So in the last few weeks on my YouTube channel, you might have seen an exclusive interview that was granted to me by Adejoke Rukky Ladoja the Creative Designer of the women’s ready-to-wear brand GREY based in Nigeria in West Africa. She is one of the pioneers of the ready-to-wear clothing experience which is currently transforming the African fashion scene. Her career in fashion which she so generously shared with me during the interview was SUPER inspiring!!! I came away from that interview totally blown away by her sheer expertise and technical-know-how not just about fashion but most importantly about the business of fashion.
Part 1 & Part 2 of this exclusive interview is currently up on my YouTube channel 'Angie Broks'. It's a MUST-WATCH. Here are the links in case you missed it:
To conduct the interview, I actually wore a piece from GREY's Spring/Summer 2016 collection. After I aired the interview on my YouTube channel 'Angie Broks', I had a lot of people asking me about the outfit I wore so I thought why not shoot an editorial to showcase the outfit in all its gorgeousness. We shot on the grounds of the iconic St. Paul's Cathedral in London to showcase this SUPER gorgeous dress out of Africa. So this style entry is the product of what I was creatively inspired to come up with. I hope you like it. I did it especially for you. Xxx
I chose St. Paul's Cathedral for this photo shoot because there is a quiet, calm and serene ambience that the huge cathedral building casts over the beautiful grounds that surrounds it. Every once in a while, if I happen to be in this area, I enjoy popping into the cathedral just to have a quiet, peaceful and reflective moment with my thoughts and with God.
Matthew 11:28-29-''Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls''.
St Paul's Cathedral, London sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London. The present church, dating from the late 17th century, was designed in the Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. It's construction, completed in Wren's lifetime, was part of a major rebuilding programme in the City of London after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
The original church which was on this same site was founded in AD 604. The cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London. Its dome, framed by the spires of Wren's City churches, dominated the skyline for 300 years. At 365 feet (111 m) high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967. The dome is among the highest in the world. St Paul's Cathedral is the second largest church building based on it's dimensions in area in the United Kingdom after Liverpool(source:Wikipedia).
So here’s the back story that inspired this photo shoot. In deciding what to wear to interview the Creative Designer of GREY(Nigeria) for my YouTube channel ‘Angie Broks’, I thought it would be nice idea to pay homage to the fashion label by wearing one of their pieces from their spring/summer 2016 collection for the interview. This turned out to be such a great idea as the Creative Designer of Grey Nigeria Joke Ladoja(Rukky) during the interview absolutely loved how I had styled her piece and even commented how my styling was going to serve as an inspiration for styling a future collection by the label(That put a REALLY huge smile on my face).
I first came across the fashion label GREY from reading a fashion post on the popular blog BellaNaija. It was an editorial spread that had been written for the label during one of the Lagos Fashion & Design weeks (LFDW).I remember looking at their clothes on the catwalk models at LFDW and being particularly drawn to the clean, fuss-free aesthetics on their clothing. The clothes seemed so functional too!! These were pieces that could translate very easily from the catwalk to your wardrobe. Sometimes some catwalk pieces can be so avant-garde that you cannot see yourself in them but these clothes I saw from GREY on the catwalk were pieces I could see myself not just wearing but also styling in so many different ways. It also helped that their pieces were fuss-free and ready to wear.
Ready to wear is a concept that is gradually growing and becoming steadily popular on the African fashion scene because it's purchase is as fuss free as just picking an item of clothing off the rack and readily wearing it. It eliminates the hit and misses of sometimes having a tailor/seamstress make your clothes which has been traditionally been the trend in African fashion.
GREY (Nigeria) is one of the pioneers in ready to wear clothing not just in Nigeria but on the African continent.
The outfit I am wearing in this photo shoot is from GREY's SS16 collection. This collection uses etches of doll-like illustrations, laser cut techniques, exaggerated larger-than-life bows within a mix-match of colours and prints. GREY in this SS16 collection goes on it's most explorative and adventrous foray into 'the often uneven, imperfect yet inspirational stories of women both from a personal and a socio-political platform'', says Rukky Ladoja(GREY's Creative Director) speaking about the inspiration behind this collection.
It was really difficult for me to choose just that one item from their SS16 (Spring/Summer 2016) collection that I could see myself styling in more ways than one. This is because all the pieces from this collection was so nicely put together. Thankfully I was browsing through Instagram one day and I saw one of my style icons Zainab Balogun in one of GREY’s pieces. She looked so classy and elegant in this particular item and that sold the outfit to me. I didn’t even need to think twice.
