Wednesday, 29 April 2015

I . M . Creations...inspired by rondo

About 10 years ago, i think during my final year of studying architecture; the dad of one of my classmates (and friend) passed away. The man was not young thankfully (my friend was the last of six), and so it was one of those occasions when you're not happy a person is gone (of course!), but sadness is tempered by the knowledge that the person lived a fulfilled life...

My friend is question was quite popular (and i mean that in the best of ways) so it was; that we (his friends) were gonna represent...i.e... leave Lagos (where we attended uni) for Ibadan (where his family lived) to support him during the final burial rites.

Now, if you consider that at this (st)age we had started doing "adult" things... after all...being in final (6th) year we were ready to take on the world and all...thus buying aso-ebi was part of this package. Also consider that up till now, my aso-ebi experiences were limited to family weddings (which my mother always paid and got a tailor (that i couldn't afford of course) for).

But now, as i was buying and sewing the aso-ebi on my own... i needed a reference for a good yet affordable (make that cheap) tailor that would my appeal to my awesome sense of style (pls be reminded that i consider a bit of vanity essential to my existence) and yet work well on my meager student and aristo-less allowance. The search led me to a tiny room at what was then a N10naira bus ride from school (give or take a few streets)...

A mother of 5, living in one of the very densely populated parts of Lagos...struggling to support her family. She was of course thrilled to have a new customer and assured me of a speedy delivery of the style we had agreed on. I in turn gave her an advance. The episode ended with a very satisfied customer (and happy service provider too i'm sure).
Fast forward 10years to what must be over a hundred fittings, outfits and adjustments; some outstanding, others unwearable and we have what i now like to call...
I . M . Creations...inspired by rondo

Everyone i know refers to my tailor as Iya Michael (owing to her first son's name as Yoruba people are wont to do)...hence my witty (@ least i consider it so) coinage for the design label (kinda like Tailor LoRan of back in the the Her real name? Well, lets just day i keep having to check her bank account details to remind myself (that's the only time she ever uses it the bank or for the government)

As for our process, well...our label captures that as well...Iya Michael creates the the finished product, inspired by moi. We started out simple. Looking through magazines and just picking something to replicate. But owing to unique feature variants such as hip measurements (my face is straight as i type that) in comparison to bust or waist, we started to make modifications to adapt to me. Time passed and people began to appreciate my concepts, even copy them for their own personal use. I once knew a lady who took some of my clothes to her tailor just to replicate.

We also have some guiding principles for our work, IyaMichael and i; the first of which is

1. Even after all theses years, i NEVER tell her the actual date of my occasions. Usually, i lie its about a week before, just to give time for fittings

2. Finishing is as important as styling...everything from the shade and length of the underlay to whipping to quality of additional fabric

3. Never go with an idea simply because everyone is doing it right now (how would i stand out at the party?...see...vanity pays!)

4. ALL alterations to agreed styles must be discussed before expediting and so on...

At this point, you're probably wondering why i'm taking time out on my blog to "eulogize" my tailor. After all...everyone has one and probably give or take a few of my principles adapt the same general principles in dealing with theirs...

Well...first...its my blog and i'll write wot i want to (singing)
But more seriously...i got an idea to make our "marriage" for meaning, hence the label
I also (as in the picture above) for the first time in a while got my tailor to follow my conceptual process for the outfit in question with almost no supervision...meaning we are becoming a very well oiled machine...and finally...because
I don't know of ANY other tailor that can do the things Iya Michael does for me at the prices she does them. That might be a result of our 10 year love affair of course...but still

the bottom line...welcome to I . M . Creations...inspired by rondo...

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