Re-loads are part of life and they happen in all spheres. They bring variety and freshness. But whoever thought funeral attires would ever be re-loaded, thanks to the Covid-19 aftermath. 

As the freedom for gatherings and the wearing of masks are not being strictly observed these days, many are going back to the normal days. 

As is happening now, the respite period given us by the pandemic has also made leeway for social gatherings including funerals, big and small. They are all coming with the show of fashion.

In the good old days, when families insisted on black as the attire for mourning their dead ones, they meant black, the “Brisi” and “Kuntunkuni” type of cloth, signifying deep mourning. By that, one got to deduce the deep shock the loss had caused.

Black funerals

The situation has not changed too much though, post Covid-19. Black is still in deep mourning. What has changed however is the mode and style of attire to wear. These days black funeral attires are getting too close to formal black-tie dinner affairs and in some cases, close to a fashion catwalk. 

The fabrics and the styles being used for funeral clothes, even for close family, could be out of this world. The dropping of face masks has also gradually brought back the fashion of eye shadows and lipsticks in wild colours.

In the last couple of months, I have attended funerals of three shocking losses with three more painful ones in waiting, before the month of November is out. The last three I have attended left a kind of impression on my mind, reminding me perhaps that black funerals are places to look for what is in fashion – a fashion catwalk reloaded.

It used to be the simple black slit and “kaba” or top worn with a kind of wrap around the waist topped with a black head scarf for most women.  The men would go in their black cloth or a simple black shirt for those not too comfortable with the wrap cloth.

Today, both men and women, even though more for the women, are dressing to kill, from head to toe, at black funerals. Sometimes, they make one wonder what formal dinner or catwalk was taking place or whether one had accidentally walked into the wrong event. 

Fabrics and accessories

Black funerals these days unveil rich expensive fabrics in town, both for the men as well as for the women. Laces may top the list of fabrics but organza; satins and other rich ones in stand-alone styles or combinations of fabrics come competing. Formerly, such fabrics were reserved for evening wear.

In times past, you would be the odd one out to wear a black dress to a funeral. Today, it is not only a dress for dress’ sake. They come in short dresses, midi or long with various attractive combination styles and huge sleeves.

The slits and “kabas”  as well as men in cloth, do still have their places at black funerals, especially with those outside the capital.

The accessories that go with the ladies’ funeral wear to complement the catwalk re-load. Talk about the fashion jewelry, the shoes and sandals, the bags and even the head scarves.

I first spotted these lovely black scarves with gold and sometimes silver sparkles at no other but a funeral in Kumasi over a year ago. I admired the scarves greatly, very fashionable and a great compliment to all the miserable funeral attires.

However, I was somehow surprised that I was seeing those “unconventional” scarves in the Ashanti region of all places. 

When it came to funerals and black funerals for that matter, the region seemed conservative to me and so to walk into that was quite surprising, though a pleasant one. It only confirmed the funeral re-loading I am talking about.

And so, as the saying goes, if you cannot beat them, you join them.  Ashanti joined the funeral fashion catwalk with a bold statement on their head. 

The city though always tries to go one step ahead. Some beautiful ready-made head gears have evolved so fast. They are simple and beautiful to wear especially for those who cannot tie on the glittering head scarves.

Funeral attires generally have gone steps ahead with complimentary funeral accessories for the neck and hands too. 

It is definite that as mass gatherings for funerals continue, one would also observe and admire many more fashion catwalk re-loads. For the ladies, the time has come for evening wear locked up in wardrobes to come out and get adjusted for funeral catwalks.

When times change, the saying is that you should also change with the times. All-black funerals are definitely the new fashion catwalks in town, a complete re-load.

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You can contact the writer via email: vickywirekoandoh@yahoo.com

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.