Fashion designs ready to rock
Christine Jones does not design for shrinking violets. Glitz, glamour, sparkle and shine are the staples of her plus-size line, Thirty86.
“My brand is for that girl, that woman who doesn’t need a reason to dress up; someone who doesn’t need ‘an occasion’,” said Ms Jones, one of seven local designers to showcase their collections at the Bermuda Fashion Festival next month.
“But, my stuff isn’t over the top, it’s not overwhelming.”
Bermuda features in her designs. The 32-year-old included iconic images such as the lighthouse, kites and the island’s flag rather than the “typical pink sand and blue skies”.
“Some things were literally taken from graphic design and put into prints, some were inspired by the colours or shapes of things and I constructed it that way.”
She conceded that some people might describe her collection as “safe” but insisted that the choice of fabric, necklines and hemlines make it anything but boring.
“You may see a similar thing out there but it’s the story and the execution behind it that makes it work with my designs,” Ms Jones said.
Fashion has always been her thing. Two years ago, although she did not know how to use one, she bought a sewing machine “and started tinkering around”.
“I had ideas about how I wanted things to look, what I wanted to make but no idea how to execute. So YouTube has been a gift. I call it YouTube University. It will show you everything from how to stitch to what stitch to use and what fabric to use for different things you want to make.”
Her first creations were for herself but then friends started asking about them.
When the City of Hamilton made a call for designers last year, she decided to give it a go.
“I was shortlisted, but I didn’t get in,” she said. “I think it probably just wasn’t my time yet.”
The freelance graphic designer, who manages De Oil Shop in the Washington Mall, is thrilled to be participating this year.
“You give in a collection of ideas, a certain amount of sketches and things you may have done. Getting accepted didn’t justify anything for me but it lit a different fire for me.
“All this time I’d just been waiting, this is putting it on a very large stage. When people looked at me before, I wanted them to say she’s a big girl who knows how to rock it; now I want everyone [to wear my designs and] rock it.”
Having Melissa Leach mentor her has been a real bonus.
“She’s on island and I love having her here. It’s definitely been a blessing. She has been amazing; she brings my crazy in. She hones it in. She definitely tells me if I’m going too far.”
Once the festival is finished, she will sit down and map out her future.
“I have no real thoughts on where I’m going next. It would be great to get noticed by somebody and have my designs reproduced, possibly manufacturing small amounts of different designs and custom wear.
“At the moment I’m looking forward to the festival and excited to show everyone what plus-size girls are able to pull off.”
•Look for Christine Jones on Instagram: @thirty86_clothing Bermuda Fashion Festival runs July 8-14. Tickets and details of individual events are available atptix.bm/bff
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