It was a cool spring evening, the perfect backdrop for such an exquisite affair. If the purpose was to have her guests feel ‘at home’, Anya Ayoung-Chee’s selection of the 632 on Hudson was right on target. Upon entering the venue, one was greeted by the lively chatter of guests sipping on anything from Angostura rum to Moscato wine competing with – at any given time – the sounds of sweet calypso and soca music and the tassa drummers of the live band containing Caribbean jazz sensation Etienne Charles and his quintet of musicians. Models decked in Carnival costumes, all designed by Ms. Ayoung-Chee for her 2012 section in Tribe mas band, paraded the floors of the four-story venue, while waiters perused the crowd with national delicacies that invaded my nostrils: barbeque chicken, corn soup, doubles, roti and more… yes, it felt like home.
Designer, Ms. Ayoung Chee, took her time to work the crowd, stopping and greeting as many of her guests as humanly possible, donning a summery green dress that mirrored the attire of a Greek goddess. Her hair was swooped into an up-do that helped show off the beautifully simple one-shouldered dress.
The event was well-attended by key members of society including the likes of Consul General of Haiti in New York, Charles A. Forbin; Consul General of Trinidad & Tobago in New York R.N. Ramgoolam; Minister of Tourism of Trinidad & Tobago, Rupert Griffith; Consul General A. Ramnanan and TDC representatives R. Shandilya and Janelle Chow.
Two and a half hours into the event, the much-anticipated time came for a preview of the Project Runway Season 9 winner’s Summer 2012 collection. Each model sashayed towards the eager crowd to sounds of steelpan and tassa drums. Each piece was very much ‘Anya’; from the bold patterns to the whimsical flow to the classic elegance found only in the simplicity of her designs. After the final design made its way down, three moko jumbies followed dancing to the rhythmic beating of the drums. As Ms. Ayoung-Chee took her walk as designer-extraordinaire, the moko-jumbies encircled her and the models as if to mimick some sort of tribal victory dance.
- Janelle Alexander –