Designers raise the bar at Barr’s Bay Park
Bermuda’s fashion elite pulled out all the stops for the Local Designers’ Showcase on Wednesday night.
Barr’s Bay Park was brimming with some of the season’s hottest styles — from crop tops and midi skirts to neon heels and accessories.
Lifestyle took a break from our usual stomping ground to find out what people thought about the collections on display.
Chantel Swan told us her two favourites were Brittany Wolffe’s Love Bomb line and Devil’s Isle, Madeline White’s collection of swimwear from her NOVAH line.
“Love Bomb was different and I liked that the designer brought bell bottoms back,” she said. “That kind of went out of style, but she introduced it in a more contemporary way so more people could start to wear them again.”
The 22-year-old said she also appreciated that Ms White used pastels rather than the bright colours commonly used for swimsuits.
She described her everyday style as urban-chic, mostly inspired by social networking site Tumblr and a handful of celebrity trendsetters such as Kylie Jenner and Rihanna.
Amanda Burns said she didn’t have a clear favourite.
“They were all so beautiful I don’t think I could choose,” the 26-year-old said. “I really do love the NOVAH swimwear collection, and the TABS line is fantastic because it’s bringing such a new take on our classic Bermuda short.
“I loved how each designer incorporated styles and trends important to us presently while staying true to Bermudian heritage.”
Ms Burns said her style is usually inspired by colours found naturally throughout the Island.
Wednesday night’s outfit was no exception.
“I try to find new ways to revamp a look I’ve done before, so that way I don’t need to always be shopping for new clothes,” she said.
“Because it was a local show, and I knew the designers would be using local inspirations, I found myself drawn to the bird of paradise flower. This is why I chose to wear such bright and vibrant blues, oranges and yellows. My favourite piece was a neon yellow roped necklace from Mystique.”
Her sister Jessica Burns agreed that all the designers had “praiseworthy” collections, but said: “If I were to choose a favourite I’d pick Alshante’s collection, DBA (Designs by Alshante).
“I loved how unique her pieces were and how she used the clothes as her canvas, handpainting on bright images and patterns. The hard work she put into her pieces was evident by each brush stroke.
“I also loved Madeline White’s NOVAH swimwear line, which I had the honour of wearing in the show.
“The backs of the bathing suits are cut beautifully and shape the body nicely. When you try one of Maddy’s bathing suits on you can really tell that they were designed by a woman, someone who knows what looks good and what women want.”
The 20-year-old says her style is “hard to peg down” but she aims to look trendy and sophisticated.
“What you wear is the first thing people see. I want to show people that I am a modern woman but also [wear] something that expresses my personality,” she said.
Sarah Lusher said she fell head over heals for Ms Wolffe’s collection.
“I like that she stuck to a certain vibe and kept it modern. That’s the same as what I like to do. Take something that should be vintage, but make it look more contemporary,” the 32-year-old said.
Ms Lusher gets her fashion inspiration from magazines; she also likes to follow a handful of Australian bloggers and designers like Toni Maticevski.
“I tend to like a classic look that will carry itself through the ages, but I always try to look up-to-date. I try to incorporate vintage pieces with ultra modern pieces so I might wear a fully beaded nude top with Balmain designer trousers.”
Shantia Seymour, 21, was also a big fan of Ms Wolffe’s collection.
“I would definitely wear her clothing,” said the fashion and international business student.
“I like that it was vintage and quite realistic as well. I could see lots of people my age and even celebrities wearing it.”
Miss Seymour said she doesn’t have a specific style, but tends to gravitate towards girlie pieces.
“I actually switch from vintage to modern a lot and wear lots of skirts. Everyone knows I’m always in a dress or skirt. I don’t think I own jeans at all.”
Trikeita Outerbridge enjoyed Meagan Wellman’s M-Sew collection.
She liked the Cup Match-inspired colour palette and that the designer drew from the cricket uniform directly. She also loved a floral dress featured in designer Courtney Clay’s Grace collection.
“I basically dress how I feel that day, but it always draws reference to how Bermudian women used to dress,” the 32-year-old said. “I throw back to pictures and what I saw my grandmother or my mom wearing or from pieces I’ve seen in old magazines.
“I’m drawn to the class and elegance and ease of how they dressed in that time. They always looked put together even when they weren’t trying to.”
Her pencil skirt and gold heels from Wednesday’s event were inspired by 70s stars Bianca Jagger and Diana Ross.
The Bermuda Fashion Festival continues tomorrow with the Evolution Retail Show in City Hall car park at 7.30pm.
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