Kaj Designs Hosts Legacy Atelier

Kaj Designs Hosts Legacy Atelier

 

Mid-Luxury Fashion House Bids Farewell To 2017 With Exclusive Retail Experience

 

 

KajFAB models strike a pose in front of the Kaj Flagship Boutique. From left to right: Fertility tank dress; long sleeved evening dress; silk kaftan; and maxi dress with ring accent. Makeup by Lyndy-Anne Parks of Lady Parks Makeup Studio. Photo courtesy Kyle Keens-Dumas of Konsortium Studios for Kaj Designs.

 

January 4, 2018 – Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago… Tobago’s premier mid-luxury fashion house, Kaj Designs, will usher in the New Year and 2018 Carnival seasons with an exclusive Kaj Legacy Atelier. KajFAB femmes will enjoy 50% off all legacy items as the brand celebrates the bold, signature flair gained over its disruptive 12-year history in Caribbean fashion. Featuring both limited edition and one-of-a-kind creations from several Kaj collections including the resort wear of Shore Culture and Tribu Sauvage, the atelier will run throughout the New Year and Carnival seasons by private viewing only, while stocks last.

 

Kaj’s provocative innovation, the Signature Halter Lounge Shuffle, was first shown as part of the Shore Culture runway presentation at the 10th Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW) in June 2010 in Kingston, Jamaica. Photo courtesy Pulse Investments Limited.

 

In June 2010, Kaj premiered the barefoot luxury of the Shore Culture collection at the 10th Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW) in Kingston, Jamaica. The CFW audience welcomed the scintillating charms, textures and tones of the Caribbean as it set sail with the first-ever Kaj Resort collection. The fashion house presented a sea of undulating fabrics in rich tones of magenta, fuchsia and teal with flowing, easy creations befitting a luxurious vacation of leisure. Reflecting the sun-kissed iridescence of its Caribbean landscape, the collection lavishly drapes the feminine contour in ribbons of ombré and tie-dyed chiffons, silk rayons, silk satins, organzas and crepe georgettes with subtle accents in suede, leather, taffeta, coque and pheasant plumes and coconut shell.  Designed with versatility and feminine comfort in mind, the effortless silhouettes of Kaj’s Shore Culture collection can be worn in the day and night, ideal for festive New Year and Carnival functions.

 

A captive audience was treated to the majesty of Kaj’s sheer strapless Bohemian lounge dress, with wooden beaded fabric accents, at the 2010 CFW during the Shore Culture presentation. Photo courtesy Pulse Investments Limited.

 

In June 2011, Kaj marked an historic milestone with its launch in the French Caribbean and the placement of the Kaj Resort line at Guadeloupe’s exclusive Caribbean boutique, KOD. This move established KOD as the first retailer of the Kaj brand in the region. In February 2012, Kaj received one of its highest honours as it was selected to represent the Caribbean in an initiative of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) entitled Caribbean Collections. This initiative sought to create opportunities for access to European markets via participation in the British Council and the British Fashion Council’s inaugural International Fashion Showcase for Autumn/Winter (A/W) 2012 during London Fashion Week (LFW). For the label’s LFW debut, Shore Culture was favoured as it featured at an LFW-produced exhibition held at The Charing Cross Hotel while select pieces featured at a private showing at the Corinthia Hotel.

 

Folded envelope tunic and Bermuda shorts from the 2010 Kaj Resort collection, Shore Culture. Makeup by Lyndy-Anne Parks of Lady Parks Makeup Studio. Photo courtesy Kyle Keens-Dumas of Konsortium Studios for Kaj Designs.

 

A trailblazer in Caribbean fashion, Kaj boasts several accomplishments that are irrefutable Caribbean fashion firsts. In a pioneering move to capture international markets, the Tobago fashion house made history with the May 2013 launch of its sophomore resort collection, Tribu Sauvage, in USA and Singapore. Kaj was the first Tobago brand at ENK International’s exclusive fashion tradeshow, Intermezzo Collections, a staple of the US fashion trade circuit. With its humble Intermezzo debut, Kaj successfully captured the attention of New York’s leading fashion industry publication, The Daily Front Row. Amidst more than 900 of the world’s foremost fashion brands, Kaj was featured in TheDailyFrontRow.com’s haute highlights alongside Alice and Olivia, Nicole Miller, L.A.M.B. and Rebecca Minkoff.

 

The KajFAB safari of the Kaj Resort collection, Tribu Sauvage, featured on the catwalk at the inaugural Fashion Festival Bali in August 2013 at the luxurious Stones Hotel in Bali’s Legian region. Featured is Kaj’s maxi dress with ring accent. Photo courtesy Anggara Mahendra

 

Later that same month, the brand led as the first Caribbean brand to exhibit and show at the international fashion tradeshow, BLUEPRINT, during Singapore’s fashion week, Asia Fashion Exchange (AFX). With its runway debut at BLUEPRINT, Kaj’s creations of bold tribal infusions set against a backdrop of wild animal and camouflage prints stood out among the pervading contemporary Asian aesthetic.

 

Kaj’s trendsetting camo raglan tunic with daring waist-high side slits, of the Tribu Sauvage resort collection, on the runway at the 2013 Fashion Festival Bali at the Stones Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel. Also featured is Kaj’s faux-pocket maxi skirt. Photo courtesy Anggara Mahendra.

 

These favoured pieces later graced the runway at the inaugural Fashion Festival Bali (TFFB) in yet another daring move by the fashion house to forge ahead in infiltrating South Asian markets. On August 31, 2013, in the closing show presented by Indonesia TATLER, Kaj brought its signature flair to the TFFB runway. The high profile, 7-day event took place at the lavish Stones Hotel in Bali’s Legian region. Set against the breath-taking backdrop of one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, TFFB attracted an exclusive audience of media, fashion professionals and enthusiasts, leisure travellers and Asian Pacific celebrities and socialites including Michael and Lindy Klim and Casey Burgess.

 

The bold simplicity of Kaj’s Tribu Sauvage resort collection was captured during a 2015 Global Runway promotional photo-shoot on location in Verona, Italy. Featured are Kaj’s magyar tee with tribal pocket accents and its classic trousers with pocket accents. Photo courtesy Global Runway.

