By Jemi EKUNKUNBOR
Calabar based Elvis Ikechukwu has emerged winner of the FADAN Talent Hunt Competition. The dark complexioned, budding designer was adjudged the best of the top 10 by a four man panel of judges made up of Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, Frank Osodi, Adesuwa Oyenekwe and Stella Awu.
Acclaimed the best for his intricate cut, good finishing, good fit and elegant evening outfit, the Igbo designer goes home with a complete factory equipment. In addition, he is to receive a three month training at Nobel Afrik Dress making school, another 3 months entrepreneurship training at W-Hollistic Business Solution, Ikeja, plus a trip abroad to feature in an international show.
The search for a talented designer, which kicked off a few months ago with over 100 entries and from which they were pruned down to 10, climaxed last Sunday at the Civic Centre, Lagos, where FADAN put up a spectacular show sponsored by Vlisco, makers of Dutch Wax.
The grand finale drew heavy weights from Lagos State Government House, among whom were the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, Deputy governor of Lagos State, Mrs Sarah Sosan, andÂ Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Adefulire.
Also attracted to the event were members of the diplomatic corp, captains of industries, members of the arts community as well as old and new members of the needle and thread profession.
Speaking at the event, president of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN), Prince Akanni Oyefusi, said the show was designed to empower the youth by providing a platform for them to horn their skills, create the necessary exposure and to launch their careers in the fashion industry.
Sponsors of the event, Vlisco, set the ball rolling with a collection titled, â€œFrozen Dreamâ€ presented in two segments of casual and evening wear. Vlisco, once again, proved its superiority not only with fabrics but also with styles. Both collections featured contemporary styles, short dresses for day and long flowing dresses for evening all with matching accessories of shoes and bags.
The competition thereafter opened with the top ten contestants showcasing their first round of designs in the casual category. Ten lovely pieces were put on the T catwalk one after the other, proving beyond doubt that the designers were truly talented.
Creativity was again exhibited during the second segment of office/cocktail wear. Unfortunately, not many of them could interpret correctly what was appropriate for each segment as trains sequined capes were featured for office wears.
Jefferey Bent, a contestant from Jos, gained upper hand in the casual segment with his spaghetti knee length dress spiced with traditional African wooden combs while Aderonke Okusanya interpreted the office segment correctly with her choice of colour, cut and finishing.
The final segment, the evening wear, like the other two segments were all done with Vlisco Java. And this was where the designers wowed the audience. The designs were extremely glamorous, colourful and breathtaking.
As the models filled out in the designs, Elvis left no one in doubt that he was in charge with a purple, spaghetti long dress, fitted at the waist and flowing all the way down with a train. The detailed purple sequined neck did justice to the dress as a truly hot number for the red carpet. Announcing Elvis the winner, Frank Osodi pointed out the great qualities in his designs, especially the good finishing and fit which is a prerequisite for those aspiring to make it in the international world of fashion.
Aderonke Okusanya came second. She went home with two industrial machines as well as three months training at both Nobel Afrik dress making school and W-Hollistic Business Solution, Ikeja.
For Jeffery Bent, in addition to the training, he goes home with one industrial machine and one mannequin. All other seven contestants also get 3 months training at Nobel Afrik for their efforts at the competition. The activities of the contestants from the screening stage to their camp will form part of a reality TV show billed to be aired on TV next year.