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!

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