Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Reggae and techno beats swirled into the night air at Jamaica’s Style Week 2011 womenswear presentation at Fort Charles in Kingston. Spindly models tip toed in heels on a long runway comprised of multiple levels and precarious steps.
Island designers shared the catwalk with international imports to create a multinational and colorful showcase of black style and homegrown talent. Paris based Kevin O’Brian offered couture elements with dramatic, face obscuring headpieces, which accented dramatic light reflecting and lace gowns. Michael Kors outerwear designer Allan Virgo took a break from his Madison Avenue inclinations to offer asymmetrical skirts and maxi dresses in his signature patchwork patterns. HOD showed promise with generously hooded tops and jumpsuits with parachute pockets. And T&T by Simone Gordon presented red carpet worthy options, including a one shoulder red mini and a watercolor splashed maxi frock.
Not to be overlooked were American designers Sammy B, Mataano, and LaQuan Smith , who triumphed due to their indelible skill. Mataano suggested 70’s safari separates in rompers and silken skirts; LaQuan dazzled with candy-coated dresses with flirty hems.
The show had its share of hiccups: a few unfinished materials, and loose zippers. But the passion was more than apparent in the late night effort, and unquestionable prettiness abounded, both on the elevated runway and in the hopeful faces of Jamaican born beauties.
-Claire Sulmers for Vogue Italia