 

With a steadfast focus to establish Kaj as the Caribbean’s foremost mid-luxury fashion brand, the fashion house embarked on a strategic mission to penetrate European markets. This led to the launch of the Kaj Resort line at the Martinique-based online boutique, Kameri, in September 2014. In Nov 2014, the brand’s CEO, Liza Miller, was one of three female entrepreneurs selected to be part of exporTT’s gender programme participating in the CARTFUND French Caribbean Outermost Region (FCOR) trade mission alongside nine other Trinidad and Tobago companies. This opened the door to fourteen B2B meetings with buyers and other trade partners that generated ten trade leads. This was closely followed by the brand’s January 2015 launch at the Martinique-based boutique, Pygmées. By the last quarter of 2015, Kaj was introduced to the thriving UK luxury fashion market via its distribution with the London-based online boutique, Global Runway, coupled with an advertising campaign in Britain’s lavish specialist consumer magazine, Destinations Weddings and Honeymoons Abroad (DWHA). Kaj further strengthened its market presence as DWHA’s exclusive international fashion brand and partner at two of London’s leading trade events, The National Wedding Show (TNWS) and the World Travel Market London (WTM London). This was accompanied by Kaj’s retail placement at Guadeloupe’s exclusive boutique, Jheipour.

 

The sensual tribal infusions of Kaj’s long sleeved evening dress in a taupe, cream and black print captivate in the streets of New York City during a 2015 Global Runway promotional photo-shoot of the Tribu Sauvage resort collection. Photo courtesy Global Runway.

 

Kaj will commemorate this legacy of cutting edge creative excellence, fine quality and timeless luxury with its ongoing Kaj Legacy Atelier. KajFAB femmes may experience the exclusive versatility and impeccable finish of the Kaj Designs brand, shopping limited edition classic resort as well as one-of-a-kind legacy pieces including the brand’s signature innovation, the Shuffle. Join the Kaj Legacy Atelier Facebook (FB) event at http://bit.ly/KajLegacyAtelier or visit Kaj on FB at fb.me/KajDesignsLIVE or on Twitter and Instagram @KajDesignsLIVE to stay in the KajFAB know. For more information, email KajLegacy@estuaryPR.com.

 

Kaj’s exhibitor’s booth at the fashion tradeshow, BLUEPRINT, during Singapore’s fashion week, Asia Fashion Exchange (AFX). Photo courtesy estuary PR.

 

WHAT:              Kaj Legacy Atelier

WHO:                 Kaj Designs

WHEN:             Throughout the New Year and 2018 Carnival seasons, while stocks last.

WHERE:          By private viewing only.

PAYMENT:     Cash and cheque payments accepted.

 

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Liza Miller, Managing Director

estuary PR Limited

Phone: (868) 367-5295

Email: liza@estuaryPR.com

www.estuaryPR.com

 

 

Meiling, The Designer Icon for Bridal 2017

Simple Silhouette Wedding Dress

Photo Credit: http://www.meilinginc.com/meiling-bride/

Bridal season is in full swing and brides are scampering to “say yes to the dress”. My heart goes out to the destination brides who are panicking over deciding whether they should go with silk, satin, taffeta, chiffon, lace or cotton blended fabrics for the tropics, finding the right hues for their bridesmaids, checking in the dress and woes of paying exorbitant fees only to arrive stressed out, in full “bridezilla” mode with a wrinkled wedding dress in hand at their dream destination wedding location. Rest assured brides, brides to be, bridal party and guests you can find top notch, internationally acclaimed fashion designers in Trinidad and Tobago who can hear your S.O.S and save your life for your “big” day.

 

Off Shoulder Lace Wedding Dress

Photo Credit: http://www.meilinginc.com/meiling-bride/

The destination wedding dress designer that beams of an effortlessly chic Caribbean aesthetic is Meiling Esau, otherwise known by her brand name Meiling Inc. This designer grew up in an environment where her mother, Evelyn Achong was a prominent woman in her field as a seamstress. Meiling’s passion for this fashion led her to pursue her studies at Lucie Clayton School of Design in London in the 1970’s. Meiling was immersed in the creative culture of London.  She was exposed to creatives, creative design, creative thinking and design management. Meiling graduated and returned to her homeland. After working at a garment factory where one of her prototypes became a top seller Meiling decided to stand on her own and set up her own atelier in 1982.

Vintage Wedding Dress

http://www.meilinginc.com/meiling-bride/

Since Meiling’s debut on the fashion industry scene she has copped many achievements some of which include the Chaconia Silver Medal in 2008 for her longstanding merit to the Trinidad and Tobago business sector. In that same year she was awarded the title of “Grand Master of Fashion Design” at Caribbean Fashion Week in Jamaica. In 2010 she was one of two designers from the English speaking Caribbean invited to showcase at Plataforma K in Colombia. In 2011 she was the only one invited to return to show. In 2012 The Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago honoured  Meiling with The Woman of Influence Award. In 2013 she was listed as a national icon of Trinidad and Tobago. She was also invited as one of the top global designers to the Women of Influence Summit in that year. She received Ocean Style Award in 2013.

Lace Sleeves and Details for Wedding Dress

http://www.meilinginc.com/meiling-bride/

Today Meiling’s aesthetic is considered minimalistic however I prefer the term Caribbean chic. Her focus is on the quality of work and her talent is found in design and craftsmanship. In the age of digital printing and mass production Meiling adds the extra “oomph” to her work with hand sewn details. In addition, she still believes in her mother’s words that the inside and outside of the garment being constructed must have a beautiful finish. She has designed uniforms and outfits for Trinidad and Tobago athletes to top entertainers. As a creative she has surrounded herself in creative spaces with veteran creatives such as Peter Minshall. Her product line is differentiated from her own clothing lines in haute couture, resort and bridal to her diffusion line entitled, “MSquared” for the local retail department store Micles  and recently she added on Meiling Complete featuring scent diffusers, candles and body creams.

