In the world of fashion and art there are really no boundaries; so in an attempt to establish a link between the two, students enrolled with the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), through its Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design (CAFD) came together on one platform to showcase some of their unique works. Ten students pooled their talent in various mediums including pencil, fabric, gauche, acrylic and fashion accessories including handbags and jewelry under the theme "eclat — dazzling effect, brilliance". Their works are exhibited at The Gallery at Fine Art, until October 6.
Éclat, a French word which means brilliance was an apt theme for the designers' works in which fashion meets modern art. CAFD student, Damian Moore, who conceptualised the project, was professionally trained in fine-art sketching. He said he is pleased with the outcome of the exhibition. Designers tapped into a new form of art, which Moore noted most people do not get to see. He is hoping that the exhibition will expose more people to a new and unexpected experience. "We wanted people to experience what we have been doing; for most of the designers it's tapping into a different market. We mostly engage in clothing and nobody sees how it starts which is from the illustrations. Like anything else there is a level of work and research which goes into the final product. The fashion illustrations and the themes we come up with are our research and that's how it all starts; it leads up to the final piece which is the sewn product."
He added: "The exhibition was conceptualised a year ago, because of my experiences with fashion illustration and being trained in fine art sketching, which is the academic form of sketching. I saw fashion illustration as an art form in itself and I wanted to show this type of sketching, just to introduce it to the wider public. Hardly anybody knows about fashion illustration," Moore said.
Moore is an established artist whose works have been showcased in previous exhibitions. His works are inspired by Indian motifs. The project, he noted, is independent of the UTT. He said the show, while it is a display of unique works, is more of an inspiration. "I feel very proud. The works are amazing and the response was great. I am pleased with the outcome," he said. He added: "While the exhibition is independent to the UTT, we are hoping to make it an annual showcase with more support."
UTT student, Demisha Johnson, whose works have incorporated various mixed mediums, showcased ten pieces of her works. She said the exhibition is a 'big deal'. "I am so excited; this is such a big deal for us. The artists and the designers worked hand in hand. It's all about getting your ideas out there and getting people excited about your idea."
Adrian Foster said while all the artists and fashion designers are from different backgrounds, the exhibition allowed them to showcase their creative backgrounds in more "artsy" expressions. "We came from various backgrounds. This exhibition allowed us to move away from what we are accustomed to; it allowed us to show more of our creative self. I came from an illustration background so I did a lot of female figures, which is a little more artsy."
Hazel Stanislaus whose creations of ladies leather handbags are also on show feels good about the exhibition. She is confident of a positive outcome. "We all worked hard on our pieces. I am hoping that this will allow people to see what is available out there. The CAFD has a lot of good courses and we have a lot of talented Trinbagonians who can take advantage of the courses, so I hope this would also get people interested in the courses. Also, hopefully through this exposure I hope to establish a line of hand-bags. I hope this will be able to pave the way for all of our careers," Stanislaus said.
CAFD student, Liselle Cooker said the exhibition represents a niche for great success in the future. "I think it represents a niche for all of us. People are becoming more fashion aware so I am hoping that through the exhibition people will become more appreciative in what TT has to offer," Cooker said. She has used her CAFD training in fashion design and has brought her artistic talent to the fore to produce her fashion illustration in an acrylic medium in works including "The Flirts", "Sheer Joy", "Girl Talk" and "Contentment".
Lisa Phillips' jewelery is on display. Her unique display of works include various well constructed pieces of earrings, necklaces and bangles entitled "African Queen", "Tribe", "Strong", "Pearl", "Blue", "ivory" and "Goddess".
The works of James Hacket, Delia Alleyne, Demisha Johnson, Adrian Foster, Melissa Phillips, Liselle Cooker, Ann Marie Alexis, Ricky Bhowram and Damian Moore continue to be on display at The Gallery at Fine Art until October 6.