BBFW 2015 Review

bbfw 2015

This year marked the 10th year of Barbados Bridgetown Fashion Week and it was once time again for fashion lovers to gather and see the SS 16 collections of up and coming designers. I’m still basking in the glow of the collections that were featured on November 21st and 22nd. I have to admit the students of the Caribbean Market Center, D’Marsh Couture, the Barbados National Dress Project as well as the Yendor bag collection stole the spotlight for me as they produced some very outstanding collections, each with it’s own unique artistic voice.

Here are my favorite looks from the designers of both nights:

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When I saw the Him by Mark Pierre, three words came to mind. All I think was punk, edgy and androgynous. This collection would be ideal for the man who loves to push the fashion boundaries.

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As for the collection I Am Nyvek, let me just say that every woman present that night wanted at least one piece from this collection. There was great detail paid to these pieces and in my opinion the whole collection was clean and looked effortless.

 

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D’Marsh Couture from the USA showcased both a men’s and women’s collection that both had a fun flamboyant side to them. The looks were polished but still a relaxed vibe.

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The Barbados National Dress Project by Rodney Powers was themed Wear It With Pride and as the blue and yellow stripes came down the runway being a fellow Barbadian I felt extremely proud and I would love to cop the shift dress from this collection.

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The showcase of the Yendor bag collection titled Body And Sole also by Rodney Powers peaked my interest as the bag were made using the leather of the black belly sheep, which is an animal indigenous to our country Barbados. The bags came in a wide variety with something for every taste level with clutches, chain strap, backpacks and other styles. My overall opinion was that they had a sophisticated look with great detail and craftsmanship.

 

*Photos have been edited for this post, original photos are from Muze Caribbean*

Click the link below to see all the collections that were featured.

Muze Caribbean

Pompasetting

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Last post my trendsetters, I told you that the fashion beast within me was awaken and I was left hungry for more. Well, I was given the opportunity to feed this beast at the recently held PompaWeekend at Divi Southwinds’ Pure Ocean Restaurant. Judging from last’s year event, I was excited to see this year’s fashion show and  I wasn’t disappointed as it introduced me to many new local designers that I was totally unaware of.

The PompWeekend, which is in its second year, is another opportunity for young fashion designers to showcase their designs. This year I have to say that organiser and publisher Toni Thorne and her team at Pompasette Magazine outdid themselves and gave the true definition of a seamless runway with close to 20 designers showing. There were so many collections to see and there was something for everyone including fashion for both males and females. The looks included elegant and casual ready to wear pieces, business wear, bridal wear and swimwear. The designs were chic, playful, urban and edgy with the use of colour, patterns and construction that ranged from demure to risque. I have to give credit were credit was due and even though some of the designers were self-taught, it truly didn’t show as the collections were of high standards.

As Toni always says,” Pompasette is more than just a magazine” and in addition to the stunning runway show the finalists of the “Wear the Issue” Inter-school competition held by Government Information Service (GIS) walked the catwalk in their T-shirt designs; there was also the launch of Settlers Season which was previously known as “Settlers: The West Coast Experience”; as well as entertainment provided by an artiste from the Honey Jam Jazz Barbados. Kudos must go out to Toni Thorne and her team on another successful event.

Here’s a look at some of my favorite designs:

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Don’t forget to grab your free copy of the latest issue of the Pompasette Magazine available in various locations island-wide.

Bajans In Hollywood

When I first heard the news that Barbadians had made a recent invasion in Hollywood, I was overjoyed as it was another step in making Barbados a major fashion hub on the world’s fashion map. I know very well that this isn’t the first time that Barbados has made a big impact in Hollywood with the likes of home girl superstar Rhianna dubbed the Queen of West Hollywood creating her big waves there. This more recently invasion however, was on March 9th during the bi-annual Concept LA Fashion Week  for Fall/Winter 2013 at Siren Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Two of Barbados top designers Kesia Estwick and Brandi Estwick took the runway by storm during the Caribbean Showcase leaving a very good impression with their collections Lilith and Iman Estie, respectively.

