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.

(BBFW) Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week 2014

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For a brief moment I wanted to rip my shirt off with my bare hands and scream “feed me more” like WWE wrestler Ryback but with my son in hand and realization of my surroundings I had to refrain. BBFW 2014 had awaken my inner beast and left me hungry for more. The independence weekend kicked of at the Hilton Barbados Hotel with an invite only cocktail launch and press release that promised fashion enthusiasts that they were in for a treat. Take my word for it, as it was surely a weekend to remember with two nights of fresh and innovating designs showcasing Spring/Summer 2015 collections from both the local and international celebrity designers. The air was filled with loud coos of approval, blinding flashes and shuttering sounds of the cameras.

The runway shows kicked off with Jewelry by Antonia. It was a selection of beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets that ranged from simple yet stunning pieces to more elaborate breath taking ones. These designs would make the perfect statement piece as the could be worn with a red carpet look or easily dress up a more toned down outfit.

Jewelry by Antonia

The collection by Jacqueline Benn Schuppe  was named Ling Ling; a name she is affectionately known by and it was influenced by the 50’s.  Clever use of denim, tulle, lace and cotton modernized her vintage inspired pieces. One could never refer to her collection as dated with an array of dresses, classic blouses and skirts well accentuated with accessories appropriate to the time the era from pearls to turbans and other head pieces.

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Up and coming designer Carla Gittens fresh from Jamaica Mission Catwalk season 4 where she was first runner-up debuted her collection Designs By Carolori for the first time here at BBFW. Carla’s collection was feminine and give an air of effortless with bold bows and flowers to compliment some of the contemporary designs.

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Designs By Carolori

This was the second time for Charles Corvsky Dieujuste showing at BBFW and he surely lived up to expectations based on his previous showcase. Once again femininity and sophistication was evident as his collection breathed luxurious elegance with chic flowing pieces. Charles final piece was a crowd pleaser, comprising of a black lace and tulle dress which was more risque but it was still coherent with the other looks as it easily flowed down the runway.

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Charles Corvsky Dieujuste

Learning a second language is always a plus and it offered me the privilege of working with designer Karlos Nunez as Dominica Republic as his translator. His menswear line entitled “Men Tailory” had a touch of the 40’s yet it was very modern. There was a wide selection of ready to wear pieces that were sharp and crisp accessorized with suspenders, gold chains links, hats and designer bags. His pieces showed great detail, craftsmanship and understanding of fabrics. Favorites with the crowd and myself were his trench coats pieces which had a hint of suspense to the character. Over all his collection would be perfect for the man looking for the “charming gentlemen” look.

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The word “Anticipation” would be an understatement when referring to the level of excitement there was to see the collection “Alien Queen” by Viktor Luna finalist of Project Runway season 9. Viktor drew his inspiration from the pop king himself, the legend Michael Jackson. Just like Michael was ahead of his times, Viktor’s collection was avant-garde, futuristic, biker chic yet feminine. His designs mostly consisted of leather pieces, bondage straps, armor like details, spikes and studs giving a yin-yang feeling of good and bad merged into one. The final piece really embodied the collection’s name “Alien Queen” and at the end of his collection all I could say was ” Abduct me now! Beam me up Scottie”.

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So there is no doubt in my mind and I can truly say that once again Barbados has proved to be the fashion capital in the Caribbean.

(BBFW) Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week_All Access Granted

For this year’s BBFW along with my media pass to cover the event, I was also granted an all access pass which gave me permission to venture backstage. I must admit that I chose to take pics of the models coming down the runways and chatting with designers and fellow bloggers. However, I did manage to take the opportunity to go back stage and took some snaps before the runway shows of Aria Urban and Kimystics collections.

Here’s a glimpse of a few of our local models all beautified and waiting to strut their stuff on the runway.

