`Elite Designs’, `Wonderful Creations’ on show at Sidewalk Cafe
by Linda Rutherford
Guyana Chronicle
June 29, 2003

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SEVEN belles and one beau, novices all, did double duty Wednesday evening last as cousins, Petal Richards and Marcia Edmonson, who have been quietly working in the sidelines these past nine months, officially entered the world of fashion with their first ever public showing of their creations.

The occasion was the popular Wednesday afternoon tea sessions at city hangout, the Sidewalk Café and Jazz Club, which is often used as a launching pad for new and budding designers.

Speaking with the two newcomers after the show, which was a resounding success in spite of the gaucheness of their models, the Sunday Chronicle learnt that they have several other things in common besides the same origins.

They are both Christians; attended the same designer school; have the support of family firmly behind them; gave up relatively lucrative means of earning a living for the uncertainty and glamour of the fashion industry; share the same philosophy that 'with God anything is possible'; and above all, hope to one day gain a foothold on the overseas market, preferably the Caribbean.

Petal, who previously ran a grocery stall on Merriman's Mall, said she first entertained the thought of entering the world of fashion last February while working on her own wardrobe with one of the more recognised local designers.

"I was leaving the country and wanted some locally-made pieces to take with me," she said. By November, she was taking classes in designing. She has never looked back since.

Her forte is tie-dying, batik, stenciling, and fabric painting. She also enjoys working with linen and rayon and sometimes cotton. She markets under the label: 'Elite Designs'.

Marcia, the more responsive of the two, said her decision to branch out into fashion was fuelled by her fascination with custom-made clothing. Attending the odd fashion show from time to time, however, helped give her that extra zeal.

A confectioner by profession, what we here in Guyana call a caterer, she said she has not entirely given up on her trade. "It's just that I like custom-made clothing."

Unlike Petal, who does everything in the line of designing herself, she has one girl at the moment who helps out with the little things. A typical day for her can begin as early as 08h00 or thereabouts and end around 03h00 - 04h00 the next day, as happened while preparing for the show.

In all, she did 20 pieces. It took her two weeks. She plans putting on another show as early as July/August, seeing that Folk Festival is just around the corner.

She likes working with rayon, linen, and cotton. She doesn't mind trying silk, however. That she likes bright colours was self evident. Her label is called 'Wonderful Creations'.

Local response, they both said, have to date been rather encouraging, thanks to good friends who have been spreading the word by 'word of mouth'. Marcia, however, went one step further. She called up some close friends inviting them to her Princes Street, Wortmanville home, from which she operates, for what she called a private viewing.

Her prices start at $4,500. The highest is $6,500. Petal, who seems the more creative of the two, starts at a modest $1,800.

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