FRIDAY, JUNE 3: The island’s fashionistas are to showcase their latest designs at the second annual Bermuda Fashion Collective Show.
Following the success and popularity of last year’s inaugural event, the gallery decided to host another with a view to making it an annual event for local fashion designers.
The eight designers featured in the show are Amethyst, Ashley Aitken, Consuelo Verde Perrin, Dana Cooper, Dean Williams, Edith Rookes, Nicole Iris, Rene Hill and Shay Ford, a graphic designer here at the Bermuda Sun.
BSoA’s co-President Charles Anderson, organizer and creator of the show, said that the event is in keeping with the gallery’s aim of supporting local artists.
“All of these designers are Bermudian with the exception of Consuelo Verde Perrin, he said. “Consuelo is a wonderful Italian designer who is currently living here in Bermuda, but has shown in both Milan and Paris.
“She will be showing a collection of accessories and it is something that we are very much looking forward to at BSoA.”
Other newcomers to the line up are Edith Rookes, Nicole Iris and René Hill who is gaining a reputation for her bold knitwear designs.
Edith has been a well-known seamstress and has worked with other designers, putting the finishing touches to their collections in the past, but now she says, “It is her time to take to the stage and show us what she’s got.”
Nicole Iris, perhaps a lesser known name in local fashion circles, is putting together a collection for both men and women that is sure to excite, emphasizing comfort for her ‘casual’ daywear and using bold colours and patterns for her dressy evening wear.
The remaining four designers were all showcased at the first show held last November and are putting together new collections for all of Bermuda to see.
We sat down with three of the designers to find out what inspires them and what their aspirations are in the world of fashion.
“I really don’t have a particular style, however I tend to be drawn more toward vintage items. I like to mix classic and modern pieces together. I love individuality and to go against the grain.
I’ve always been into fashion. I used to make clothing out of any materials I would find around the house.
“My mother and aunts were a big influence because there were always sewing machines and accessories lying around. When I was 15 my cousin Candice and I would make outfits to wear and ever since then I’ve been creating pieces. College was the first time I actually started making dresses for other people. A close friend and former co-worker of mine Stacey Condor was always a strong supporter and helped me get my first seamstress dress form in college. I guess “you can say all of this was my foundation.
“I love fashion and its something that’s just a part of who I am as an individual. If something comes out of it then it’s a blessing but I enjoy the process of making something from my thoughts come alive.
“I just want to have fun and I hope people enjoy my items as well as the other local designers.
“Bermuda has a lot of talented individuals and we should all support each other. The more we encourage and lift one another up the more successful we will all be.”
“I have evening dresses and casual day wear in my collection. They are individual exquisite designs. The men’s designs have a more ethnic look and basic comfort cool wear for the summer.
“There is a broad range of stuff — there are some vibrant colours like hot pink, fuchsia purple and then some more neutral colours like chocolate brown and black.
“This is my first show in a long time. My last show was about five years ago at Number One Shed on Front Street. I have been doing this since high school — since the early 1980s.
“What go me interested in my last year at primary school was that I always had hand me downs and I always wanted new stuff. I had to earn my keep by doing chores for the senior citizens in the neighbourhood to make money to buy my fabric.
“I took up a sewing course in high school then I started making my own patterns out of brown paper bags. Now I buy most of my fabrics from Atlanta and QuiJa Fabrics.
“I have made a lot of clothes — most of my clothes I sell during the Cup Match holidays and sometimes 24 May.
“Of all the clothes I have made I have not duplicated one design — everything is unique.
I would like to own my own boutique selling my own designs and accessories.
“That would be my ultimate goal. I’m going to be positive and say I hope this show gives me some exposure and get my foot in the door.”
Contact her by email firstname.lastname@example.org
“For this show I am doing couture work and I am going formal. It is handmade sewing made to measure and is strictly design wear. The clothes are adjusted to each model’s measurements.
“I also do suits — I am a full time tailor — but for the show it is just dresses. My shop used to be called Larjese because I specialised in the large sizes.”
“I love couture — I am breaking out. It’s been dormant. Last year I worked with Amethyst on his collection and this year Charles encouraged me to design my own collection.
“This is the first time I am doing it for myself.
“I’ve always wanted to go into fashion — I wanted to go into men’s wear because I like the French cut but my father said I am going to be a ladies’ tailor.
“I love the old designers — Oscar de la Renta, Valentino and Baldwin who is going way back in the 30s. I love the work of Chanel — I have studied all their work and techniques.
“I went to the Girl’s Institute of Arts and Craft way back in the 50s. I work on most fabrics but for couture you work on finer things like the silks and the linens. I love linens.”