I have always admired head wraps. I've never seen a woman wearing one who doesn't look stunning. They have an almost mystical beauty, but at the same time make me feel inadequate. The head wrap is one of the most traditional African fashions, yet I have no idea how to tie one. Few things demonstrate how westernised I am quite so poignantly. It's got to a point where I feel too embarrassed to ask how to tie one, and as a result I was resigned to the fact that I'd never learn.
Well, it seems I am not alone in my ignorance. London-based designer Osun noticed that clients were buying head wraps but had no idea how to wear them. In response, Osun produced a video so that customers could figure out the art in the comfort of their own homes. "People such as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and India Arie have made head wraps fashionable again," says Osun. "People are finding their own way of wearing them, with jeans or a suit, for example; taking pieces of traditional African fashions and mixing them with western ones. People like how they make them feel. They feel different wearing a head wrap - it lifts their spirits."
The 15-minute video is simply put together, but that is part of its charm. Five main styles are shown, with a few variations thrown in for good measure. The instructions are clear and precise, and the wrapping shown in both real time and slow motion. It's a revelation; even the most complicated of styles are created from only four or five steps. Once you know what you're doing, it's tempting to go overboard, but, as with everything, there are a few rules. "With a busy print, you need to wear solid blocks of colour, ideally picking out one of the colours of the wrap in your outfit," says Osun. "Plain wraps go great with denim. Busier prints look great with a white dress." That's one neurosis dealt with - now can someone please teach me to cook rice and peas?
· To order the video Gele Magic (£15), call Osun Designs on 020-7289 0507 (www.Osundesigns.com).