 

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Danielle in Aria

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Zoe and Kari in Aria

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Aria Collection

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Aria Collection

Shanni - aria 2013

Shanni in Aria

Nakita - aria 2013

Nikita in Aria

Paige - aria 2013

Paige in Aria

Kimystic Designs

Kimystic Designs

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Paige, Rhea, Thandika – Kimystic Designs

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 Kimystic Designs

Danielle, Shanni, and other model in Kimystic Designs bbfw 2013

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Kari in  Kimystic Designs

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Nikita in Kimystic Designs

So my trendsetters, that’s rounds up my coverage of BBFW 2013, remember to keep it stylish and chic until next post……

(BBFW) Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week_ Final Showcase

Barbados Independence Square

All good things must come to and end….

For the final night of Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week (BBFW) belonged to the men. The featured designer of the night was Carmichael Byfield of House of Byfield hailing from Rotterdam, Netherlands. He stepped away from the concept of the more tradition suits and produce an array of colorful, edgy, modern day suits for his menswear line with the use of bold prints. Even though his pieces were daring being loud in both color and print; the designs still had a range between the more demure man to the more extroverted man with the big personality. From the entrance of the first model to the finale, he held those present in his palm of his hand with his eye-catching, elaborate designs and presentation.

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This year was another great showing from the fashion designers and we look forward to seeing for much more from in the future.

*All photos aren’t mine, some photos belong to fellow fashion blogger Natasha Beckles of In My Wardrobe.

(BBFW) Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week_1st Showcase

Barbados Independence Square

Through the rainy weather I waddle and wade,
No Mr. Rain, you can’t rain on my parade….

Fashion lovers braved the heavy showers to head to the Independence Square for the spectacular of the first night of Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week 2013 (BBFW). For the first night, the talented barbadian designers were they showcased their ready to wear Spring/Summer 2014 collections.

Opening the show was the designer Shanika Burnett with her Shakad Luxury Resort Line. Her designs brought the sunshine onto the runway with her women and menswear collection. Her pieces very easy on the eye and transported one to a private cabana on a remote island. Shanika portrayed great craftsmanship in her use of natural fibers, colorful tie-dyed and hand-painted creations.

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Roazana Moseley of  La Rosa Couture was different from the regular line up of BBFW as she modeled her creations for full figured women. From the runway it proved that curvaceous women can still be classy, chic and voluptuous. She had a collection that ranged from relaxed flowing pieces to form fitting pieces.

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The remarkable Rhea Cummings Jordan who on the very said night wore both hats of model and designer debuted her Aria Urban Fashions collection at BBFW. Rhea’s ensembles very colorful utilizing the colors pink, green and orange with the inclusion of bold prints. As the vibrant designs came down the runway, it was evident that she created for the “fun girl” with architectural cut-outs, daring hem lines and bared midriffs. The line had a flirtatious air about it as models parade the designs with coquettish antics especially in the finale as they blew bubbles into the crowd.

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Bring down the curtain on the first night was Kesia Estwick with her Keisa Couture. As of the norm Kesia didn’t disappoint and her designs surely spoke for her. Know more for her streetwear collections, Kesia showed she was versatile with an ethereal collection that married classy and chic with edgy and modern successful. She exhibited a line of elegant pieces that were full with sheer sultry pieces and fairy tale couture gowns in an array of prints, whites, blacks and oxblood reds. All the pieces had intriguing details from both the front view and the back.

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Judging from the first night viewing, the second day of shows promised to be day not to be missed.

*All photos aren’t mine, some photos belong to fellow fashion blogger Natasha Beckles of In My Wardrobe.

Kenneth Barlis_ A Craftsman Of His Trade

 

Kenneth Barlis

They always say never judge a book by its cover and this saying absolutely applies to the talented Kenneth Barlis with his baby-face features and shy manner. Born in Pagadian City in the Philippines, Kenneth later moved to San Diego at the age of 16 with his family. Always thought to follow in his father footsteps, Kenneth career changed from medicine to fashion when he sold his first designed wedding dress. Kenneth debuted the Kenneth Barlis Collection in 2010 It wasn’t long before he was reaping success when he received the Scholar Student Award at the Projects Ethos fashion show in 2011 and later in 2012, he received top honors at Fashion Week San Diego and headlined at Barbados Fashion Week.