Lace Detail on Wedding Dress

Photo Credit: http://www.meilinginc.com/meiling-bride/

So now that you have a fair idea of the brand (Meiling Inc.) we can begin to explore your options for saying “yes to the dress”.  Meiling has an established repertoire in the Caribbean and the Latin American community for her work in the local fashion industry. She has a keen eye for detail and a unique vision based on her knowledge and functioning in several destinations with her clients including brides and some eloquent to brazen personalities from multifaceted cultures. Meiling has worked with contemporary and vintage designs in fabrics that range from silk, satin, lace with intricate embellishments and hand beading to name a few. The advantages of choosing Meiling include a 100% guarantee that your wedding dress will be a timeless design and that you will stand out. The quality of the garment construction is flawless. Your dress will flatter your figure and accentuate your best highlights. You will be in the proficient hands of the expert who is familiar with silhouette to body type ratios in fashion. Also you will have several fittings in the lead up to final production.

Unconventional Bridal Gown

Photo Credit: http://www.meilinginc.com/meiling-bride/

Your wedding dress will not just be a product you bought off a rack but the result of an inimitable, delicate creative process where your soul is reverberated throughout the statement piece. This means whilst the designer will design and create the dress you too will have a direct say in perfecting your look for that memorable day.  Your dream wedding dress becomes a reality. When you look back on the occasion you will not just have the snapshots of that point in your life. You will have a reminder of your identity at that stage in your life, a reflection of your growth and transition to your new role in life and most importantly it will stand the test of time as evidence of your power to create and to contribute to the collateral beauty that is life.

White Top with Lace

Photo Credit: Shaista Deen

The Veronica Dress

Photo Credit: Jordan Lum Hung

As a bonus you can also fit the “M” brand into your wardrobe with Meiling’s latest resort wear collection for your destination soiree/ island romp with your newlywed husband. Choose from a variety cotton blends and light, breathable fabrics for your destination honeymoon ensemble. Her most recent collection boasts of distinct, functional, chic and trendy pieces. They range from shirt dresses, dhoti jumpsuits, kite dresses, cowl dresses, off shoulder, strapless tops with lace details, apron inspired tops, denim shirt dresses and long black dresses with tassel details. If you preview her collection online you would notice that most of the resort wear is featured in white or black. Again, this is Meiling’s signature as she pairs the simple but effective pieces as blank canvases to the individual character with the individual in mind as the artist. Basically, when you purchase Meiling’s resort wear it becomes your blank canvas which you bring art to life via “painting” your persona and the experiences you create, the activities that you do and the journeys you take with the designer wear.

 

Dhoti Jump Suit

Photo Credit: Shaista Deen

Swing Dress with Silk Tie

Photo Credit: Joshua Brizan

Off Shoulder Crop Top

Photo Credit: Jordan Lum Hung

If you wish to share your new-found love for the Meiling brand with your bridal party you can browse the collection. Ultimately, you will make your life and theirs easier by selecting appropriate dresses for the bridesmaids. You can even work with the designer on flower girl dresses.  Moreover, you can make this option convenient and accessible by listing Meiling on the R.S.V.P or details card as the premier choice for destination wedding wear in Trinidad and Tobago.  The flights to Trinidad from the U.S.A are only a few hours and you will reach here in no time at all. Hotels and other accommodations are available in Port of Spain where Meiling is located. They are only a stone’s throw away from her boutique. You can request a taxi driver at your front desk and be on your way to your appointment with Meiling. Thus, you will rescue yourself from the drama and stress of a million phone calls and instant messages from your relatives and invited guests badgering you about what they should wear to your destination wedding.

Denim Dresses

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/meilinginc/

Eyelet Strap Sundress

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/meilinginc/

When the wedding and honeymoon is over and you return to your home you do not have to hide away your resort wear. Your bridesmaids and even your guests will thank you later because they can bask in designer bliss by wearing these pieces in spring, summer, autumn and even winter. The only requirement may be reinventing the outfit again with a personal touch of layering it for the colder seasons and dressing it down for the warmer ones. Neither yourself nor your bridal party/guests would regret the choice of colour as white and black can mix and match with a plethora of accessories.  I am also a firm believer of the influence of creative design. Regardless of the season you all choose to wear your Meiling attire you will definitely be moved by donning the outfit. The rationale is straightforward; good design inevitably evokes emotion and makes as much of an impact on the way you feel when you wear it and when you see yourself wearing it.

Cowl Neck Dress with Lace Detail

Photo Credit: http://www.meilinginc.com/meiling-201617/

White Peasant Top with Lace

Photographer: Shaista Deen

The advent of the internet makes your destination wedding dress a few clicks away from being a dream come true. It can literally save you the nightmare of dress shopping, late night foraging for bridal trends and exhaustion from the tears and anxiety of running out of time. Instead place yourself into the safe haven of competence, expertise and professionalism by booking Meiling Esau of Meiling Inc. in Trinidad.

 

Kite Dress

Photo Credit: Jordan Lum Hung

Tied Neck Caftan Dress in Chiffon and Silk

Photo credit: Jordan Lum Hung

Shirt Collar Caftan in Chiffon and Silk

Photo Credit: Jordan Lum Hung

Cowl Collar Caftan in Chiffon and Silk

Photo Credit: Joshua Brizan

Connect with Meiling today!!!

