Dave Rodney, Contributor
Fashion is undoubtedly one of the high altars at which many New Yorkers worship and for good reason. Many international fashion trends begin in the belly of Brooklyn or the Bronx, and when they begin elsewhere, they usually come to New York for that enviable 'sell-off' seal of approval.
Caribbean designers who are based here are very much part of the creative nerve centre that drives the fashion engine in New York and many of them are making the most of the fashion opportunities that the convergence of the Jamaica 50 celebrations and the Olympics in London present. Even a few mainstream fashion houses are quietly slipping bold Jamaican designs into their inventory without as much as a whisper.
The end result of the upcoming celebrations is a profusion of commemorative Jamaican clothing that utilises light fabrics to fend off the summer heat. Black, green and gold are, of course, the predominant colours, but designers who cater to Jamaicans do flirt with other colours as well, sometimes incorporating the connectivity of reggae red for a little sizzle. And in this year of Jamaica 50, some designs are biodegradable and eco-friendly.
And looking good is no longer the exclusive domain of women as men have been stepping up to the plate, taking as much pride in what they wear as they do in what they drive.
An exciting and exploding new style development on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn is the fashion remix where garments that are intended to make a statement at a particular event are taken to a particular designer for a 'remix'. The 'remix' often embellishes and recreates the garment to the extent that it appears to be brand new, a horse of a different colour.
Here are some of the designs that are exploding on the streets, at concerts, balls, clubs and parties for Jamaica 50.