“The African head-wrap or head-dress is part of the African culture and is a huge fashion statement even till this day. It goes well with every African attire – recently, it has been combined with some western outfits and has come out fine as new fashion innovation”.
The Nigerian fashion industry is one that we can agree is increasingly growing at a fast pace. The New and trendy styles are eye-catching, and they never seem to leave the African roots despite a little blend of western culture into the industry.
From the Agbada that are always proudly rocked by the men to the different fashion inspirations seen on the women with their traditional attires. This is the inspiration behind the new magazine Fashion Trenzz that is about to take the fashion scene – it is a magazine that celebrates traditional fashion in Africa.
An average Nigerian wedding is usually a hub of fashionistas with everyone putting in conscious effort to out-do each other through their gorgeous attires. The groomsmen line up in their lovely Agbadas combined with lovely caps and shoes dripping of sauce. The bride and the bridesmaid will match the energy by rocking their beautiful ‘’iro’’ and ‘’buba’’ combined with different styles of Gele that will leave you wondering how they were tied.
For a Non-Nigerian seeing the terminology ‘Gele’, it might sound strange and foreign. To put you out of the mystery, Gele is what is called the head-wrap in the English Language. Gele is the African style of head-wrap and the ‘’origin can be traced back to many centuries ago.’’ when the African mothers proudly rocked it. Gele was a symbol of wealth in the old times – any woman that adorned the Gele was usually hailed and seen as one that is from a wealthy and influential family. it was so gorgeous-looking that it has the power to transform an ordinary looking person into a wealthy looking person that can be mistaken for a princess.
Speaking to ‘’Adejoke’’, a Nigerian female living in Ireland, she said “The African head-wrap or head-dress is part of the African culture and is a huge fashion statement even till this day. It goes well with every African attire – recently, it has been combined with some western outfits and has come out fine as new fashion innovation”.
However, the gele is usually combined with the ‘’iro’’ and ‘’buba’’(an African outfit which is a top and wrapper) as it goes well with it. The gele can be made with different textures of materials ranging from Damask, ‘’Aso-Oke’’ to Netted ‘’Aso-Oke’’ and several other fabrics. They are usually in different colours and the colour(s) of gele worn depends on the colour of the attire it’s worn with. The colour selection must be one that combines well with that of the dress as they must complement one another.
The gele has different forms of tying it as there are various styles. Some persons are more skilled at tying the gele than others. Some love the gele tied in a small way while others love the medium size. There are also people that love when it’s tied in large way and spreads so much that it attracts attention everywhere they go. Perhaps, the most gorgeous-looking and flattering style of tying the gele are the ones that are tied in layers and overlap as they rest around the head. They look so good that they go well with almost every shape of face.
There are different styles of gele in Nigeria and we are going to check them out in this article:
The Gele ‘’Aso-Oke. ‘’
‘’These type of geles are usually made for special occasions such as traditional weddings, celebration of a chieftaincy title, significant birthdays and several other important occasions. They are usually made from a woven fabric that is knitted by hand or machine. ‘’These type of geles aren’t found just anyhow’’in the market, as they are specially requested for and made by the manufacturers. The Gele Aso-Oke exudes class and is seen as a big occasion gele or one for a highly influential person.
There is also the Custom Gele Aso-Oke which is a form of Gele Aso-Oke but are specially made to the specification of the buyer. They buyer gives the details wanted and the producer follows every detail to produce. It’s usually a blend of very colorful designs and they come out very pleasing to the eyes. The custom made Aso-Oke is not only used for the headdress, but the Buba (Top), Iro (Wrapper) and the shawl. The custom-made aso-oke usually comes with very high prices and are costlier than the usually geles as they are specially ordered when needed.
The Casual Gele
The gele can be made from any material that can seat on the head. Most of the casual ones are usually made from the same material as that of the fabric worn on the body. They are regular geles that can be seen on just anybody and in everyday activities.
The Couture Gele
These type of geles are for people with a high fashion consciousness. They are usually worn by the fashionistas in the society and they look exotic. It can come in different material forms and they aren’t made locally. There is the Super Jubilee, Grand Swiss and Hayes Gele. They are not seen in the market casually and they come with a high value. Some are made in a Net-like nature and are called the Net Gele.
The Couture Gele are imported but they are made for the African market. Most of them are made from Switzerland and are transported down to Africa. They also come in different colors with different embroideries and designs.
The Blinged Gele
The Blinged Gele is one that appears almost just as it sounds. It is a gele that comes out looking all glamorous as precious stones, beads and beautiful flowers are added to the gele. It is a gele that originated from the modern woman as they looked for ways to stand out with their gele.
The Blinged Gele helps to set apart a person in a gathering, it is mostly worn by the celebrant of an occasion – as it gives the person a stand out look in the event.
How do you tie the Gele?
- Make the ends of the material equal in both hands
- Wrap the gele around your head from back to front, allowing it to overlap on your neck.
- Take the right end of the headgear and wrap into the left in a firm way.
- Do same from left to right
- Wrap both ends around your head your end and make sure its secured
- Arrange the gele on your head by making pleats in layers. The tinier the pleats, the better they usually look.
- Make sure the pleats are on top of each other and keep rolling around your head.
The inspiration behind the new magazine fashion Trenzz that is about to take the fashion scene,it is a magazine that celebrates traditional fashion in Africa.