‘Eclection’ blends design, textiles, photography

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Show allows young bloods to showcase work

A real-life paperbag princess stepped out onto George Street for some air around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday — passing a man calling out for “more tape” while holding up a woman’s dress and another holding two gothic candleholders.

Hair and makeup was being done, paperbag princesses made, for the first no-holds-barred “Eclection” fashion and art show. The show was the creation of Apryl Stead and David Pitts, co-owners of Ray of Light Photography in St. John’s.

“I specialize in concept photography,” Stead said, speaking to The Telegram during last-minute preparations for her models.

She said, in her field, she often works with various artistic professionals — hairstylists, body artists and fashion designers to name a few.

She wanted a project that might show off all of their talents outside of the usual studio settings.

“There’s not a lot of opportunity to get noticed. So we decided to open up ‘Eclection’ and get everybody the opportunity to take it as far as they could, without having to do a whole show for themselves,” she said. “I just wanted to give them all the opportunity to show what they’ve got.”

Among the work included in the show was photography by George Blackwood, pregnancy body painting from “Skintimate Designs” and work from six separate clothing designers, including the apparent audience favourite: “The Concrete Jungle” fashion collection from Evi Patrone by D.K. Elliott.

Stead even added a few creations of her own to the mix — including two dresses made from copies of The Telegram.

“One day I had a girl come to me and she wanted to do something crazy and outlandish for a photo shoot, which is right up my alley, and so I just decided to go to The Telegram and ask them if I could have a bunch of old newspapers. They gave it to me, we came home and folded it for hours and turned it into a dress,” she said, when asked why she made the items.

One of the visual artists featured in the show was Stacey Barnes, a hairstylist and painter who had worked with Stead in the past. Barnes’ paintings — abstracts made with acrylic and spray paint — have been sold in various places (Costco, the Art Emporium), but mainly out of her home since her start in painting two years ago.

“I just wanted to give them all the opportunity to show what they’ve got.” “Eclection” art and fashion show co-ordinator Apryl Stead

“Any little bit that’s going to get your work out there is good,” she said, when asked why she decided to take part in “Eclection.”

Between 150 and 200 people were on hand inside Club One when Barnes’ work hit the stage about 9:15 p.m.

She had a team of young women, painted in gold, walk her work up and down the runway as “You’re a Superstar” by Love Inc. played on the sound system. The models paused and posed for the cameras the same way they would do in a normal fashion run.

“Not only is she beautiful on the outside, but she creates beautiful works of art that come from her heart,” co-host Jasmine Brace said in her introduction to Barnes’


After being paraded, the art was set up at the back of the club, in a showcase area with photography and textiles.

Regardless of the sales numbers, Stead said the plan right now is to make “Eclection” an annual event.


Organizations: The Telegram, Costco

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