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Due to his continues hard work and dedication to his art, Kenneth’s designs have been featured in Vogue Italia online, Pacific San Diego Magazine, Fiori Magazine, Stylo Esmas and White Weddings Magazine to name a few of the many. His Designs have also been  worn by celebrities such as Booboo Stewart of the Twilight Saga, Crystal Reed  of MTV’s Teen Wolf, Mary Murphy  of So You Think You Can Dance and Kendra Wilkinson of The Girls Next Door and Kendra On Top, among others.

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Kenneth designs for the woman who enjoys an elegant and luxurious lifestyle in mind and has been making his mark on the fashion scene with his use of unorthodox textiles. His sculptured, one of a kind designs are every inch of the words exquisite, elegant and luxurious, so to just say that his work is excellent would be a mere understatement. Kenneth shows a great understanding of the feminine silhouette and it is obvious he has an eye for detail creating both regal and very sophisticated designs. He has truly proven himself to be a great craftsman of his trade and an excellent manipulator of textiles with baroque layering technique.

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The Kenneth Barlis brand continues to makes its presence felt as Kenneth will be hitting runways in Toronto, Paris and Manila this April. Later on in the year fashion lovers will be thrilled by the first Annual Kenneth Barlis Fashion Show. It will be held on August 30th in sunny San Diego, California at the Port Pavilion Pier hosted by the talented and beautiful Ashley Hinshaw from The Hunger Games. This fashion show will exhibit the splendid designs of  the Kenneth Barlis Spring/Summer 2014 collection as well as feature other designers such as Camille Wood, Alana Crain and Shari Ellis, Allen Huang and Evelyne Aguilar. It will be an event filled with plenty of flair and is not to be missed as Kenneth has very high expectations with plans to showcase the booming fashion culture of San Diego and set it as another major fashion hub within the USA. Tickets for this show are available at eventbrite.com, so the excitement builds in anticipation for this highly esteemed show and  it really gives us another reason to look forward to summer.

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Barbados Fashion Week 2012: 3rd Night

Barbados……The Gem Of The Caribbean

Basking in the excitement from the designs of the previous exciting nights of BB Fashion Week 2012 , it was bittersweet for me when it came to the final night themed ‘A Toast To Fashion’. This night the attendees saw two designers who showed sleek, fresh designs for their Spring/Summer 2013 collections.

The night opened with Barbadian Rykii de Jude who revealed an all male collection. His designs were very radiant as the male models looked like perfect gentlemen and strutting in dapper pieces. Jude’s menswear was very modern and could be coveted by both young and mature men. His eye for detail was also very prominent as there were many hand-made accentuated additions. From Jude’s collection the attendees were able to see his passion for polish and well-tailored designs.

The night climaxed with designer Charles Dieujuste of the USA, his coherent collection looked effortless and had air of elegance about it. He displayed great execution in his designs as they were sauntered down the runway. Three words came to mind when I saw the variety of his collection and they were sophisticated, chic and feminine. Charles was another designer whose collection could easily find its way into my closet.

At the end of BB fashion Week 2012, I can surly say that I experienced an unforgettable event produced by Unique Production Worldwide Ltd. It was evident that the wheel of progress is spinning not only for the designers from Barbados but that of our fellow Caribbean countries as well. This force won’t be retained and in a few years time I look forward to seeing these incredible designers frequently on international runways.

So cheers to BB Fashion Week 2012 and to all the designers and I can’t wait till next year to do it all over again.

Photo Credit: Cullen Perrotte

 

Related Articles:

Barbados Fashion Week: The Launch

Barbados Fashion Week 2012: 1st Night

Barbados Fashion Week 2012: 2nd Night

Barbados Fashion Week 2012: 1st Night

“If you’re proud to be a Bajan

Put all your flags up, put all your flags up

And if you represent the nation

Let me see rags up, let me see rags up

we talking about the blue, yellow, blue,yellow blue……..”

Chorus of Colours by Natalie Burke ft Shontelle

With the completion of each year’s fashion week, Barbados has claimed its spot on the Caribbean map of fashion and is now making a mark internationally as it has been officially noted on the Global Fashion Week calendar. The fashion industry here is finally evolving, bringing to mind a phrase from my years in Venezuela “Hasta La Revolucion” meaning “Until the Revolution”. The fashion revolution was definitely taking place on 26th of October, the first night of BB Fashion Week 2012 themed  ‘Glam Night,’.  The Spring/Summer 2013 collections were featured by  five designers representing the USA, Bahamas and Barbados, each with their own unique style.

