As a model Rochelle Minors was used to making designer’s clothes look stunning on the catwalk.

What she wasn’t used to was being on the other side of the runway and feeling all of the nervousness and excitement of a first-time fashion designer.

The 24-year-old recently had the opportunity to show her debut collection of 14 pieces, inspired by windows in Bermuda and the Mediterranean, at London’s Graduate Fashion Week 2014.

She said taking part in last weekend’s event was unbelievable and one of the highlights of her life so far.

“It was a really exciting moment,” she said. “I was really happy to see my collection on the big stage and have professional models wearing it.

“The light from the catwalk made the whole collection come to life and it looked really bright, beautiful and very elegant.”

After the show the new designer was approached by swarms of people, even strangers, telling her how much they liked the collection.

She’s hoping exposure from it will lead to a job opportunity in England or the US in the near future.

Ms Minors had to beat out stiff competition from students at her school, the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, UK, in order to make it to Graduate Fashion Week.

Considered the world’s leading event for fashion graduates, the event showcases the work of over 1,000 graduates from the most influential and inspiring UK and international universities. It attracts more than 20,000 guests each June and features 22 catwalk shows, exhibitions from over 40 universities and an acclaimed Gala Award Show.

Ms Minors said taking part in the show was a dream come true for her and something she’s been working towards since starting her fashion degree.

She used to visit other university fashion shows to admire the students’ work and fantasise about that being her one day.

Work began on her own collection back in January and took four months to complete.

“During the busiest period I was getting to university at 8.30am and starting work half an hour later,” Ms Minors said. “I wouldn’t finish until around eight at night. Then I would come home and continue working until maybe around 2am or 3am, go to sleep and do it all over again.”

What helped her get through those arduous times were lots of coffee and junk food — as well as a healthy dose of determination.

The former Miss Bermuda pageant winner said there were times when she didn’t think she would even finish.

“I ran into a lot of difficulties with my fabric choices,” she explained. “They were really complex fabrics that I wanted to use and the way I was using them wasn’t appropriate for the fabrics.”

Time was also not on her side, but her school graciously gave students an extra week or two to meet their deadline.

Ms Minors admitted it was a relief to finally complete the collection and get to see the final product.

Another unforgettable moment came when a friend found her in the library and told her she had made it to Graduate Fashion Week 2014.

She was “in complete shock” and didn’t believe it until she saw the list for herself

“The first thing I did was call my friend and he told me he had made it as well,” she said. “When we saw each other we just started hugging and crying.

“It was a surreal moment, a proud moment, especially when you can celebrate with people who have worked just as hard as you and were there to support and encourage you.

“That was the best feeling, knowing some of my close friends had also made it with me. It’s something I will never forget.”

Her next step will be to return to Bermuda in a few weeks time to take part in the Emerging Designer Showcase for the City’s Evolution Fashion Show on July 10.

 

From: Royalgazette.com