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BUSH-CHIC (BUSHIQUE) - From chain gang to runway: An introspective collection from fashion designer, Robert Hall

Published:Monday | May 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM

 Fidge Fletcher, Fashion Contributor

Jamaican fashion designer, lecturer and workshop presenter Robert Hall has been working in the fashion industry for many years. He is a creative soul who is passionate about design and takes pride in introducing persons to how to build and add depth to their fashion collections. With his new collection, Hall is changing the game and setting a tone and standard for the new approach to menswear.

Bush-chic (bushique) takes us on a fashion journey that shows us the Caribbean and its take on menswear and how it is seen as a confluence of multiple cultures. The collection's aesthetics is derived from European, East African and American influences. The result is the vibrant and colourful culture of fashion and how it translates to the runway, using bold prints and a crazy pop of colours embedded into traditional silhouettes.

The pieces in the collection that were designed under the RDH label celebrate many of these sensibilities. The silhouettes begin in the Caribbean histories. The jacket, the T-shirt, the tank and shorts - some of which are modified and tweaked - are redesigned to fit more of the temperature requirements of the Caribbean man. The Caribbean menswear has changed throughout the years, focusing on more bold colours and prints being worked within suits, Bermuda shorts, fitted tanks and tunics.

The jacket has been made sleeveless, reflective of a general reductive approach to the silhouettes. The T-shirt compliments this trend as it is the only item coming across as boxier. His choice of vibrant rich fabrics and prints, which have heavy African influence, are more traditionally viewed as womenswear, which is appropriate to redesign and conceptualise on the male form. This contrast is an investigation of neutrals and rich colours that reflect the natural whites and tans, which are standard in the Caribbean environment. Taffetas, satins, damasks and jacquards, both printed and solid, contrast linens, cottons and tropical wool suiting, which also can be replaced and fitted for Caribbean wear, resulting in pieces that should provide some exciting solutions for the Caribbean man, whether worn as full look or incorpo-rated into his existing wardrobe.

Experimenting with various colours is the direction in which we have seen menswear go this season for the spring/summer, and this will continue into the spring/summer 2015 collections. The prediction for Robert Hall and his brilliant menswear collection has given a new direction and approach that will set a new standard for Caribbean menswear, and will be certainly fitting if he stays on this path to carry his collections to a global market.


Designer: Robert Hall

Fashion photography: Wade Rhoden