Chinyere Ogali studied Theatre Arts at the University of Calabar. Her journey into fashion started when she couldn’t find a white-collar job after her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). “When I couldn’t find job, I trained at Ginani Fashions in Surulere as a pattern maker. Since then, I have been sewing”. She is the Creative Designer at Chigallys Fashions, a fashion outfit in Festac Town, Lagos. She does a fusion of Africa and Western clothing, using more of ankara and other fabrics to create exotic office, formal and informal wears. She does plus sizes and normal sizes as well. Speaking with Saturday Sun recently she emphasized on the most suitable colours for a dark complexioned woman.
What advice do you have for plus size women?
They should do something very minimal, simple but yet stylish. You don’t have to put volume or frills so that it won’t make you look bigger. For sizes 8 and 10 women, they can easily play with a lot of styles and get away with any kind of outfits that has frills, and extra volume.
What would you say about Nigerian fashion industry?
I’m really glad that I’m in the fashion industry. When I started professionally in 2012, it wasn’t like this. Fashion was not like it is today. It was just very few of us who can proudly say they are fashion designers. These days, it’s more challenging and competitive, which is a big plus for the industry. It makes you think ahead, get more training, read fashion magazines, blogs, and also watch international fashion shows. For me, it has made me leave my comfort zone. Before, I was so relaxed. I’m trying to move away from bespoke to doing ready to wear.
What’s the preferred fabric colours for a dark person?
A dark person should move away from colours that are really dark. There are colours that accentuate the colour of a dark person, and there are colours that bring out the beauty of a dark person. I will advise a dark person to wear light yellow, orange, burnt orange or red. I wouldn’t advise a fair person to wear black or brown, especially chocolate brown. If you want to wear a black dress, there should be a brighter colour to spice it up. It could be a bright coloured scarf.
What challenges do you face in your field?
Tailors, tailors, tailors. They come and go. They are not steady.
What kind of outfits are you known for?
I make outfits for women from age 18 to 60. My clothes are for women who are not afraid to be stylish. I make timeless pieces. My clothes can still rock till 10 years’ time because they are timeless. I make clothes that could be worn on a Friday, if you wear corporate dresses in your office, but my clothes are for matured women. You can wear them to church and parties. They are not revealing stuffs. I do hand-beaded work and I use appliqué to add extra beauty. I use laces too. I always make sure I add a touch of Africa to my work.
What inspires your designs?
Everyday life – people, colours, my environment, all these affects my designs.