Website: http://www.meilinginc.com/

Email: meiling@meilinginc.com

Location: #6 Carlos Street in Woodbrook, Port of Spain

Hours: Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Saturdays at 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Telephone: 1.868. 627.6975 or 1.868.627.2122

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meilinginc/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meilinginc

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meiling-esau-1491097

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Brian Mac Farlane's Cazabon The Art of Living

In 2017 designer Brian Mac Farlane has taken to his mas camp his plight to advocate to the authorities the restoration of the country’s indigenous heritage and architecture. His presentation this year is called Cazabon: The Art of Living. It is his intention through the designs that he can call to action the “powers that be” to do something to preserve the wealth of the nation’s national heritage particularly the architecture from  the artist, Jean Michel Cazabon’s era ( late 1800’s and the early 1900’s). His expectations would materialize in the form of haute couture costumes displayed on persons owning roles from that era in a spectacle bound by a unanimous magnitude of architectural inspiration. This presentation would convene several artisans from costume to fashion designers. Brian Mac Farlane even took under his wing top graduates of The University of Trinidad and Tobago: Caribbean Academy for Fashion and Design.

voyage-de-la-mode-claudia-peagus-female

Voyage de la Mode by Claudia Pegus

Photo Credit:  Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

Cazabon’s paintings are colourful and resemble snapshots of the period the artist existed in and its immediate society. The people during that time wore colourful clothing because they were free to do so (post emancipation era). However, the designers took an all white disposition with several shades of white, hues of gold and brown. Since this is art one has to question the artist’s intention and the message he wants to communicate (which one will only know when one asks the creative director  because art is subject to multiple interpretation). I am under the impression that these characters are cast in white because they are souls of the people of that time.  Cazabon’s art featured stills of life paintings whilst Mac Farlane and his cohort of designers depict this time  capsule through creative costume design and movement of haute couture clothed masqueraders.

madame-mille-fleur-monsiur-mille-fleur-couple-brian-macfarlaneMonsieur Mille Fleur and Madame Mille Fleur by Brian Mac Farlane

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

The regalia, glitz and glamour of Cazabon’s era via this band were launched at one of the Magnificent Seven buildings late last year. Again highlighting Brian’s  fixation with the conservation and restoration of architecture that served its prime during Cazabon’s time. In an interview Mac Farlane was noted for saying that his intention is to use unity to break silence and present splendor, beauty and revelry with a purpose via acknowledging profoundly rich heritage and culture. Designer icons and the local fashion industry’s rising stars occupy the band’s creative cast. Their names include Claudia Pegus, Peter Elias, Dale Angus, Dianne Hunt, Adrian Foster, Heather Jones, Dhisha Moorjani, Fazaad Mohammed, Charu Lochan Dass, Harvey Robertson, Kaleen Sanois and last but not least Brian Mac Farlane.

la-belle-creole-peter-elias-femaleLe Belle Creole by Peter Elias

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

aristocratic-aura-heather-jonesAristocratic Aura by Heather Jones

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

The sections include names like The White Hall Affair (designed by Adrian Foster), Apna Desh (designed by Dhisha Moorjani), Citizens for Conservation ( designed by Harvey Robertson), Felicity (designed by Charu Lochan Dass), Gang Gang Sarah and Tom (designed by Dale Angus), Messenger of Change (designed by Kaleen Sanois),  Le Belle Creole (designed by Peter Elias), Mademoiselle Boissierre (designed by Dianne Hunt), Madame Boissierre (designed by Dianne Hunt), Ministress of  Hope (designed by Dianne Hunt), Madame Mille Fleur ( designed by Brian Mac Farlane), Monsieur Mille Fleur (designed by Brian Mac Farlane), The Gate Keepers (designed by Fazaad Mohammed), Aristocratic Aura (designed by Heather Jones) and Voyage de la Mode (designed by Claudia Pegus).

madame-boisserie-dianne-huntMadame Boissiere by Dianne Hunt

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

The White Hall Affair designed by Adrian Foster is already sold out. The White Hall was formerly owned by Joseph Leon Agostini. Following his death it was then occupied by Robert Henderson and his family. However an account of the interior design, architecture and atmosphere of social events at the White Hall from the author of “The Great Eight”, Mr. Anthony  De Verteuil seemed to inspire designer Adrian Foster. He took reference from this 19th century Edwardian era. He believes that the spirits of Henderson’s guests remained within the walls of the magnificent building. He believes they merged with the Corsican, Moorish architecture forming silhouettes from French style windows and fretwork trimmings to large coral stone pillars that support the structure. He believes their trapped souls continue to roam the hallways and main ballroom as their haunting presence continues to preserve the rich history of time.

white-hall-buildingPhoto Credit: Adrian Foster

the-whitehall-affair-adrian-fosterThe White Hall Affair by Adrian Foster

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane’s Carnival Mas’ Camp

Apna Desh is designed by Dhisha Moorjani of House of Jaipur.  The costumes from Apna Desh- Our Land/Our Country reflect the conservative fashion and cultural design of traditional mas. These costumes feature a full collection of ethnic inspired Indian accessories detailed in silver. The female costumes come in several options. These include Sari or Gharara and top (skirt and top). The Apna Desh costumes are investment pieces as they can be worn again at a non Carnival occasion. Dhisha Moorjani (House of Jaipur) states, “It was Brian’s idea to use this theme and I followed the guidelines for colour scheme; beige and sepia tones. I used lots of cotton. In 1886 Cazabon’s painting of Indo Trinidadians was displayed at The Colonial Exhibit in London (renamed politically by Geofferey Maclean “The East Indian Group and The East Indian Women”). It depicted an Indo Trinidadian family; a mother, a father, a daughter. They are seen standing in their thatched roof house. The men are in their Kurta and Dhoti pants and the women in their flowing saris. The costumes for Cazabon The Art of Living feature options of Sari or Gharara which are sewn and easily arranged especially for anyone who never wore a sari. There are lots of silver pieces as accessories to reflect the heavy adornment of their bodies in jewelry. They did not trust banks during that time and converted their gold coins into jewelry.”

