Ahhh, that vintage year, 1980 in the UK. I had broken up from primary school in Derby and was looking forward to endless days of playing football and enjoying french fries from the restaurant down the road.
Being only ten at the time, I was never worried about the long hot days — there was just too much to do and look forward to.
The sounds of Blondie, David Bowie and Abba were the main hits as I proudly donned my Liverpool shirt, ready for another classic football game with my friends from my street.
When scoring goals was not on my mind, two police officers riding the California highway became my source of entertainment for Sunday’s as the theme tune to CHIPS boomed from my television set. These guys can really zip a corner as Ponch and Jon pursued the bad guys.
Cartoons were an absolute must as Saturdays saw Spider Man and the Fantastic Four save the earth once again. If only there were a time machine..
In the news
Bermuda almost saw its first swimming tragedy this year. Fernanda Varga almost drowned after 19 and a half hours of swimming. She was rescued by her swimming partner, Dr Shaun O’Connell. Despite her terrifying experience, she was determined to continue to swim in order to raise money for the Bermuda Physically Handicapped Association.
Emergency crews were called in as diesel oil from the cargo ship Hustler Cheyenne spread throughout the east end of Hamilton.
In the United States, the democratic party begins its four-day campaign at Madison Square Garden.
In Britain, Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher visited the east end of London in the Harold Hill area to hand 12,000 council tenants keys to buy houses under the Goverments’ right to buy scheme.
Locals dressed to impress on day two of the annual Cup Match Classic held at Wellington Oval, St. George’s Cricket Club.
This years trends highlighted loud prints, bright colours and lightweight, flowy clothing to keep cool during the days events.
That summer of ’82, the UK was bathed in sunshine, especially Nottingham where I lived.
Being 12 years old, the feeling of innocence and safety was all around me as the sounds of Duran Duran, Human League and Survivor emanated all around my house as I contemplated the new school year.
Rocky 3 was still etched on my mind — that final round when Clubber Lang finally met his fate. 80’s television came across as colourful and fun. The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider and soon four renegades forming the A-Team would soon make a massive impact on my life.
My weekly allowance from my mother meant new comic books on the weekend. Friendships were formed — the old ones were fading and new ones were blossoming as I slowly entered the beginning of my teen years.
Phillip Ingham takes us back in de day
In the news
Bermuda college has temporarily run out of cash according to Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Arthur Hallett which has put a freeze on purchasing supplies for the facility.
In the UK, the Princess of Wales has her first child christened — William Arthur Philip Louis. The conservative government privatises the British National Oil Corporation, creating Britoil and 65-year-old American Ashby Harper is the oldest person to swim the English Channel.
In the United States, the Lebanese Civil War sees a multinational force land in Beirut to supervise the PLO withdrawal of troops from Lebanon.
School teacher, Carl Robert Brown, murders eight people inside a welding shop in Miami, Florida before being shot by a passing motorist.
Law student by day, fashion student by night, Tamae Clarke is making a name for herself in college campuses across the United States.
The California State University student has been taking her new Pray for the World clothing line countrywide, and while it is only in the preview stages at the moment, there is enough support to suggest she could go far.
Conscious of the world around her and unwilling to conform to a traditional sense of style, the talented young Bermudian wants to use fashion to fight against the injustice she sees in the 21st century.
Ms Clarke took some time out from her hectic summer schedule to tell us about her style, her hopes for the future, and why she gets annoyed when one of her creations starts a trend.
When did you start to become interested in fashion?
“For me it wasn’t a when did I become interested in fashion, it was more of a how did I become increased in fashion.
“When I was younger I remember a boy saying to me ‘finally you learned how to dress,’ whatever he meant, I had no idea because I just threw on clothes.
“I didn’t care if I matched; I put on clothes with completely different patterns because I basically dressed how I felt. To this day a lot of these things are still true because I dress based on how I feel, and I go through phases of where I like different themes of clothes, so my closet is very confusing for other people, but it makes perfect sense to me.
“As time progressed my love for fashion evolved out of my love for drawing. To me fashion is the evolution of my creativity.”
What do you consider your style to be?
“My style is fluid. It is always changing, but no matter the theme, whether its hippy, Boho, 90s there is always an edgy unique vibe to my style.
“Those that are close to me know that only I can get away with what I wear and still look good. Though I understand what those around me are saying, I believe that an outfit goes beyond clothes.
“For example, if I am trying to get dressed and my hair looks a mess or my hair does not go with the hairstyle, I change the hairstyle to make it work.
“Dressing for me is easy; however, other people just have to negotiate to make the outfit work or wear it with confidence. Not everyone is going to like or understand how you dress, but you have to embrace you in your clothing.”
Describe your creative process.
