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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Jacqueline Durran

Movies, we watch sometimes them with sentiment of some childhood story or hero being brought to life on film, for entertainment, to escape the day to day if just for an hour and have a laugh or two. The there are movies that take you to w whole different realm of art, creativity and intellect.

I was looking forward to Pan to see what angles they'd tell the tale and of course the graphics and as I sat watching the first few minutes it seemed promising and then in walks Hugh Jackman as Black Beard's for his first scene and I was hooked. The ruffled, tiered detailing  at the back,  the armor like body and feathers at neckline and cuff. I was completely mesmerized; the last time I did this was for Alice In Wonderland. I immediately looked up the costume designer and Jacqueline Durran's name came up. The British designer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume and won a Satelite Award for her work In Pride and Prejudice and also won an Academy award, Oscar,  BAFTA Award and Costume Designers Guild Award for her work in Ana Karenina. Won Costume Designers Guild Award for Atonement and BAFTA Award for Vera Drake. I haven't even mentioned the numerous nominations she's also received. 

A lot of work goes into each film we see no matter how horrible or fantastic it may be, many elements come together to make that movie possible. And as a person who admires fashion and the work that goes into it I always appreciate good costume design. What was the inspiration, the material used and how each piece got fit into the personality of each character casted. 
I'm not quite sure what tribe she got her inspiration from but the beautifully vibrant colours and costumes textured with feathers and yarns was truly sight to see.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


We've been to Racked events and seen our beloved local designers have their merchandise displayed to be sold. The question is does everyone know Racked and do they know the engine behind the cause and what it's all about? I know I personally had a few questions up in the air so I felt compelled to seek answers to bring awareness to those who've been curious or those who've never heard of RACKED before this post. After all with knowledge comes great power. So I asked one of the founders Ain (pronounced Ah-EEn) Earle a few questions.

Who are the founders of Racked?

Emma Forster-Hiscock of Eenie Meanie Studios,
Ain Earle of The Fashion Arch and DISThink Management
Stephanie Rydle of Creative 25

How did Racked come into being, Why did you start Racked?

RACKED was born out of frustration on the part of the three founders who felt that 
although there is an enormous amount of talent in the growing Trinbagonian fashion
industry, the designers and their products were not always easily accessible to the fashion conscious consumer. There are very successful craft & food markets but nothing that is pure fashion! We wanted to change that.

What is Racked?

RACKED – The Fashion Market is an inclusive shopping experience, exposing emerging and established local fashion and accessories designers and their unique products, all 100% designed and made right here in Trinidad & Tobago, or designed by 
a Trinbagonian and manufactured abroad.

RACKED is an unique shopping experience connecting established and emerging local 
fashion and accessories designers to customers and boutique owners in a profitable and exciting way, with opportunities for direct marketing and retail sales as well as networking with potential clients and retailers. Designers showcase product in a boutique market-style setting that includes both Men’s and Womenswear (children as well), jewellery, bags and accessories. Price points vary with fashion jewellery starting 
at under $100 to fine jewellery retailing at upwards of $1000. Similarly there is locally 
designed and/or made fashion including street, resort, swim and ready-to-wear pieces 
with prices ranging from $250 to upwards of $2000.

What is your vision for Racked, what do you see Racked being in the future?

We see RACKED being bigger! More markets, more designers, more venues and locations.  RACKED in the future can possibly go regional first with markets in varying islands and then even internationally where we can be the umbrella under which designers are represented at tradeshows and expos. We also want to assist with workshops that benefit designers in topics like business management, customer service, quality, exporting etc.

What projects do you have in mind for 2016 that we can look forward to?

We think next year may just see us possibly trying different locations in Trinidad (maybe even Tobago!)

How can we help our fashion industry in Trinidad get to the level it needs to be in your own words?

RACKED aims to help through awareness and even through quality control as we try our best to have a high standard of designers at each of our events and we also try to speak and advise designers who may not have gotten in or even a part of the event with their displays, their product and promotions of their brand. Also through awareness, we try to invite fashion media and boutique owners who will in turn promote the brands as well as foster business relationships where there can be spaces for local wear in various stores and boutiques, respectively.

At a management/holistic level - We need to properly define the industry and all its players. All stakeholders need to be put into various categories (policy maker, implementer, designer, creative/artisan, production, business development/funding, marketing etc.) and understand and respect their category. Not everyone is or should be a part of the fashion industry and that first needs to be understood. Production and quality control needs to be a key and an integral part of the industry as well and more efforts should be made to assist designers with quality production facilities to meet demands.