These two young ladies did their country proud with their designs, getting some well-deserved international exposure as well as giving Barbadian models Sedia Jackman, Danielle Dottin, Charlene King and Danielle Bishop who accompanied them a feel of an international runway. The Lilith collection had structured tailoring, geometric cutouts and appliquéd details producing designs that were both bold and daring suitable for the woman who has plenty of attitude and dare-devil personality. The Iman Estie collection was the monochrome trend at its best as it featured cohesive black and white motifs. Her designs had a classic touch but were still very edgy and chic donning architectural inspired details and cutouts.

Here’s a look at some of the designs from the collection…..

Lilith

Iman Estie

Photo credit: The LA Fashion

New York Fashion Week: Top Trends

Baby I’m from New York!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s  nothing you can’t do
Now you’re in New York!
These streets will make you  feel brand new,
Big lights will inspire you,
Hear it for New York!
(New  York, New York, New York)

chorus of New York by Alicia Keys

When Alicia Keys sang those words to her infamous song “New York”, I think she was referring to the recent New York Fashion Week. The opportunity to have been able to experience this year’s shows would have been an honour and privilege. However it wasn’t meant to be but I was lucky enough to have the next best thing, access to plenty of live-streams and pictures of the coverage via the internet. From the exquisite designs to the stylish celebrities and socialites who attended, it is no wonder that New York Fashion Week is one of the most coveted events amongst those who follow the fashion scene or those in the fashion industry. Now that New York Fashion Week is officially over even though I feel it went by too fast, I have closely examined all the spring/summer 2013 looks and I’ll share with you the top trends amongst the designers.

Here are the highlights:

  • The designers turned up the level of sexy with many designs brandishing harnesses.

both left and center: Jason Wu, BCBG Max Azria

  • While on the subject of sexy, it couldn’t have been brought to the table without the lace and the sheer, it was draped, layered and mixed with solid garments.

Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera,  Carmen Marc Valvo

Badgley Mischka, Tadashi,  Vivienne Tam

  •  Another appealing look that was on the runway was leather, from all-over pieces to panelled pieces of leather incorporated into designs, it was hot, hot, hot.

both left and center: Reem Acra, Derek Lam

  • The cut-out trend is still with us but the designers are mastering this look this season with more sophisticated peek-a-boo here, and there.

Diane Von Furstenberg, Mara Hoffman, Michael Kors

  • Stripes are still trendy and were seen on the runways in various sizes and colours.
    Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger
  • Even though  this year’s very fashionable Olympics is over, the sporty look is still with us.

Helmut Lang, Rag & BoneJen Kao

  • There was also noticeable colour trends and the ones that popped the most were yellow, pink, orange blue and green.
    Lela Rose, DKNY, Oscar de la Renta

 Jenni Kayne, Honor, Marchesa

Vivienne Tam, BCBG Max Azria, Carolina Herrera

Farah Angsana, Rebecca Taylor, Peter Som

Lela Rose, Zac Posen, Rag & Bone

  • The traditional colours of black and white could not be left out of this affair.

left and center: Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta

DKNY, Diane Von Furstenberg, Honor

So there you have it folks and now that you have seen what’s coming for spring/summer 2013, we can rest assure that we would be looking fierce and  fabulous in 2013. Remember even though you can’t control the trends you can dictate your style, so choose the ones that compliment you well.

The Jack Of All Trades

Everyday is a fashion show and the world is your catwalk – Coco Chanel. This is one of my favorite fashion quotes which helps drive my creativity when putting together my look. Trends come and go and they are the underlying factors that push fashion forward; so great effort is needed to build your desired look and individuality so as to not fall into uniformity of the crowd. Within the fashion world standing out and being noticeable is key and there is the obsession of creating ones own signature look which identifies you.

On that note I am pleased to introduce one of my dear friends, the fabulous Nadine Jack, the creator of many chic unique pieces for any fashion forward woman. The Jack or should I say the Jill of all trades is the classic example of beauty and brains, making her mark within the local Barbadian fashion with her JackJewellery and Otra Vez Clothing designs.

