Review: How Fashion Fell Short in Kemi Adetiba’s ‘The Wedding Party’

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I suffer from a compulsive case of emotional attachment, especially to things I find fascinating. And I may not be in the best position to review a movie, but I know a good movie for me is one which offers this substance that I abuse so often, one that makes me want to see it over and over again. Two perfect examples of this are Mainframe Production’s Ti Oluwa Nile and the movie collectors classic, Sound of Music. These movies for me are timeless.

For the typical fashionista like me watching a fashion inclined movie, the scripting is as important as the array of fashion choices displayed in each of the scenes. Many thanks to seeing movies and soaps like Sex and The City, Lipstick Jungle, Devil Wears Prada, The Great Gatsby, Confessions of a Shopaholic and Coming to America (which of course staged two different wedding scenes and gave us couture and high fashion), I have come to appreciate the craftsmanship and precise genius of stylists and costumiers who work to interpret the script and the producer’s vision, and in some cases work hand in hand with designers to create custom garments where necessary.

Eddie Murphy and Shari Headley in Coming to America

I have seen Kemi Adetiba’s The Wedding Party twice. The first time I saw it, I was focused on its genuine sense of humor and how each actor brought their A-game to one of Nollywood’s biggest hits in history. I paid little attention to its fashion details till I saw it again and couldn’t place what went wrong as it failed to take fashion beyond its beaten part.  With a movie of that magnitude, having the names of screen legends, with the international premieres and screenings, more attention should have been paid to its fashion choices.

Scripted around two wealthy, dysfunctional families, (with one apparently more dysfunctional than the other) the Coker’s and the Onwuka’s are the grand dames of feferity, living the upscale life in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos. Ironically, the centerpiece custom wedding gown did not do its part to justify their fictitious truth: it reeked cheap couture.

This piece was created by one of Nigeria’s biggest designers, MAI, whom should have taken into cognizance how global the movie would become. We should have seen a custom wedding dress made in expensive, luxe fabric, dripping with hand embellished goodness. The only element that screamed “In-Style” was the Tiara (which made a major come back on the wedding scene last year.)

the wedding party

The Wedding Party cast

Many thanks to countless wedding hubs, we see couples get into haute formation with their squad looking stunning/dapper. Who doesn’t love a bridal party dressed to the nines?

It has never been about the number but the style coordination for me, which was why I was pretty disappointed when the bridesmaids showed up in Pinkish-Purple bridal satin dresses with the iridescent shimmer and sprinkle of multi coloured floral and lace applique. The dresses looked like they had been hanging in a departmental store rack since the 90’s. (Rumor has it that they came from the stables of MAI).

We get it, fashion is also about bringing back the old, but bridal satin now comes in more appealing textures and more sophisticated sheens that are not in your face (Duchess Satin and Crepe Satin). That iridescent happens to be pulling a lot of weight on the catwalk (many thanks to Gucci by Alessandro Michelle and Jeremy Scott) doesn’t mean it appeals to the wedding market. From design to choice of fabrics, the bridesmaids’ looks did not seem like a deliberate choice, lacked that modern oomph and only served to announce a lack of taste.

Just when I thought I had seen it all in the company of women, the brother of the groom stepped out in a pair of ill-fitting trousers, styling his Tuxedo with multi coloured socks; now that’s sheer disrespect to an all time classic. Spotting a tuxedo is the pinnacle of menswear suiting and should be done in the most polished manner.

Somkele Idhalama, Adesua Etomi, Eyinna Nwigwe

Bankole Wellington, Eyinna Nwigwe and Ikechukwu – The Groom and Groomsmen

The stunning, dramatic mother of the bride who was also the soul of the entire script, played by the brilliant Sola Sobowale, was decked up in the ceremonial way of the Yorubas. She was styled in an Aso-Oke; the ” ONJA OWU” classic paired with a statement neck piece from Gbenga Artsmith. What my eyes couldn’t get over was seeing Mrs Coker rock her timeless ensemble with carton brown casual wedge/blocked heel sandals.

No way, Rara o, Mba! If there is anything I know about our Yoruba mothers and social gatherings, they never run out of shoes with comfy heels that matche their clutch bags or purses. Sola Sobowale’s shoes paired with those classics sealed the look in the most unflattering way. Except this choice was to accentuate the character’s eccentricity, she should have been styled in the type of sandals the mother of the groom had on. I appreciate the craftsmanship but the attention to detail should have been precise.

Alibaba and Sola Sobowale

Ireti Doyle, Richard Mofe Damijo, Alibaba, Sola Sobowale

The Onwukas fared a little better. From Bankole Wellington’s (Dozie Onwuka) impeccably tailored tuxedo (not sure if the jet black tux matched the pants though) to Ireti Doyle’s regal perfection, both mother and son looked well put together(of course MAI is Banky W’s go to Designer.) Sadly, I couldn’t say the same for the Father of the Groom played by the legendary, Richard Mofe Damijo.

I’m certain you all thought he looked good, and yes he did look good until I took a closer look at the placement of the Lion’s head on his Isiagu. I wondered if they ran short of fabric to attain perfection or if the designer decided to create it with his own spark of genius. Either way, all the lions that lived on the fabric were too timid to look us in the face, they had to stare away. One of the traditional garbs for the Igbo man is the Isiagu and trust me, as simple as it looks, it doesn’t come cheap (retail price is between N8000-N10,000 per yard, Lagos Island Market will bear me witness) and it ought to be tailored in such a way that the heads of the Lions are up and looking straight in your face. Not the other way round.


Richard Mofe Damijo, Eyinna Nwigwe, Ireti Doyle, Bankole Wellington- The Onwukas

Bankole Wellington, Adesua Etomi and Ayo Makun

Before The Edits.

the wedding party

The Bride and Groom before the edits

While we give the team a resounding applause for a brilliant production, credit the efforts put into creating a believable wedding scene (as Nollywood hardly ever gets it right with that) and the box office numbers, we hope more attention will be paid to details (with respect to fashion at least) next time. This comes with love from the man who clearly knows nothing about fashion.

Oluwatosin Ogundadegbe

A Philosophy Graduate with an Irredeemable Obsession with Carrie Bradshaw

    1 Comment

    1. Idowu Toria Temitope

      March 7, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Best review I ever read! And of course, you know a lot about fashion. Lol!

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