Observer writer

Monday, June 17, 2019

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CARIBBEAN Fashionweek (CFW) night one featured an impressive showing of textures, tones and creations by designers spanning the Caribbean to Lagos, Nigeria.

It was held at Villa Ronai in Stony Hill, St Andrew, on Saturday night.

Kingsley Cooper, CEO of Pulse and event conceptualiser, said he was pleased with the collections on show.

“I am very happy! It's 40 years for us in fashion, and to still get something that elicits an emotional response, and really moves you after such a long time, it is such a great thing. Tonight I was really moved by the presentations, and I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled!” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Designs from Claudia Pegus were the first to hit the catwalk. Her elaborate use of fabric and embroidery were hard to miss; as her collection featured a number of bold garments and statement pieces. The large, printed hats accessorising the clothing were definitely head turners.

Nigerian Mai Atafo's collection closed the show on a high note. With beautiful, bold colours and vibrant fabrics, his pieces exuded modern glamour coupled with comfort

He shared his inspiration with the Observer.

“The menswear was inspired by current day playboys. You can tell from the colour pallet and the kind of fabric that was used to make the garments. For the womenswear, it's called “Feminine AF”, so it's like looking at guys and thinking what they wear and making it feminine and still giving them that strength and confidence,” he explained.

Atafo said it took two months to complete the 40-piece collection, of which only 15 were displayed.

Another designer showcased was Heather Jones. Her collection is inspired by her Trinidadian roots. They are said to embody the warm tropical nights, cool, sensuous days and deliciously soothing waters.

Model-turn-designer Jeniel Williams also presented what she calls the Rogue collection. This is her sophomore appearance at CFW.

She said her pieces were inspired by her personality.

“I am a very sporty person. I love working out, but I also love dressing up and going to the beach, being from the islands. So my collection is basically my life. Last year, it was only swimwear; this year, I brought in sportswear and cover-ups to show that you can dress up in just about anything and still look sexy,” she expressed.

Arlene Martin's DrennaLuna and Jacqueline Cohen, with her Mutamba collection, did not disappoint, as their simple yet graceful garments captured and expressed the sensual femininity of a woman. From Martin's adorned black and white pieces to Cohen's Afrocentric patterns their displays were a sight for sore eyes.

Collections from Trinidadian Robert Young and Tokyo James from Lagos also hit the Caribbean Fashionweek catwalk. From bold prints to clean lines on both men's and women's wear, the clothes were definitely not for casual events. With an interesting mix of colours and various fabrics, each piece turned heads and received approval from the audience.

The show would not be complete without its stellar line-up of models from across the Caribbean including Alicia Burke, Francine Jones, Miqueal-Symone Williams, Shalisha Stewart, Zoe Griffiths, Kamaria Powell, Oraine Barrett, Hector Lincoln and Daniella Davis.

Caribbean Fashionweek ended last night and featured designers including Hope Wade, Ituen Basi, Earl Biggy Turner and Meiling.

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