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Bermudian designer Meagan Wellman's final-year fashion degree collection was shown at Earl's Court, London in June of this year.  While appearing to be modern and minimalistic on the surface, Wellman's designs were actually largely inspired by the history of her native island, in particular 19th century convicts and Boer prisoners of war who were transported to Bermuda and kept on islands in the Great Sound between 1899 and 1902.

Many of the crafts and artefacts made by the Boer prisoners of war are currently on display at the National Museum of Bermuda and these provided a wealth of inspiration for Wellman.  Her designs featured Edwardian-style clothing, specifically clothes worn by imprisoned suffragettes and echoed the shape of convict hulks.  Classic prison stripes were paired with the broad arrow which the navy (also hugely influential in Bermudian life at that time) uses to mark its property, while the colour orange was borrowed from modern-day prison uniforms.   Wellman's inspiration could also be seen in the accessories which included oversized necklaces, belts and bags which were in fact enlarged copies of carvings made in Bermuda by the prisoners of war.

Images: Simon Armstrong


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