SAINT LUCIA HOT COUTURE
Island Vibe fashions rock the runway.
Saint Lucia Hot Couture 2014 was a slick, exciting, innovative production. The two-part show celebrated an Island Vibe theme, reflecting real Caribbean style and sensibility. In part one, “Resort Essentials” showed off the best of the region’s resort and swimwear to a backdrop of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Edition shot on the beaches of Saint Lucia, while part two took the audience to “After Dark,” with sexy party gear and elegant gowns accompanied by a collage of images from The Bachelor, which had returned to the island for the second time in 2013.
After a long absence showing in Saint Lucia, Meiling made a welcome return with two collections. Her signature black was edgy and easy with oversized shirts, asymmetric lines and flowing kaftans, splashes of red providing the right
detailing, while Meiling’s white collection was simple and exquisite as always.
Queen Esther’s triumphant Hot Couture debut with Kuumba Designs’ stylishly sustainable collection of classic white and sisal. Queen’s party collection rocked sheer black chiffon with applique and vividly contrasting orange shantung silk
From Guadeloupe, Tamara Depestre’s Lilydeziles in sherbert sheer silks and chiffons, like a Caribbean feast for the eyes, gorgeous against the shimmering skin of every model.
DrennaLUNA by Jamaica’s Arlene Martin was elegant with tailored separates and sexy long shirts over skimpy swimwear. For After Dark, satin chic evening-wear in monochromatic black, white and grey with a French flavour.
Sonia Noel from Guyana produced a creole afroinfluenced coed line which included inspired sheer white cotton layers and basket woven insets, bold black white blocking and earthy ethnic elegance. Quirky little hats were a lovely style detail.
Trinidad’s Rhion Romany took chevrons and spideys to a gasp-inducing extreme. His über-bare black and white swimwear is ingeniously designed to titillate but probably not to tan.
Robert Young’s The Cloth was the collection that added a little depth to the sun, sea and sand motif, with reverent choreography telling the story. Amazing, densely complicated prints and patchworks, signature appliques and buffalo gal white skirts against stark black.
Saint Lucian designers did not disappoint: along with veteran Shazi Chalon who showed with Perry Bags, newcomer Treasure Frederick brought pristine tailoring and pretty prints to the runway, while strong, sexy swimwear lines from Nicole Pierre’s House of Lush, Thelma Phillips’ C.W.A.D and Sophie Betts’ FYA were a hit with the crowd.
Fiona Compton’s Paradise Prints were brilliant with splashy tropical flowers on bodycon dresses, drapey jumpsuits and gauzy kaftans, hand-painted by the designer herself. Taribba Do Nascimento’s Même Bête line of fun, funky bags provided the perfect styling. Smouldering model attitude gave way to a virtual congaline of smiling, dancing and whining as Fiona and Taribba of Même Bête took to the stage dancing and egging on a proud and appreciative crowd.
The two Saint Lucian ladies brought the house down in a triumphant finale of national pride, and Saint Lucia Hot Couture 2014 drew to a high energy close with the promise of more to come next year, It was a virtually flawless production by anyone’s standards, and a credit to the vision and teamwork of the collaborators. A strong Caribbean flavour which never lost its Lucian-ness - that’s a smart strategy for building a long-term regional and international brand.
Fiona Compton and Taribba Do Nascimento's hi-energy impromptu finale was a real crowd-pleaser!