CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF UNIQUE CARIBBEAN STYLE
Kingston Jamaica played host to Caribbean Fashion Week, which celebrated its tenth year with three nights of shows at the National Indoor Sports Center. Singer Johnny Gill seemed to come out of hiding and thrilled some of the ladies with his old-school soul stirring hits on the second night of the collections. Haitian singer Katia Cadet, TOK, Gramps and Una Morgan from the legendary group Morgan Heritage also performed. The leading Caribbean models, most of whom happen to be from Jamaica flew from all over to be home for CFW 10. Stomping down the catwalk were: Jaunel McKenzie, Carla Campbell, Kimanee Wilson, Nicole Grey, Jeneil Williams, Oraine Barrett, Nell Robinson, Trinidad’s Leah Marie Guevara and fashion’s newest star Sedene Blake. They were the stars of the catwalk.
Jamaican designers dominated the event although there was a good representation of designers from Trinidad & Tobago fresh from their own fashion week, which was staged just before our trek to Jamaica. Visibly absent were the big guns from Trinidad including Claudia Pegus and Heather Jones. Also absent were some of the International designers whom we looked forward to seeing in the past years at CFW, including Catalin Botezatu of Romania, Deola Sagoe of Nigeria, Sushma Patel of India and Gavin Douglas from the UK.
Nevertheless, we were happy to witness Trinidad’s grande dame of fashion Meiling, who showed a remarkable all black organza collection, Kevin Ayoung-Julian’s Kaj collection, Anya Ayoung-Chee’s Pilar collection, Robert Young’s The Cloth and Shaun Griffith Perez’ Raang collection; all from Trinidad & Tobago and they did not disappoint. Worthy of note were the breakout designers; David Andre’ from Haiti and Phylicia Ellis from the Bahamas.
Other standouts among the design talents were KENEEA LINTON who said her inspiration was old Hollywood glamour. “I looked at the leading ladies and Audrey Hepburn and added a modern Keneea Linton’s touch.” Leah Marie’s lime green linen dress with lace insets in the back was dramatic, contrasting gloves and a vintage pocketbook completing the ensemble. She also showed the sweetest backless linen dress, edged in black lace. The collection ended dramatically in Keneea’s hooded black liquid sequin gown on star model Kimanee Wilson.
KAJ by Tobago designer KEVIN AYOUNG-JULIAN was like a symphony of soft elegant fabrics floating down the catwalk. Layers of crepe georgette with hidden side slits and sensual wrapping details were the focus of his collection. A folded envelope tunic in splashes of plum, lemon and teal with a boat-neck braid detail sparked energy on model Jaunel McKenzie. His primary colors of Magenta, Ombre and Indigo were pressed into service for his liquid lounge dresses spiced with feather belt accents. A silk satin ombre deck khalat in sunset tones of fuchsia, coral and navy was modeled by Nell Robinson.
BARRY MONCRIEFFE showcased a mature collection that featured his and her’s ladylike dresses with contrasting suits for the men and most of the models came down as couples. His favorite looks featured silk with burlap belts, gathered waist skirts with elegant black and white motifs and billowing skirts worn with crinoline petticoats underneath. Sedene Blake modeled Barry’s dramatic black and silver bias striped evening ensemble.
MINKA took her hand crocheted swimsuits to another level, showing cover-ups and day dresses in bold vivid color. She even presented a dramatic white crochet bridal gown as her finale’ piece on model/actress Nicole Grey. Taking their turn in the spotlight were a cadre of new fresh design talent that included; Tara Lee Tilet, Rhanda Tracey, Veve Handbag Collection by Phelicia Dell, Sharon Cole, Carolyn Cupid and Kokobeenz by Ann Marie Robinson.
By Walter Greene | Caribbean Fashion Week photos courtesy Pulse Investments Inc. | Styling: Carlton Jones, Anna Shimonis & Emily Bess | Make-up: Eve Pearl | Hair: Andrea E. Wilson| Published in Profiles98 Magazine – Fall 1 Anniversary Issue 5 2010