Top Model Trinidad and Tobago molding the future of fashion and design

Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad – Students will become the masters when graduates of the Caribbean Academy of Fashion & Design (CAFD) at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), have their designs prominently featured at  the “Makin Style Gala Fashion Collection” on August 7th.

“Makin style” is also one of the events at which finalists of the Bmobile sponsored T&T Top Model competition will be judged.

On Sunday 25th of July the T&T Top Model elimination event took place and 12 Female and 19 Male finalists were selected from 65 semi-finalists.

The fashion competition concept developed and executed by the Coco Velvet International Model Training Academy has been receiving much attention and positive reviews in several entertainment and media circles and among the public.

The concluding phases of T&T Top Model will be the upcoming “Makin’ Style Gala Fashion Collections” event on August 7th and the selection of a the next male and female T&T Top Model on August 8th .  B-mobile will also be giving the public the opportunity to text vote for their favorite model to win the People’s Choice award.

The Makin’ Style Gala Fashion Collections represents a pivotal period in the competition as the model hopefuls who will come face to face with designers as they showcase various fashion lines in a realistic fashion show scenario. Among the fashion lines to be featured on that evening will be designs from students of the Diploma in Fashion Design program offered by the Caribbean Academy of Fashion & Design (CAFD) at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).

Charmaine Charles, a student designer of this first graduating class and co-winner of the Runway Reveal…MasterCard fashion competition held in T&T in May of this year, enrolled at CAFD to pursue her passion for fashion. She considers the program to be of an international standard and one that brings out the best in her abilities. “It has helped to expose talents and creativity that I never knew I had. I’m seeing fashion in a whole new light.”

Charles admits that the diploma program has been challenging but she has been able to rise to the occasion due to her training from her devoted tutors. She has been afforded the opportunity to study the art of drawing a clothed human form and art history and to learn new computer programs such as Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator.

Regarding Makin’ Style Gala Fashion Collections she confesses, “It has me on edge, I know what’s at stake and I want to produce the best”.

Adrian Foster, another soon to be CAFD graduate, is glad that such a program is available locally. This native of Couva who also was the illustrator of the T&T Top Model campaign image, claims that the academy’s curriculum not only exposed him to the manufacturing and marketing aspects of fashion but also gave him the focus and direction necessary to discover his true enthusiasm for creating women’s couture.

When asked about Top Model and its finals events he shared, “I’ve received hands on experience with every aspect of the contest and I now have a better understanding of how to work with an actual model as opposed to a mannequin. Being able to learn from the panel of judges and to meet and network with others in the industry has been truly beneficial”.

Foster also gave praise to designers Peter Elias and Meiling for all of their support, advice and criticism. On the subject of Makin’ Style Gala Fashion Collections, he stated, “It’s a little bit of pressure because the clothes have to be professional and well tailored but it’s also all about selling yourself to the public and showing them what you got. We (the graduating design students) are all anxious to see each other’s work”.

As the August 7th and 8th final events approach, Trinidad and Tobago eagerly awaits the crowning of its 2010 Top Model winners and the artistic innovations of a new generation of homegrown design talent. Coco Velvet International will carry on the effort of identifying, training and shaping gifted T&T fashion neophytes en route to achieving their international aspirations, while Bmobile will continue with its mission to support and strengthen this and other arts/entertainment related initiatives. (Sonique Solutions)