When I went to the atelier in Belmont to select garments for the cover shoot with the Freetown Trinity, I was at once refreshed upon experiencing the breathing textiles and the easy-on-the-eye colourations which compose the ‘Clean Slate’ collection. I felt a natural and compelling connection to that particular aesthetic as far as styling the extraordinarily talented trio who exude a correlative natural, unique and above all pushing-the-envelope appeal.
Across the showroom juxtaposed to the taupe-like beiges, camel khakis, matte blacks, bone whites and lily whites was a popping highlight of shades of blue – sky, cerulean, indigo, cobalt, azure, all readying for The Cloth’s Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) showing at Villa Ronai, Stony Hill, Kingston, Jamaica.
Recipient of the Caribbean Master Designer at CFW, creative director and principal designer at the Cloth, Robert Young speaks of the ‘This Project Blue’ collection as the revolutionary capstone line for 2019. Borne out of a ‘resourcing’ in the absence of a Caribbean textile industry, “we sought organic refuge by reaching across the Indian Diaspora into India’s emancipatory textile practices.” The textile, hand-made by the people and endorsed by Mahatma Gandhi, united the continent in a movement that took them out from under the thumb of British colonial rule. The mostly indigo-dyed collection is at play with our regional ‘maljo blue’ concept with which Young has been consistently preoccupied. Maljo patois for ‘mal yeux‘, (bad eye), revolves around the concept of the potency of blue in cutting the ‘bad eye’ that may be cast upon one by detractors.
‘This Project Blue’ premiered with a successful pre-collection showing at O2N Style 2 at O2 Park, the full collection of which was recently unveiled at CFW. The shades of blue revel in a liberating spirit utilising caressing silks, organic cotton and exquisite linens and capturing a New Age resort apparel that shouts modern Caribbean style, harking back to Three Canal’s refrain of “painting the town blue”, be it a “colour or a pigment”.