Our first encounter with our bride Rita Dominic was creating a custom design for her appearance at the AMVCA in 2018. It was the gown of the evening and became known as one of the most iconic dresses ever seen on the red carpet of the awards.
From that experience and over the years, she became a muse to the TUBO brand and we developed a good working relationship with her. It came as no surprise when she approached us this year, requesting that she wanted to be a TUBOBRIDE for her traditional wedding. Our creative director personally promised her that we would execute something that had never been done before, made especially for her, a one-of-one.
Rita has appeared on our screens for decades, carrying a gentle yet unforgettable poise with every character she has so effortlessly portrayed. For her special day, we knew that we had to create something she had never been seen in before and it was an honour to witness and accompany her into this new season of her life. Rita came prepared, we can recall how detail-oriented she was with her million and one ideas. She was a bride with clear goals and came with the images to match! Our creative director planned to create something from scratch, uniquely bespoke and made especially for her and no one else.
Her consultation went well and took less than thirty minutes for a decision to be made on the final outfit choices. We decided on two options which would pay homage to her Igbo roots; a traditional maiden outfit and our classic Otisi set. Historically, on her wedding day, an Igbo woman is traditionally seen in two outfits - her first appearance is as a maiden. This look confirms to her family that a man had come for her hand in marriage. After her agreed bride price is paid, the woman changes outfits. Her second appearance is usually a double wrapper signifying that she is now a married woman.
For Rita, we sketched original designs and shared them with her for approval. Then we began production to bring her vision to life. The process involved two fittings - at her first fitting, we created a mock of the designs using calico and adjusted the pattern to capture our signature TUBO fit. At her second fitting, she tried on the designs made in her chosen fabric before the embellishments were added.
We brought a modern twist to her maiden outfit. Traditionally, a maiden will tie two separate wrappers across her chest and around her waist with coral beads on top. For Rita’s one-of- a-kind interpretation, we created a dress to give the illusion of two separate wrappers. All the traditional components of maiden’s look were incorporated, and illusion tulle was used to give skin without revealing any.
The off-shoulder top was created to imitate the tying of a wrapper across her chest whilst the skirt was draped around her waist. We seamlessly joined them together with a corset that snatched her waist and covered her midriff in our illusion tulle to match her skin. The dress was finished with hand-beaded embellishments.
On her day, the look was completed with a horse tail in hand and accessorised with coral beads around her neck, waist, wrist and ankle alongside a matching coral bead headdress and drop earrings.
For her second look, she appeared in a TUBO classic, our Otisi Set. We were the first brand to create the original wearable double wrapper ensemble.
The set was personalised to Rita’s taste. Her design was given the TUBO touch and featured a structured shoulder - a key element that she was particular about including.
Rita’s Otisi, was fitted initially without the beadwork and when the fit was finalised, we proceeded to add the beading by hand. This process required five artisans and two weeks to complete - a job that was not easy but when couture elements are requested, we deliver. The set was infused with pearls, setting it in a class of its own.
When the dress was finished, our creative director knew that it needed something a little extra to make our bride Rita, the moment! We did after all give our word to make it one-of-a- kind. She decided that tassels were needed but she wanted to do things differently.
At TUBO we are known for our creativity and one thing we enjoy is experimenting. We push the boundaries of our craft, creating pieces that you cannot find anywhere else. Our creative director chose to use coral beads to create the tassels by hand to uphold her promise that it was made just for Rita. This addition was her favourite component of this set and proved to be exactly what was needed to bring the outfit to life.
Bringing this particular aspect of Rita’s vision to life was a challenge that we were delighted to have taken on. It pushed our creativity, resulting in us designing a never-before-seen twist on a TUBO classic for her second appearance as a traditionally married woman according to Igbo custom.
On her day, the look was completed with a complimentary handmade coral pink fan and matching silver clutch and shoes alongside a statement necklace.
After admiring the beauty and work put into this particular Otisi set, you might be wondering, with so much beadwork, would it be heavy for a bride to wear? You’re right to think that but there's nothing to worry about. The Otisi set will not weigh you down, once you have it on, your body takes on the weight.
We want our brides to know that no matter the season of life you are in, there’s a TUBO fit for the woman you are evolving into. Choosing us, is choosing the journey of a lifetime, we are here with you, to go the distance.
Thank you, Rita, for choosing us, we wish you a lifetime of love and happiness as you embark on this new chapter of your life as a TUBOBbride.
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