Fashion meets Mas- RIDDIM, The Lost Tribe 2017

The Lost Tribe 2017’s name and logo
Image- losttribecarnival.com[/caption]

During a phone call with Val sometime late last year, I was lucky enough to get a rundown of his ideas for a new addition to the mas of Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival. It was to be a fusion of old and new, a mix of fashion and the giant parade that T&T mas is- it was to be something new and exciting! Fast forward a few months to February 2016, and The Lost Tribe hit the road for two days of spectacle and even- unheard of for a new band, 2nd Place winner of the Band of the Year and Downtown Bands Association Award! With creative director Valmicki Maharaj and his team at the helm, I knew the costumes and band would be the hit that they are, and I’ve been eagerly waiting for the reveal of the 2017 designs.

Boy, were they worth the wait!

Areito female.
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Dudup female
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Colourful, bright and with references to a worldwide spectrum of ethnic inspirations, the costumes fill a spot somewhere between sexy and artsy-tribal. I really like all the details that become apparent the more you look at the costumes- the shell necklace in ‘Djun’, the black and white geometric bodysuit in ‘Dudup’, the painted additions in the ‘Arieto’ male backpack. Great!

Djun female
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Arieto male
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Huge props to the band for finally having a great lineup of male costumes! Every year, I always look for something more than a pair of board shorts to play in and usually end up finding just one or two okay-ish options. Not so with the Lost Tribe. Every male costume is well designed, attractive and mostly easy to wear (I still feel some of those backpacks might work against you on a windy stage). My favourites are ‘Arieto’ and ‘Jab’.

Jab male
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Djun male
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Finally, the campaign- I am here for it! A friend said it’s like the team got high while playing around with a kaleidoscope, and printed fabric of what they saw. I have to agree. With ethnic patterns done in pop art colours, the backdrops to each image work well to display and enhance the costumes on show. Add all that to some damn fine models who know how to do it and you’ve got a great campaign. I mean… look at all that-

Iron female
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Dudup male
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Bamboo female
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Cutta female
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Jab female
Image- losttribecarnival.com

Bamboo male
Image- losttribecarnival.com

To the Lost Tribe team- all the props, you guys did great work! For full info on the band and more costume images, check out The Lost Tribe’s site.

My best,

Estevan

NMFV ONE

Models Alana Nipper and Estevan Dubrisingh shot by Kibwe Brathwaite for the NMFV ONE campaign. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

It takes something really special to have me full scale fan- girling at 2:30 on a Saturday morning. That’s exactly what happened when I recieved the media kit for the launch of NMFV’s (NoMoreFashionVictims.com’s) first in-house apparel line, ONE! ONE will be officially launched on November 16th, a date very close to the NMFV digital boutique’s first anniversary, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with this lovely offering!

NMFV ONE. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

ONE is a collection of casual separates (thank you Lord for separates!) and accessories (a collaboration with The Urban Factory) that are 100 per cent ethically produced and manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s a very well-rounded collection of wardrobe building separates that will appeal to all lovers of great, cool clothing. It’s designed as a unisex collection, allowing every piece to be versatile enough to easily incorporate into anyone’s wardrobe, regardless of gender. Gender-neutrality is a trend that we’re seeing a lot of in international ready to wear, but this is a first for homegrown design…. and I it’s think a needed step in our fashion evolution.

NMFV ONE. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

Clean lines, minimalist prints and an uncomplicated colour palette make for an offering that is elegantly understated and effortless to wear. It’s an eleven piece collection and with much to love within the lineup: the kurta shirt with a Nehru collar is a firm favourite, as is a pair of tailored black culottes and a sexy crop top with cutout details (the only real gender specific piece within the offering). There are long striped tee-shirts, tweed tunics and quirky button-front shirts, with some mesh tops thrown into the mix and even a minimalist knee- length suede coat! Admittedly it may be keep its wearer too warm in our climate, but Trinis love to travel and how fab to be able to get fall and spring appropriate outerwear right here!

My favourite look: tailored culottes and a cutout crop top worn under a mesh tee! NMFV ONE. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

Truth be told, I’m not usually attracted to gender neutral design. Every now and then I see some beautiful pieces, but most of the time, I think the pieces look too bulky on female frames and too effeminate on men. Fit is always an issue and I often think the clothing ends up looking awkward (several pieces from Selfridge’s recently launched Agender collection come to mind). NMFV’s ONE surprised me in that I actually like all of the pieces!

