So, my former-church best friend finally got in contact with me two months ago, after like 7years of no contact (story for another day). The main thing was that she is getting married [chai, another aso-ebi palava]. Being the awesomely friendly and well-meaning person I am [I will praise myself. I’m in my house, come and beat me], I readily used the money I have been saving for business to buy the 20 thousand naira lace and gele.
Unfortunately, I got the aso-ebi just 3weeks before the wedding, and anyone who knows Lagos tailors know the implications of late delivery to your tailor. As a sharp Lagos babe that I am, I got out my list of tailors and started going through them to see who was fit to be bestowed with this particular outfit.
You see, getting the right fashion designer to bring your expensive lace material to life is an art that you spend years cultivating. You have to go through different tailors, starting from mumsy’s old and trusted dress designers who seem to never comprehend the fact that you are no longer that little girl.
These kinda old women tailors will always insist on choosing styles for you and would end up giving you an outfit that makes you want to throw yourself on the ground, rolling around and screaming for heaven to come and exert vengeance on your behalf.
But then you can only nod, thank the woman and eye her as much as you can, but you know there is no point complaining because she would never be able to make you the trendy designs.
Plus she’s your mother’s age mate and friend, any insults would find their way to your Yoruba mum’s ears and will in effect make you live in hell at home for the next 2 months. The good side is, this tailor is super inexpensive and can do a good iro-and-buba.
Then there is the youngster free hand tailors who will swear by Sango, Thor and Ogun combined that they can create the exact replica of that runway dress you saw designed by Deola Sagoe. By the time you receive the dress, you are lost wondering if indeed you forgot to show the tailor the photo of the design you wanted.
The over-simplified version they will give you can only be worn to church in the evening or for casual Friday. But these guys can sew some very easy and simple designs on your not too expensive Ankara, plus they won’t alter your position on Forbe’s list.
Then there are those who have gone to one million-dollar fashion school and will want to make the money off every customer, using words like shapes and patterns and telling you how you can’t compare them to free-hand tailors.
Now, these guys are split into two: those who can actually deliver that Oscar de la Renta runway design, and will by so doing reduce your economic status from number 10 on the list of richest babes in your L.G.A to like number 100. These tailors do not care whether they are charging you 3 times the cost of your material oh, but na you want to do big girl na, so you have to pay through your teeth.
Then there are those who can get a few complex styles, but will never make a perfect runway design without alterations and adjustments.
The positive thing about them is they can make neat clothes much better than your street tailor, and they are often the best for express work if you don’t want to cry on due date, though you will pay for it oh, but just like half or the actual cost of your material depending on your bargaining skills and the design you chose.
As you can imagine, the last option was my best in this scenario, but to void paying for express duties, I took my material to her jejely on the same day I got it, and as usual told her I had the function in the next 5 days [judge not, if you tell a Lagos tailor the true date of your event, it’s like you don’t want to wear that cloth on that day, cos it would never be ready. It’s just a fact of life].
Unknown to me, aunty tailor had a friend attending a said wedding who had assured her the wedding is in 2 weeks. That’s how I got there on agreed date and my cloth was in pieces, chai come and see anger. After railing and ranting and shouting for the whole world to hear, I had to calm down and set a new collection date as I can’t take pieces of cut cloth.
You see, no tailor would want to collect such and few who would like to collect an arm, a leg and my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren’s future as payment.
Only for me to get there on new date and try on my dress oh, and it was feeling like I put on my grandmother’s onion buying sack. So, I looked at aunty tailor and she can’t catch my eyes, apparently, she had lost my measurements sometime within the first week I had given her the cloth, so she approximated measurements, and I only get to try it a night to the event…Yet another tailor woes. Abeg, what shall I do now?