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Socialite is a person who has a reputation in society for spending a significant amount of time participating in social activities such as parties and other fashionable events, entertaining guests and being entertained by others of similar standing.

The Lagos society  is an interesting society from the nightclub appearances to fashion shows, to appearing in the fashion pages of glossy magazines to extravagant elite weddings, beach hangouts – you see faces that soon become familiar faces and gradually become known and influential faces.

The new obsession for red carpets and paparazzi among socialites in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt is alarming, shopping every week specifically for events, suddenly everyone in Nigeria want to look glamorous. What is fueling this social change? corruption, entertainment industry growth, or evolution of the new Nigerian woman; I’m sure opinion will varies on this.

On the plus side, famous people have the capacity to influence social change, and be good ambassadors while it takes large community protests and actions to implement changes, socialites have a powerful voice that they sometimes use to influence political policy and social change. 

These body of work are rendered on Aso Oke fabric, Aso Oke is a hand loomed cloth woven by the Yoruba people of south west Nigeria usually woven by men, cloth weaving (Aso-Oke) started centuries ago amongst the Yoruba’s. The appropriation of this material is used to juxtapose the ancient with the modern, the ancient tapestry as the background for the contemporary painting.

This fabric is used for special occasions by the yoruba’s and usually worn for chieftancy, festivals, engagement, naming ceremony and other important events so placing the socialite on Aso Oke is to show their clouts in the society. Though these socialites are faceless but the stance and personality they exude through the Aso Oke is persistence. The aim is an attempt to capture their personality or to see if there is an aura exudes by socialites beyond the clothes, makeups and spas and to document the current trends by the I-pod generations and jetsetters. 

Alimi Adewale
Arthouse Contemporary Ltd. Lagos, Nigeria 2017