In the glamour-plated groove of social gigs, the headgear tops stylish women’s articles of poise and it poses as the fiery front runner in the tentacles of colours. Either it is horizontal or diagonal; either it is triangular or perpendicular; either it is modular or semi-circular, headgears have become a defining factor of feminine sartorial indicator. Whether they are standing on the red carpet or striding on the run way, today’s women wear their worth on their head.
In truth and indeed, headgear has moved away from the simplicity and normality of yesteryears. It is now a big deal in social circles; especially with the constantly changing faces of event planning in Nigeria. Though an African phenomenon, headgear otherwise known as gele in Yoruba parlance now enjoys universal appeal. These days, even white women have joined the black’s craze for voluminous headgears. In the years of yore, a headdress was just a usual item of clothing tied around the head as a feminine gender fashion denominator. Not anymore. Contemporary women have made unmistakable fashion statements with their choice and style of headgears. Whether it is derived from seigo, Aso oke or any other fabric, today’s headgear makes the headline in sublime proportions.
It is the biggest driver and communicator of events colour scheme and theme; as it flows with the choice aso ebi; be it lace or Ankara fabrics. Even now, the stake seems to be going higher. But beyond the glamour and the color embedded in headgears, many women have carved distinct identities for themselves with the way they tie their gele. In other words, this class of women wear their brands on their heads.
For instance, Mrs Abiola Atanda aka madam Kofo is famous for her satellite dish style of gele. Lagos socialite and politician, Mrs. Kemi Nelson has also carved a niche for herself with a headgear style that often reveals that she is on low cut hair. Erelu Bisi Fayemi, wife of the Ekiti State Governor has a style that thrills. Her semicircular headgear always announces her presence at functions. Even Nigeria’s finance Minister; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has over the years perfected her own distinct style of tying headgears. For this category of women, by their headgears, we shall know them.
Most women love the glamour of good headgears, but not everyone has the gift to tie it well. This therefore has given rise to existence of professionals who specialize in tying gele. Sometimes, tying of some special styles takes up one hour or more. Since gele has entered a top gear in the social circuits, the act of tying it has become an art and a business. The new enterprise now includes seminars and training programmes for aspiring professionals.
As more women get addicted to the stylish headgears, more trainees are getting attracted to the art of tying gele as a means of daily bread.
For celebrants, their family and friends, the upsurge of high profile headgears at upscale functions has come to stay. In fact, it has become the head of the matter in events hosting.