 

 

JackJewellery was created in 1994, from the desire to have unique yet affordable pieces to accentuate outfits, thus, her talents began to showcase with her custom-made designs.  As a teenager, Nadine started out experimenting with simple designs made of seed-bead, then she moved on to clay and glass. Now she has graduated to more challenging designs which specializes in  gold-filled/plated pieces, feathers and Kente-Cloth raw materials; and is currently working on adding semi-precious stones, silver, copper and gun-metal into the JackJewellery collection. Nadine believes that no woman should be limited to the cliché “one-style fits all” costume jewellery but rather be able to have diverse pieces which expresses their personal style. She is so committed to this belief that she is willing to work with the client to create a one-of-kind-pieces.  So, If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to wear the same thing as everyone else, then JackJewellery is definitely for you!

Nadine’s sister company to JackJewellery, is Otra Vez Clothing; it hasn’t officially debuted  a collection as yet but due to demands, their Obi-Afri clutches one of their bestsellers right now. They are made with vivid, ethnic prints which pay homage to the Motherland Africa and are just perfect for the current tribal trend. Also, the clutches can be designed in any print to match an already existing outfit or even shoes, upon request.  Coming Spring of 2013,  Otra Vez will be debut its Capsule Collection featuring a unique perspective on designer pieces and of course, its own fresh, original designs.

JackJewellery

Nadine wearing one of her own custom-made earrings

Nadine wearing body jewellery “chain-mail” and models in  eternity earrings.

 

Eternity Earrings available in any length. 

Otra Vez Clothing

 

Obri-Afri Clutch available in different colors and various patterns.

For inquires or orders, look for JackJewellery on FACEBOOK, like the page and tell a friend because good things were meant to be shared!

Tribal and Aztec

When you hear the words Tribal and Aztec your mind goes back to history class,  for some of us that time was a bore; but this time around don’t be mistaken. These words are very much alive and kicking in today’s fashion. These prints are striking and bold and add funk to your outfit in a very chic way.

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Copyright Disclaimer: All photos on this website belong to their respective owners unless otherwise stated.

Barbados International Fashion Festival

On the nights of April the 27th and 28th,  local Barbadians and socialites mingled with Ebony Magazine’s Style Director, Marielle Bobo and were wooed by not only by the voice of Barbadian songstress Ria Borman but also by the high fashion exhibited at the first ever Barbados International Fashion Festival. It was a charity event held to provide funds for the programme “Adopt-a-Designer” where selected local Barbadian designers  Alexis Campbell, Andrew Harris and Kesia Estwick,  were adopted by the featured designers to be  mentored; to help broaden their horizons within the international world of fashion. It was hosted by BB Fashion Week™, where local models walked the runway to the beats provided by Dj Kirk Brown in creations from two renowned international designers; California-based Filippino designer Oliver Tolentio and designer Romero Bryan out of London. Both designers made debut appearances here in Barbados and each has a very unique style and distinctive look, evident in their runway couture designs.

The first night featured Oliver Tolentio, known as the Valentino of the Philippines who had his designs featured in American Next Top Model All–Stars Cycle and many fashion weeks too many to mention. He has been designing for 20 years and his experience was evident as his couture pieces were complex in design and not construction as they moved freely with the natural rhythm of a woman’s body. Oliver’s designs portrayed femininity, elegance and well-detailed couture pieces. The inspiration for his collection came from the beauty of nature, colours and the tropics; thus showcased an eye-catching collection that was filled with vibrant colours and flowers. The beauty of Oliver Tolentio’s work is that all of his designs are wearable and not restricted to the catwalk alone. There was a wide variety of breath-taking dresses and well-tailored pants and skirt suits all appropriate for every woman. This is mainly because Oliver believes that a woman doesn’t have to show a lot of skin to be sexy, but rather feel comfortable and confident in what she wears. What made Oliver Tolentio’s collection more memorable, was the fact that they are eco-friendly and made from natural fibers including those of the pineapple, the abaca plant and raw silk cocoon. For this event, Oliver had international model Tutay Maristela flown in for the show and it was well worth it as the crowd enjoyed her every time she stepped on the runway. The Oliver Tolentio collection was very vast, so here are a few favorites:

