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BARBADOS - fashion week 2006

These hooped skirts by Rykki De Jude were show-stopping.

Web Posted - Fri Mar 31 2006
By Khalil Goodman Compliments of the Barbados Advocate

BARBADOS Fashion Week (BFW) this year has indicated the need for more support of the Barbadian fashion industry and local designers.

No more could this be evident than in the work of 19-year-old design star Antonio Cumberbatch. At only 18 years old, last year the Barbados Community College student was able to take his Posh Punk designs to the prestigious Caribbean Fashion Week and wow audiences enough to garner much praise and press coverage.

This year Cumberbatch debuted on the BFW stage with a new line. Showcasing an equally clever design style and some really nice folding of fabric it called to mind that with enough money for the right fabrics Cumberbatch could easily become Barbados answer to an equally young designer turned international fashion star Narciso Rodriguez.

Similarly so in the work of last years Invincible magazine Rising Star winner Rykii De Jude who used a fantastic Spanish/Catholic theme to his pieces, but seemed limited to many of the same fabrics and colours as last years line.

As local designers need the support so too does the industry. It is doubtful if the BFW team is able to cover all the costs of putting on such an event. But, certainly the fact that more photographers and television stations from the United States, Canada and the Caribbean region arrived here to document the event proves that not only is it growing, but that it has the potential to make money. If the rights of taping such an event can be sold and if it is marketed correctly, the show can become as central to the cultural calendar as say the Barbados Jazz Festival or the Holders Season. One thing that does not need to be changed are the designing talent, with this years work for the most part seeming both more high in creativity and quality of finished product.

Saturday night was in no small way exceptional due to the Carlton line by Jamaican designer Carlton Brown who brought a Spring/Summer mens line that was creative, urbane and cutting edge.

Starting off with some gender bending by having beautiful girl models rock his dapper suits, the male models then hit the runway to loud applause for every piece. A little bit 1960s Carnaby Street Mod mixed with present day Glam-rock sensibility Carltons pieces were for the stylish and assured Caribbean male ofthe new millennium. Velvet blazers, asymmetrical cuts, bright colours and unusual finishes were the watchwords for Carlton.

Holding it down for the ladies was Barbadian designer Sharon James, who presented a stylish, sophisticated style. With some 1940s silhouettes and lovely fabrics James pieces were standout.

Also of note were the pieces of Pat Blackman whose dresses were experimental, beautiful and sexy earning her a second showing on Sundays finale and later this years Invincible magazine Rising Star award.

Also Barbadian designers, Adrii Holder with the Celsius line and Avark also showed again on Saturday to much acclaim. Also showing Saturday was the beautiful white dresses of Carol Lowe, Colefacts and the African influenced designs of Rose Harvey and the stylish, colourful designs of Ruby Gibson-Bradshaw.

Sunday night it was standing room only as the Sherbourne Conference centre was packed with patrons clamouring for fashion. This was the most international night with the bright colours of Yola Grey, the sexual swimwear and loungewear of Aneesha Gooding, the earthy and fun skirts of Andrea Kings Fifth Element and the dapper and expert cuts of Barbadian Rojoe.

Also of note Barbadian Patrick Eastmond whose corset tops, skirt and pantaloons and jodhpurs hearkened to our colonial past, but guaranteed a successful personal future.



Nefertari at the Caribbean Fashion Week in Kingston Jamaica
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