Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Fresh from dressing Tyra Banks' 'America's Next Top Model' competitors, Jamaican fashion designer Ashley Martin stood tall among Trinidad's Meiling, boutique operator Eve's Closet, and a host of contemporaries, last weekend at the Ocean Style FashionShowcase in Montego Bay.
Now in its fifth year, the Douglas Gordon-founded event was topped resplendently by the likes of Montego Bay's Pablo Palair, Trinidad's Kaj Designs and Canada's GSUS. Gordon had on show some 15 designers, all unique in their offerings.
Transforming ATL's Bogue City Centre into a New York Fashion Week look and feel, his partnership with the Adam Stewart-run organisation saw him complementing the creme de la creme of male and female couture, with brand of the future and Europe's number-one car, Audi.
"The entire world is going Audi," came Stewart's pronouncement, as he modeled the top-of-the-line vehicle to the large audience that converged on the venue.
Stewart used his time onstage to laud Gordon, who he described as a "Man with a big vision".
But, it was hardly an evening of speeches, it was all fashion, injected with music and performances from the likes of Evin Lake, an artiste many described as Bob Marley reincarnated.
It was an evening that designer Meiling savoured, having copped the Ocean Style 2012 award for her creativity in fashion. The Trinidadian's pieces were simply beautifully painted and dyed silks, inspired by kites that children across the Caribbean fly with fervour.
And it was what Jamaicans in the streets would describe as a 'sell off' night for Ashley Martin, whose 'Attitude' collection of silk, feathers and Swarovski crystals, created waves on and off.
From Eve's Closet came designer pieces by Tracy Reese, a favourite of First Lady Michelle Obama and Grammy Award-winning singer Taylor Swift. The Trinidad-based boutique boasted the coveted position of being the only fashionhouse in the Caribbean that carries Reese's clothing.
The aim of Eve's Closet is to provide women with quality and stylish clothes that will bring out the best ... that is women accepting the fact that fashion is transformational, a statement that has proved true.
One of two male designers on the show, Pablo Palair, displayed a mature and inspiring collection that had women in awe and men with an obvious desire.
Other designers on the weekend showcase included Kaj Designs; Mission Catwalk designers Crystal Powell, Ayana Dixon, Shenna Carby and Franchester Christie; Spokes Apparel (menswear); T &T Fashions; Julan's Closet; Femheka; Marlon Durrant, and Whitney Linen.