 

apna-desh-tripleApna Desh by Dhisha Moorjani (House of Jaipur)

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane’s Mas Camp

Citizens for Conservation is designed by Harvey Robertson. He affirms, “The conceptual stages of design and learning about the work of Citizens for Conservation inspired my design. The group is most known for its recent efforts to keep historical architecture alive. The demolition of the Greyfriars Church on Frederick Street in Port of Spain also inspired my designs. This church was built in the 1800’s during the Cazabon era. The materials for this costume consist of 100% cotton with shades of white and hues of brown.”

greyfriar

Greyfriars Church

Photo Credit: Joshua Lue Chee Kong

citizens-for-conservation-harvey-robertsonCitizens For Conservation by Harvey Robertson

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

citizens-for-conservation-harvey-robertson-femaleCitizens For Conservation by Harvery Robertson

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

Felicity is designed by Charu Lochan Dass for the brand CLD. In her words, “ Felicity is the bringing together a mix of pleasures and stylishness. It depicts both mid 1800’s fashion and the sobering yet intricate Victorian architecture. It exchanges historical extravagance for modern mobility, keeping the traditional trims; gloves and head scarves to bring to life an era so filled with presence and sophistication.”

felicity-female-cldFelicity by Charu Lochan Dass (CLD)

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

Gang Gang Sarah and Tom is designed by Dayle Angus from Tobago. This costume is detailed using lots of natural materials such as cowrie shells to represent the cotton from the silk cotton tree. The designer had a vision for a rugged, strong look for this costume. She collaborated with Dwayne Trim of  Mudern Mud in Tobago to include this neutral colour element in her design aesthetic. Designer Dale Angus says ” The whole idea around Cazabon is his representation of all aspects of society during that time period. It translates to what was happening in Tobago at that time, you would’ve seen a rise in the folklore. Gang Gang Sarah is a folklore  that originated between the late 1800’s – early 1900’s. When we talk about architecture of that time period and the use of nature, I approached him ( Brian Mac Farlane ) with Gang Gang Sarah. The main focus was the silk cotton tree. The tree stands today in Tobago and it is seen as a historical treasure. “

gang-gang-sarah-and-tom-dayle-angus

Gang Gang Sarah and Tom by Dayle Angus

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

Messenger of Change is designed by Kaleen Sanois. The battymamzelle or dragonfly is used as the symbol for messenger of change. The base of the costume was inspired by this creature. The designer drew inspiration from common details of colonial houses seen in the lace work and the light weight cottons. Despite being a representation from the Cazabon era more flare was added to the look with gems, piping and gold accents. Designer Kaleen Sanois reiterates, ” The Messenger of Change is the mascot of the band. The message is that we need to come together as a people, to be united and to enjoy the country that is our own, and celebrate what we have left of our culture. Anybody can be The Messenger. I believe we’re all artists in some way and should use our art to promote positive change in any way. The Messenger of Change falls into the Cazabon era as a reminder that we are beautiful and unique people just like the battymamzelle.”

art-of-cazabon

messenger-of-change-kaleen-sanoisMessenger of Change by Kaleen Sanois

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Mas Camp

The Gatekeepers section is designed by Fazad Mohammed. In his words he describes the characters’ portrayal, “I am majestically unyielding and a grand sight to behold. My magnificence lives on through the traditions that now unfold. I stand guard at the treasure’s place centuries apart, defy me and to this day you shall know my wrath. We defy the ravages time and stand among the chosen few, we are the gatekeepers of the Estates and our presence beckons to you!” – Fazad Mohammed 2016.

the-gate-keepers-fazaad-mohammed-maleThe Gate Keepers by Fazad Mohammed

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

He goes on to say that he was always  fascinated by the grand opulence of our heritage sites and their presence, which gives people a peek into a period in history that shaped their existence today. The Cazabon era set the tone for inspiring their creations for 2017 carnival and the design team saw it fit to present a collection that reflected the periods fashion and trends as well as stimulate discussion on the preservation of local heritage monuments. Through the portrayal of “The Gatekeepers” Fazad presents a look at the Grand iron and metal designs that adorn the magnificent structures. He also wanted to pay tribute to the men and women that contributed to its preservation. To this day he feels there is a sense of ethereal presence within these structures that stimulates one’s curiosity about life on the other side of the grand gates.

the-gate-keepers-female-fazaad-mohammedThe Gate Keepers by Fazad Mohammed

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

He believes that The Gatekeepers therefore, are those story tellers that brings to life this period in today’s modern world. Furthermore, he asserts that he would like to take the opportunity to celebrate the grand architectural magnificence and craftsmanship of the wrought iron artists. He feels that their creations adorn and protect our heritage estate houses and is a source of great inspiration to our current masterminds and architects. In this collection Fazad confirms that he maintained a strong connection with the actual fine fashionable fabrics of the period, ie cotton, silk, satin, lace and chiffon. He states that the accessories mirrored the opulence of the fine jewelry crafted from pearls, gold and other gems.  Fazad feels that the greatest significance is the wire work done by our local craftsmen to tell the story of the grand wrought iron artisans of the period.

the-gate-keepers-couple-fazaad-mohammed

The Gate Keepers by Fazad Mohammed

Photo Credit: Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp

If you would like to know more about the presentation of Cazabon: The Art of Living then please review the information below.

Brian Mac Farlane’s mas camp is located at #49 Rosalino Street Woodbrook.

Telephone Contact: (868) 625-8931

Email Address: macfarlanecarnival@gmail.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/macfarlanecarnival/

Website: www.macfarlanemas.com

The Mac Farlane Carnival Mas Camp is one of the featured stops on my Trinidad Carnival Fashion Tour this Saturday 11th February 2017. If you would like to take the tour then please contact me at letsgotrinidadandtobago@gmail.com

 

 

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Big People and Big Words: Sustainable Tourism Development

Sustainable is a “big word”  people throw around when they want to show that they have some weight or they like to play they “BIG” and play they know “big words”. Indeed this is a “big” word because it has a lot of weight to it. It carries so much responsibility by all the stakeholders involved in tourism in small island developing states such as Trinidad and Tobago. It warrants them to guard their initiatives and development of them with this word in mind.  Sustainable tourism development can be defined as “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities,” (“Sustainable Tourism .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform”). Destination gate keepers who are ill informed or unconcerned about this topic can lead to a destination’s demise. This type of attitude can also act as a catalyst to propel and ensure there is a continuum for the end result of an obliterated destination where there is literally zero restoration or rejuvenation in the tourism life cycle.

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The United Nations World Tourism Organization has identified twelve principles that guide the sustainable tourism development (GRID-Arendal). They can be surmised as

  1. Economic Viability
  2. Local Prosperity
  3. Employment Quality
  4. Social Equity
  5. Visitor Fulfillment
  6. Local Control
  7. Community Wellbeing
  8. Cultural Richness
  9. Physical Integrity
  10. Biological Diversity
  11. Resource Efficiency
  12. Environmental Purity

Some of you may know in depth what these terms mean and some of you have taken them for granted whilst some of you have twisted it for your own meaning. Hence the ease at which some people can throw around the words sustainable development. I will not divulge further as you can do yourself the favour and read more about this in your own research efforts.

