“I have always had an interest in the Visual Arts, but at age 21 that interest grew into a passion when I was introduced to the Textiles and Fibre Arts Department at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts,” designer Bridgette Birch shared with All Woman Fashion (AWF).
The budding designer did not immediately enrol after graduating from Ruseas High School. Instead she decided that there was more she needed to learn, both academically and professionally, before settling down to chase her dreams. Viewing the gap years as a personal investment, Birch spent the time acquiring additional qualifications and working at a government agency, an experience she believes aided in developing her sound sense of determination.
The now final-year student views textiles as a medium that allows for countless ways in which individuals can represent themslves. While in school, Birch coined the label Lady Eleon which has afforded the young designer an avenue to express her innermost thoughts. Through the quality of the work she has attracted customers whose patronage has assisted with training expenses.
Drawing inspiration from the syncretic culture of the Caribbean, Lady Eleonexplores some of the African and Indian retentions which affect Caribbean textiles. Employing a variety of printing techniques, such as screen and block printing, Birch is able to bring to life her pieces which pay tribute to cultural monuments and practices, such as India's Taj Mahal and the Caribbean Junkanoo character Pitchy Patchy.
The ultimate goal, for Birch, is to establish a label recognised both locally and internationally.