Shopping Spree: My Favourite Things at Racked TT!

Image RACKED TT/FACEBOOK.COM

For every Trinidadian fashion lover, Sunday July 5th was highlighted on your day planner, calendar and in your phones because it was the date of the country’s premiere design fair, Racked TT! Held at Port of Spain’s Radisson Hotel and hosting some of the most innovative and downright covetous designers, the third installment of Racked was not only keenly anticipated, but judging from the number of attendees- a hugely successful event.

Tamara Malcolm (in Bene Caribe blouse and necklaces) by Marlon James for Racked TT Installment Three. Image RACKED TT/FACEBOOK.COM

Racked is truly unique. It’s the fusion of a traditional sample sale, a design expo and a pop-up shop, where designers showcase their products to customers in a boutique market-style setting. Event organizers select participating designers based on the quality and cohesiveness of their collections and (if considering a new designer) the potential of their brand. This allowed for a unique mix of the best talents in local design and an intermingling of each brand’s clients. Attendees were able to purchase exclusive prêt-à-porter fashion and accessories, shop sample sales, browse current collections and make appointments with designers for made- to- measure garments. Most importantly, it allowed industry leaders, designers and clients to meet and chat in a particularly fashion focused setting. In a local industry plagued by horribly organized and produced runway shows and fashion weeks, Racked is both an improvement and an evolution in our fashion sector.

Tamara Malcolm (in a.m.e.n. Printhouse dress, Lush Kingdom kaftan, accessories by EJ Designs, Turtle Warrior by Nature Seekers) by Marlon James for Racked TT Installment Three. Image RACKED TT/FACEBOOK.COM

This year’s selection included a host of fabulous offerings that ranged from full collections of street, resort, swim and prêt-à-porter collections (largely womenswear, but menswear popped up here and there), custom accessories, makeup and fashion and fine jewelry. Also participating was NMFV (nomorefashionvictims.com), T&T’s first local designer online boutique and a stockist of many brands showcased in the event.

The NMFV display at Racked, (I unfortunately didn’t get a good photo of NMFV director Stephanie Ramlogan, but she looked fabulous in head- to- toe Trinidadian fashion!

Tamara Malcolm (in Lush Caribbean mini jacket, a.m.e.n. Printhouse skirt, accessories by Studio Angelique and Noor) by Marlon James for Racked TT Installment Three. Image RACKED TT/FACEBOOK.COM

It was fabulous! I brought home so many gorgeous new things that my closet is practically sparkling! Just as great was the opportunity to chat with so many hugely talented designers and hear a little of the inspiration behind their work. I met many friends, made some new ones and shopped like crazy… it was great!

Getting ready to shop!

To founders Emma Forster-Hiscock of Eenie Meanie Studios, Ain Earle of DISThink Management and Stephanie Rydle of Creative 25, congratulations on a well executed and definitely growing event. To the designers, I was blown away by so much of your work! Keep pushing forward.

Here are some of my favourite things from the third installment of Racked TT!

Lisa Sarjeant of Lisa’s Fabrics

I love this colour- a handpainted silk kaftan with pearl beading by Lisa’s Fabrics (can’t you just imagine Talitha Getty slipping into this?)

Lisa’s Sarjeant’s rainbow- print maxi dresses in hand-dyed silkb

The embroidered waistband of a printed silk skirt and silk kimonos by Lisa’s Fabrics.

AF Adrian Foster

A gorgeous striped shirtdress (J’adore!) and striped blouse from Adrian Foster’s Spring collection.

Close up of the sparkling hemline on a pair of fabulous limited edition wrap-waist trousers in peridot green silk taffeta. These sequinned panels were so hard to photograph, but they are soo gorgeous. Adrian totally outdid himself with these!

Jade Drakes’ Jewellery

A beautiful assortment of rings by Jade Drakes- (left top and middle) Screw rings in fine silver, oxidized silver and diamonds, (bottom) geometric gemstone (from left: citrine and agate, smokey quartz and rose quartz and smokey quartz and tigerseye) rings in silver, (right) a selection of Chakra rings in silver, enamel and amethyst.

Silver, gemstone and pearl earrings by Jade Drakes.

Coco Vintage Jewelry

These are so Katy Perry! Cute and colourful earrings by Coco Vintage Jewelry- I love the scarlet macaws!

Shop Shari

Funky fabric- wrapped necklaces by Shop Shari. The fringed necklace (top, left) makes me think of the monster characters from The Muppet Show and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends- so cute!

CLD- Charu Lochan Dass

A gorgeous skirt with a lace insert by Charu Lochan Dass

One of the standout pieces from Charu Lochan Dass’ Racked display, a graphic gold pencil skirt. Those metallic patches are individually sewn onto the base fabric- they aren’t a print!

Bright and colourful CLD swag!

Saniantios

Funky embellished sunglasses and a bright Bakelite necklace by Saniantios

African Ark

Cool statement jewelry by African Ark in burnished brass and beads. My faves are the moon- shaped ring (far left) and the enamelled ‘Pea Pod’ earrings (centre, right). They’re probably the most “island” pieces I saw though… maybe the design could be upped slightly.

Brown Cotton Designs by Risanne Martin

Frilly, floral embellished mini shorts by Brown Cotton Designs

This photo doesn’t do this skirt any justice- a purple peplum skirt by Brown Cotton Designs

Again another photo that does the garment little justice! This silk ball skirt by Brown Cotton Designs is my favourite look from Racked- to me, its very reminiscent of vintage Givenchy. Love it!

Micha Gomes Jewelery by Laura Michelle Gomes

Reminiscent of sunken treasure pulled up from a Spanish galleon, Mischa Gomes’ minimalist jewels are a fabulous collection of fine jewelry.

Luna Mar Cosmetics

I’ve been following Luna Mar Cosmetics’ Instagram page since late December, but made my first purchase at Racked. I got some metallic eye pigments and have been experimenting with them all week. Without a doubt, these are some of the best cosmetics that I’ve ever used! Vegan, organic and designed by Trinidadian design duo Oriana Sabga and Kathryn Innis, these cosmetics are totally fabulous!

Turtle Warrior by Nature Seekers

Turtle Warrior Jewelry is handmade from recycled glass (that’s collected from beaches), wood and coconut in the Turtle Village of Matura, Trinidad, W.I. Proceeds from the sale of these stylish goodies go toward sea turtle conservation, and I can’t think of a better way to spend some accessory dollars! Some of the items on display at Racked were (left) carved coconut wood rings and bangles and tasseled bracelets of recycled glass beads. These unisex bracelets are fast becoming a hot item among Trinidad’s fashion circle and its pretty common to see stacks of them adorning the wrists of the who’s who.

More Turtle Warrior goodies: (from left) their newest style of beaded bracelet, recycled glass and sterling silver solitaire earrings, large beaded bracelets.

Noor by Noorlain Agha

Sparkling belts and statement jewelry were a big part of Noor’s Racked display. I particularly like the pink, gold and turquoise geometric print belt on the far left.

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