My research has taken me to use initiatives to develop and promote creative tourism. This type of tourism can be defined as, “Tourism which offers visitors the opportunity to develop their creative potential through active participation in courses and learning experiences, which are characteristic of the holiday destination where they are taken,” Crispin Raymond and Greg Richards, 2000 (Network).  My first initiatives in creative tourism  focus on fashion tours. I have chosen this path because I am passionate about making a difference in my country by effecting change through a channel such as this one.  Moreover as a  sole proprietor in this niche I believe I can set the standards and revise them as often as it needs to be. I think stakeholders can pause for a cause that concerns all of us. There is a greater urgency now at a time when our very minds, skills, abilities, resources and networks can aid the diversification that the country so desperately needs.

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There are many opportunities for sustainable action in each tourism sector. When I first did my plans for these fashion tours some persons who were guiding me believed that  tours should be standardized and commercialized. My background in tourism academia, my travel experiences as a fashion and shopping tourist and my desire to be unique skewed my perspective. I have held my ground and I will continue to do so.  There is a new tourist who wants more. This tourist falls in my target market. My tours are more than just packages.  Albeit lots of planning goes into every tour I agree to some level of standardization but not too much as this can ruin the authenticity and natural fabric of organic flows and intangible things that take place on tour.

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My groups engage in learning about creative design, culture and history specific to Trinidad. The entire process is participatory and fun! The designers are screened and selected based on originality, production of their materials and their contributions to society. I employ external stakeholders who I rotate so that I collaborate with different persons from designers, photographers, guides, drivers, hoteliers and hosts. Of course the quality of their work and working relationships are also evaluated. Moreover, there is something called the multiplier effect which means something more to me. It means as much as I can employ locals they will spend into society and the money can trickle down due to these linkages. Most of my marketing is done digitally to reduce waste.  I map my routes carefully to reduce carbon footprint.  All my designers benefit from increased brand visibility because this venture has the people, the makers and the creators in this destination closest to its heart. I make it my business to show and tell their stories in anticipation of helping them to carry on their brand legacy.

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This initiative is twofold because as I welcome the tourists to an unlocked designer haven where they can purchase specially designed and crafted clothing even ethical pieces they take back a piece of the destination with them.  When creatives make something and the tourist purchases it they are taking away a part of that creative with them. The creative’s soul, heart, the design process, the production and the finishing touches are all gifted in that one purchase. They have an investment and a memory that can last a lifetime. Tourists establish relationships with others on tour as well as with designers. There is a huge potential for increasing brand loyalty and sales. They support a livelihood by purchasing from these designers who are mostly small businesses.

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Overall, the role of sustainable development in tourism is a big deal. Failure to take heed of the principles of sustainable tourism development can lead to infinite disadvantages. These include but are not limited to pollution and destruction of environment, limited value added products and experiences, low employment, control of wealth and income, no local consultation hence foreign decision making, leakage of expenditure, concentration of development in local travel and tourism, little to no transparency and accountability in destination over foreign exchange earnings, unstable markets, over commercialized packages, all inclusive markets which only  allow for money to stay within certain pockets of society, control of access to certain properties and attractions and solicitation of illegal activities and lifestyles (“Tourism Development: Outline of Advantages and Disadvantages”).

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Wind turbines seen as a blot on the landscape by motorists who don't notice the impact of the motorway.
Wind turbines seen as a blot on the landscape by motorists who don’t notice the impact of the motorway.

Undoubtedly, I am an advocate for positive change in my country and if I can make an effort so can you. I am committed to improving sustainable development of tourism in my destination in whichever that I can. If you are visiting Trinidad and Tobago soon or if you are a stakeholder or even a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago I am sure you can think of some way in which you can contribute. You do not need to be Mr. Big Stuff or use “BIG WORDS” to make a difference. Your action does not have to be grand and glamorous you can start with something very simple. If we all make one single step to positive change in the direction of sustainable tourism development the end result will undeniably be colossal.

 

Resources

GRID-Arendal. GRID-Arendal – activities – sustainable tourism – background. 2014. Web. 5 Jan. 2017.

Network, Creative Tourism. About the creative tourism. 2012. Web. 5 Jan. 2017.

“Sustainable tourism .:. Sustainable development knowledge platform.” 1 June 2014. Web. 5 Jan. 2017.

“Tourism development: Outline of advantages and disadvantages.” n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2017.

 

 

 

 

‘An Evening Of Healing With Music – Vol. I’ Offers A Holiday Gift Of Musical Healing For The Soul

‘An Evening Of Healing With Music – Vol. I’ Offers A Holiday Gift Of Musical Healing For The Soul

 

Estuary PR Launches A Cultural Studies Initiative To Nurture Care In Communities

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Musician, cultural practitioner and educator, Z4L4, uses sacred music and performance art to move his audiences to change at a recent commemorative performance for the 2016 World AIDS Day, Performance Art Towards a Model of Village Care, at the UWI St. Augustine campus’ School of Education Auditorium.  Photo courtesy TriniView.com.


December 21, 2016 – St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago… On Wednesday December 28, 2016, lovers of music and the arts are invited to experience stirring classical, jazz, soul, blues and Caribbean spirituals at An Evening of Healing with Music – Vol. I.  This fundraising concert aims to foster well-being through music that nurtures the soul while shining a light on issues related to the care of Trinidad and Tobago’s aging and ailing population.  An eclectic cast including Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore, Z4L4, John Michael Thomas & Friends, Tsahai Koo and Imani Miller-Sorzano will entertain from 6:30 p.m. at the Our Lady of Fatima Church Hall, Bushe Street, Curepe.

