By Yemisi Suleiman
Bayelsa State indigenes recently showed that they were not just a region of militantsÂ but, a people with creative and talented youths, who just need a little encouragementÂ to set off their creative juices.Â Â This was recently proven at the Bayelsa State Fashion Week organised by the Office of the First Lady of Bayelsa State, Mrs Alayinge Silver in collaboration with Legendary Gold Limited, Organisers of the annual Nigeria Fashion Show.
For the First lady, the Bayelsa Fashion Week was born out of the desire to discover new talents as well as empower Bayelsans. The show which held inÂ July at theÂ Bayelsa State Cultural Centre Yenagoa, featured nine designers from around the state. They showcasedÂ a blend of Afro centric, western and traditional collections thatÂ projected the rich cultural heritage of the Bayelsans.
In attendance were, her Excellency Alayingi Silver, Deputy Governor,Â Hon. Peremobowei Ebebi andÂ his wife, as well as other government dignitaries. Speaking at the show, Mrs Silver said,Â the State had gotten a lot of bad press before now, and the fashion show wasÂ meant to showcase the brilliant side of the youths â€œEvery work seen here was done by Bayelsans.â€ She said that fashion engages the youth and takes their minds off violence â€œMore shows will be organised in future to encourage the youths to be self-reliant and useful to their community.â€.
It was a fashion and model contest in one ,Â the designersÂ wereÂ judged on creativity, design,Â overall representation of work ,skills, andÂ use of the colour..While the models were judged on their carriage, dexterity on the runway andÂ overall appearance.
At the end of the competition, the judges made up of Borgogelli Piercarlo, Sonia ,Â both from Milan and Tengco Aristeo from New York, named Etimowei Sawyer of Charles Sawyer DSSSesigns as the Best Fashion Designer of the year. Muna Epe was 1st runner up, while Sunny Adrmo and Doris Gem-dede of Jazz Effect emerged 2ndÂ and 3rd respectively. Tonye Aganga, emergedÂ â€˜Best Male Modelâ€œ while 18yaer old Inara Isaac was â€˜Best Female Modelâ€™ of the year.
Winners got cash prices and will be participating at this yearâ€™s edition of the Nigeria Fashion Show, billed to hold in November.
Special guest designerÂ was Bayo Adegbe of Modela Couture, who thrilled the audience with his Egypt inspiredÂ collection.
On his part, The Deputy Governor urged Bayelsans to look beyond oil and delve into other businesses. â€œIt is a new chapter that , the first lady has opened in the lives of Bayelsans and I urge youÂ not to trivialise it . The government is ever willing to partner with her Excellencyâ€™s office to enable Bayelsans benefit from the Fashion week.â€ He stated
According to Lexy Mojo-Eyes MD of Legendary Gold Limited, Mrs SilverÂ was appointed regional patron for the World Fashion Week, by the World Fashion Council for her love for fashion and genuine desire to empower Bayelsans. A plaque was presented to her by Piercarlo, the special assistant to the President of the International Fashion Council.