The next thing I had to do was to find out how to contact the label to see if they shipped to the UK so off to their Instagram page I went to find their contact details. It was from that point onwards that my love affair with this fashion label developed.
First up, I sent them a simple message on Instagram just to enquire about the dress and I was super impressed with their friendly customer service. They responded to my request so promptly. They were so friendly. Even though I had never bought anything from the label before, I was happy to trust them to do an overseas payment transaction because I felt instinctively that I could trust them to deliver. I remember telling my friend that I had bought a dress that I saw on Instagram and my friend knows how particular I am with my clothes so she could not believe that I was making an overseas transaction from a label that I did not know. She was like ‘…but they don’t have your measurements Angie so how do you even know it’s even going to fit?’
But like with my approach to most things in life, I pray and then take a leap of faith. This was a leap of faith that I hoped would pay off and bwoy it so did!!!
So I paid for the dress online via a direct bank transfer and they gave me a two week time line to have the dress ready. They kept their word. Exactly 2 weeks after I paid for my dress, I got a WhatsApp message telling me that my outfit was ready and that it was being prepared to be shipped to London to me. About 5 days later voila!!!...my dress arrived!!!
I was at home one morning when the post man arrived with a package for me. I saw on the label that it was from Nigeria so I knew it had to be from GREY. Excitement got the better of me and I hurriedly ripped the package open to reveal one of the most exquisite presentations of a packaged clothing piece. The love, care and attention to detail in just packing that one dress blew me away. I didn’t even want to unwrap the packaging to reveal THE DRESS. That’s when I finally understood the hype about GREY. Chale they are not playing kraaaa oh!!!
A part of me was thinking that maybe the packaging is nice but what about the actual clothes.
So I gently unwrapped the packaging to do a dress reveal. The dress sat so exquisitely in the packaging. It was a really rich and super gorgeous jacquard print weave with an assortment of different pieces put together.
I carefully inspected the dress paying particular attention to the stitching, the zips, the lining etc.etc
Now can I just take a moment to gasp about the fabric…my gosh!!! It was a very rich soft velvelty jacquard weave and it felt so comfortable just touching it.
I could find absolutely nothing wrong with it. The expert craftsmanship and attention to detail spoke for itself.
Now it was time to try the dress on. Mind you, at the time of placing the order, the only thing I was asked was my standard UK size. Those were the only details they required.
So you can imagine my shock and utter delight when I tried on the dress and it was a perfect fit. In fact, it fit like a glove!!! There was no need for any adjustment or alteration. I was shocked!!!
I am a pint petite size with quite a generous amount of natural ‘African endowments’ if you know what I mean…laughing out loud. It’s not always easy to get clothes that fit like a glove so for GREY to have catered to my body shape so exquisitely is a testament to their expert tailoring and craftsmanship.
What I especially love about this particular dress is the fact that from just this one dress, I am able to create 5 unique and differing styles all from that one dress and I can style it to make it appropriate for work, church, a wedding, a night out or an evening function. It’s so versatile and as such it’s also GREAT value for money. Their price point is also really generous based on what you are actually getting for your money’s worth.
The colour pattern of the mix-match fabric print on this dress with its foray of colours makes it suitable in all weathers. The rich dark blue hues makes it winter appropriate and the yellow colour wave makes it spring and summer appropriate too.
I love clothes that can be worn in all weather conditions and climates. Ain’t nobody got time for one-day-wonder clothes (i.e. clothes that you only wear once and afterwards you hoard in your wardrobe just taking up space and waiting on another grand function to make a re-appearance). You want an outfit that delivers in all weathers conditions and can be worn for diverse occasions.
So thank you GREY for making beautiful clothes. Thanks for being a pace setter in the ready to wear clothing market in Africa. Of a truth, with this dress, you do stay true to your fashion slogan because the design of this dress REALLY does meet functionality.
As ever, special thanks to you too for taking the time to read this blog post.
Lots of love,
"Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own people holy and dearly loved, with tender-heartedness, kindness, lowliness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;"-Colossians 3:12
Dress: GREY(Nigeria) SS16 collection
Stockists: To buy pieces from this collection, kindly visit:
GREY's website: http://www.begrey.com.ng/
You can also contact GREY through their Instagram: page: https://www.instagram.com/greyprojects/
You can also email GREY at: Greyhq@gmail.com
Blue cross body satchel: Primark UK
Shoes: Zara UK
Hair & makeup by me