The night before last, I made my way back to London after spending a week in Lagos, Nigeria where I was stunned by the experience. Fear not – it's not in the sort of 'stunned' that you might be thinking.  Despite the country's less-than-glowing global reputation, I had a truly marvellous time just about everywhere I went – and yes, we ventured far from the catwalks and the isolation of the resort hotel luxury ghetto. 

As one new Nigerian friend I made there put it, "Ask most people abroad what comes to mind when they hear 'Nigeria' and they can only come up with words like corruption, e-mail scams and more recently a few crazy individuals with bombs."  Yes, bribery's rampant and the gap between rich and poor is staggering – and what's more, kidnappings (and worse) do regularly take place.  But with this excursion now under my belt, I can honestly say that it opened my eyes to a whole new side of things.  Besides, with danger comes thrills, edginess and passion.  I was welcomed warmly and with great enthusiasm regardless of where we went (and trust me, I didn't tone down my outfits one iota even for the dodgy markets we dared enter).  So yes, with the same spectacular hosts, I am ready for part 2 — let's just say that the dates for next year are already booked in my agenda.  And I shall be bringing Diane next time around for some double trouble.  She was sorely missed this time around.  Hopefully more destinations around the African continent will also now make it on our "must-go" list going forward….

Bridget Awosika

Bridget Awosika, undoubtedly the best show of the week if you ask me…

On the left is a painting by the Nigerian artist Sam Ebohon that caught my eye at the Murtala Muhammed Airport where we flew in….. On the right is the subject of the painting — or at least that's what the manager of the airport told me who was our key to getting through the mayhem there — a fascinating Nigerian Afrobeat musician called Lagbaja who only wears masks in order to highlight the facelessness of mankind.

Maki Oh 2

Another very promising designer, Maki Oh


It's pure pandemonium in most parts of the city.  Here, in Ikeja which is far from the centre, it was much more 'tranquil'…

  Odio Mimonet
Odio Mimonet




A menswear photo shoot above by Obi Somto featuring 2 of the exciting young names pushing  boundaries:  the clothing line Orange Culture designed by Adebayo Oke-Lawal and accessories/leather goods designer Shem Paronelli (whose patchwork slipper can be found directly below).



If only I had a camera at some of the nightclubs where we went.  One was so wrong that it was right and another – the closing party at Villa Medici – was simply wicked.  It's owned by an extraordinarily chic Nigerian-born Lebanese lady who really knows how to throw parties, choose interiors and tend to her guests.

Villa Medici

Sunny Rose + Xclamations + Sunny Rose

Sunny Rose, Xclamations,  Sunny Rose (left to right)


An artist's work decorating the Radisson on the coast – whose work I really liked but unfortunately neglected to find out more about…(champagne)

Street style in Lagos ran the full spectrum… eye-candy at every glance.

Jewel by Lisa

Jewel by Lisa

People-watching around the shows was a real treat. I only wish I had someone to tell me who these intriguing folks were – and that I had a better bloody camera than just my iPhone with me….

At least I know the boys above – they're two of the uber-clued-in troupe in Lagos.  Middle photo in the blue jacket is Adebayo, stylist and designer of the Orange Culture label.  Photo on the right is Terence Sambo, the blogger behind www.OneNigerianBoy.com




Tapestry at the Eko Resort Hotel, where we stayed during fashion week



Contrasts abound in Lagos with the glittering financial district on one side of the harbour…


And shanty towns clinging to the other…Both photos taken from our speed boat trip through the insanely busy harbour where we zipped past gargantuan container ships.

Polo yacht


Although we missed the polo match we were supposed to watch, we did make it to the yacht club, where we were whisked up river on a boat by our spectacular hosts around Victoria Island (if my geography hasn't failed me) to the glorious Ibeshe Beach Lagoon Resort (below).


Power couple cum perfect couple pictured here at Ibeshe:  Omoyemi & Tokunbo Akerele. Omoyemi is the pioneering founder of Lagos Fashion & Design Week — not to mention the brawn, beauty and brains behind Style House Files.  Tokunbo is a charming chap anchored in oil.

Robb Young in Lagos
One of the very rare moments when I came out from under an umbrella for a photo-op.  The backdrop at the Ibeshe Lagoon Resort was just too good to turn down.  SPF-50 is once again on the ready for a return voyage…