<strong>Opportunity knocks</strong>: Brittany Crawford, above, and Preston Ephraim, below, are just two of nearly 200 models who will strut their stuff on the runway as part of Four Seasons Fashion Festival and Evolution Fashion Festival taking place this month. *Photo supplied
Opportunity knocks: Brittany Crawford, above, and Preston Ephraim, below, are just two of nearly 200 models who will strut their stuff on the runway as part of Four Seasons Fashion Festival and Evolution Fashion Festival taking place this month. *Photo supplied
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Bermuda has been chosen as the launch destination for the prestigious global fashion competition Top Model International 2012.

The Four Season City Fashion Festival, produced by the Corporation of Hamilton, will kick off the official launch campaign as Bermuda is the home town of Top Model Worldwide 2011 — Deandra Brangman. She will be ruling the runway at the main show of the festival which is being billed as “the largest fashion festival on the island”.

The selected models featured in the show need to strut their stuff to the max as there will be international scouts from Top Model UK at the event. Local and international opportunities are bound to arise from the high-profile production.

Top Model Internatioal is now in it’s sixth year and continues to grow globally. Over a quarter of the 2011 finalists worldwide went on to walk at London Fashion Week.

The entire fashion festival, including rehearsals and post-production footage, will also be filmed by Top Model TV and eventually aired on the Cable channel.

The festival will take place over three days and culminates in the main event on Saturday, July 16 — the free Evolution Fashion Show at City Hall will be directed by Bermuda’s own international fashion choreographer and show director Dean Parris of Parris & Company.

There will be almost 200 male, female and young models throughout the day commanding a 150 ft U-shaped runway.

Constructed by Great Sound it stretches all the way from the City Hall porch, along the fountain area and back again.

Event project manager at the Corporation of Hamilton Danilee Trott said: “I contacted Deandra Brangman’s agency directly and they were excited about her having her first international contract in her home town.

“The Top Model team was excited about coming to Bermuda to support the event and to launch the Top Model International 2012 campaign.

“I think this whole fashion week is a great opportunity for Bermuda — it will put us on the map in terms of fashion. Having Bermuda as the launch destination of the Top Model 2012 campaign and having scouts here is an amazing opportunity.

“They are bringing TMTV hostess Danielle James as well as the camera crew to video and photograph the pre-production, the show and post-production.”

The fashion festival begins with Mannequin Monday on Monday, July 11. There will be live models in all 33 participating stores across Hamilton.  The salons participating are Bliss, Cabelo, Transformations, Hair Studio, Kraze, Plush and Soave while participating retailers include Gibbons Co, Daisy’s and Daisy and Mac, Choices, The Edge, Secrets, Connections, Vibe, Clara Bows.

The next event in the fashion festival will be White Friday on Friday, July 15. As a play on Black Friday in the US, all the Bermuda stores will holding a sale and will dress their windows in mostly white.

The main Evolution Fashion Show begins with a VIP reception at 6pm at the Bermuda Society of Arts on the third floor of City Hall.

The main event begins at 7pm with the youth show followed by an intermission at 8pm. During the intermission on Dismont Drive (the one way street between City Hall and the City Hall car park) there will be a “fashion vendor village” with retailer booths, give-aways and food vendors.

VIP ticket holders will have access to a cash bar at BSoA during this time.

This will be followed by the adult fashion event featuring 33 male and 98 female models.

These include the current Miss Bermuda title-holder Jana Outerbridge and well-known local models including Tiara Ming — who is the model for the festival’s promotional posters — Brittany Crawford), Rochelle Minors, Danielle Smith and Preston Ephraim.

But running the runway will be Deandra Brangman who was named Top Model International back in March.

Finally, after the Evolution Fashion Show there will be an after party at Pier 6, Front Street, with DJ Aztec, Mikey B, Twin Star, D’General spinning the discs. All the over 18 models will be there.

During their stay in Bermuda, Top Model International will be co-hosting a workshop for all the models in the show who are interested. Mac Cosmetics, which is doing the make-up for the entire fashion festival, and Parris & Company will be hosting part of the workshop which will cover everything from make up, modelling in Bermuda and getting started internationally.

While the Corporation of Hamilton is hosting and producing the festival, the Evolution Fashion Festival is being sponsored by Evian and the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel.

Ms Trott said she hoped the event would help local businesses in these difficult times.

She explained: “The concept behind it was to create a week of fashion that would highlight our local city retailers and showcase the variety that is available to Bermuda prior to the Cup Match season. We hope this will encourage local shopping provide our businesses with a platform to showcase what they have to offer in a free setting.

“The Department of Tourism has come on board as a media partner — they are promoting this event from the London and New York offices.

“Top Model is also promoting it from their UK office.”

For more information please visit the Corporation of Hamilton’s Facebook page.