Islands of the World Fashion Showcase Features Wearable Art
Fashion designers won’t be the only ones in the spotlight at the much anticipated Islands of the World Fashion Showcase (IWFS) on May 11th and 12th.
Four artisans from very different design fields have accepted the challenge of taking materials they would traditionally use to build and accessorize homes, offices and other buildings and make them fit on a new kind of canvas – the human body.
Val Pintard, Apryl Burrows and the team of Reuno Pratt and Elizabeth Clarke are the first official class of the newly created category of IWFS, the Jackson L. Burnside Fashion and Design Presentation. The division highlights one of the many passions of the late Jackson Burnside, which was his desire to find ways to take natural products and merge them with the built environment. With a local fashion designer to guide them, these artisans have spent the past three months creating garments out of unconventional materials including fan decks, floor samples, palm berries, pebbles, sisal and tropical almond.
Not only do their pieces need to look good on a rack, they also need to be able to make it down the catwalk. The pieces will be reviewed by Pam Burnside, wife of the late Jackson Burnside, Marcus Laing, CEO of InsituArch Caribbean Magazine and John Cox chief curator at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and founder of Popop Studios International Center for the Visual Arts.
Production Manager for IWFS, Indira Moss, said that the design concepts are very intriguing and she is looking forward to getting a first look at them today.
“This presentation literally brings to life the concept of wearable art, which is what fashion is at its core,” said Moss. “Fashion has influenced and been influenced by architecture and interior design for decades and we are excited to see how these participants have interpreted the relationship between these art forms.”
Meet the Designers:
Val Pintard Flax
Born in Nassau, Bahamas, Val Pintard Flax developed her keen interest in art and design at Queens’s College and then the College of The Bahamas.
She received her Master’s in Architecture and Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design and has lived abroad for most of her life. She has worked as an architect and interior designer in Atlanta, GA and throughout the Caribbean and gains her inspiration from nature. She holds to the philosophy to “Live Simply, by design”.
Architect Apryl Jasmine
No stranger to the Bahamas’ fashion arena, Apryl Burrows spent most of her adolescent years expressing herself through the use of arts and crafts. After working with Sabrina Francis and the late Jeffrey Taylor, she was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), in New York, where she majored in Fashion Design.
In 1997 she studied at Polimoda in Florence, Italy before moving back to New York, to freelance as an assistant designer, technical designer and illustrator.
After returning to The Bahamas, she pursued her career and became the first designer to have had her fashion art installed in both the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and The Hub Contemporary Gallery in 2009.
She helped found The Bahamas Designer’s Association, an organization that invites professional designers to pool their talents and resources along with professional business associations to promote themselves and the Bahamian fashion industry. She is also a member of the advisory committee for the fashion department at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).
Architect Elizabeth Clarke
Elizabeth Clarke’s desire to educate was obliterated after picking up her first issue of Architectural Digest. A Bahamian native, Clarke moved to Marbella, Spain in2003 to study Interior Architecture. The avid traveler then moved to Vancouver, Canada and New York City before returning to The Bahamas in 2008. After a stint with Plan It Bahamas, she created her firm EPC Designs a year later.
Her work is showcased in the HGTV, “Designer’s Portfolio” on the cable network’s web site. She has also been showcased in The Nassau Guardian’s Lifestyles Section, Bahamas Realty Now with Sara Parker, Serenity in Design Interior Design Inspiration Magazine, (Charlotte, North Carolina) and InsituArch Caribbean Architecture Magazine. Her style can best be described as eclectic with an ethnic flavor.
Architect Reuno Pratt
Born and raised in the City of Freeport, Grand Bahama, Reuno Pratt has always had an intense passion for the visual arts, architecture, and design. With a childhood dream of becoming an architect intact, Pratt attended the College of The Bahamas to study the field. After graduation he continued his endeavours as an employee of Monarch Architects in Nassau, Bahamas. The exposure drove him to excel at communicating through visual arts presentation, 3 – D Model Renderings, and graphic design principles.
In 2009, he formed Padishah, to create highly stylized conceptual artist’s 3 – D model renderings, graphic designs, and architectural drawings for architects, interior designers, and construction companies with an artistic look and feel for enhanced graphic and visual appeal. He is an annual addition to the graphic design team for the annual Shakespeare in Paradise Theatre Festival.
The unique designs will debut to the public on May 10 at the official opening reception for IWFS at Hillside House and will be later installed at Doongalik Studios for the rest of the month of May.
About Islands of the World Fashion Showcase: Endorsed from its inception in 2008 by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), Islands of the World Fashion Week has been successful in fulfilling its mandate of promoting island designers from around the world and exposing them to international media and buyers.
The two-day event will showcase ten designers at each event representing island nations around the world, along with international designers. The event in May will highlight designer resort, sports and swim wear and accessories. November will feature designer couture, pret-a-porter and casual wear and accessories.
By Vanessa Clarke