Our Caribbean aesthetic has become the go-to inspiration, the reference template, the New World style, the vanguard design thinking and the cutting-edge frontier-people flair. It’s in our DNA, this exhibitionistic, je ne sais quoi know-it-all avant-garde sensibility.
"We must claim it and identify with its connoisseurship", says fashion impresario, Richard Young. "Remember Anya Ayoung-Chee's win at Season 9, Project Runway. Her style was imbued with bombast, bravura and braggadocio, all influenced by her Caribbean essence."
An appreciation of this distinctiveness and this singular cosmopolitan feel that is experienced nowhere else in the world identifies us as the consummate feel-good style-makers.
Feel-good fashion encompasses cultural indices which emanate from our soul. For style resides elementally in our soul. ‘Behind the perfection of one’s style, must lie the passion of one’s soul’, as espoused by the quintessential aesthete, Oscar Wilde. Most designers convey this message and most consumers possess this character, thus a most natural convergence of energies exists.
Heather Jones and Neha Karina are resplendently cultural in their references utilising Indocentric and Afrocentric synthesis in their design contributions. And this is characteristic of island-style brands in post-colonial societies. They reflect the nuances of our cultural heritage and borrow notions of our eclectic admixture. The corollary is, that we all can feel good about identifying with the style lines and their storytelling capture. Feel-good fashion combines frivolity and whimsy with purpose and passion, to empower us with confidence and savvy. In a word, style never speaks, but somehow is always saying something, and in our context, we can always feel good, wearing our indigenous style.
An elegant black and white ensemble by designer Charu Lochan Dass
Feel-good fashion captures the fantasy of touch and enhances the dimension of sexuality. The pandemic has accelerated this desire to pursue 'fantasy'. And the Caribbean always symbolises fantasy.
Charu Lochan Dass and Claudia Pegus epitomise these aspects of luxury and comfort. Styles in plush and breathing fabrics are combined to create refreshing possibilities yearning for post-pandemic liberation. Feel-good fashion is perennial in the context of our Caribbean aesthetic with go-to tactile cocktails becoming de rigueur - silken, veiled and sheer---conjuring up a Caribbean couture that is charismatic as it is charming.
We are ready to take on the world! For, this feel-good sensibility is the craze, universally. Our designer portfolios are already replete with captions of the multifaceted nature of our Caribbean mosaic. Our fashion psyche allows us to craft a spectacular array of alternatives that bespeak our plural style and celebrate our sought-after Caribbean aesthetic.
We can invigorate an awareness of this style as apportioned by our 11 prime prospects of the Global Value Chain (GVC) tier at The Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Company (FashionTT)---Meiling, Ecliff Elie, The Cloth, J'Angelique, The Hideout Clothing, Genesis Swimwear, 1ndividual Aesthetic, Heather Jones, Charu Lochan Dass, Neha Karina, Claudia Pegus.
Resort wear by Heather Jones.
They are our front liners in branding our style and presenting it to the world to create an appetite for our alternate style choices and set ablaze a firestorm for local and progressively regional consumption, with a target on international niche markets.
Lisa Marie Daniel, General Manager of FashionTT, emphasizes: "Our designers are well equipped to capitalise on this GVC venture and we, at FashionTT, are indeed excited to work alongside them on the journey to bolster global trade and enter untapped markets."
Feel-good carries with it notions of holistic living associated with the power of touch. Contemporary style, globally, is transposing wellness through fashion. Our very own Claudia Pegus, Heather Jones, Charu Lochan Dass and Neha Karina celebrate ergonomic garments in breathing fibres and caressing textures, desirous of impacting optimistically on who we are. In fact, most of our designers share, implicitly, this responsibility to kinaesthetics in design as they wish to embolden their clients with comfort, confidence and charisma, so ultimately transferring feel-good values and inspiration. At this critical time in our fashion evolution, style is conveyed effortlessly, through fashion that triggers hope and optimism, comfort and luxury and above all, feel-good and look-good energy.
One of Neha Karina’s Indo-inspired designs.