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Cultural Studies lecturer, Z4L4, engages his audience as he discusses an alternative approach to caring for HIV/AIDS patients, the Tobago Yard model, with moderator, award-winning Jamaican poet and author, Lesley-Ann Wanliss, during the performance art event, Performance Art Towards a Model of Village Care.  Photo courtesy TriniView.com.

Following recent experiences with caring for a loved one, estuary PR’s Managing Director, Liza Miller, identified an urgent need to create a platform for promoting care, empathy, compassion, kindness and love.  “We often take the simple things in life for granted such as our wondrous ability to breathe.  Everyday thousands of people suffer from lifelong ailments that compromise their ability to do basic daily functions as well as their quality of life.  There are so many broken members of our society.  How are we taking care of these neglected people who line our hospital emergency wards as they watch life’s clock tick?” questioned Miller.

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Internationally renowned steel pan and jazz icon, Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore, ignites his audience as he delivers a passionate performance.  Photo courtesy Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore.

This fundraising series was conceptualised as a quarterly production, which will raise funds for various beneficiaries who face the trials of sustaining spiritual, emotional and physical well-being in the face of managing medical challenges.  The inaugural concert, An Evening of Healing with Music – Vol. I, brings a diverse cast of performers in terms of age and talent together to address the indiscriminate nature of aging and illness.  In reflecting on the concept, Miller shared, “Aging and illness care not for one’s age, race, class, profession nor nationality.  These are experiences that impact not only those aging and ill but also their loved ones and caregivers.  Who is caring for the caregivers?  What little can each of us do to nurture caring?”

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Charismatic vocalist, John Michael Thomas, will lend his talents to deliver a powerful performance at An Evening of Healing with Music – Vol I.  Photo courtesy John Michael Thomas.

An Evening of Healing with Music – Vol. I offers music to soothe the soul in benefit of Martica Thomas’ medical care.  Tickets cost $100.00 and are available at the Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic (RC) Church office and from estuary PR.  For more information, join the Facebook (FB) event at bit.ly/HealWithMusic or connect on FB, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @estuaryPR and @Z4L4Music or email liza@estuaryPR.com or call (868) 367-5295.

WHAT:          An Evening of Healing with Music – Vol. I

WHO:            estuary PR in collaboration with Z4L4

WHEN:         Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:      Our Lady of Fatima RC Church Hall, Bushe Street, Curepe

TICKETS:     $100.00

                        Our Lady of Fatima RC Church office – (868) 662-5203

                        estuary PR – (868) 367-5295

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Liza Miller, Managing Director

estuary PR Limited

p: (868) 367-5295

e: liza@estuaryPR.com

www.estuaryPR.com

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Are we the creative nexus for the Caribbean?

Creativity

The developing world is becoming vigilant of its tourism destination competitors. Countries are starting to develop incubators, policies and support framework to sculpt a creative city in their destination. They are developing a city that boasts of creativity in software, theater, art, music, fashion, craft, animation to name a few. Further amplifying this is the recognition of the need to support the institutions of creative industries by incentive and political initiatives that aid in the creatives’ advancement and development. Johannesburg in South Africa is one common example of a creative tourism destination. Artists are allotted discounted rental spaces and theater productions  are allowed to showcase on the national scene as well. Similarly, the small developing island state of Trinidad and Tobago is not far behind.

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Click the link below to see Creative South Africa (Video Credit: South Africa Tourism)

Trinidad and Tobago offers its individual aesthetic of cosmopolitan status and ingenuity to the world. There has been an upsurge in fashion events, graduate designers, local designer boutiques, art , craft markets and the bubbling of a passion for talent, skill and culture. It is a subconscious attempt by the people to generate our very own creative space and make a claim to stand out on that global creative domain. Several fraternities have added support for this creative revolution at the core of this nexus over the last decade in Trinidad and Tobago; Fashion Associations, Start Up competition events, Ted Ex Talks, business expos and forums like The Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness and Powering Innovation with  distinguished panels from all walks of creativity. The establishment of the Creative Industries Company and projects like ICT’s innovation in mas which fosters healthy competition in the local masquerade sector also boost creative awakening of the nations’ creative industries. Nedco is also an avenue for helping start ups make their ‘dreams come true’. Trinidad and Tobago even hosted a plethora of international delegates to the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum.

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This is Creative Trinidad–> click the link below for the video ( Video Credit: Racked TT)

https://www.facebook.com/rackedtt/?sk=app_328004553917475

We are Crayons —> Click below for Video ( Video Credit: A Big Box of Crayons)

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Yet, Trinidad and Tobago has yet to see that this vision of marrying tourism with creative industries is more than a blissful happily ever after. More often than not this development will be propelled for advanced forward movement as a destination since the creative sector has little to zero correlation to sameness and commodification of a destination’s resources. This means Trinidad and Tobago can have a promising future as the premier Caribbean destination or as a nexus for the Caribbean on the global creative map. A destination’s creative product on the global map means that this destination will not only be ‘fresh’  it will be in high demand by new tourists who will soon quench their thirst for more that just sun, sea and sand!

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NDDCI’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations Continue with “Threshold”- Press Release

NDDCI’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations Continue With “Threshold”

 

September 29, 2015 – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago… As a continuation to its 30th anniversary celebrations, the Noble Douglas Dance Company Inc. (NDDCI) will present its 2015 dance season, Threshold. The weekend production opens on Saturday October 17 at Queen’s Hall featuring new and classic choreographic works by Noble Douglas, Allan Balfour, Penelope Kalloo, Arlene Frank, Delton Frank and Megan Navarro.

 

Trinidad and Tobago’s foremost modern contemporary dance company earned another accolade when it launched its 30th anniversary celebrations with its 2014 season, TEETH. This momentous milestone celebrates the contributions of the seminal dance company to the cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. Founded in 1985 with a vision to use the body for the expression of a Caribbean aesthetic in modern contemporary dance, the NDDCI has toured locally, regionally and internationally on stages in the United States, Southern Africa and the Caribbean.

