Last night, select guests were invited to attend an exhibition and presentation of work from the 2nd and 3rd year students at the Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design in Trinidad. The evening ended with a presentation of awards to winners of the Designer Critic Project – a project that had been set for students by prestigious local designers, which called for them to produce two  outfits based on a specific theme or title given by the designer that correlated to that particular designer’s aesthetic.
Fashion and beauty heavyweights alike were in attendance. Audience members included designer Ecliff Elie – looking incredibly dapper in a grey suit – and the ever-elegant La Toya Woods – Miss Universe Trinidad & Tobago 2010 – in a black column dress with turquoise belted waist. Modeling in the show were this year’s Miss Universe Trinidad & Tobago contestants Greer Iton and 1st runner up Sheniqua Francis, as well as local top models Soowan Bramble and Kimi See Tai.
The student fashion presentation that kicked off the show had some truly impressive pieces, proving that next year’s CAFD graduates will be well equipped to enter the fashion industry with the quality training that they have received during their studies.
The Moody Blues segment was a tribute to denim and urban wear from the 2nd year Diploma and BFA Fashion Design students. Working with denim to create a polished look that doesn’t scream ‘Recycled’ is difficult for many fashion students, but the creativity and strong craftsmanship was clear from beginning to end, especially in outfits where precise tailoring was evident, such as a sculptural cropped denim jacket which appeared to be Japanese-influenced – an Editor’s favourite.
Knit Wits – a collection of jersey dresses by the 2nd and 3rd Level BFA Fashion Design Students – was pleasantly surprising, with lovely cuts and elements of draping to flatter the female figure.
Who would have thought that the tropics could produce quality winter clothing? We certainly were not prepared to be so enticed by the Winter Wonderland segment, whereby heavy tailored coats and wool-lined jackets left us wanting more. The work shown in this segment is already strong enough to compete on an international level, with great attention to detail, form and fit. Winter Wonderland designers, we salute you.
Students for the Designer Critic Project could not have asked for better mentors in the first project of its kind in Trinidad. Meiling, Peter Elias, Shaun Griffith-Perez and Heather Jones were all in attendance to lend their support and present awards to the winners of their individual project themes. Design house Zadd & Eastman unfortunately did not have a representative at the show and CAFD Programme Consultant Carol Mongo presented this award.
Project titles and winners were as follows:
Cultural Cocktail: The melting pot of two cultures
Winner: Elizabeth Jeremy
Zadd & Eastman
Winner: Lisa See Tai
Africa meets the Caribbean in the First World
Winner: Nicola Lezama
Buccoo Reef: the Flora and Fauna of Tobago
Winner: Kurleen Robinson-Charles
Winner: Linda Joseph
Of the project presentations, CFSTYLE.com favourites include the winning outfits from the Meiling and Zadd & Eastman collections, as well as a simple but well-constructed and beautifully fitting yellow chiffon dress in the Shaun Griffith-Perez collection. With the exception of a very few not-entirely-suitable fabric choices, we were very pleased with the project outcomes and enticed by the creativity.
Granted – as with many international runway collections – there were also pieces throughout the night that were questionable on a wear ability/commercial appeal scale, but these were few and far between. The students’ understanding of cohesion within a collection and connection to a specific theme was very obvious, an asset that is sure to prove beneficial upon completion of their studies. Furthermore, the overall result and execution of the show itself was incredibly promising for the future of the Caribbean fashion industry on a whole.
CFSTYLE.com would like to congratulate the entire team that contributed to this show’s success, with a special thank you and congratulations to the CAFD faculty, including Creative Director Christopher Nathan and Programme Consultant Carol Mongo, whose expertise was undoubtedly key to the success of the event and the academic programme on a whole.
- Darcel de Vlugt, Editor
Editor’s Note: Prior to the show, guests were invited to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the exhibition space, which has been beautifully set up with quality portfolio work, batik and silkscreen printing, accessories and finished garments from select students at the CAFD. This exhibition is open to the public until the end of May. If you have not yet had the chance to see the quality of work coming out of the CAFD, we highly recommend that you take the time to visit NAPA and see what is in store for the fashion design industry in the Caribbean.
Stay tuned for the full photo gallery on this event at CFstyle.com