“The creative process to styling is completely different from the creative process of design; however, they both start in your mind.
“My first opportunity to actually design something was in my Family Food and Nutrition class at The Berkeley Institute, where I had to make a bag. It was the first time I had ever sewn before.
“However, in 2014 I had an opportunity present itself to me at my current school California State University Fresno, and I couldn’t deny it. An on campus club called Fashion Inc allowed its members to participate in a fashion show and gave us the choice to either be a stylist or a designer.
“I wanted a challenge so I chose to design. The theme of the show was dolls, so I decided to do a princess/prince dolls theme. I purchased a sewing machine and by time I got my fabric I had a month to find my models and make my clothes. It was stressful along with school, and my other extra-curricular activities, but I was proud of what I produced for the first time.”
Where have your designs been showcased?
“My designs have mostly been showcased on campus. I am a member of two organizations that provides me with opportunities to showcase my craft. I am vice-president of Fashion Inc and social coordinator of the African Student Association (ASA). For Fashion Inc I have participated in two Annual Spring Fashion Shows. The first time in 2014 I designed, and in 2017 I styled. Fashion Inc has also allowed me to style for multiple other businesses as well. In April of this year a little over a month after my show for Fashion Inc, I designed for ASA a Night in Africa where I released a preview of my brand Pray for the World that I intend to release next year.
“From that point on I’ve found that a lot of opportunities I had never expected to open began to open up thanks to God. Members of UCLA’s Nigerian Student Association invited me to present my line at their school, which was dope. I have also been able to network with fashion bloggers and have other shows lined up for when I return to California in August.”
What are the inspirations behind your designs?
“My brand Pray for the World looks at socio-economic structures and makes an argument with fashion. As a self-taught designer, I found myself questioning how my love for fashion and my distain towards injustice and inequality could co-exist.
“So, I decided to let fashion be my rhetoric, and started developing my brand Pray for the World. The objective of the brand is to look at socio-economic structures, systems of injustice and environment around the world and make an argument through fashion. For the first time during ASA’s Night in Africa I launched a preview to my brand. Two arguments were being made that night.
“The first argument that was being made was the apparent socialization of the female body in relationship to nudity in both eastern and western cultures. In many eastern regions nudity is cultural while in the west it is hyper-sexualized to the point where society must teach our daughters how not to get raped rather than teach our men not to rape.
“The argument looks at the structure of patriarchy. The second argument that the collection was making was with regards to the black/African Diaspora and the enslavement of kings and queens. More importantly the bondage and enslavement that people have and still need to be freed from as a result of colonialism and slavery.”
What are some of your favourite trends and influences?
“I have never been big on trends, and when I find myself engaging in trends is a result of availability or time, which is one of the main reasons I shop online because I can find what I am looking for. On some occasions I would be looking for a particular article and I wouldn’t be able to find it until it is trending; and just as a result of it being trendy I would no longer want it.
“On the flip side I sometimes find myself ahead of the trend, and when it becomes a trend I am almost annoyed, but that’s just me personally.”
Who are your fashion influences?
“I love Rihanna, Teyana Taylor, and Solange Knowles, they are definitely fashion inspirations.”
Where do see yourself in the next five to ten years as far as fashion is concerned?
“In five years from now I see my brand being established on the business side of things, but I still hope to be climbing upwards in the fashion industry.”
What are three words that describe your designs?
“Three words that describe my designs are: fluid, because Pray for the World is making arguments about the world; Fashion Movement; and Fashion Rhetoric.
What are your biggest accomplishments in the fashion industry thus far?
“I would not say I have made it to the industry yet; my brand has only been previewed, not launched, even though I have been travelling with my designs.
“However, at this point, I believe in taking a chance as success and failure has been my greatest accomplishment.
“Even in the moment you [sometimes] question whether what you’re doing is worth it, but it always is when you’re doing something you love. I just love creating at this point and I can’t wait to see it grow.”
What should people expect and look out for with your clothing?
“I want to create an awareness that goes beyond the clothes with my brands. I have other brands in mind that focus on the clothes, but for this one the message is way more important. But the clothes will definitely have to be good as well.
“I really want to push the limit of creativity. As far as right now is concerned, I am just teaching myself the craft before I can do that. I enjoy using different types of fabrics. I’ve used waxed fabrics, linens, and Ankara.
“However, the hardest fabric I’ve had to use was a sheer fabric that was very delicate which had embroidery. I broke seven needles sewing that fabric and had to hand-feed the fabric. But, in my mistakes I have learned so much from working with different fabrics, and that type of frustration or challenge brings me joy. I have learnt that different fabrics require different needles, and some fabrics do not go with some outfits. I hate seams ripping after I make a mistake, but it also helps me to focus a little bit more when I work on my designs.”