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Styleweek takes ART to FASHION

Published:Sunday | July 18, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Sosheba Griffiths flashes a cheeky smirk while she models an HOD design at Saint International Styleweek's International Mecca of Style fashion show at Fort Charles, Port Royal recently. - Winston Sill / Freelance Photographer

'Fashion is only the attempt to realise art in living forms and social intercourse'  -  Sir Francis Bacon.

SAINT International's recent staging of Styleweek Jamaica was a success on many fronts. The artistry projected by designers helped 'Bring back the Glam' to Kingston after a riotous period.

Chief among the successes was the creativity displayed by the featured designers - homegrown and international. The designer creations displayed on the world's top models (including the world's top black supermodel-of-the-moment Sessilee Lopez) seemed to be playing to a musical refrain that could easily be titled 'Fashion is Art'.

It was evident that Jamaica's top designers and eager newcomers were in the mood to show the world that they had as much creative gusto as any of their counterparts in the fashion capitals of London, Paris, New York and Milan. The Styleweek Jamaica platform (across all the events) is promoted as a hotbed of style innovation. Through Styleweek, new designers always emerge onto the fashion landscape in a dynamic way.

"What we witnessed was a noticeable maturity in the collections our designers presented," said Dewight Peters, Saint CEO and creator of Styleweek Jamaica.

"The attention to detail was commendable, as it underscored the versatility of the pieces. The avant- garde leanings of designers such as Dexter Pottinger, Gregory Williams of HOD, Allan Virgo, Donovan Depass, Kenya Henry and others was a delight," he added.

The inspiration

  • Allan Virgo - The geometric and architectural shapes of select European buildings in the 1940s, is the inspiration behind his collection. His fascination with the lines, shapes and overall simplicity of these buildings, as they stood out from the crowd, have greatly influenced the silhouettes. All of the pieces in his collection were geometrically tailored to capture the effortlessness for these structures as well as the sultry edge and elegant style to associate with the opulent 1940's.

  • Dexter Pottinger - Pottinger, who recently visited Cuba, was fascinated by the street-fashion culture, which he described as very "Eurocentric-styled with a Caribbean flavour." The co-existence of traditional 1940s and 1950s architecture, alongside contemporary fashion modelled by young, hip islanders, had a great impact on the designer.

"I was quite impressed with the way the young Cubans dress, but the architecture is what I fell in love with - quaint yet powerful," said Pottinger.

Styleweek designers were inspired by wide-ranging influences, from exotic locations in Jamaica, to Cuba and Paris, the elemental characters of 1960s architecture and more.

Ironically, Paris recently hosted the summer edition of the Haute Couture Collections where a dress can be as expensive as a house. Design houses from Christian Dior, Armani Prive, Jean Paul Gaultier and others showed their most avant-garde sensibilities.

From the ghost-like, three-headed creation that opened Dexter Pottinger's 3D Collection, to the magnetic artistry by Kenya Henry, to the intensity of Donnovan Depass' uncomplicated silhouettes, it was obvious that designers at this year's event were influenced by and considered their designs art.

The Gleaner-sponsored Style-week Jamaica was a three-day fashion feast pumped by the theme 'Bringing Back The Glam To Kingston'. The event started with the Men's Collection at the grounds of Devon House on Friday, July 9, followed by The International Mecca Of Style at the legendary Fort Charles, Port Royal, on July 10, and concluded in a carnival-like atmosphere with the blockbuster Fashionblock on Sunday, July 11.