NMFV ONE. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

For the most part, the garment cuts appear to be a little smaller than most unisex fare (perhaps a nod to our slim and toned carnival ready physiques?), but this resulted in looks that flatter a wide spectrum of frames across both genders. Men would look good in almost anything, so they’d have no trouble finding options within the collection, and while the garments look roomy on feminine frames, they’re more cosy than bulky and skim curves instead of exaggerating them. The collection looks comfortable and stylish… like fabulous yacht party fare!

NMFV ONE. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

My only semi critique would be for the mesh tops. They’re really not what I consider to be everyday appropriate, unisex garments since they can come off looking a little too fetishist on men. Though they’re fab for the ladies and there definitely are men who will buy them, I just don’t think I’d like my guy in them.

NMFV ONE. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

I’m absolutely stoked over the debut of this collection. NMFV founder Stephanie Ramlogan attended CAFD with an emphasis on garment design before focusing on styling, but her love for design has remained a driving force in her career. ONE is the result of many years of hard work and dedication. To see it pay off so beautifully is simply great.

NMFV ONE. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

Additionally I absolutely love that the collection embodies everything that NMFV has been promoting since it’s launch- beautiful, locally designed and produced luxury fashion, all manufactured from of the best quality locally available materials. The fact that everything is ethically produced from sustainable materials further adds a good dose of positivity to the retail experience… and I like that.

NMFV ONE. Image NMFV INC./KIBWE BRAITHWAITE

ONE is a good collection and I can see everyone finding something to love within the offering’s lineup. I’ve definitely found some lust-worthy pieces! Congrats to Stephanie and her NMFV team on the launch, it’s a great ONE!

Even the ONE accessories are totally cool, they’re part of a collab with The Urban Factory: (top:left) howlite Buddha bracelet, (centre)Marlin line, leather and turquoise bracelet set, (right) black agate Buddha bracelet; (bottom:left) howlite and Hansa tassel bracelet, (centre) sand vial necklace, (right) leather anchor wrap bracelet. Image NMFV.INC

Stay tuned to the NMFV site and the NMFV Facebook page for the launch on November 16th. Enjoy!

By the way, that male model is our editor and delinquent Menswear writer (and my brother). Looks pretty good, doesn’t he!

Xx – Ana

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.

Friday Fierceness!

Carnival Tuesday with Miss World Trinidad & Tobago 2015

Fantasy Carnival Individual Costume- Kutch Kutch. Image GARY JORDAN PHOTOGRAPHY/INSTAGRAM

Model: Sarah Jane Waddell
Photographer: Gary Jordan
Makeup: Sarah d’Abadie

Friday Fierceness!

Bikini Cabana 2015 Collection

Khaftan: Bikini Cabana, Shoes and Accessories: Vanessa Mohommed. Image BIKINI CABANA/GARY JORDAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Model: Catherine Miller
Photographer: Gary Jordan
Styling: Vanessa Mohommed
MUA: Raquel Nathaniel

No More Fashion Victims Online Boutique Opens!

Isabel Farah (top left, bottom) and Greer Iton (top right, centre) by Kibwe Braithwaite for the NMFV Fall 2014 campaign. Isabel is wearing Top: Meiling, Skirt: Juan Ignacio Ormeno, Earring: Noor, on Greer Top: Shannon Alonso, Trousers: Noor, Necklace: Rachel Rochford, other accessories Stylist’s Own. Image NO MORE FASHION VICTIMS/KIBWE BRATHWAITE

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to say that the No More Fashion Victims (NMFV) online retail outlet is (finally) open and its even fiercer than I anticipated!

NMFV is the first Caribbean- based online retail outlet that provides access to Caribbean and Latin American- based fashion and skincare products to customers from every corner of the world. Basically, it’s the only online outlet that gives you access to many of your favourite Trinbagonian, Caribbean and Latin American designers, regardless of your global location. Finally!

