So my invitation for the GTBank Fashion Weekend Cocktail arrived at my doorstep some days to the event and boy was I thrilled to be considered part of the inner fashion circle, why yes I was! Asides the fact I have worked hard enough – and still working- to integrate my brand into the fashion industry; it is always an honor to be considered worthy, you get my drift?
My first lesson: Never take the opportunities afforded you for granted.
I got the idea to have someone style me for the event, a stylist can be styled as well abi? So I put it up on Instagram asking who would be interested in a paid styling job to style me for the cocktail party and I got a lot of responses. I was a tad scared of putting the fate of my style in the hands of others – I guess that was a natural reaction – I finally decided on Dami O. and MagPayne, because if how in-tune with my style their mood boards seemed. In infusing imagination and creativity to the pieces, they did not veer off my personality and style.
My second lesson: Always do your research about a client, even if you know your job well.
Meeting Dami and MagPayne was a delight in itself, I have to mention. They came across as stylists with a fervor for fashion and ultimately, styling. For an ease of labour and to ensure I enjoyed the entire process to the fullest, I had Magpayne style a client, so Dami could style me. I had an idea of how I wanted to look, but it was fun deciding on accessories and shoe options with someone and seeing what styling meant to her , discovering what she learnt on the job as well as making sure she could take away some valuable styling lessons from the experience – and I hoped she did.
My third lesson: Every job is an opportunity to be better at what you do than the last time you did it.
Ready for the cocktail party, I set out feeling like a million bucks – was it the camaraderie, the mini girl-time or just playing dress up that got me that way? Maybe. It was absolutely amazing receiving compliments from other guests as I arrived about how good I looked; spot my wide smile. It was especially nice to have Image consultant Ifeoma Williams extend her commendation to even my work.
My fourth lesson: It is important to keep your game up as people are watching but not everyone is talking.
The party was a doozy and everyone had a good time. I think having other stylists do what I would normally do for me and my client (I had an awesome feedback on MagPayne’s work) was interesting. It was especially encouraging to see younger stylists with an appreciation for the art of styling. This experience with these two stylists has inspired me to put together a School of Styling for upcoming stylists and would-be stylists to learn more about the art. I hope to add value to people who want to learn to style others and with so much effort and recognition, styling will soon be taught in tertiary schools – I anticipate that.
My final lesson: Live life the best you can, work as hard as you can and always place value on your work.
Jane Michael Ekanem.
Dress: Haute Lane @hautelane
Shoes: Desire 1709 Fashion @desire1709fashion
Makeup: Jane Michael Ekanem @janemichaelekanem
Styling: Dami O. @_damiie_
Photography: Evi Photography @evi_photography