WASHINGTON — Jamaican Nandi Chin Fernandez is this year's winner of BRIDES magazine's Operation Dream Dress contest, a competition aimed at giving up-and-coming designers an opportunity to create the ultimate wedding dress.
The announcement was made live on ABC's Good Morning America on June 9, where the winning dress was revealed.
The Kingston-born Ms. Fernandez, a graduate of Immaculate Conception High School, and the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, designed an impressive gown that built on the contest theme of “artful romance,” with its draping and detailed pleating. Her design was inspired by ‘The Birth of Venus’, a painting by Sandro Botticelli.
Director of Tourism, John Lynch, who was in New York to participate in activities to mark Caribbean Week, had high praises for the designer. He said that her win “will provide a great opportunity for Jamaican designers to further share their talent with the international market, and at the same time, heighten the visibility of the destination to a global audience. Jamaica is proud of her accomplishment."
Ms. Fernandez’s wedding dress was selected over the designs of nearly 400 other submissions for the Operation Dream Dress competition.
The contestants were narrowed down to 24 semi-finalists, whose gowns were posted online for nationwide voting. After a record number of more than 16,000 votes from BRIDES readers, a top five emerged, with Ms. Fernandez revealed as the winner.
The winning dress will appear on the magazine’s July cover on news stands
June 21. Ms. Fernandez will also receive a cash prize of US$10,000.
The elated designer said she was delighted to have emerged victorious. “Coming from Jamaica, I had always dreamed of making a name for myself. Winning Operation Dream Dress with BRIDES magazine has been a dream come true and I feel it is the beginning of an exciting new journey,” she said.
By DERRICK SCOTT, JIS Reporter