Koral Beach Boutique, one of the exclusive boutiques hosted on NMFV. Koral specializes in luxury beach and party wear from many Latin American swimwear brands. Image KORAL BEACH BOUTIQUE

This is no small feat, as for the most part, Caribbean- based designers are virtually unknown to the international market. However there’s a good chance that NMFV can change this with this new platform. By garnering international exposure for the brands featured on the website and allowing global fans to access products from their favourite designers, NMFV could very likely be the vanguard that Caribbean luxury design has needed for so long. Since I first started this blog, I’ve said its high time that international fashion lovers get exposure to the extraordinary talents of this region, and I’m certain that the NMFV Online Boutique will greatly contribute to making that happen.

Cocoa Vintage, a Trinidadian line of artisan jewelry is also hosted on NMFV. Image COCOA VINTAGE

One major hurdle already overcome by NMFV is the inability of international clients to buy products from many Caribbean and Latin American designers. Even if online retail options were available (which they usually weren’t), they were largely unreliable and were usually just a major hassle. NMFV provides international consumers with an almost hassle- free retail service that uses dependable courier services to ship internationally.

Amara Organics, a luxury spa skincare line manufactured in Trinidad is amongst NMFV’s selection of beauty products. Image AMARA ORGANICS

NMFV currently hosts the online boutiques of jewelry designers Cocoa Vintage and Jacqueline Renee, Boho-glam accessories label Sanianitos, Trinidadian children’s line San Sarai, luxury skincare lines Immortelle Beauty and Amara Organics (I LOVE both of these company’s products), designer Sew Lisa and local thrift shop, Mio y Tuyo. These will soon be joined by some of the region’s top designers: CLD- Charu Lochan Dass, Meiling, AF Adrian Foster and the online outlets for swimwear boutiques J. Angelique and Koral Beach Boutique. I CANNOT WAIT!

The digital boutique of Trinidadian accessories label, Sanianitos is hosted on NMFV. Image SANIANITOS

Now that you know what to expect from the NMFV boutique, allow me to introduce you to its founder- stylist, designer, blogger, businesswoman and champion of Trinbagonian luxury fashion, Stephanie Ramlogan. Steph lives and breathes Caribbean luxury fashion. Since 2011, Stephanie has been showcasing the talent of Trinidadian designers on the No More Fashion Victims blog, ‘From Trinidad, with Style,’ single-handedly introducing local talent to the blog’s huge fan base.

She believes in Caribbean luxury and after years in the industry, has hand picked some of the region’s best and brightest to offer to us all in her boutique.

Stephanie Ramlogan by Lyden Thomas. Image LYNDEN THOMAS/FACEOOK

From early on, Stephanie was one of the few stylists working in Trinidad and Tobago to regularly include locally designed clothing, accessories and beauty products of the highest quality in her work, and she has long been a mentor to many top new talents. Basically, she’s a superwoman with a serious drive to promote quality Caribbean luxury and so, I can say with certainty that the No More Fashion Victims Online Boutique is going to be a huge success.

Sew Lisa, a line of women’s and children’s clothing designed by Trinidadian designer, Lisa Gittens. Line available available through NMFV. Image SEW LISA

Congratulations and welcome NMFV Online Boutique! May your fiercensss grow and grow!

– Ana

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the NMFV site and you can also keep up to date with the latest products and site updates through the NMFV Facebook page. Enjoy!

Friday Fierceness!

Model Portfolio- Kandyse McClure

Sari: Model’s own, Accessories: Peter Elias. Image LAURA FERRIERA STUDIOS.

Model: Kandyse McClure
Photographer: Laura Ferreira
Stylist: Peter Elias:
Hair: Emily Quesnel
Makeup: Gianna Barcant

Salvatore Ferragamo S/s 2015

Salvatroe Ferragamo S/s 2015. Image WWD

Salvatore Ferragamo’s Spring showing started off on a surprisingly fabulous note- the house’s signature rainbow wedge made an appearance on the catwalk. I say ‘surprising’ because creative director Massimiliano Giornetti has appeared reluctant to dip into the house archives in the past, yet here he plucked the company’s most famous icon, gave it a subtle update in monochrome gray suede and reinvented it to become the open-toe snakeskin mule that strutted down the Milan catwalk for the world to covet.

