A feast of fashion on Front Street
Bermuda’s burgeoning Annual Fashion Week continued in earnest on Thursday night with the entirely inspiring Local Designers’ Showcase. The always popular event was held at the Pier 6 Harbour Rooftop on Front Street, which made for an interesting evening.
The elegant white tent was packed with enthusiastic fashion lovers and eager photographers, all jockeying for the best position to get a good look at the often spectacular pieces being displayed. This was indeed a standing-room-only event and the space was a bit cramped which, along with the fact that the runway was not raised at all, made for a considerable amount of standing and neck-craning from certain sections of the crowd. Some folks just chose to stand throughout.
Of course, the whole purpose of going to a fashion show is to see the styles on offer, and, believe me, the styles on show on Thursday night were very much worth seeing. So, infrastructure issues aside, this was an astonishingly awesome show!
In fact, once the clothes emerged from behind the white room-divider, all the minor discomforts seemed to melt away, and appreciation poured down on each local designer like manna from heaven. These types of events, after all, are pretty much all about the clothes.
The first designer to present was Juliana Gibbons. Her collection, entitled simply Juliana Gibbons, was easy and elegant, comprised of light, loose fabrics in black, gold, and ecru. The summery feel of this refined collection was accentuated by the haunting chords of the Gershwin classic Summertime serenading the models as they sauntered casually down the long runway.
Love Bomb by Brittany Wolffe was the next collection to show. This delicately lovely collection was dominated by white lace and textured cotton, which was shaped into comfortably fitted skirts, shorts and frocks. This was a wonderful collection, perfect for summer soirées, ideal for day or evening wear, and presented with youthful exuberance to the sounds of Bound 2 by Kanye West.
The next collection was more formal than the first two. Offered by veteran designer Coleen (Nahlijah) Williams, Vintage Vibes was dominated by elegant, full length dresses and dazzling, shiny fabrics. This was a very large, very eclectic collection presented to up-tempo music such as Everybody by Black Box. Dresses led the charge here, but appreciation was also given for a stunning blue floral print pants suit and a newspaper style jumpsuit with red trim, while the sleeveless black dress with striking red flowers was a personal favourite of mine.
Regina Simmons delivered Regina Q Designs — the Kissed by Class Pucker Collection’ to the sounds of Love Never Felt So Good by the late, great Michael Jackson. This delightful collection featured green and black satins, soft browns and camouflage accents, and eye-catching tuxedo pants styles. Casual with a touch of elegance, this collection featured pieces that would be comfortable and confident in the club and the boardroom.
Former Miss Bermuda turned very promising fashion designer Rochelle Minors presented next. Window was presented under her design tag, Rochelle Nicole, and featured soft earth tones with easy pastel accents, sleeveless dresses with oversized jackets, and geometric tops over loosely fitted skirts. This collection was very creative and eccentric indeed, all rectangles and symmetry, with a few actual windows in some pieces; this was certainly a very artistic, sometimes bizarre collection of looks. This display, more than any other (except perhaps the last) was very much akin to wearable art.
Salvage by Kiara Richardson was a mostly solid colour collection of awesome pieces accented with zebra print. The individual pieces were either white or black, and all were neat, elegant, and fabulous. This collection was presented with perfect attitude to the sounds of Sun Showers by M I A and was notable because all the 11 models were uniformly styled with a single black braid going down their backs; a very tidy collection.
Satara Caisey delivered a conservative but very stylish collection of loose hanging dresses and fitted skirt suits entitled The Grand and the Great. Ellie Goulding’s Starry Eyed accompanied the models down the runway here, creating the perfect midsummer’s eve vibe that these pieces were clearly made for.
Finally, Alshante Foggo presented TropiXal. This was one of my personal favourite collections, and not just because it was pretty much beachwear and bikinis! This stunning collection featured hand painted jungle scenes coupled with animal prints and accented with sheer summer scarves to create several sensational looks that would absolutely light up any beach they ornamented. This was indeed another example of wearable art, and a fantastic finale to another awesome show.
The crowd responses to each designer was emphatic throughout and it was great to see local artists being so adored by local art lovers. The numerous designs on show ranged from interesting to inspiring, but never dull, indicating that the local designer scene is growing by the hour; let’s support it!
The Evolution Fashion Festival concludes tonight at the City Hall Car Park. The massive Grand Finale will feature dozens of local models showing clothes from several stores in the City. Showtime is at 8pm, and it’s a free event, so you must come early to get a good spot!
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