Ocean Style fails to deliver on promise
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Inspired by Nanny of the Maroons, fashion designer José Duran, who divides his time between New York, Paris and his homeland, the Dominican Republic, made his Jamaican debut at the Ocean Style/Kerrymanwoman Fashion Show at Half Moon on Saturday, November 27.
Paying tribute to Jamaica's female warrior heroine, Duran, whose clothes have been worn by supermodels Sessilee Lopez and Channel Iman in fashion magazines, used camouflage, silk, chiffon, taffeta and elastic bands to show his diversity.
"Every time I do collections, I get inspiration from women and cultures that relate to my Dominican roots," he told Outlook.
The designer creatively adapted netting on the heads and faces of the models to make them look like warriors in a battle. Some wore red paint on their foreheads reminiscent of the blood of battle, even while adding sexy, yet strong sophistication with peeks of their breasts.
But as exciting and different as Duran's work was, he and the other designer, New York's 'Red Carter', were not enough to fulfil the promise made by organisers that this would have been a night of haute couture.
In fact, had it not been for the talented and extremely versatile emcee, Brian Brown, the show would have been totally erased from everyone's minds.
In true comedic fashion, Brown, an executive at the Supreme Ventures' Coral Cliff in the Second City, had the audience in stitches, and when he opened his vocals to do I Wanna Be a Millionaire, he could easily have commanded a standing ovation.
The evening's guests included Quinton Aaron, who played opposite Sandra Bullock in the hit movie Blind Side, music producer Bryce Wilson and Soul Food's Rockmond Dunbar.
Capable of attracting such high-calibre stars to the Half Moon's Cornwall Room, organisers Douglas Gordon and Kerry-Ann Clarke may wish to take a bow, while at the same time start making plans to improve the show in 2011.
Photos by Janet Silvera