Salvatroe Ferragamo S/s 2015. Image WWD

Spring 2015 brings a Salvatore Ferragamo collection that fuses the propriety of the house’s heritage with Signoir Giornetti’s forward thinking aesthetic.

Salvatroe Ferragamo S/s 2015. Image WWD

The result is remarkably pure with practicality and ease of movement being big design features. Lines were kept clean and unfussy, with stark silhouettes and sporty shapes dominating the runway looks. Dresses and gowns were fluid and elegant; graceful sheafs that skimmed the body, breathtaking long halter dresses that clung to the torso like a second skin before flaring softly to the knee. These beautiful dresses are a perfect choice for the classically- inclined Ferragamo woman, while those with a bit more daring will go for more architectural tops and skirts spliced with snakeskin. The house has perfectly catered for all.

Salvatroe Ferragamo S/s 2015. Image WWD

Sporty knits and outerwear were other key features, while stunning jackets and coats were included in the line-up. One particular stunner was a fabulous camel-colored cape trimmed in snakeskin that exuded a sense of understated ease and casual luxury. It’s the sort of thing that you’d find in an elegant and seasoned traveler’s wardrobe, and is a piece that many globetrotters will be fighting over come Spring.

Salvatroe Ferragamo S/s 2015. Image WWD

As always, the Ferragamo collection placed a huge emphasis on constructing elegant yet practical clothing out of luxury materials, with only the finest silks, skins and cashmere being considered. Many pieces were spiced up with snakeskin and it was seen lining the insides and edges of the sportier looks. Its definitely a new direction for the venerable house and I love it.

Salvatroe Ferragamo S/s 2015. Image WWD

Signoir Giornetti’s S/s 2015 collection for Salvatore Ferragamo is both beautiful- and the most cohesive and inventive showing that he’s done for the house to date. After a couple of seasons spent searching for the right path, it has definitely been found.

Fabulously done Ferregamo!

-Ana

Trinidadian Designers at NYFW S/s 2015

Adrian Foster S/s 2015. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

Finally Trinidadian designers have done the country proud by their showings at NYFW!

On September 7th, amongst other captivating shows, Adrian Foster and Charu Lochan Dass premiered their spring collections.

It was great! If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know I’ve been a fan of both Adrian and Charu for a while (I’ve posted on them both before – about them), so I expected their shows to be nothing but great- and were they ever!

I’m so proud of them, and sincerely hope to see more talented Trinis showing in the International Fashion Weeks. I expect that these premier collections will help to bring attention to our fantastic local fashion scene and that further offerings will have more even international coverage.

Read on for my favorite looks from both the Adrian Foster and CLD NYFW S/s 2015 shows!

Adrian Foster

Adrian Foster S/s 2015. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

Adrian Foster’s collection epitomizes what modern Caribbean fashion should be. It’s simple, effortlessly elegant and extremely wearable as resort, every day and international wear. His show presented a beautiful array of lust – worthy pieces in natural fabrics like luxurious silks in cool colours and with outlines. It’s hard to pick a favourite look! The collection is strongly Asian inspired, with Japanese kimono and origami influences evident in many pieces. In my opinion, his best work is always seen in his simplest pieces- his all-white looks and graphic chevron patterns are my favorites.

/> Adrian Foster S/s 2015. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

Adrian Foster S/s 2015. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

Adrian Foster S/s 2015. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

Adrian Foster S/s 2015. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

/> Adrian Foster S/s 2015. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

/> Adrian Foster S/s 2015. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

CLD- Charu Lochan Dass

Charu Lochan Dass. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

Charu Lochan Dass returned to NYFW for the second time with a strong collection. Called Boho Glam, it’s full of elegant, effortless looks with sumptuous details and luxurious fabrics. There’s a strong sixties vibe that’s sexy and extremely glamorous. Her evening wear is to die for and pieces like her gold kaftan would be at home from a cocktail party to a yacht, anywhere in the world. True Caribbean glam! It’s the perfect collection for an elegant bohemian goddess!

I wish that I could provide more photographs of the collection, but so far, pictures are pretty hard to come by. I’ve included a clip of the final runway walk to make up for the lack of illustration.

Charu Lochan Dass. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

Charu Lochan Dass. Image STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN

Some fab design from my little island in the Caribbean!

Enjoy

– Ana