Carifesta is the biggest celebration of the Arts of the Caribbean and it’s here again after 13 years. Wow, what a birthday celebration smack in the middle of my birth month. Everyone knows how much of a Caribbeanist, I am, so I am elated to experience the prolific talents and interact with the wealth of creatives over the next couple of weeks here in our festival centre of the West Indies.
There is definitely going to be a treat of fashion and design contributions and collections expostulating through clean-cut, crafty, couture statements from within the multiethnic and multilingual Caribbean landscape.
Fashion is going to be represented spectacularly and featured at the Grand Market at the Savannah, allowing a wide cross-section of style influencers to cohabit for 10 days. What wondrous collaborations could be forged with the regional similarities and insular differences manifest in that gayelle of Carifesta excellence?
Today, we peep into the signal runway event to be held at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom, ‘Oui Papa Yo!’ with images of three participating designers. Claudia Pegus, the acclaimed maven of Caribbean couture and the recipient of the Caribbean Fashion Week master designer award, will be showcasing in her resplendently signature style, branding her pushing-the-envelope excellence with exquisite aplomb and meeting international best-practice standards. I can’t wait to see her show-stopper style and positing Trinidad as a mecca of style in the region.
David Andre Collection of Haiti is no stranger to Trinidad. He has been at the pinnacle of French Caribbean style flaunting a clean-cut palette of stylish separates, impressive ensembles and imaginative coordinates which expresses an uncluttered sophistication that is proprietarily Caribbean in its composition and French in its superlative finish and intrinsic style. He brings his new, timeless silhouettes in organic textiles to ignite our identity-branding Caribbean aesthetic with de rigueur Haitian design.
St Lucia possesses a duality of style with its franco-anglophone, cross-cultural reference. Representing the Helen of the West Indies is Lyn Bristol, with her brand LBM Designs, who has shown extensively, her imprint throughout the region at festivals and fashion weeks. She is an artist turned designer and brings her individualistic art to textile surface treatment on breathing fabrics. She creates her expressive aesthetic through hand-painting, batik and tie-dye applications which transform her apparel to an eclectic Afro-Caribbean elegance that is an easy, breezy, beautiful island style.
Be it clean-cut silhouettes, textured yarns or exotic couture, Oui Papa Yo! will certainly expound on our Caribbean aesthetic in true-to-form regional grandeur.