of the Ijaw in the Niger Delta against oil companies, pollution, and violence but what I got was…FASHION!

Ijaw Girl should really be called Nigerian Fashionista. The subtitle for the blog is:

-for the love of all things bright,beautiful & tailor made. -celebrating nigerians in and around fashion.

Ijaw Girl is the blog of the designer of the label AKPOS OKUDU. She is also a student. Her profile sets the tone for the whole blog:

i’m a fashion designer who loves quirkyness,couture dresses,red lipstick,photography,sewing with really loud music,dressing my friends,cocktail rings,sexy lingere,d big apple,shoes,u2,oprah,sex& d city,bags,beyonce,blush,vogue,red nail polish,the cranberries,d colour green,norah jones,playin dress up. i also love dancing in front of d mirror,bono,my beauty sleep,flats,lucite& vintage bangles,recycling trends,kate moss,eco chic[lets do our bit 2 help save d planet],thisday style,my fab. cousins[my inspiration]style.com,old hollywood movies,chandellier earrings,paris and most importantly my gap joca jellies.

This blog is about Nigerian Fashion and although I was hoping to read the blog of a politically aware Ijaw Nigerian woman, it was interesting to read about the Nigerian Fashion scene. The blog is full of images of Nigerian Fashion, as well as the blog writer’s own work.

I was fascinated to learn about the reinvention of Ankara Fabric in Ijaw Girl’s post “Nigerian Designers Jazz up Ankara“. Ankara fabric originally came from Europe (but the Turks made a cheaper version so that is why it is called Ankara, after the Turkish city of the same name). Nigerians loved the fabric and began making their own elaborate culturally inspired designs on it. But for a long time, Ankara Fabric was only associated with traditional and “frumpy” Nigerian clothing. Now Ankara Fabric has become chic, and most Nigerian fashion designers have a line of Ankara dresses and accessories. According to Ijaw Girl “An Ankara outfit is definitely a must in every fashionista’s closet”. To learn more about the history of Ankara in Nigeria read the article “Ankara: The Rebirth” in fashionafrica.com.

The Ijaw Girl blog showcases the work of some of the blog writer’s favourite Nigerian Fashion Designers. These include Folake Folarin-Coker who is the designer behind the Tiffany Amber label and Lisa Folawiyo who is the designer behind Jewel By Lisa. I really do love the designs on the fabrics used by these designers. My size is too large to fit into any of their styles (I’m much better off in the frumpy traditional Nigerian clothing which gives the “traditionally built” African woman room for her volupiousness) but I can still acknowledge that they are beautiful and as good (if not better) than anything I’ve seen come down the runways of Paris, Milan, or New York (I do sometimes watch Fashion Television).
 
Ijaw Girl sometimes just posts pictures from Nigerian newspapers and magazines of women she considers to be “Head to Toe Perfect” in terms of style. She writes:
 
Nigerian women are super fabulous; i know, i know.i could say that a million times. Your probably sick of hearing it; but come on this is a blog that generally celebrates fabulous Nigerian fashion and pretty much anything fashion related.
As amazing as i consider Nigerian women stylewise, there are lots who generally go over the top with their outfits;so when i find pictures of Nigerian women that look on point you know I’m drawn to them like a complete magpie and i get super excited.
 
It seems that the Nigerian Fashion Industry is really booming. There is even something called Le petite marche in Lagos, a monthly flee market, which provides a venue for new and established independent designers and entrepreneurs to network and sell their creations.
 
I have to thank the Ijaw Girl blog for exposing me to the Nigerian Fashion industry, something which I really knew nothing about. The writing style is far too text-message cutesy for me so I won’t be a regular reader but I wish the designer success with her label, and given the success other Nigerian Fashion designers seem to be having in Nigeria and abroad (several are premiering at New York’s Fashion Week) she will have ample opportunities to make a name for herself.

One Response

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  1. Pearl said, on November 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Chimamanda Adichie spoke at TED about Nigerian experience
    http://contexts.org/socimages/2009/11/17/the-single-story-of-africa/


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