Caribbean Collections Debut at London Fashion Week
All eyes are on the Caribbean… 2012 is an exciting year for Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago as they both celebrate their 50th year of independence, while the Jamaican Olympic team get ready for gold, the Caribbean fashion industry makes it’s debut at London Fashion Week.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) invited Caribbean fashion designers to showcase their designs at London Fashion Week (LFW) February 2012. Members of the international press, buyers and the public had the chance to explore fashion collections from around the Caribbean at the International Fashion Showcase staged in the Regency Room at the Charing Cross hotel London. The event was apart of the 2012 Cultural Programme a collaborative project between the BFC and the British Council… “to celebrate the year of the Olympics and Paralympics and honour its values of international respect, excellence, equality and friendship.”
With Caribbean Fashion Week about to hit it’s 12th year, the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, Caribbean Fashion Industry Association and Pulse Investments Limited partnered together with funding from the EU, to showcase a selection of exceptional handpicked designers from fifteen islands across the Caribbean. This was an opportunity to show London and the world what design talent the Caribbean has to offer under the unique brand of ‘Caribbean Collections’.
Following Exist Media’s attendance at Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) Jamaica 2011, we identified some of the extraordinary Caribbean fashion design talent and featured some of the designers in our CFW Supplement .
Image courtesy of www.caribbeancollections.wordpress.com
It was exciting to learn that Caribbean Collections was to exhibit at LFW, the exhibition took place on 17th & 18th February and featured capsule collections from designers who have been influenced by a mixture of African, British, French and Spanish cultures culminating with a private dinner at the luxurious Corinthia Hotel, all in of honour of music and style icon Grace Jones who is the first ever Caribbean International Icon Awardee. The dinner was hosted by leading Jamaican International Supermodels Jaunel McKenzie and Nell Robinson, guests included America’s next top model star Toccara Jones, fashion media such as Vogue Italia and Harvey Nichols buying Director David Punand as well as top London stylists… Some of the designer collections included:
drennaLUNA by Arlene L. Martin, (Jamaica):
Arlene’s design aesthetic is sophisticated, simply constructed silhouettes. “The drennaLUNA woman is confident and bold and she does not depend on trends to make a fashion statement”. Arlene showcased a range of her resort collections the latest being her 1975 collection inspired by the cuts and shapes and neutral tones of the era.
Meiling, (Trinidad and Tobago):
“Less is more, is definitely my mantra. My designs look deceptively simple but are created with innovative cuts and infused with subtle details… dressing is about a sense of occasion, about feeling special. The relationship between personality and garment is very important.”
Gavin Douglas (UK/Jamaica):
“My line is about luxurious high glamor aesthetics, fused with feminine shapes and sophistication… I take inspiration from a wide variety of subject areas I find interesting and also ones that grab my attention”
Kaj Designs by Kevin Ayoung-Julien, (Trinidad and Tobago):
Inspired by the electric landscape of the Caribbean Kaj Designs reflects an appreciation of the indigenous with contemporary boldness and unabashed sensuality. At Caribbean Collections “Kaj takes you on an exotic tour of the Caribbean with natural tones of sand, rust, green, azure and royal blue in the Macaw-inspired pieces of D1 Bamboo”.
Image courtesy of www.caribbeancollections.wordpress.com
Sandra Kennedy, (Jamaica)
“My signature style is clean & minimalist silhouettes. I love easy clothes and I am interested in versatile garments that can go from day to night” Sandra’s inspirations come from Jamaica and indigenous hand crafted details incorporated into this laid back and cutting edge collection reflecting the relaxed spirit of the Caribbean.
Julan by Juliette, (Jamaica):
Juliette’s design aesthetic is very eclectic she experiments with a wide range of fabrics and textures in unconventional colours. “I am inspired by the bohemian/hippie movement of the 70’s and this collection will reflect some of the essence of that time, with a more modern and glamorous edge.”
Atelier Dore by Judith & Henk Uiterloo, (Suriname)
In 1996 son Henk and his wife Judith adopted jewellers Dore & Co, and renamed it Atelier Dore. The designs are mainly made of silver and are exclusively crafted by hand, guaranteeing the quality craftsmanship imbued by its original owner.
As a fashion enthusiast and British born of Caribbean decent, I felt honored to have experienced such a great fashion event with Caribbean designers and fashion industry officials, I am increasingly proud of what the region has to offer the rest of the world, so here’s to the future of Caribbean fashion!!
Post by Fashion & Beauty Editor Elca Jeffers
Images taken by Elca Jeffers
- Posted 1 year ago
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- Atelier Dore
- British Fashion Council
- Caribbean Collections
- Caribbean Fashion Industry Association
- Cribbean Fashion Week
- Gavin Douglas
- Jamaica Promotions Corporation
- Kaj Designs
- London Fashion Week
- Pulse investments Ltd
- Sandra Kennedy
- Vogue Italia
- Harvey Nichols David Punand
Caribbean Collections Showcase ‘In honour of Fashion and musical icon Grace Jones’ LONDON FASHION WEEK 17th-18th February 2012
The Caribbean’s leading fashion names are to showcase exceptional collections at London Fashion Week starting today…
Nell Robinson wearing Gavin Douglas (campaign image)
This season will celebrate the London Fashion Week debut of the Caribbean Collections exhibition, showcasing a selection of exceptional handpicked designers from fifteen islands across the Caribbean. The exhibition will feature collections from designers who have been influenced by a mixture of African, British, French and Spanish cultures and will culminate in a private dinner with leading Caribbean Supermodels Jeneil Williams and Jaunel McKenzie.
The exhibition honours some of the Caribbean’s most exceptional designers who have made great contributions to the fashion world. The diverse range of designs includes the classic cuts of Drenna Luna and Julan (Jamaica) to the avant-garde style of Posh Punk (Barbados) and the resort appeal of KAJ (Trinidad and Tobago).
Caribbean Collections also highlights designers who paved the way during the evolution of a regional design aesthetic including Meiling (Trinidad and Tobago) and Jenny Polanco (Dominican Republic). Jewellery from Peace-Is of Bianca (Jamaica) and handbags from Veve (Haiti) complete the showrooms collection.
2012 marks a significant year in Caribbean history as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago celebrate their Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years of Independence. Caribbean Collections is proudly set against a rich backdrop of the region’s ancestry and culture.
Chairman of the Caribbean Fashion Industry Association,** Kingsley Cooper** said, “This exhibition is really about showing the fashion industry that we have design talent to compete in a global arena. The contribution which the islands can make to fashion has gone under the world’s fashion radar for too long. We are delighted to be a part of London Fashion Week and as organisers of Caribbean Fashion week, we see this as a big step for Caribbean fashion, as we continue to develop our industry and position our designers to take their place on the world stage – our time is now.”
The Caribbean Collections exhibition is endorsed by some of the world’s most beautiful women, all hailing from the islands. Jeneil Williams who followed Kate Moss on the cover of LOVE and I-D magazines, adorned the cover of Italian Vogue and has fronted campaigns for Vivienne Westwood, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton, will join former Victoria Secrets model Nell Robinson and her fellow Jamaican supermodel and American Vogue favourite Jaunel McKenzie in supporting the collection.
The fashion showcase will take place at the Cosmopolitan Charing Cross Hotel’s Regency suite on 17th-18th February 2012, from 10am to 5pm.
Posted by: Steph Hernandez - Exist Media Editor-in-Chief