Monday, December 14, 2015

How We Can Support Local in an Online World

I must admit between the leaving the house, traffic, waiting in lines and all other variables in between it is sometimes a daunting task to get out of the house to shop. Enter "online shopping"; you can search through a store by a scroll and a click away from purchasing and waiting for the items to reach your doorstep is like Christmas throughout the year.
As easy and alluring as this option may be it hurts our local economy and well the environment but that's a totally other conversation. I for one love unique pieces and I am aware that we may not all be able to afford local designers or so it may seem but there are so many ways to support our fellow designers/talents. Go to their events, word of mouth is all a way to support. Knowing all the work and love that goes into our local branded designers and how they try to reach us (the consumer) to get what they are trying to say and also what they are trying to do  which is make a fashion industry for Trinidad and not only that, one that will stand the test of time. In order for that to be achieved and for Trinidad to have a voice in the fashion world our local talents need support. 
 So here is my little contribution: 

I can gush about this man's talent for days because he is. Super clean aesthetic, minimal elegance. He showed his 2014 collection in New York Fashion Week and you can find him at the shop @Normandie 

Flowy, femine, upscale are words that come to mind with CLD. Seasoned in retail she really understands the wants and needs of her clientele. Her collections are often inspired by powerful women figures which makes her design all the more likeable. Her woman is confident and knows what she wants and looks fierce doing it. She's shown in Amsterdam fashion week, New York fashion week and is a force to be reckoned with.

Her thorough knowledge of construction shows in her superbly executed pieces. It's quirky but sleek black and white with bursts of colour. Her Let's Paint! Full collection was shown in New York on The Fashion Gallery New York Fashion Gallery Platform. A tip of the iceberg of her endless talent. You can also find her at The Shop @ Normandie

Jewellery made for the girl who likes that one piece of jewellery she wears with everything. She's bold and assertive but totally lovable. You can feel the love and sentiment behind each piece. In sharp shapes and jagged edges that can only be explained as Haute Savage.

Remember the name as she just signed in collaboration with 212 location. It's the aesthetic that's sexy with elements of one of the guys that any girl can appreciate in her closet. 

Prints, prints, prints. Bold, vibrant and graphic. James Hackett's years or art and graphic design isn't held back in his fabrics. The imaginative story behind the design of each collection that tells a story in each like a beloved series that has you at the edge of your seat waiting to see whats the outcome in the next. Check out his work @BlueBasin and see for yourself.  

Unique hand crafted jewellery in gold and silver with real semiprecious stones, her creations are really something to own and hand down to your children. From necklaces, to midi rings and bracelets. Her years of graphic design only enhances her approach to design. From her collaboration with CLD for her KIS collection you can also find her work showcased at CLD.

Designs both children and women's clothing- her prints are a subtle nod to the Caribbean showing her creative and unique approach to the easy laid back attire of the people but in a very approachable way. As a mom I can totally relate to her aesthetic (the chic version of put on and out the door). Found @BlueBasin
Which brings me to another favourite of mine

From her ingenious fabric jewellery to her shift dresses with pockets (i love pockets btw) to her maxis and the list goes on. She also approaches design in an easy going aesthetic but with vibrant pops of colour and geometric and tribal prints. She's also collaborating with Anya Ayoung-Chee for Lost Tribe Carnival. Found @nomorefashionvictims @shopshari

Jewellery for a cause to keep the nesting grounds of the leatherback turtle to make a difference and change the path of their extinction. The beads are made from the discarded bottles found in these areas and money made from items is put right back into the project.

The quintessential island girl in African prints and more that make for good statement pieces in your wardrobe. Easy going and sexy, founded by the Wadada twins and right on the Avenue.

Now this list isn't the tip of the iceberg of the many talented designers there are out there in our beloved Trinidad and Tobago but you get where I'm coming from. If you're really interested in supporting our locals they can sometimes be found from UpMarket to Racked, Fashion Focus events and now Magazine and lots more keep in touch with events on Facebook. When you go to the events you find the new and upcoming with the seasoned designers showcasing their work and you can't help but fall in love with each designer's designs and mix and matching them in your head with what's in you closet.
From going to these events I have met a few of the designers personally and they are all hard workers, passionate about what they do, just like Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Kate Spade etc. we can give our locals a fighting chance to make a name for themselves and our country in an unforgiving industry. They make wonderful gifts (as Christmas is around the corner).