Made for Women / Designed by Men

We’re back on the topic of Monday Wear! What has become one of the most anticipated Monday of the year for many Trinbagonians is also big day to make a statement on the road as many women bring out their creativity in how they dress before the big parade on carnival Tuesday. In the 90s it was a norm for masqueraders to wear their costume bikini on both Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Nowadays, if you’re not at home with your girls designing them yourself chances are you’ve opted to choose from the many designers now providing Monday wear as a collection for the road. Some women like to keep it simple and other might have what looks like an entire “Monday costume”. After all, Carnival has a natural way of bringing out the creativity in many. We know that most ladies may already have their look for Carnival Monday decided but have you ever wondered what the designers think about this Monday wear culture? Particularly, now
that there are more male designers creating Monday wear, has it ever crossed your mind what their experience is like dealing with women for carnival? As Carnival quickly approaches, we want to share what we found out from a male designer’s perspective.

Ryan Chan is an international designer from Trinidad and Tobago excelling as a costume designer for Trinidad and Regional carnival bands. He has created and produced fashion shows and collections, he has excelled at high fashion garments and is sought out designer by local celebrities and anybody with a daring soul. Ryan is well-known for his Monday looks on the road by many women.

The XX Team met up with male designer Ryan Chan to find out about his Female Monday wear collection for 2019 and his experience designing for women. Here’s what he shared with us.

XX: Describe your brand to us?
Ryan Chan: I would say that my brand is fierce. Through my work im focused on being edgy, fresh and daring. Ryan Chan is a brand on the rise.

XX: Tell us about your Monday Wear 2019.
RC: For Carnival this year, my Monday collection is called “Botanica”, which was inspired
by savaged flowers. The idea came to me naturally as I was thinking about what I wanted
to create this year. I knew that I wanted a sort of deadly-Secret-Garden-type of vibes. So for instance, the different looks for my Monday wear collection are Opium, Datura, Nightshade, Raflesia and Angels Trumpet. Each look has a story behind it.

XX: Why did you choose to design for women?
RC: Although I design for both men and women, for me, I love designing for women because they can be a little more adventurous whereas men might think doing certain things to their design is too much and this might make him lose his confidence. Women are just really fun to design for and women will go overboard with me in their looks, which I like because my design can be considered “extra”. I love when women see my costumes on the mannequin and then when they try it on, their confidence is beaming. I absolutely love seeing the reactions from them.

XX: How would you describe Trini women for carnival?
RC: I have noticed that Trini women tend to be more adventurous with looks compared to a regular day. They are willing to push the style just a little bit more which is think is hot.

XX: What’s the craziest request you’ve gotten from a woman?
RC: Thankfully, I have had really great clients that didn’t make any crazy requests except for one client that ordered a costume from me, never made a downpayment, never followed up on the order then called a year later saying that she was ready to come pick up the order. I think that was just crazy, LOL.

XX: How difficult is it to design for women?
RC: When it comes to Carnival, women know what they want! It’s almost like if it’s their second wedding day because they need everything to be perfectly in place. They expect
everything to be one hundred. If you don’t give it to them, they might act up a bit. But I would say I have never had a bad client, so ladies keep coming, I love you all.

XX: If you could design a Monday wear or carnival costume for any woman in the world who would it be and why? 

RC: There are so many women I would love to design for, but I feel like I would particularly love to design for Angelina Jolie. Just looking at her in movies she is like a goddess and her look just inspires me. I think I would go crazy designing for her, I would just be in awe to do that.

Sache Alexander

Editor in Chief

Sache loves all things Beauty & Caribbean and she enjoys discovering a combination of both!

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