Mission: To Rule The Catwalk

Monday, April 23, 2012

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Mission Catwalk Season 2 has aired but four episodes and already it is local television's hottest ticket. With the competition extended to accommodate regional designers, it's incumbent upon all to up the ante in order to 'Rule the Catwalk'. The coveted prizes for this season's winner include a showing at London Fashion Week; $500,000 funding to start a clothing line courtesy of NCB; a six-page editorial spread in Ocean Style magazine; equipment valued at $200,000 courtesy of Singer; a contract to sell their designs at Soho Boutique, and a scholarship to pursue a fashion programme at London College of Fashion. AW shares the winning designs from week two and week three.

The Challenge:

Design a garment that represents your culture and how independence influenced that culture.

Winner: Rebecca Stirm

Rebecca's take on her winning design:

Belize native Rebecca Stirm started off on a winning note, capturing the first design challenge. She tells AW that after receiving the challenge, she immediately envisioned what she wanted to see on the runway. "I chose to highlight two of our main cultural identities — the Hispanic and the Mayan." The inspiration for the cut of the dress — a larger free-flowing skirt and fitted bodice — came from the look of the Central American quinceanera dresses, with the inspiration for the embroidery detailing taken from the Mayan culture. "I chose white fabric, mainly to ensure that the red embroidery details stood out and were noticeable on the runway," Stirm shared. As for keeping her winning design on a budget, Stirm explained, "Since we were given a budget of US$20 for the dress, my main goal at Pablo's was to get as much of a white, light, airy fabric as I could for the amount of money we were given — my chosen fabric actually came from the curtain section of the fabric store." Stirm concluded with a smile: "I kept it simple when styling the dress, choosing red jewellery to accent the embroidery. I wanted a look that would be simple and elegant — but would have oomph on the runway."

The Challenge:

Create a look inspired by the 1920s Flapper Era with a modern twist.

Winner: Crystal Powell

Crystal's take on her winning design:

Crystal Powell told AW that the inspiration for her winning design came from the sultry sounds of jazz. "A presentation by the National Dance Theatre Company, featured jazz. Jazz music, for me, is very relaxed, fluid, simple, and not bound by any musical rule. The era itself is actually known more for the personality of the women that started the fashion movement — a sexy nonchalance." Her goal was to create a dress that would portray this same spirit of 'freeness' with intricate, beautiful simplicity. "In keeping with the mission, I wanted to stay close to the classic silhouette of the 1920s Flapper Era, which is characterised by a loose, boxy fit around the body, a dropped waist to the hips, bare arms, and embellishments that would give the illusion of 'flapping' when dancing," Powell explained of her design. With the confidence only a winner could show, she concluded, "I kept the dress long because I wanted to give the full effect of the cut-out all the way down the side of the dress."

Colour Palette:

For the colour palette I chose chocolate brown, plum, cream and gold. I wanted to tone the colours down to make the design feel more 'cool' and to add a modern juxtaposition.


The fabrics used are cream chiffon, lined in with cream silk, satin, matte suede, and gold fringe.


The styling is very clean and modern with just a feathered headband and gold strappy mid-heel shoes from my own collection. I made the headband from an elastic sequinned trimming with feathers pinned on.


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