Guyana Fashion Week celebrated it’s seventh year with a plethora of activities including, a designer’s seminar, a model’s workshop, photo shoots, a motorcade, meet and greet functions and an all-white party. It all culminated with two nights of grand showings at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown. The catwalk was ablaze on opening night, starting with a stars and stripes swimwear collection from local designer NAKETA FRAZER, much to the delight of special VIP Guest, the Ambassador to the USA in Guyana, Hon Peter Holloway. From Colombia came a fitness collection from JEANETTE VIEAH. Designer SOHAN BADALL from Trinidad & Tobago incorporated Indian sari trends into a contemporary fashion line titled ‘Asiatic Allure.’ ONIKA BAPTISTE followed with an Afro-Caribbean vibe. Functional year-round clothes including some cool denim dresses with colorful shoulder accents were among the standouts.
MOST PROMISING DESIGNER AWARD
CHESTON’S presented a capsule collection of the popular J.LO active sportswear line and DAWN VAN ROSSUM showcased her line of matured clothes. DEBRA MATHIS showed her jewelry collection and TRACY DOUGLAS unveiled her tye-dyed fashions. Entertainment came by way of Esther & Joy who did a rendition of `Roar.’ and Curtis Doris thrilled with an interpretive dance. Host designer SONIA NOEL premiered her newest menswear collection of dynamic, collarless, all white cotton shirts, titled ‘Caribbean Modese.’ Linden based designer SETRA O’SELMAN thrilled the fashion crowd with a collection of outfits made exclusively of human hair. Needless to say, she was given the special award for ‘Most Promising Designer’ as winner of the up and coming Fashion Designer award.
The finale’ and highlights of both nights were the original collections from three of Guyana’s Indigenous designers. who live in the interior hinterlands of this 83,000 aquare mile tropical paradise. Designers; ABIGAIL, MARCELLE & VANDA ALLICOTT combined talents revealed hand woven garments created from threads made from their own mills. Their cotton dresses were hand painted with elements from their natural environment – flowers, exotic birds and animal wild life. A white crochet dress embellished with traditional beadwork and apron skirts of the same were feminine and elegant. It was announced that these designers were invited to showcase their work at the International Indigenous Fashion Week to be held later this year in Malaysia
CREATIVITY, COLOR AND ORIGINALITY
Night two turned out to be a fitting finale’ with memorable catwalk moments from designers like STACY ANGOY’S ‘Festival Fandangle’ in a burst of bold tropical prints in pinks and yellows, all in lush cottons. SHARIF GILLAM from Antigua presented ‘Rainbow Expression’ highlighting creative hand painted Caribbean motifs on dresses. Former ‘Miss Universe Guyana 2007’ turned fashion designer MELISSA PAYNE presented ‘The Dark Knight’ her newest swimwear collection drenched in modernity and sexiness. NEILSON NURSE delighted the audience with ‘Man In The Mirror’ an extensive men’s collection that covered all the bases from swim to casual wear. K.D.SQUARE from Antigua showed an interesting mix of tones and textures with a definite Caribbean flair. PAULA EVANS revealed her version of ‘Flora & Fauna.’ KAREEM SIMONE of Antigua showcased a sexy, bridal collection, that featured some dramatic sheer gowns. There was an encore of the Indigenous collections and SONIA NOEL closed out the misc-en-scene with ‘Nubian Renaissance’ a lavish new womens wear collection in a blaze of vivid color with latticework enhancements.
MODEL COMPETITION WINNER & CHARITY CONNECTION
In another GFW highlight, beautiful new model CANDACY SUBRATTI won the ‘Model Image of the Year’ award in a competition that saluted the model with the most potential. Candacy, a natural beauty with the poise and deportment of a professional is 5’9″ and hails from the Mazaruni district in Guyana.
Additionally, Guyana Fashion Week used their platform to bring awareness and highlight two major causes this year – Domestic Violence and People Living with Disabilities. Both causes has affected the Guyanese society, yet, overlooked and constantly neglected.
By Walter Greene