From the inception of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in 2013, the ladies have always given us style to ‘uh’ and ‘ah’ about but it’s been more of an ‘Israelite journey’ situation with the men.
At the AMVCA 2016 this past Saturday at Eko hotel and Suites, the glamour and style was quite impressive. It was everything you wanted in a red carpet show, from the splash of colors, shiny accessories, dramatic trains to bridal looks, glittery gowns with a few flops.
I have to commend the men for holding their own against the women this year, and if there was a word I could use for the men this year, it would be dapper. However, does this mean that men came swinging this year? I’m not so sure.
First, let’s start with what worked for men's red carpet style at the AMVCA 2016. There was an awakening to great tailoring and fit at this year’s award ceremony, which is really high praise. All of a sudden, it seemed like men were trying to save fabric but I didn’t mind because a lot of men looked trim and sharp, which is what men should look like at various black tie events.
Also, the inclusion of a variety of colors, from light blues, to pink, purple, yellow, mustard and every color in between made the men’s red carpet style visually interesting and that helped to dispel traditional male stereotypes within Nigeria.
However, a few things seemed to be lacking in men’s red carpet style this year. The first was the cultural heritage and before you come for me, let me explain. It was great to see a few traditional attires here and there with the likes of Blossom Chukwujekwu, who opted for an Igbo wrapper but there seemed to be very little infusion of culture in the western attires worn by most men, with the exception of a few like Chris Attoh in Deji Eniola.
Yes, it’s true that the event is a black tie event and looking at higher standards like the oscars, men should be in western clothes; tuxedos, velvet bowties, cumberbands and boutounnieres. However, one of the great elements of fashion and style is balance. Thus, it may have been nice to balance the western idea of the red carpet and grand black tie events with subtle cultural features like using traditional fabrics for accessories or to highlight cuffs or lapels.
A link to the idea of balance is also the idea of subtility. The idea that less is certainly more should be embraced. If you are rocking a pocket square, then you don't need lapel pin a few inches higher.
The lack of cultural heritage ties into the next issue with men’s style at the AMVCA 2016, which is a lack of variety or rather what I like to call calculated risks. I’m not saying that it wasn’t great that the men turned up in dapper tuxedos and bowties but i’m saying it would have been great to see something out of the ordinary that would still embody the atmosphere of the award ceremony. An example of this was the neck piece by Mike Ezuruonye and Ubi Franklin, which made them stand out.
Now that we’ve highlighted the hits and misses, my advice moving forward into next year is to take some more time. Men should not just consider the atmosphere for the event but their personality as well. The red carpet is a great way and time to show who you are so take advantage of it. Find a way to merge what makes you comfortable with the dress code of the event to create a genuine style that no one can replicate for years to come. Also don’t leave your preparations to a few days before the event; we can tell on the red carpet.
That being said, my personal best dressed man at the AMVCA 2016 is John Ugbe, managing director of Multichoice Nigeria, wearing Taryor Gabriels. The ensemble consisted of a black tuxedo suit paired with a white shirt and a black bowtie. He finished his look with black loafers but what I loved most about his look was the criss cross pattern on the lapel, which created a lovely attraction to the otherwise simple look.
Check out the gallery of men on the red carpet of the AMVCA 2016 above.