On the second night, if you hadn’t heard of Romero Bryan, you definitely were in for a shocker. Ever since 2005 when he rocketed onto the fashion world, his success has grown rapidly with the likes of many A-list celebrities donning his designs. On this night, Romero did not disappoint as he engulfed the catwalk with many avant-garde designs made out of chiffon, leather, velvet, satin . Romero designs are very fashion-forward as he manipulated these fabrics along with basic sewing essentials like zippers, elastic, tassels, fringe, sequins  and shoulder pads, and yes you read that right shoulder pads to produce creations that moved with fluidity on the catwalk. Romero drew his inspiration for this collection from the energy of the youth  at London College of Fashion where he teaches and his love to create cutting-edge designs. Thus, a very futuristic collection was presented. It was filled with daring flirtatious dresses with frills, plunging necklines and cut-outs for the brave at heart and fashionistas. However, the collection also well-balanced as  it displayed  dreamy floor length, wide-legged rompers and elegant gowns, especially the  signature £200,000 dress gown worn by model Sedia Jackman. From Romero Bryan’s collection a few attention-getting pieces and favorites:

  

   

The photos published aren’t claimed my Radical Trendsetters but of local photographers; Oliver Tolentino Collection was taken by  BajanMovement and Romero Bryan Collection was taken by Patient Productions.

Yesteryear’s Heirloom

Looking at some of the latest trends out for 2012 you may feel that you went into a time machine instead of your bed and somehow magically woke up back in time. But be reassured that that’s not the case here. Looks that your grandmother or mom wore when they were young, are raising their heads again. Who would have taught that we be stealing looks from them, I can’t believe it either but these look are  no longer outdated but very up-to-date and fashionable. First creeping back were the platforms, then it was lace and now to join these looks is the peplum all revamped with an edgy modern-day appearance to it. For those who aren’t familiar with the trend may ask what is peplum; so let’s shed some light on this matter at hand. A peplum is a fabric gathered made into an over-skirt with a full flounce similar of that to a short ruffled skirt attached to the waistline of a bodice, jacket, skirt or dress. Normally, many trends can only be worn on the catwalk or by fashionistas, but the peplum look suits every woman’s body shape as it beams with  femininity and confidence.

First appearing in the late 40’s, the peplum trend became following its appearance in the 1947 Chanel collection and carried on into the 50’s. Later in the 80’s it made a comeback and hadn’t been seen until it was sported by Victoria Beckham in 2009 who then showed it in her 2010 spring line. The peplum has been present throughout various luxury collections but it has been unnoticeable being very demure amongst the other trends until now; once again it has centre stage. Now in 2012 this trend is becoming popular ironically due to Chanel who once again featured the peplum in it’s 2011 winter collection. On international runways, many designers and design houses like Alexander McQueen, Versace and Marc Jacobs are now re-invigorating this look within their collections, each one with their own twist and signature design. So you can fabulously rock the peplum look no matter your style or body shape this year.

Every trend has its tricks to pull the look off successfully, so the peplum isn’t excluded. So take into consideration that there are two types of peplum, the fitted and the flared. The fitted version will flatter your curves for all my curvy sisters and for those who are not naturally blessed, the flared version will create an illusion curves perfectly. This look will leave every woman looking polished and beautifully curvaceous. Here are some of my favorite peplum looks so far.

                                       

                                     

                              

Glam up your peplum with a pair of heels or tone it done with a pair of flats and always remember to accessorize. Not a must do, but most stylists recommend  to wear  hair in a nice up-do hairstyle creates a balanced look.  In the long run always do what works for you and suits you best.

What’s your favorite Peplum Look ?