Local fashion is on the rise. Last month, menswear designer, Ecliff Elie turned heads with the unveiling of his PRIMA VOLTA Italian inspired menswear collection that’s in stores now. Other fashion trendsetters in Trinidad and Tobago are also making their presence felt, some with a deep-rooted desire to go beyond the confines of beauty and style, and more into the realm of lifting the spirits of their customers.
Power102 Digital spoke with T&T fashion designer, Afiya Bishop- the woman behind the contemporary fashion brand, ‘Loud by Afiya’. She shared her yearning to help women feel better about themselves in the clothing she offers them. Her styles are often similar to a portrayal of African richness, emboldened by strong prints and excitable colours, both of which often find favour with fashion-loving females. “Clothes make women feel happy,” said the young, spirited designer, as we started off our interview. She said one experience that remains a humbling one for her, to this day, is having dealt with a customer who was coping with the trials of a life-threatening illness. “She was ill and she was at the point where even her hair had fallen off. She messaged me, saying that she wanted me to dress her. It was a bitter- sweet feeling,” admitted the young entrepreneur.
Afiya makes it abundantly clear that there is a reason why most women, when they feel unhappy, resort to shopping. “Make-up and clothes make us feel better. You’ll only feel truly beautiful if you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing and how you’re looking,” she attested.
The designer says in her profession, she meets and interacts with women from all walks of life and as such, she has seen first hand, the effect that clothing can have on the self esteem levels of women, particularly. She said it’s no mystery that the colour black is more often used because of its ability to visually create a more slender appearance, however she explained that beyond that, the colour black, for some women, is a symbol of strength and empowerment. “I believe there are many women who choose black and other dark tones to be taken more seriously and to be valued like men,” she said. Afiya however called on women to explore colour as a method of shaking up their mood and lifting their energy.
HERE ARE 5 FASHION TIPS FROM AFIYA FOR WOMEN OVER 40.
- Being comfortable is key – just because you’re over 40 and want to be sexy, you should attempt to wear tight, deep plunging clothing..
- Accessories go a long way. You can wear a dress or outfit all day and when night falls, simply change up your accessories for a quick fashion alteration.
- Generally a lot of her customers who are over 40 feel like they can’t wear anything short. There is an appropriate length for every age. It doesn’t have to be under your butt. Wearing short clothing that’s at the appropriate length when it comes to “shortness” won’t make you look like you’re trying to be young again or in the trendy style.
- When mixing prints, pick one colour on the busy print and then choose a top or bottom that’s a solid colour.
- When I studied fashion they told us that the perfect body is the hourglass figure. Always try to create that image. If you’re round in the stomach, you wear something with a thick waistband to give the illusion. If you are small at the top and big in the bottom, you’d wear fitted bottoms but a loose top to give the illusion of that proportion.