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A Blend of Creativity and Culture at the Bayelsa Fashion Week

By Yemisi Suleiman

Bayelsa State indigenes recently showed that they were not just a region of militants  but, a people with creative and talented youths, who just need a little encouragement  to set off their creative juices.   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 in  July at the  Bayelsa State Cultural Centre Yenagoa, featured nine designers from around the state. They showcased  a blend of Afro centric, western and traditional collections that  projected the rich cultural heritage of the Bayelsans.

In attendance were, her Excellency Alayingi Silver, Deputy Governor,  Hon. Peremobowei Ebebi and  his wife, as well as other government dignitaries. Speaking at the show, Mrs Silver said,  the State had gotten a lot of bad press before now, and the fashion show was  meant to showcase the brilliant side of the youths “Every work seen here was done by Bayelsans.” She said that fashion engages the youth and takes their minds off violence “More shows will be organised in future to encourage the youths to be self-reliant and useful to their community.”.

Cultural troup performing
Cultural troup performing

It was a fashion and model contest in one ,  the designers  were  judged on creativity, design,  overall representation of work ,skills, and  use of the colour..While the models were judged on their carriage, dexterity on the runway and  overall appearance.

At the end of the competition, the judges made up of Borgogelli Piercarlo, Sonia ,  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 2nd  and 3rd respectively. Tonye Aganga, emerged  ‘Best Male Model“ while 18yaer old Inara Isaac was ‘Best Female Model’ of the year.

Winners got cash prices and will be participating at this year’s edition of the Nigeria Fashion Show, billed to hold in November.
Special guest designer  was Bayo Adegbe of Modela Couture, who thrilled the audience with his Egypt inspired  collection.

On his part, The Deputy Governor urged Bayelsans to look beyond oil and delve into other businesses. “It is a new chapter that , the first lady has opened in the lives of Bayelsans and I urge you  not to trivialise it . The government is ever willing to partner with her Excellency’s office to enable Bayelsans benefit from the Fashion week.” He stated
According to Lexy Mojo-Eyes MD of Legendary Gold Limited, Mrs Silver  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.


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