Theodore has created an evening gown that represents the flora and fauna of the island nations. The cotton voile bodice is silk screen printed with leaves and palm trees while the skirt depicts seashells, turtles and sand dollars native to the region, representing the precious aquatic life and environment of Barbados, the Bahamas, and surrounding islands. The fluid skirt reflects the waters that flow around the islands and is embroidered with Swarovski upcycled crystals. The look is completed by bespoke jewellery, handmade by Catherine Rocheford in Barbados, designed to mirror the almost circular motifs of the textile design. The jewellery was made using beading, and hammered sterling silver circles with soldered silver dots, softened with an eyelash ribbon that adds additional volume.
Theodore Elyett catapulted into the fashion world when he was thirteen. Thanks to access to his mum’s garment factory and an early interest in sewing, a young Theodore won a competition to design a dress for Miss Bahamas. Fast forward 20 years and today Theodore has established himself not only throughout the Caribbean, but also in Europe and China, having shown at both London Fashion Week and in Beijing. Known for his bold prints, innovative textures and dramatic silhouettes, Theodore’s design aesthetic is very sophisticated.
Catherine trained as a textile designer, and has over 25 years experience in the business. She started creating accessories as a hobby but they were so popular that she started a business designing and creating her accessories line. Her brand combines indigenous leather, Sea Island cotton and mahogany with semi-precious stones, metals and fresh water pearls, all traditional materials that she crafts into bold innovative styles. Of their exchange, designer Theodore Elyett says of Catherine Rocheford, “When I was introduced to her pieces by the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange organisers, I was immediately blown way. I fell in love with the clean and elegant aesthetic of her brand. We began exchanging ideas via email and the process was actually a fairly easy one. Early in the dialogue she agreed to give me free artistic and creative expression when creating my gown and in return she would be tasked with creating beautiful pieces to accessorise the gown. I am hugely satisfied that our presentation will provide the audience with a breath-taking showcase which will make both Barbados and The Bahamas proud.”