Ijenna osuji of Miralabelle.com is one inspiring and fun to follow fashion blogger and DIY artist.
Her edgy, quirky and sometimes laid-back style fabrications is having growing influence on fashion enthusiasts in the Nigerian fashion & style sphere and even beyond.
Here, Ijenna shares interesting insights on her personal style, exploits and reservations about the fashion industry.
How did you stumble into fashion?
I really have no idea. I guess I could say I always had a flair for fashion but the truth is, it just happened.
I think I fell in love with fashion when I realized that fashion gives you a voice. It’s a medium of speaking without saying a word, which is probably why there are so many fashion subcultures. I particularly like the Afrocentric movement.
I decided to start a blog because I saw it as a medium to explore and grow my fashion writing, a combination of the two things I love. Now? I want to inspire & help people as well as connect with them. So far, running a personal style & DIY blog has made a positive impact on me and enabled me meet some incredible people. The blogosphere is a lovely place to be.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style depends on my mood and the occasion.
On my casual days I stick with the comfy bohemian style featuring maxis, breezy light fabrics, funky jewellery and slouchy silhouettes.
On dressy days, I tilt towards the preppy style featuring blazers, button-down shirts, and shirtdresses.
So I would describe my everyday style as casual, laid-back, as well as edgy and quirky.
What reservations do you have about the fashion industry?
Talking about the fashion industry as a whole, I think it’s all been said. The body type discrimination, using extremely young people only to market clothes that almost all age groups would wear, and so on.
However, the phenomenon of always using sex to sell fashion is slightly appalling. Sex sells and I get that money has to made but when the society is being encouraged to leave nothing to the imagination, the line should be drawn.
Modesty is taking a downward spin and quickly becoming irrelevant.
As for the Nigerian Fashion industry, I think designers over-price their clothing items.
Why oh why would a flimsy chiffon dress (on sale I might add), be placed a pricetag of N32,000 on?? I think some of them are trying to mimic international high-fashion brands. That’s fine but they also think they’re affordable. You have to know your target customers and the average Nigerian certainly wouldn’t buy that.
The reason I don’t “buy Nigerian” is because I can’t afford them. And when I can, I choose not to because I would rather buy three dresses (or more) than buy a flimsy chiffon dress supposedly “on sale”.
What’s that special fashion item that features prominently in your dressing? Why?
Patterns & prints and winged eyeliner. I know you asked for one but think of it as half element+half element= one special element, yes? 😀
I don’t know why I have so many patterned clothes. One day, I was looking for a solid colour to wear and I was having difficulties. It was in that moment my slight obsession was made known to me.
Have you ever experienced any fashion disaster? Tell us about it?
Ha ha. I have had so many fashion disasters but the one that’s most prominent in my mind is the one that happened at a dinner party.
So I had just made a not-so-grand entrance and was feeling quite good then disaster struck- I felt my dress slowly sliding off my torso. Now this dress had spaghetti straps so I panicked a little. I rushed to the bathroom and realized that one of the straps was faulty.
Yikes! I quickly inspected the dress. Thankfully, the strap hadn’t come off the dress. It had just disconnected from two ends (of the same strap) meaning the object holding it in place was gone.
Thinking fast, I got a rubber band from my bag, cut it at the middle then used it to connect the strap back. Problem solved! I had to use a shawl to cover it up through out the night but it wasn’t so bad.
Favorite mobile application?
Instagram. I know, who doesn’t like instagram? I love instagram because there’s so much inspiration and plenty of motivation to keep you moving.
Guilty food pleasure?
Two words: CHOCOLATE CAKE! (preferably with chocolate frosting)
Your revered style icon?
Vanessa Hudgens. Love her edgy Bohemian style. I’ve been loving Solange Knowles’ style of late, though.
Your go-to shopping store?
I don’t have one. I buy my clothes from everywhere. I’m more interested in the clothes than brand/store. But if I would have one, it’d be the HDHQ. I love their quirky, affordable items.
Adebayo Okelawal of Orange Culture. Almost all their items are on my wishlist.
Visit here for Ijenna’s DIY’s and style tips.
Follow on Instagram to learn more from Ijenna Osuji: instagram.com/unservile_fashionist