Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 17th 2015 Contents B46
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 17, 2015
T&T s fashion community contributed
significantly to the production and designer
element of the St Lucia Jazz and Arts Fes-
tival s Hot Couture 2015 Fashion Extrav-
The Johnson s Centre in Rodney Bay was
filled to capacity with government officials,
fashionistas and cultural enthusiasts, who
made up a sold-out audience for the third
year in a row. Themed Fashion for Freedom,
the showcase included a collaboration with
Cuba s Arte y Moda organisation and the
Cuban Embassy in St Lucia.
Creative director of Hot Couture, T&T s
Richard Young, said in a press release this
key partnership with the Cuban team added
a unique flair to the show s programme,
which was well-received by the audience.
"The special accolade from the Cuban
delegation insisting on my curtain call with
them for collaborating in the depiction of
Arte y Moda was a particularly touching
moment in this experience," said Young.
His production team for the show includ-
ed Star Publishing s Mae Wayne and Adrian
Augier of Landmark Events.
The T&T delegation included collections
from Rhion Romany, Anthony Reid for
House of Meiling, Meiling, Robert Young
of The Cloth and Anya Ayoung-Chee---who
presented her first showing in the Caribbean
at Hot Couture since winning Season Nine
of the US cable TV show Project Runway.
Romany, who enjoyed his second presen-
tation at Hot Couture in two years, had high
praises for Young and the production team.
Media giant HBO has once again collab-
orated with the government of St Lucia to
provide a special cultural segment on this
year s Hot Couture event in Jazz and Arts
Festival 2015, due to air in the Caribbean,
Latin America and Brazil in the coming
Young plans to visit Cuba later this year
with Mae Wayne on a special invitation
from the Cuban delegation and the Ambas-
sador in St Lucia, Jorge Soberon.
T&T adds heat to St Lucia
Domina by Rhion Romany wows the Hot
Cuban model Irina Díaz Revé in a design
Models show their appreciation in designs
from Anthony Reid for House of Meiling.
PHOTO COURTESY LUCIAN JAZZ
Project Runway winner Anya
Ayoung-Chee closes the Hot
Couture 2015 show with her new
PHOTOS COURTESY BELLE PORTWÉ
STUDIOS/ DANIEL MARCION
I don t like runway shows these days. I really don t,
at least right now in this part of the world. I find
it really hard to get excited for them the more I see
them locally. I think they offer nothing to the designer
at this stage in the industry.
It is almost a cart-before-the-horse kind of gig
when clothing is paraded out there and subsequently
shared via our networks. The questions and inquiries
follow: where can I find you? How can I purchase
This is the part where all the music and the lights
get really low and most cannot answer those questions
with confidence. The hard work of firing up their one-
man, two-man production teams is just another drain
on their energy. The resources that must be spent
have already been sucked up in trying to do a successful
Fashion shows serve several purposes. One of the
major ones is to advertise and promote a brand to
increase their market presence or as a presentation of
the next season s offerings. This is at the end of a sit-
uation where clothing has either already been produced
or every aspect of that production cycle is all ready
to go from that very first order.
Runway shows as an entertainment medium should
stop. We can find better ways to showcase the hard
work of the creative individuals who earnestly want
to build their lives here on this island. We need leg-
islature, education, funding and infrastructure to
provide a better marketplace, a more competitive mar-
ketplace. Expanding on these will provide work for
everyone who participates in fashion s development.
How are designers finding their raw materials,
engaging skilled technicians, using technology and
increasing their communication?
How are designers getting to market? What is in
place to get them there? How are we going to help
local born talent compete with the likes of stores such
as Bang Bang and Francis Fashion, for example? What
is being thought of to effectively get everyone on the
same page? Who is going to communicate that to the
Where can designers set up shop most effectively
locally and will there be incentives for them to build
businesses there? Does anyone know what the local
consumer wants? Does anyone know what the inter-
national markets want from T&T or the Caribbean?
Are we going to have more public discussions,
forums, and less isolated discussions about the same
thing? How are we going to properly utilise the uni-
versities, schools and other educational institutions
that provide the talent and skill needed for this industry
Some of these answers have been asked (and
answered). Did we not just complete a feasibility study?
Let us be less concerned with how amazingly creative
we are. We know that. That is the really, really easy
part! Throw a bobbin of thread any direction and you
find someone talented.
Let us put down the champagne and get really sober
about how to get this industry into shape.
If things continue as they are, more and more
designers will continue to flee these shores and the
runways, leaving a very scarce landscape and empty
runways full of misinformed well-wishers patting
themselves on the back and pocketing money.
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