Fans of the TV programme Project Runaway will know what an intensive experience creating fashion for the cat walk can be. Recently eleven designers were given the chance to experience something similar when they attended a week-long crash course in fashion design, culminating in the presentation of individual eight piece fashion collections, some of which will be debuted in the FRESH Cayman Couture Fashion Show.
Theevent, which was put on by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, was lead by local fashion designer and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York graduate Kidan Brooks. The week long workshop was also a prerequisite for anyone interested in being part of the coming FRESH Cayman Couture Fashion Show.
During the week long course attendees were given the chance to learn not only about aspects of fashion design such as rendering and creating technical flats, but also were given the opportunity to learn how to professionally pitch their products.
Some of the designers were new to fashion design whereas others, such as Luigi Moxam, could be considered veterans in the fashion design field.
“I became interested in fashion design about a year ago,” says Jacqueline Bleicher one of the designers, “In 2010 I was finding it increasingly difficult to find the clothes I wanted to wear in sizes for fuller figures. From my svelte days I knew the power of clothing to transform an individual and help one feel more confident and capable so I started looking for a sewing class.”
“I started sewing when I was in High School as it was one of the home economic courses offered then and being a creative person I opted to do sewing as one of my electives,” says Sandra Lichtenstein of her initial movement into fashion design.
During the week all of the designers had to deal with challenges, the biggest challenge for many being the time constraints and the nervousness for the final presentation. “The hardest part of the workshop for me was the presentation of my Collection,” says Shirley DaCosta. “Frankly, I am not used to public speaking at all, however, I believe I managed to convey some bits and pieces of my Collection through the nerves. Nevertheless, it was indeed exciting,”
When asked what she found to be the most difficult aspect of the workshop, Sandra Lichtenstein says, “The deadlines for completion of the work.”
The week culminated with each designer presenting their portfolios to a gathered audience. During the presentations each designer showed the eight sketches from their portfolio, discussed the inspiration behind their collection which included presenting an inspiration board and discussed a bit about all the different fabrics and techniques that would be used for each of the pieces within their collection.
“My collection is entitled “Island style” and is inspired by elements of island living, however the collection attempts to showcase an elegance and sophistication inherent in our surroundings not usually captured, as a contrast to the typical relaxed attitude associated with island living,” says Bleicher.
“Special influences include the sea, aquatic life, vernacular architecture, flora and pottery. The colour palette is limited to primarily white and blue with orange as an accent colour. The blues are taken from the sea, the sky and the Cayman butterfly, with accent colour of orange inspired by the Poinciana’s presently in bloom,” she continued.
Kidan Brooks, who lead all the designers during their week long, intensive design classes was very pleased with the outcome of the workshop.
“I think everyone did such an amazing job. You’d never guess that they were all so nervous about presenting the day before. But they did great, especially with being able to express themselves and their inspirations by describing how it was reflected in each piece,” says Brooks.
The designers will soon present their collections to a panel of judges who will select who will be designing for and have their collection debuted in the upcoming FRESH Cayman Couture Fashion Show.