PHYLICIA ELLIS OF THE BAHAMAS
We are always on the prowl to showcase the newest, the hottest, the freshest new fashion designers coming out of the region. Our focus today is on two young enterprising fashion creators who we met during Caribbean Fashion Week 2010 in Jamaica. Both designers bring something unique to the fashion landscape. Ellis’ fashion philosophy revolves around the concept of having fun and creating stylish pieces inspired by the natural curves of island women. Andre’ capitalizes on the heat of the tropical sun to craft a tasty dose of sex appeal in his creations. He says that his clothes are all about “prohibited pleasures” as you enter the tropical paradise in style for a vacation, a cruise or a beautiful resort.
Fresh out of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania where she studied fashion design, Phylicia Ellis showcased a new line of fashion that was laced with confidence and spiced with creativity. Her first taste of fashion came as a youngster growing up in the Bahamas, where her mother ran a summer school program. “I started sewing at 6 years old, all of my sisters also know how to sew but I was the only one who wanted to do it full time. I was sewing shirts in high school for clients. At first I was having doubts, but I felt as long as you have a passion and love for your craft, you have to follow through with it. I decided to take the risk,” said Phylicia of her start in the business of fashion.
“For my new collection I stepped out of my comfort zone. I wanted to do something different and exciting.
There is more structure and cohesiveness in my designs now, I’ve always done dresses in my collection, I specialize in evening and cocktail dresses and I focus on a lot of structure and making clothes that stand out. Phylicia’s collection is entitled `Remembering’ and has a visible aviator theme running throughout line. “The inspiration of the new line was definitely aviation. I looked at what pilots wore, the people working on the ground at the airport, flight attendants and I drew from that. A friend who was a pilot recently died and he always urged me to follow my passion. So this was the result, I included two menswear pieces and, I wanted to do something about the island life. I love the beach so I always do something towards that.”
Phylicia said that her target market is from 18 to 35 and she totally loves clothes that are eye-catching, but looking at her collection the age range can run way beyond the 35 limit. A creator of fresh, youthful fashion, Phylicia is an admirer of several other fashion designers including: Oscar de la Renta, Darcel de Vlugt, Claudia Pegus and Leanne Marshall. In the future she hopes to open a boutique in the Bahamas noting that, “The Bahamas is home and I always want to come back.”
By Walter Greene | Caribbean Fashion Week photos courtesy Pulse Investments Inc. | Styling: Carlton Jones, Anna Shimonis & Emily Bess | Make-up: Eve Pearl | Hair: Andrea E. Wilson| Published in Profiles98 Magazine – Fall 1 Anniversary Issue 5 2010