Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 5th 2014 Contents B3
Makin Style 2014 is a fash-
ion graduation showcase
and the culmination of
the free workshops hosted by Coco
Velvet International Fashion Man-
agement earlier this year.
To Coco Velvet founder, fashion
director and consultant Christopher
Nathan, the hunt for new local fashion
talent to participate in these work-
shops was extensive and thorough.
"We went to Sangre Grande, San
Fernando and to Port-of-Spain and
scoured rural communities from
Grande Riviere to Matura to Moruga
and Mayaro to find fashion design-
ers---new talent only, because I was
sure they were there."
The main objective of the fashion
workshops is "to foster and develop
a spirit of entrepreneurship" among
its participants. The initiative
embraced the approach of fashion
training and development at a grass-
roots level, while still maintaining
high standards and quality of the
This is the fifth edition of the fash-
ion workshops and the Makin Style
graduation event which began in
2006, and ran again annually from
This year, from a preliminary pool
of over 600, there were 92 workshop
finalists aged 13-21 years. The work-
shops began on June 15 and ended
on September 7, at Nalis, Port-of-
One of the training modules geared
specifically to fashion designers was
called Stitch to Market: Introduction
to Fashion & Design Technology. The
genesis of this course stemmed from
Nathan s experiences with attending
fashion week events in T&T, both as
a member of the audience as well as
behind the scenes.
"Every year I have observed that
while the collections on the catwalk
are visually stimulating, when we
inspected the collection backstage
there were problems with construc-
tion with many of the collections,"
He realised the need for design
collections to be beautiful on the run-
way as well as commercially relevant
and ready for sale.
Nathan acknowledged that some
designers he had observed over the
years were very new to the industry
and mostly self-taught, although with
an undeniable passion for fashion
"I decided that we would offer a
fashion designer s workshop to pre-
pare the designers for Styleweek," he
Nathan has big plans for his own
upcoming fashion week and trade
show, the Caribbean Resort Styleweek
2014, scheduled to start November
2. He plans to invite local retailers to
consider the 2015 collections of new,
emerging and established local
designers and the top participants of
the Makin Style graduation group.
This year, 16 new designers took
part in the Stitch to Market workshop.
They were exposed to the funda-
mentals of the fashion industry and
a collections development module
facilitated by UTT Caribbean Acad-
emy of Fashion Design graduates
Sharon Christopher and Lisa See Tai.
The designers were given a Style-
week challenge to conceptualise,
design and construct six garments
for the resort wear market.
They were encouraged to infuse
subtle Caribbean flavour into their
design aesthetic to ensure that the
fabrication, use of colour and silhou-
ettes were original, globally on-trend
and commercially relevant but also
appealed to the aesthetics and utility
needs of the Caribbean market.
The winner of the challenge will
receive a Scotiabank challenge trophy
and a $20,000 Coco Velvet cash
These workshops were not only
for designers. Sixty new models---
male, female and plus size---were
scouted for and participated in the
professional fashion model course.
Apart from showcasing the Stitch
to Market designer collections, these
models will compete for top print
and top runway model 2014 titles at
the Makin Style graduation event.
Other fashion talent scouted and
trained included fashion stylists, pho-
tographers and production event co-
"We wanted to encourage an all-
rounded individual. The models
learned commercial modelling tech-
nique, the designers learned collec-
tions development, the elements of
style and fashion, fashion sketching,
pattern drafting and how to create a
commercially relevant collection.
"These youngsters sacrificed their
time and their holidays to come to
a fashion workshop twice a week, on
Fridays and Sundays, and I commend
them for that," Nathan said.
At the Makin Style graduation
showcase, 14 new local fashion
designers will debut their collections
and a panel of fashion design experts
will select the top three student
designer collections for inclusion at
the inaugural Caribbean Resort Style-
The judging panel includes:
Claudia Pegus, president of the jury;
Darcel de Vlugt, director, Fashion
Association of T&T (FATT);
Yosan Fletcher, CEO of Bang Bang
The final graduating designers are
Alex and Terri Wong Wai, Tyron
Kerr and Kern Marcelle, Jessie-
Reign Chandler, Kezzy Martin,
Shinade Martin, Richard Noel,
Deneicere Arrindell, David Mc
Intosh, Phillina Fields, Nedra
Waldron, Sade Marchan, Le Shanna
Warner, Daniella Drayton and
Krissan Kimberly Mapp.
The Makin' Style graduation
showcase will take place at Napa,
Port-of-Spain, on October 19,
from 4.30 pm.
More info: 620-2316.
Facilitators Sharon Christopher and Lisa See Tai discuss designer Sade
Marchan's mood board with Christopher Nathan at the Coco Velvet
International fashion workshop at Nalis.
A women's revolution...
their work ---Page B38
...at Makin' Style grad event
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