Young designers showcase edgy creations
Some people think the Island doesn't have much in the way of cutting-edge fashion.
Neal Jhay Morris is part of Moh'Tiv, a group of budding young designers hoping to change that perception.
They'll show off their collections as part of Capital Fashion Show, happening tonight.
So how did this show come about?
It actually started with a CedarBridge Academy student by the name of Taijhaun Hollis. He was challenged by Patricia Nesbitt, who leads the art department at the school, to do a fashion show because he wants to be a fashion designer. He let her know he was involved in a local group called Moh'Tiv with other local designers, artists and graphic designers. We all got together last autumn. After he let Ms Nesbitt know that, she wanted to meet us to tell us about the fashion show. We all hopped on-board so it went from a high school fashion show to an Island-wide production with Taijhaun and Moh'Tiv.
What was the goal with starting Moh'Tiv?
It started out with two girls who had their own design line. They decided to turn it into a group because they realised most of the family and friends they knew were talented.
So they formed this group to boost us up and get us exposure because we are all students hoping to get back to school overseas and finish degrees in our various fields. Some of us, including me, have already started school, but due to various situations like finances or family matters, couldn't finish. We are taking time off to get exposure on the Island and hopefully get some money from our designs to get back to school.
What can people expect from tonight's show?
Tonight's show is called Capital so it's taking the audience around the world of fashion with different cities and capitals. Each of the nine designers will have their own scene inspired by London, Paris, Tokyo and even Hamilton, Bermuda.
What do you hope will come out of this event?
I am looking forward to the exposure and seeing the auditorium packed to support young designers who are trying to make a step, really for their own future and the Island's future when it comes to the creative industries here.
How would you describe your collection?
I am actually the graphic designer and artist in the group. I was just sticking to doing sketches, painting and graphic designs, but we had a meeting and someone said, ‘Why don't we give you a scene because you have lots of artwork' so I will be putting my art on clothing. Some of the models will also be taking my work on canvas down the runway. I have the Bermuda scene, so it's inspired by the City of Hamilton.
What was it like to take that leap from art to fashion?
It was actually a jump-start for me because I already thought about turning my artwork into apparel and their suggestion confirmed I should do it. It's been a good experience and a good experiment as well.
To be honest, I thought it would be a hard task because I didn't know exactly how to paint on fabrics and what kinds of paints to use because I had never done it before, but I used the same acrylics I use for painting on the clothing. The shapes and colours really come to life on the fabrics. They are edgy, urban and a little grunge.
It's also more of a loose, freehand style I used so it's really solid paint lines and solid edges. It's more bright, colourful and vivid.
What do you want people to get from the show?
From my segment I want people to see something not of the usual coming down the runway. In general I find the art industry in Bermuda to be very standardised.
People tend to stick to the regular themes like longtails, moongates, kites and Gombeys. My art is more universal and abstract because I want to target more than just the Bermuda audience. I also want to attract younger people to my work.
I want to target other artists who want to break out of their shell and experiment with other aspects of art other than just the usual still-lifes and portraits.
What would you say to urge people to come out?
I would just say come and support your young people, designers and artists because there is more to life than just the standard business careers and talents in life.
I would like other artists and designers to come to show their support to help build a bigger industry for art and fashion.
The Capital Fashion Show will take place tonight at Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts at 8pm. Tickets are available from Jazzy Boutique (in the Washington Mall) and CedarBridge Academy for $20 or $35 for patrons. They can also be purchased for $30 at the door.
Work by designers Jahni Pearman, James Lee, Monique Stevens, Chineza Augustus, Shelbi Virgil, Desiree Riley and Omejae Goater will also be featured.
Visit Moh'Tiv on Facebook.