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Style Secrets of Nigerian Red Carpet Stars.

Summary: It is no secret that Nigerians like to party, and hence, Lagos boasts more red carpet events than any other African city. As one of Nigeria's finest fashion design talents, Deola Ade-Ojo, said at the recently concluded Africa Luxury Forum in London, "looking good is good business" in Nigeria, with starsturned-style-icons investing in hair, make-up and wardrobe as much as three to four times a week. We asked the celebrity stylists who work behind the scenes to shed light on some of Nigeria's top celebs' style secrets.

Harvella Styles on Toke Makinwa

Having completed a BA in International Fashion Marketing, Harvella Styles has quickly become a name to be reckoned with in the fashion industry. She believes a stylist is a celebrity's best weapon. She details what works for her celeb client, on-air personality Toke Makinwa.

Toke's style in three words: Bold, elegant, chic.

Her most memorable looks: Red carpet looks are always the most important because all eyes and cameras are on what everyone is wearing. I always make sure my clients stand out from the crowd with unique and eye-catching looks. My favourite outfit on Toke is her AMVCA, a white high rise split dress.

Style pet peeves: Toke does not really have dos and don'ts and is open minded about trying new things.

Favourite designers: We work with a number of designers, and feel that it is important to give up-and-coming local designers the opportunity. #buynigerian is also a motto we like to stick by.

Michelle Dede

A wardrobe stylist with over 10 years' experience, who moved back to Lagos in early 2015, Ogbahor is a huge believer in "less is definitely more" and letting your style speak for itself. Here she reveals Desperate Housewives actress Dede's style secrets.

Michelle's style in three words: Playful, sexy, chic.

Her most memorable looks: Michelle seems to embody every outfit I style her with, but if I must pick one, it'll be her in all denim, suspenders and a fedora. That look says it all in my book. You are completely covered up, but still exude sex appeal. Michelle loves playing dress up, but she also loves jumpsuits as these can be dressed up or down -- comfortable, playful and still sexy.

Style pet peeves: Being put in a certain box (fashion-wise) and in outfits that age her. She also has gorgeous long legs and a shorter torso, so cutting off her waist is a big no-no.

Favourite designers: Gozel Green looks like it was made specifically for Michelle, so does Grey Projects, VR by Mobos and Moofa.

Rhoda Ebun on Dakore Egbuson-Akande

Fashion stylist, brand consultant, and the CEO of Roses & Thorns Fashion Company, Ebun is the go-to stylist for many brands, celebrities and media houses in Nigeria. She tells NAW how she gets Dakore looking red- carpet fab.

Dakore's style in three words: Classy, fun, timeless.

Her most memorable looks: I have so many it's hard to choose just one, so I will choose three. The first, which she wore when she co-hosted 'Moments with Mo' on Ebony Life TV, is a colour block maxidress with cut-out detail on the neckline by Lady Biba.The second is a jumpsuit with a cut-out on the belly by Moofa, which gave her look a sexy update. And the third is a hand-painted beaded dress by designer Osuare; she exuded sophistication and class. The wonderful thing about styling Dakore is that she is open to great outfit ideas just as long as they meet the comfort criteria -- the outfit must be comfortable for her to be herself in.

Style pet peeves: Short outfits are an absolute no-no.

Favourite designers: When styling Dakore, I go more for style and aesthetics over designers, and we've worked with a range of established to up-and-coming. And the fantastic thing is that Dakore is a big supporter of Nigerian fashion brands.

Damilola Oke on Waje

Winner of the Stylist of the Year Award at Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2015, stylist and fashion blogger Oke boasts an international portfolio in fashion. Upon graduating with an MA in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs from the University of Aberdeen, she worked as a personal shopper and fashion stylist with Marks & Spencer, Next and Abercrombie & Fitch before returning to Nigeria in 2011. Here she tells us all about Waje's style.

Waje's style in three words: Boho chic, edgy, timeless.

Her favourite looks of Waje's: There have been a few, mostly menswear- inspired or stage outfits. A personal favourite has to be the Balmain/Tom Ford outfit she wore for The Future Awards 2014.

Waje's style staples: She is a fan of capes and blazers and similar cover-ups and layered clothing. She definitely opts for comfy shoes when doing sound checks or travelling. Accessories are a must for Waje to ensure she is glam around the clock.

Style pet peeves: Tight clothing, camel toe, badly finished -- she's very into detail so the list is long!

Favourite designers: Mai Atafo, Trish O'Couture, Sally Bawa, Sisiano, Ejiro Amos Tafiri, Wana Sambo, to name a few.

Red carpet looks are always the most important because all eyes and cameras are on what everyone is wearing.

THE STYLIST ON DAKORE: "The wonderful thing is that she is open to great outfit ideas as long as they are comfortable to be in."

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Publication:New African Woman
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Jan 12, 2016
Words:898
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