Kicking off the Carnival season means that so many of us will look forward to the new eye-opening fashions produced by designers in and of the Caribbean. High style to the hilt and masquerade or not, it is time for designers to put their best foot (or dress) forward again, or for the first time - as the case may be - for our eight featured designers to look out for in 2017.
First, we have a Trinidadian designer, Laura Narayansingh who has launched her Trinidad Carnival – Monday Wear 2017 line. Her Monday Wear is exciting and sleek, yet high fashion. Per Narayansingh, “MW17 was designed to feed the ego of every woman- to accentuate her uniqueness. To remind her that no one does it quite like she does. Design, for me has always been therapeutic, it provides me with the deepest and purest clarity of thought.”
Chen Burkett represents Antigua very well and claims: “I try to express, through my designs and fabric choices, aspects of different cultures that I adore and have been directly exposed to throughout my life. My collection reflects styles I love and are all drawn from my heritage and family in Antigua, Ghana & Great Britain. I also attempt to find a perfect marriage between the regal silhouettes I was surrounded by as a child, and a modern yet classy fit suitable for everyday wear.”
Jamaican Jae Jolly’s pieces are unique and sophisticated while incorporating an authentic Jamaican flair. What is particularly captivating about her designs is the way she creatively mixes different textures and patterns. A trademark is her wide-legged pant.Her keen attention to detail, bold, colorful prints and modern yet sophisticated designs she says, “Reflect my personality perfectly.” Her collection includes an extensive variety of styles from conservative chic to sleek and classy.
Trinidadian Christian Boucaud launched her 2017 Monday Wear collection for Trinidad Carnival. We can always count on Boucaud to include Afrocentric fabric into modern designs, blending them with mesh and netting. Functional, representative, and unique are the words that express this collection. Her talent has stretched globally as well, extending to among other places Japan, Germany, Canada, and the United States.
In 2003, the Haitian born, NY based designer, Prajje Jean-Baptiste, opened his own fashion company, Prajje 1983, and was immediately recognized for his luxurious and exotic styles. Prajje is attempting to help Haitian women artisans to explore beading and embroidery to incorporate into his collections. He is a leading exemplar of ethnic-inspired fashion. He is best known in the industry for his glamorous evening dresses flirting with brilliant color setting fashion conscious individuals apart from the crowd.
Our next designer is Bahamian clothing “engineer” Theodore Elyett, who studied at the Parson School of Design and has since won numerous awards. He is a handsome and creative professional with more than 10 years of extensive knowledge of ready-to-wear, the latest fashion trends and familiarity with fashion history. Well versed in color combination/code, manual designs and marketing principles Elyett is sure to please anyone who attends is clothing design saavy. Elyett recently made headlines for his stelar work on Miss Universe Bahamas wardrobe for the Miss Universe Pageant.
BVI’s pride is Trèfle Designs’ Kristin Frazer who creates flattering swimwear from petite to plus sizes. Her cover-ups are a delight and she gets her inspiration from desert flora and fauna. Her aim is to offer her customers: “style, comfort, and affordability.” She interned with Carolina Herrera and BCBG and that is something to be very proud of. “The Caribbean is my home and Trèfle is my way of sharing it with the world.” Amoung many, her most noteable client to date is Beyonce.
To round out our designer picks, we have selected Roger Gary from Guyana. Regarded as a Caribbean fashion icon, he has developed a signature fashion line called “Aqua Couture” that has become a successful international brand. Another Parsons School of Design student once, he has honed his many skills to produce some of the most elegant eveningwear, daywear, and swimwear for his private clientele and fashion-forward customers. So outstanding are his creations that they have been featured in high-end publications and television media. Although he lives in the U.S. his heart belongs to Guyana.