The first designer to open the night was Kenneth Barlis from the Philippines now based in the USA. Kenneth made a grand entrance bringing a ‘romantic feeling’ to the runway with his one of the kind couture gowns and cocktail dresses. He showed a full understanding of  how to design for a woman’s body with structured silhouettes and paid close attention to the details. Kenneth vibrant collection also incorporated the use of natural materials into his looks  like rooster feathers and sea shells. Also he was accompanied by international model Candice Edwin.

The next designer of the night was Courtney McIntosh from the Bahamas and it was hard to ignore her sultry swimwear collection. The collection had the perfect balance between daring and demure using the cut-out and animal print trends. These stunning designs including  bikinis to crochet pieces adding a refreshing element to the show.

Designer Joan White was the first Barbadian designer of the night with her outstanding and extremely unique creations.  Joan’s collection was colorful, showing skill and dedication with dresses accentuated with plenty of details including hand paintings on some of the designs.

Fellow Barbadian designer Brandi Estwick presented a stunning collection that was fresh. Even though it was a small collection,  it still made an impressionable impact with the attendees as Brandi presented an edgy black and white collection.

The final designer and one of the most anticipated of the first night was the promising Barbadian Kesia Eswick, who showed great development, ability  and style. Kesia who benefited from the Adopt-A-Designer program with Romero Bryan and Oliver Tolentino, created magic on the runway as she displayed not one but two collections.  She successfully married the soft feminine look and the hard edgy look together. For her first collection “Kiss The Girl’,  was full of prints with hearts, lips and skeleton hands widely used on her designs, with a tasteful touch of leather throughout the collection. Kesia’s second collection ‘Lilith’ was more elegant with simple chic designs that were very avant-garde.

The first night started off with a bang and at the end of the night they were many glamorous designs exhibited making it in deed a Glam Night. This night and the remaining night  were produced by Unique Production Worldwide Ltd.

Photo Credit:Cullen Perrotte

Related Articles:

Barbados Fashion Week: The Launch

Barbados Fashion Week 2012: 2nd Night

Barbados Fashion Week: 3rd Night

Barbados Fashion Week: The Launch

During the recent fashion month held between September and October,  I was totally unraveled and left to be hung by a thread as the collections that I liked from the four major fashion capitals gave me such had a mental rush. Just as I had regained my composure, the unraveling was beginning to happen again as the time for my beloved country Barbados, to host its very own fashion week was here. With a slogan of ‘Fierce, Fabulous & Furious’, Barbados Fashion Week, produced by Unique Productions Worldwide Ltd, officially launched on October 25th at the Kensington Oval Warehouse and this year’s premier fashion event had a line-up consisting of local, regional and international designers. The opening ceremony was a gala and cocktail party event which was attended by designers, models, fashionistas, socialites, local media and even Club Fashion, an international TV show. So I had a night spent mingling, talking fashion and rubbing shoulders with all the attendees. The evening then conclude with a climax as the after-party was held at infamous ‘PRIVA‘ an elite nightclub on the west coast of Barbados.

me with fellow Fashion Bloggers Njeri of  “Fashion!Lights!Couture!” and Dre of “Dre Decarlo

Top: Attendees, Fashion Blogger Dre

Bottom: Club Fashion interviewing model Sedia Jackman, Attendees

Mr.Hugh Williams one of the directors of Unique Productions Worldwide Ltd and I

PRIVA Nightclub

Dear friend and Fashionisto Imran Williams and I

Designer Kenneth Barlis and fellow blogger Dre with myself

my outfit for the night.

The evening was filled with beautiful people and definitely was Fierce, Fabulous & Furious!

Related Articles:

Barbados Fashion Week 2012: 1st Night

Barbados Fashion Week 2012: 2nd Night

Barbados Fashion Week 2012: 3rd Night