Fashion Caribbean 2017 in Review – Part 1
Image Modelling Agency of St Vincent and the Grenadines had every reason to light up the sky after the FLOW Fashion Caribbean 2017 runway show.
It’s not everyday that a fashion show ends with a fireworks display but you’ll get no complaints here. The Image team and all the designers deserve to be proud of the production.
What a show it was!
For its 20th anniversary Image pulled out all the stops. The audience gathered at the SVG Community College saw an impressive line-up of 16 established regional designers and six young Fresh Faces who presented mini collections on the 100-foot catwalk.
The rain-induced delayed start and interruptions did little to diminish the wow factor.
The last shall be first in this review. Antigua and Barbuda’s Mr Henre Designs closed the show with an in-your-face, couture -inspired collection. Shem Henry and his team sure know how to push the boundaries of style.
A sequinned bodysuit for men? Check!
A glittery dress with one sleeve that almost reached the ground? Check!
It was an admittedly disjointed collection which Shem said took inspiration from evolution. There were major variations among the pieces but the details were attention grabbing at each turn.
Two of the other standouts were the menswear collections presented by Peta Odini and Ecliff Elie. The two lines stand at opposing ends of the spectrum. Vincentian designer Odini Sutherland’s army-inspired line was the young dope urbanite. He (or she since there were some women’s pieces) may live in the Caribbean but they aren’t definitely limited to the typical island aesthetic.
In contrast, Ecliff Elie designed a collection for the refined but bold gentleman. Think perfect tailoring but bold prints and bright colours.
De Freitas also showed off her feminine side with Soka. The 2017 Resort collection is a mix of crisp whites, black and white stripes and gingham and a few pops of colour. The well-placed ruffles, midriff cutouts and high slits were divine to look at.
As expected, Robert Young of the Cloth impressed. He is a veteran, having been on the Trinidadian and regional fashion scene since 1986. He knows how to put on a show. Models danced down the runway to the sounds of steelpan music in white and shades of blue.
There were light resort pieces suitable for the hottest Caribbean sun, a stunning harem jumpsuit and menswear pieces that blurred the lines between pants and skirts.
Afrofunkk of Trinidad and Tobago and local girl Ikesha Delpeche of Ngozi presented two takes on African-inspired clothing. The latter was an upbeat, fun collection with modern styling.
Afrofunkk was unorthodox with clear avant garde influences. The SS 17 collection entitled Warriors Walk Alone is inspired by designer Charlene Shepperd-Duncan’s solo travels through Asia and Africa. The line is definitely for the woman who doesn’t mind being the centre of attention.
As the only designer presenting a bridal collection at Fashion Caribbean 2017, Kimon Baptiste-St. Rose stood out with Kimmystic. Clo. It didn’t hurt that each garment flowed easily as models floated down the catwalk.
Beach and Resort Wear
Of course, no Caribbean fashion show would be complete without swimwear and easy-to-wear resort pieces. There was an abundance of options.
Kathleen Bailey Kreations
Poshelle by Lisa Cordice
Reine du Chic by Chenise Hendrickson
Estilo by Olecia Lynch
Kamille by Dr Sherina Slater
Trefle by Kristen Frazer
ENVE by Rachel Bailey
The range of design talent we have in the Caribbean always impresses me. Fashion Caribbean 2017 was further proof that regional designers can outfit both men and women for any any event or occasion. Accessibility can often be a challenge but many of the piece were available for sale or order at the Trunk Show the next day, making it just a little easier to #shopcaribbean.
It will be hard for Image Modelling Agency to top this year’s presentation but I’m already looking forward to 2018!
Photography by Kishmar Shepherd of Nu Visual Media.
Up next: the six fresh faces who presented mini collections for the first time.