Garfene Grandison, Gleaner Writer
With the Olympic glory hot on our heels, the training ground for legends the UWI Usain Bolt track partnered with fashion for a photoshoot featuring celebrated designer Cedella Marley. The University of the West Indies was chosen as the place for the shoot because like Jamaica, it shares a rich history embedded in our culture since the university is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its transition from a college of the University of London to a full-fledged institution in 1962.
In the height of the Olympic fever and as we get ready to celebrate Jamaica 50, Flair was granted access to showcase a few of Marley's pieces that will soon be exclusively available at kerrymanwomanhome lifestyle boutique.
Marley told Flair that the inspiration behind the collection was 1970s Jamaica yardie style. Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Michigan and Smiley were all popular Jamaicans who inspired the collection. "We wanted to take what we have done with Puma and bring it to a different audience utilising the same overall inspiration, just more feminine, flirty and fun, Marley told Flair.
Though she has had the ideas for a while, she confessed that she did not start to put things together until three months before Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW) between her travels to and from London.
Although producing an all-female line this time around, Marley shared that she has always been interested in a men's collection and promises to get one done in the near future. Her new line now goes under the Cedella Marley Collection line, but she still intends to design pieces for her first design label, Catch A Fire.
Like her last collection showing back in 2005, this year's pieces were deeply Jamaican. Why so patriotic you might ask? Marley tells us, "Jamaica is a little island that has produced so much legendary greatness, so we are carrying on the tradition that has been set. Artists and people from all over the world gain inspiration from Jamaica, so it is natural for us to feel proud of that fact and do what we do best."
Many have had questions about the 'Jamaicaness' of the print. Marley explained, "the tribal print is inspired by our rich African heritage. I always like to use patterns in my designs, and it was great to find a pattern that inspired the collection."
Added to the greet feedback she got at CFW, Marley got more 'street cred' when the Jamaican Olympic uniform which she designed was voted as the best by Time magazine. Of this feat Marley feels very proud. She tells us, "I am very proud of the collection. I think our goal was achieved. Our team looks amazing for the opening ceremony, podium and on track." She added, "I believe their performance will match their look and it will be a great collective effort for Jamaica."
Adding to the list of growing accolades, she has already signed an extension with Puma, so for her, the future is bright.
Creative Director: Garfene GrandisonModel: Shona Bewley (MJW 2012 third-place princess)Make-up by: Paul MarchTel: 840-5420Accessories by: Reve JewellersShop 12, Devon House908-2498Clothes provided by: Cedella Marley available at Kerry Manwomanhome18 South AvenueKingston 10Tel: 929-2096Location: UWI Usain Bolt TrackUWI MonaPhotographer: Gladstone Taylor