Oh yes….white sand between my toes, a comfy lounge upon which to rest my tush, a dedicated bar service and some mini tiki torches lapping playfully at the hem of my Christian Boucaud convertible dress (Oh hell no fire! Not you and me today). Contrary to what you may be thinking at this point…no…I wasn’t on some sun-drenched beach, but rather, at the painfully chic rooftop Sky Beach Bar & Lounge for night two of Color Revolution’s runway presentation.
On the cards to show that night were nine designers, hailing from Trinidad & Tobago, St. Martin, Barbados, St. Vincent, Haiti and the U.S.
First up was Tobagonian-based Kaj Designs – a minimalist, elegant resort collection named Tribu Savage, that boasted lots of neutral colour palettes and animal print. Kaj is always a dream to watch walk down a runway – what isn’t flowing and romantic is ultra-sexy and fitted, all with plunging necklines and slits to show off the legs darling, the LEGS.
The second designer from St. Martin, Sheila Sorton, interestingly enough, also featured crochet designs. Hers though, were a bit sexier and more resort than Kai Designs’ the night before. It’s the kind of thing you expect to see some socialite clad in while sipping cocktails on a private yacht, anchored off the coast of St. Martin.
When you think of menswear in the Caribbean…your first thought probably isn’t of sharp, structured, beautifully tailored suits, jackets and trousers, paired with stylish comfortable polos and dapper button up shirts. Well…Ecliff Elie, which is a name I’ve associated with menswear for as long as I’ve known myself, does exactly that. Ecliff (sidebar: who also happened to make a hot pink silk suit for my brother for his graduation) is something of a fashion stalwart in Trinidad & Tobago. His collection was, simply put, an immaculate interpretation of sleek modern menswear.
Barbadian but NYC-based Christina Goddard, under her brand Conrad Sinclair, presented a collection that was, interestingly enough, a combination of Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Her inspiration came from the brief respite she got in her home island of Barbados, during the polar vortex that engulfed New York this year. I actually preferred her Autumn/Winter looks, like her smart capes and cropped jackets.
Kimya Glasgow, out of St. Vincent, showed a collection of what I could only refer to as Caribbean glamour. Amidst her palette of blue, green and white, she also offered up some beautiful hand painted fabrics and a floral print to die for. I really loved how easy all her clothing was, punctuated ever so often by luxurious raw silk details.
My boo, Jacqueline Charles of Koko Karibi Designs, was the sole accessory designer for the entire weekend. It’s great to see an accessory designer stepping up to the plate the way Jacquie has with the marketing and branding of her work. Of course she showed what she’s best known for – minimalist designs that are artfully and masterfully created. From more subtle choker necklaces featuring slices of agate, to more elaborate, statement pieces like her popular dreamcatcher necklace, Koko Karibi offered up something for everyone to lust after.
Pajje1983 was one of my favourite collections for the night. The mononymous designer, Prajje, is Haitian born, but NYC based, and you could easily see the influence of his tenure in the US reflected in his garments. The Prajje1983 girl is an island transplant, stalking the streets of New York City in the peak of summer. His collection featured a lot of bold prints and solids, with texture incorporated throughout with the leather panels, broderie anglaise and ruffle details.
The night closed with a whopping 30-gown presentation by Andre Soriano, former contestant on Rihanna’s Styled To Rock reality television show. Not so much a collection as an array of statement garments, Soriano’s clothes seemed a bit out of place in the grand scheme of things. There were of course many stunning pieces from his presentation, notedly the massive, ornate, Madonna-esque ball-gown that closed the show. Much love to Andre – I heard he was the life of the party and a real sweetheart to boot – but I had eyes (and photos) mainly for my Caribbean massive.
Color Revolution SXM, thanks for having me. Let’s do it again soon, k?