Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 9th 2014 Contents B1
Moruga's oldest fisherman
faces life of darkness ---Page B5
Some aspects of the January 26
showcase of local designers for
respected fashion magazine Vogue
Italia and local VIPs were "beau-
tifully done," says fashion veteran
Richard Young. But the clandes-
tine way it was organised may
have been the reason other aspects
fell short of expectation, he added.
The showcase, dubbed Masquer-
ade, was the event debut of the
controversial Creative TT (T&T
Creative Industries Company Ltd),
an umbrella company that is sup-
posed to administer the State's
involvement in music, film and
fashion. It was formed last year,
despite the objections of many in
Ten designers, including some
of the country's most celebrated,
were showcased, as well as cos-
tumes from a handful of popular
Carnival bands, including Tribe,
D'Krewe and Island People.
Young, who has organised many
major fashion events here and
throughout the Caribbean, praised
the set, which had been built
"under the trees" at The Nor-
mandie, a showroom where guests
could interact with designers and
their product. There was also a
cocktail event before the show
which was "set up beautifully for
networking and dialogue," he said.
But he felt the models fell short,
and that there were some designers
that were missing if the showcase
was supposed to be the cream of
local fashion. And while he found
the inclusion of Carnival costumes
"laudatory," he said section of the
show did not adequately represent
the annual festival.
'Show organised in
a secretive way'
Young joined his brother Robert,
a designer, who also commented
about the secretive way the show
was organised, with participating
designers being made to sign non-
disclosure agreements, and few
people knowing who were going to
participate and on what criteria
they were chosen.
Even one member of the Creative
TT board said he had not known
which designers were going to be
in the show. It was mainly organ-
ised, he said, by interim board chair
Donna Chin Lee and director Calvin
He was concerned that Chin Lee
and French were overstepping their
authority by doing the job of a CEO
in organising the event, and that
Chin Lee being the managing direc-
tor of The Normandie represented
a conflict of interest.
"I'm happy for those selected
and the opportunities they got,"
said Young, "but I certainly think
a more rigorous system of selection
should have been engaged in to pull
[off] what would be considered our
chance to show Europe not only
our designs, but our possible model
candidates and our Carnival.
"I know of other models who
would have executed better," he said
of that aspect of the show.
Kudos for Lush Kingdom,
He said veteran designers Meil-
ing, Claudia Pegus and Heather
Jones "were expected to be there."
Young praised fashion house Lush
Kingdom for its "colour palette,"
and said swimwear designer Rhion
Romany had a "strong look."
But he added, "Some of the oth-
ers, I just didn't think were powerful
enough to be on what might be
considered a first rate show that is
showing the nation's talent."
The costume presentation "didn't
reflect T&T Carnival at all," he said.
"If I were a foreigner, not know-
ing anything about Trinidad Car-
nival, they look like they came from
one band," he said. "The silhouettes
were very similar, the texture was
very similar, the details were very
similar. There was no effort to play
up on diversity and the eclectic
nature of what we represent in the
Young traced all the problems
back to the way the show was
organised, which left "a bad taste
in the mouth of many," he said.
"If it has been planned for
months but not inviting participa-
tion from stakeholders and prac-
titioners, it is very easy that it would
have that sort of limited reach."
Elias: All seemed very well
Peter Elias, one of the designers
who participated in the event,
escorting Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar on stage as she
showed off an outfit by fashion
house CLD, was more positive in
his assessment of Masquerade.
"For me, it's similar to that
intangible promotion we get at the
Miss Universe and Miss World
international arena...just great PR
and the world gets an opinion of
us," Elias said in an e-mail
exchange, suggesting possible ben-
efits of the event. "I also think
when we see ourselves presented
as such, it acts as an inspiration
for all to try to be even better and
About the criticisms of how
Masquerade was organised, Elias
said, "Sadly, there will always be
those with concerns. Who knows
what's correct/best? Nothing to
date has yet seemingly worked,
and I always support efforts. From
my point of view, all seemed very
well at Masquerade."
Arveyann Thomas cuts a
picture of sophistication in this
creation from Heather Jones at
Masquerade, the gala fashion
event at The Normandie .
PHOTO: SEAN NERO
Designers critique Creative TT's
Links Archive February 8th 2014 February 10th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page