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The Mecca of fashion in Africa

Last weekend I got to attend the sixth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) in Lagos, Nigeria, where the red carpet was set alight by celebrities from different parts of Africa.

I took the red carpet situation lightly; I had the idea that it would be a bit less of what we see in Hollywood, but boy was I wrong! There were over 150 professional photographers, with almost seven snap stops for the guests.

With all these photo ops, you can bet they took fashion at such a high profile event with the seriousness it deserves. For example, I noticed former Big Brother Africa (BBA) housemate Khloe, famously known as Koko, was walking with five people on her side: the make-up artist (for frequent touch-ups), a stylist, the designer of her gown, a helper to assist in holding the train of the gown and a social media assistant, who was live on Instagram as the star made her way to the event. And guess what? Almost 90 per cent of the looks showcased on the red carpet were from local designers.

Then, there was the choice of fabric and detail. I could count the number of people who rocked African print. Most wore luxurious fabrics, the likes of jacquard and brocade, all in rich hues. I also noticed a lot of animal details such as feathers and sequins.

I even spotted a man who accessorised with a faux fox, complete with its head. Some of the men were actually a little extra, so to say. Media personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and BBA5 winner Uti Nwachukwu changed twice, and both looks could have easily made it to the best-dressed list.

Instead of going for basic tuxes, stylish men pushed the envelope a bit. The suits were mostly colourful and printed, and the shoes either studded or shiny.

Did I mention the make-up? MUAs were out in full force, and delivered flawless make-up for the celebs and other guests. It is almost a must-do for the red carpet.

Me thinks, in East Africa, we need such a platform to help us push beyond the limits of glamming up for the red carpet.

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