If you TRULY know me then you must know that I "google" myself to see what (if anything) folks are writing about me. I was dismayed at the lack of coverage on Guyana Fashion Week, So I kept "Googling" for the last few months and actually managed to find a flattering article WITH a photo! lol...you KNOW I put the paragraph about Moi in BOLD LETTERING!
GWF final night: Graceful, cute, daring, sizzling
By Iana Seales
Saturday, September 1st 2007
Like a cool breeze blowing on a hot August evening, the graceful designs of Pat Coates kicked off what was a glamorous and statement-filled finale of the inaugural Guyana Fashion Weekend (GFW).
Willowy models floated across the catwalk in pieces so heavenly it set the tone for an evening of timeless displays, although not all the collections could claim that blissful appeal.
If fashion is defined as sexy, daring and wickedly stylish, then the opening night set the tone, with designers such as Olympia Small-Sonaram and Vashti Harlequin feeding us designs so tasty it made the food at Buddy's International Hotel seem less appetizing. But in keeping with traditions everywhere, they saved the best for last, which made the finale a night of triumphs.
Sticking to her established territory and obvious obsession with light colours, Coates opened with a series of chic shirts and skirts, offering a fresh new taste in short, long and cuff sleeves, as well as slender dresses that accentuate curves and compliment a figure that has very few. Known for minor details in cuts, she delivered many well-tailored pieces that all looked as though they belonged in the glossy pages of a top fashion magazine. It would be a sweeter reality, however, if the designer challenged Guyanese women to start a fashion purity craze by stepping out in her pieces.
There was one off-white shirt-skirt in particular that looked like a mixture of silk and linen and just stood out. It was the perfect fit on the petite model, but was so good that maybe it would look just as perfect on any woman. If one word sums up Coates's collection it's quality, because that is exactly what she dished out in her collection of cream, gold, white and off-white pieces.
But shortly after taking us into a dream, compliments of Coates, the organizers changed the atmosphere and shifted gears to a steaming hot, bewitching collection from Nadine and Nikisha Telford who were the break-out designers of the event - new, but gifted and certainly up and coming. With a touch of sex appeal and gothic flavour mixed with some innocence, the sisters spiced up the rather ordinary looking runway.
Cute and daring
Under their Climax label, they offered cute little puff pants, daring corset tops, pencil skirts and midriff jackets, in addition to playful jersey dresses and hooded tunics. And as if the clothes were not hot enough, they stacked up on big platform shoes, wedge slippers and chunks and chunks of accessories. A few of the models working it for the Telford sisters sported huge handbags and stylish clutch purses. At first it seemed like a music video shoot for one of the US rappers, maybe 50 cent or Ludacris, but as the pieces kept coming it got more interesting and the feel of something greater started to emerge.
Climax had a sort of Baby Phat/ Rockawear appeal to it, but with a Caribbean flava with richer colours and cooler fabrics. The pieces which can be considered hip were mainly spandex and silk. It will probably take a few more showings and additional exposure for the Telford sisters to stamp their approval as the youngest, hottest, hippest designers out of Guyana, but they are on their way. Shabeau Magazine presented them with an award for best new designers and have committed to featuring their line offering them an entire year of free advertising, which means the Caribbean is about to get a little hotter with every new Shabeau issue.
By the time the programme was nearing an end, Dereck Moore's sizzling collection of silk and georgette dresses, shirts and blouses had claimed bragging rights on the catwalk, and Sonia Noel was preparing to set off a finale so big and breathtaking that tongues were wagging long after the show had wrapped up. Moore who continues to re-invent himself with chic pieces that celebrate femininity in the way it should be - loud and proud, went for a mature look and revealed his take on how a classy woman who is fashion conscious dresses.
His collection was a mix of black, fuchsia, azure and white, often fused into one. Moore's plus-sized pieces made big look hot, something many designers who do not often venture to cut pieces beyond a size six cannot do. What was particularly good about his collection was the classic touch it had, and the potential to survive scrutiny from critics locally, regionally and we dare say, internationally.
Ruffles and roses
Who begins showing a collection with a chic two-piece, tailored white pants suit that looks like it has been ripped off the back of a model in a Parisian fashion show? Why Sonia Noel of course. And from the minute her first piece hit the stage the tempo was set for a grand finale. It started off with a parade of gorgeous white pieces, pants, skirts and dresses that carried her signature look of ruffles and roses. Then Noel mixed things up with tangerine, cream, black and gold pieces - some cascading off curves with the splendour of water tumbling down falls. And she also gave us sexy, 'in,' daring new looks that combined tube dresses and body-hugging skirts.
Noel incorporated matching hats and handbags into her collection of linen, spandex, cotton and silk pieces. Every look she presented had a sense of totality to it - a particular skill of hers that sets her apart from the crowd. Her designs showed class, an eye for detail, some amount of boldness and a creative flair that stands out every time.
Plus-sizes and sexy bald-headed models
As the night progressed and the designs kept coming some amount of boredom stepped in given that some of the pieces on show failed to ignite interest, but during such moments the audience was able to see who has modelling in their blood and who was merely walking the catwalk, because when the clothes are not interesting, the models at least should be.
Sharon Quinn, a hot plus-sized model out of New York literally stole the show every time she took the stage. Whether it was her playful smile or inviting stare or the sexy sway of her hips, Quinn worked it. The crowd couldn't get enough of her and the designers recognizing as much used her for nearly every collection.
Another face that kept showing up on the catwalk was that of the reigning Miss Guyana Universe, Melessa Payne who was rocking a sexy bald-headed style with three long braids. Payne whose height, slender frame and well-toned complexion resembles that of former international model, Alec Wek, had a presence very few of the models could boast of. There was something simple yet appealing about her, and she stood out in every piece she strutted down the catwalk in.
Sensual and hand-painted designs
Sanola Forte and Rhonda Dunbar were among the new names on the big stage, and of the two, Forte made quite a statement with her Bumblee collection of flowing, knee and ankle-length dresses mixed with skirts and blouses. Using silk, drill and cotton the young designer focused on a more sensual look and pulled it off. Dunbar, on the other hand, showed a mostly grey collection that had a dated look and the styles all seemed overly emphasized. But she also showed promise which means that by this time next year she is likely to mature into a classier designer.
Undeniably Lou-Ann Jackson and Andrea Braithwaite rocked the stage with their signature hand-painted pieces that showed originality in its truest form. They offered form-fitting pants and skirt-suits to dresses and flowing tunics. The natural fabrics used by both women gave their designs appeal, and their clothing has come to embody the essence of cool, classy and comfortable. Jackson treated us to quite a feast when she outfitted the male models in stylish pants and shirts that left uncovered some of those interesting body parts they are allowed to show on stage.
The overseas designers, Donna Dove and Dominique Laroche brought a different kind of fashion that revealed their passion for unconventional clothing - mostly hand-painted designs of male pants and shirts as well as dresses and skirts. It is as if Laroche's collection said, 'Wearable Art.' Both collections were impressive and beautiful with Laroche going for a more strange stage presentation outfitting his models in black net veils.
Guyana Fashion Weekend 2008 has quite a name to live up to, but given the pool of talent locally it promises to be one heck of a show.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.