LISA RE­TURNS FROM SPICE ISLE

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Toni Ni­cholas

Lisa Bar­ton-Vol­ney is a hum­ble and unas­sum­ing yet ex­tremely tal­ented in­di­vid­ual. She is the Cre­ative and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor be­hind “De Kloze Line” which may very well soon be­come a house­hold name not just in Saint Lu­cia but across the re­gion. Last week the de­signer re­turned from a fash­ion show­case in Gre­nada - which was not her first and from all in­di­ca­tion will not be her last. The re­sponse to her madras col­lec­tion from all re­views was “over­whelm­ing” and “re­fresh­ingly dif­fer­ent”.

Ac­cord­ing to the de­signer she has been in­ter­ested in sewing and dress­mak­ing it would seem like for­ever. How­ever, she was first in­tro­duced to the ac­tual “art” of dress­mak­ing at age nine. Her own skills came to the fore dur­ing high school as she ma­jored and ex­celled in Fash­ion & Fab­ric, Dress­mak­ing & De­sign and Cloth­ing & Tex­tiles as a stu­dent in Trinidad where she went to school.

“Ini­tially I wanted to be a sec­re­tary and a ra­dio an­nouncer,” she told the STAR with a wide in­fec­tious smile. “But you know what they say, the Mas­ter had other plans for me and I started do­ing uni­forms for my peers while still at school. When I left school I started mod­el­ing and I con­tin­ued sewing as well,” she added. Pretty soon she found her­self tak­ing re­quests for pieces and later still, cre­at­ing uni­forms for a num­ber of cor­po­rate en­ti­ties in Saint Lu­cia in­clud­ing sev­eral ho­tels.

Since then she has moved into cre­at­ing her own lines, dab­bling in fash­ion ac­ces­sories, soft fur­nish­ings and bridal and for­mal wear for both male and fe­male. Her pieces have also been worn by con­tes­tants in pageants in­clud­ing the Miss SLHTA pageant for which she has won best “Wob Dwiyet” award. She has also out­fit­ted a num­ber of Saint Lu­cian en­ter­tain­ers for their ap­pear­ances at the Saint Lu­cia Jazz and Arts Fes­ti­val.

Re­gion­ally, her col­lec­tions have been well re­ceived in Bar­ba­dos, St. Vin­cent/Union Is­land, Trinidad & Tobago at Car­ifesta in Suri­name and now Gre­nada.

Asked about the re­cent Gre­nada ex­pe­ri­ence Lisa told the STAR that it came about fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful show­ing she had in San Fer­nando, Trinidad.

“Two years ago I did San Fer­nando Fash­ion Week and they de­cided to take it to Gre­nada this year for the very first fash­ion week,” Lisa said. The event fea­tured five de­sign­ers from St. Kitts, Gre­nada, Trinidad and, of course, Saint Lu­cia.

“The col­lec­tion I took to Gre­nada was to­tal madras since I am try­ing to get peo­ple to warm up to madras as a fab­ric and not just some­thing worn on oc­ca­sions like cre­ole day,” the de­signer ex­plained. How­ever, to her sur­prise she re­al­ized that the fab­ric was be­ing em­braced some­what in Gre­nada. “It was In­de­pen­dence week­end in Gre­nada and so the Fri­day be­fore the show was called Na­tional Colours Day and many peo­ple wore out­fits made out of the green madras which bears the colours of the Gre­nada flag,” she in­formed us.

For the show­case it­self Lisa Ba­ton-Vol­ney un­veiled a col­lec­tion in madras cater­ing to var­i­ous eth­nic­i­ties. This in­cluded saris, wob dwiyets, trendy pleated pants and lace blouses that had the au­di­ence in awe.

Since re­turn­ing from Gre­nada, Lisa has been busy pre­par­ing to show­case her work at a women’s con­fer­ence here on In­de­pen­dence Day Fe­bru­ary 22 and at An­guilla Fash­ion Expo at the end of Fe­bru­ary. She told the STAR that she is ex­cited about the prospects and the op­por­tu­nity to feel out the trends and de­mands to bet­ter po­si­tion her “De Kloze Line” brand.

A few years ago she stamped “De Kloze Line” to her brand, a name that came about as a re­sult of some­thing she of­ten told her friends from a ten­der age. “I was of­ten asked what can you sew or make or what you can­not sew, and my re­sponse would be any­thing you can see hang­ing on a clothes line, I can sew. So when we were try­ing to come up with a name, my hus­band pointed to that,” she ex­plained.

About a niche, she says that she is still feel­ing her way through, but hopes to stream­line her busi­ness and her brand pretty soon. But for now she is happy for the strides she has made and the re­gional net­work­ing ex­po­sure.

For more info on Lisa Bar­ton-Vol­ney’s work and to place or­ders you can con­tact

De Kloze Line on Face­book.

Back­stage at the re­cent Fash­ion Week in Gre­nada: Lisa Bar­ton-Vol­ney (se­cond right) with a fel­low de­signer and mod­els.

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