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The low down on fashion with Annie Lopez

Published:Monday | October 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Annie Lopez strikes a pose, still showing that she has it in this Jamaica 50th-inspired dress. Originally made in the '90s, in black with white side details, Lopez used her hand-painting skills to transform this masterpiece. Rudolph Brown/Photographer
One of Lopez's design, dating back to 1962, being modelled by Beverley HoSang.
This 'Calypso Cha Cha'-themed skirt, modelled by Delores Alford, was a part of Annie Lopez' collection for Victoria Market in 1957.
Christine Kimble, who was Miss Cremo Ltd, wearing a beautiful Annie Lopez creation in 1968.

Jody-Anne Lawrence, Lifestyle Reporter

When it comes to fashion decades Lopez has a special love for the '80s.

When the first issue of the Flair Magazine was published on October 16, 1984, Annie Lopez was at the top of her game in Jamaica's fashion industry. Our page two had a competition to win a designer piece, and she was among the top designers, along with Mae Feurtado, Flossie Thomas, Frances Keane, and Josie Buchanan.Thirty years later we got her take on how the fashion industry has changed.

The '80s

Lopez misses the '80s. She describes it as a time of high fashion when everyone loved to dress up and had their own personal style to explore. Because of this, designers had more room to be creative.

"I miss the '80s and even the early '90s. The '80s was the hay day of high fashion, and we were able to experiment more," said Lopez.

This was a period of true fashion risks, when getting all dolled up was something that individuals looked forward to. While the jumpsuits and miniskirts were still quite popular then, there was a distinction between formal and casual attire. Cocktail events had women dressing in semi-formal dresses and high heels, while men wore dress shirts with ties and formal pants. The same cannot be said 30 years later.

Millennium Fashion

Today, Lopez sees a blurring of the lines between casual and formal. While many will argue that the millennium has incorporated fashions from the various decades, making it a more flexible fashion era, spectacular and fashion-forward would not be how Lopez would describe it. In her eyes, fashion has dwindled.

"With cocktail events, when even men would dress up, you see them wearing denim pants and dressing it up with a shirt instead of really dressing up. Women do this too and when they do not, the skirts are so short," she lamented. Lopez blames the demise of fashion on the poor economy.

"People have to wear what they can afford, and the economy is at its worst," said explained. So, with the dwindling economy, less fabric is used and the quality of clothing decreases.

But with all these changes, Lopez notes that it has not affected her style. She still works with the cut-work embroidery, knit and high-fashioned designs. Financially, it might not be the most productive, but it is what she is happy with and loves doing.

She is still optimistic and thinks there is hope for the industry and that we can work with what we have. "Something made with good fabric lasts you longer, so try and get good fabric. But you can make cheaper fabric look more expensive based on what you make with it and how you 'accessorise' it," she advised.

While fashion has changed, there is nothing that will take her out of the industry. She continues doing what she loves with pride and joy.