Bathhouse Swimwear - USA
Nassau, Bahamas - Fashion aficionados
looking for a fulfilling experience were not disappointed this past weekend.
With a nearly
packed house, unpredictable weather was no match for Islands of the World
Fashion Showcase (IWFS) as the world-renowned event set Fort Charlotte on fire.
With 19 designer
showcases packed into two nights, the sixth installation of IWFS proved to hold
its own with spectacular showcases and an electrifying crowd.
year were ExÎles, Alshante Foggo, Ashton Hall, Bathhouse
Swimwear, Charmaine Spicer, Froilan Amaya, Ismael de la Caridad, Jose
Luis Gonzalez, Jesus Frias, Kazz Forbes, Laura Macias, Renaldo
Geumm, Oscar de la Portilla, Ray Vincente, Rolando Ruiz, Omar Alexander Jimenez
and Thatch Collection. Countries represented include Bermuda, Cuba, Jamaica,
Turks & Caicos, The Bahamas and the United States of America.
Resort, sport and
swimwear were the order of the day on Friday.
The evening kicked
off paying homage to the Japanese tradition of war thanks to the Samurai
Collection of underwear and chic resort wear from the Exiles Boutique,
interspersed with powerful dance routines performed by students of The National
Dance School of The Bahamas. It was followed by a very sporty yet refreshing
collection by Kendra Wilkinson’s Thatch Collection. Designers Rolando Ruiz and
Omar Jimenez embraced their Cuban roots with bright colours and classic cuts
for their showcase.
The concept of
tie-dyes, oceanic themes and florals were a focal point for Cuba’s Oscar de la
Portilla and is collection of swimsuits and sarongs. The designer explained his
ethereal collection by saying, “No two women are the same so I
make clothes for women who are tall, short, shapely, and slender.”
Then there was Bermuda’s Alshante Foggo
who kept close to her island roots with a very deliberate island themed
collection of swimwear and caftans.
"I grew up on an island and I
remember as a little girl being fascinated by the scenery,” said Foggo. “I just
thought it was important to incorporate the beauty of my island in what I
create, hence the colorful birds and flowers on a lot of the pieces."
Then there was Jose Luis Gonzalez with a
bright swimwear collection that offered a unique option of caftans and linen
gypsy skirts as well as a number of cutting edge options for men.
Rounding out night one was Ray
Vincente’s exclusive menswear which brought an eclectic feel to the weekend.
Art y moda - Cuba
Designers on Saturday night were all
primarily about haute couture.
Hound’s-tooth prints were the focal
point for Bathhouse Swimwear with elegant curve accentuating lines and high end
feel throughout the US brand.
Young Bahamian and BTVI graduate Renaldo
Geumm gave a fierce runway presence with a series of high end evening gowns
extravagantly embellished with lace and tulle.
Ashton Hall’s showcase was a vivid array
of exquisite lace infused pieces for men and women. The American’s Jamaican
roots, island inspired prints and vibrant colours made for a collection to take
the audience from day to night in attire.
Turks & Caicos native Kazz Forbes,
and his label, Saint George Fashion House, took the audience to the ultimate
ball and red carpet with an array of high end evening gowns rounding out the
series of traditional yet awesome runway experiences.
ARTE y MODA
The anticipated highlight of the weekend
went beyond the expectation of the show’s audience and coordinators alike.
The segment got off to a sensational
start with a mini opera piece followed by a group installment of live
mannequins. Local and international models alike stepped up and embraced the
daunting task of literally bringing
garde designs to life on the runway through interpretive dance and acting.
“It was not what I
expected,” said one happy audience member. “I was amazed with everyone’s
designs and the art in motion was spectacular.”
designs and interpretations were awarded with a standing ovation by a
thoroughly energized crowd. The 27-piece collection was a collective effort by
the seven Cuban designers at IWFS.
The original art
inspirations were projected onto a screen on stage to give an eclectic contrast
to the designs which came to life on stage thanks to the models.
“The culmination of the two-day event with the
spectacle of “Arte y Moda” was a strategic spectrum of casual prêt-a-porter to
red carpet designs to what I have described as the ‘haute couture of art’. The
event was professionally staged with an emphasis on the business and cultural
diversity of fashion. It is hoped that significantly more Bahamians will have
the opportunity to witness such creativity” said Owen Bethel, producer of the
Renaldo Guemm - Bahamas
Since 2008, IWFS has held to the platform which caused
it to be endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) for its promotion of cultural diversity, and as a means
to bring value-added levels of production to the fledgling fashion industries
in developing nations, particularly more vulnerable small island developing
states. The intent is to draw attention via international media and trade
exposure to the skills and creativity across the spectrum of the fashion industry
in the islands.
To date in excess of 130 designer showcases
representing 20 countries have presented their creations on the catwalks of
Islands of the World Fashion Showcase.
For more information and updates, visit the website www.islandsfashionweek.comor
the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/islandsfashionweek
Saint George Fashion Week - Turks and Caicos
Ashton Hall - USA