Vivienne Westwood inspired Nicki Wright for CFW 2016
Caribbean Fashionweek will turn 16 years old on Friday, June 17, as the runway, lights, models and fashion come alive.
With a tribute to music and fashion icon Prince as a major highlight of this year's activities, a spectacular event is expected to unfold at the lovely Villa Ronai in Stony Hill, Jamaica. Prince's band - The Time - led by Morris Day, will perform all his hits, live in concert on Sunday, June 19.
Designers from the Caribbean, Europe and the United States will be on show, including the region's heavyweights - Meiling, Phelicia Dell, Claudia Pegus, Uzuri,
Mutamba, The Mushroom, The Cloth, among scores of others. The Vivienne Westwood-inspired young designer, Nicki Wright, will fly in from London for her first CFW showing.
Born in Linstead, St Catherine, but raised in London, Wright has worked in fashion most of her adult life, starting in the industry as a fashion editor, before transitioning to model agency representation, and then settled where her
heart has always been - fashion designing.
We caught up with Wright and asked her a few questions ahead of her CFW debut.
How long have you been designing, and how did you find fashion as your calling?
Fashion is in my blood. At age four, I started making clothes for my dolls. Back then, my mother knew exactly what career path I would follow.
I have always been good at mixing vibrant colours and textures to make beautiful clothes, and my Caribbean heritage, with its rich offering of strong, vibrant women, have influenced my calling, which I have known existed from I was a small child.
Describe your design aesthetic.
Caribbean vibrancy meets British punk. My clothes are quite bold so my fabrics have to be, as well. The woman who wears my line has to embrace a certain level of risque. She doesn't like to conform, and her wardrobe selection is not going to be the norm. That woman does not live up to or believe in the dictates of a society that says - sticking with black, navy and greys are the only way to demonstrate class in your mode of dress. My philosophy combines brave colours with some level of sexiness, expertly constructed to combine both confidence and class. This, to me, is much more exciting and appealing to the eye. Fashion must be expressive and fun.
What is the inspiration for this collection you are preparing for Caribbean Fashionweek?
This collection is a tribute to Prince. He was a very eccentric and creative man, and I am delighted to have a collection inspired by the artist. I have drawn inspiration from fine and sharp lines, layering, and bold colours. I have also taken inspiration from steam punk and structure from corsetry. I like the idea of leather and I feel it adds sex appeal.
Which fashion heavyweights do you look up to?
British designer Vivienne Westwood for structure, corsetry; and Italian designer Roberto Cavalli for his use of leather as part of his designs.
What are you most looking forward to as you make your debut at CFW 2016?
I'm looking forward to giving back to Jamaica through my creativity. I was born in Jamaica and raised in the UK, so I am dedicating my collection to Jamaica. I am proud to be Jamaican, and would like to let the world know the source of my creativity - where it all started.