 

In 2005, Douglas’ commitment to the development of the arts and culture received national recognition when she was bestowed with Trinidad and Tobago’s second highest award, the prestigious Hummingbird Medal – Gold. She was also the recipient of the Cacique Award for best choreography in the Trinidad Theatre Workshop’s 2005 production of Derek Walcott’s musical, STEEL and a Vanguard Cacique Award for her work with Lilliput Children’s Theatre. She has continued to revolutionise dance expression in the region as she fuses the principles of contemporary modern dance with the instinctive and familiar movements of her Caribbean landscape.

 

As a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Douglas has shone as an icon of the arts in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region. The co-founder of the country’s foremost children’s theatre company, Lilliput Children’s Theatre, and founder of the NDDCI, Douglas has stood strong with an unyielding commitment to her vision to use the performing arts as a medium to stimulate young people’s creative energy and to build character, self-confidence and self-esteem.

 

This celebration of dance marks the threshold of a new decade of dance for the NDDCI. Tickets cost $160.00 and are available at Crosby’s Music Centre, from members of the NDDCI and from October 13, 2015, at the Queen’s Hall box office. For more information, join the Threshold Facebook (FB) event page at http://x2t.com/THRESHOLD or connect with NDDCI on FB at www.facebook.com/nddci or on Twitter @NDLFA or send email to liza@estuaryPR.com.

 

WHAT:          Threshold

WHO:            Noble Douglas Dance Company Inc.

WHEN:         Saturday October 17, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday October 18, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:      Queen’s Hall, St. Ann’s, Port of Spain

TICKETS:     Regular $160.00 (including programme)

Crosby’s Music Centre, St. James – (868) 622-SOCA(7622)

Members of the NDDCI

From Tuesday October 13, 2015 at Queen’s Hall box office – (868) 624-1284

 

Photo captions and credits:

All photos courtesy Maria Nunes.

 

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NDDCI 1

The layered choreography of Noble Douglas and post-modernist, Reggie Wilson, marries folk, modern and post-modern genres in this 1998 collaborative work, Rum & Salvation. Here the piece is remounted during the NDDCI’s 2013 collaborative dance season, Vecinos…we are Neighbours.

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NDDCI 2

Terry Springer shines in Allan Balfour’s iconic 1987 choreography, Red Clay, which was re-staged during the NDDCI’s 2013 collaborative season with leading Venezuelan dance company, Fundación Coreoarte.

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NDDCI 3

A moment of intense energy from Allan Balfour’s three-part piece, Ties, which he began choreographing in 2011 and completed in 2012.

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The company’s alumni and seasoned dancers perform this three-part retrospective piece, Older More, which was created by Dave Williams for NDDCI’s 2014 30th anniversary season, TEETH.

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NDDCI 5

Kwasi Romero is intently poised in Arlene Frank’s choreography, Near To One’s Heart, during NDDCI’s 2014 30th anniversary season, TEETH.

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NDDCI’s company members and apprentices perform Noble Douglas’ classic piece, Passage, during Lilliput Children’s Theatre’s 2015 40th anniversary production, BIG.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:

Liza Miller, Managing Director

estuary PR Limited

Phone: (868) 367-5295

Email: liza@estuaryPR.com

www.estuaryPR.com

 

 

 

"A Few Steps in the Right Direction" – Trinidad and Tobago Fashion

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The local fashion scene is buzzing with amusement, intrigue, glitz and glam. As a destination in this turn of the century Trinidad and Tobago’s revived fashion journey has only now begun. Trinidad and Tobago, as the premier fashion destination in the Caribbean upped the ante in the first quarter of the 2015 calendar. It seems like there were a few positive steps in the right direction  for Trinidad and Tobago, the fashion destination.

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( Photo courtesy: Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications)

The Fashion Look Book

The Creative TT and Export TT collaboration has fostered a brainchild in the form of a Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Look Book. There has been  liaison with a target market in the French Caribbean to promote the sale of local fashion merchandise. The Creative TT board members anticipate that this will stimulate understanding by local fashion designers to be export ready. To aid this initiative there was a fashion workshop hosted by Creative TT for local designers on themes of export. A panel including Jennifer Williams Baffoe (specialist business advice consultant for creative industries), Raymond Wong (Professor at Fashion Institute of Technology/ co-owner of Intricate Concepts Inc. and Fourfront 1602), Soma Lisa Choudhury (Branding and Marketing Specialist for luxury designers) and Romero Bryan (luxury brand designer/ London College of Fashion graduate)  participated in Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week 2015. They shared their creative expertise and international industry experience in these workshops.

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(Photo courtesy: Creative TT)

2TFW

Another noteworthy step was the launch of 2TFW by Ashley Christmas. Ashley is a fashion designer and fashion events producer in the sister isle of Tobago. Ashley is responsible for the re-branded 2TFW formerly Tobago Fashion Weekend. Christmas spent his years in the U.S.A  and in New York under the tutelage of Raymond Wong and Joseph Mbeh. Christmas launched a clothing line and debuted his collection at Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week in 2008 – 2010. In 2010, Ashley participated in a Tobago segment of Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week. In 2011, he created Tobago Fashion Weekend. This year 2015 Tobago Fashion Weekend  became 2TFW (Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week). It was expanded to include twenty five designers and spanned a week of educational workshops, tours, commercial opportunities and networking for fashion designers, models and all those involved in the industry. Fashion shows at Piarco International Airport’s atrium were used as promotional events for  (Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week) 2TFW. In addition, an online fashion store became part of the fashion week with the sale of promotional fashion week attire.

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(Photo courtesy: 2TFW)

http://dus1.org/

http://2tfwstore.com/

International Media Coverage

Trinidad and Tobago realizes that the international marketing and the social media platform today bridges the gap in communication by connecting destinations to the world especially in the name of fashion. Claire Sulmers, an international fashion media representative was photographed frolicking in Trinidad and Tobago’s fashion, fun and food. Claire Sulmers graced 2TFW this year to do media coverage for the event. She is actually the owner and editor in chief at The Fashion Bomb Daily an online blog for urban “fashionistas”. The blog showcases fashion from runways, editorials as well as beauty and style advice. Fashion from around the world even minority groups appear on the blog. Claire has been trained under the eye of journalists and has worked her way up to owning and publishing her own blog. Some of her experiences include working at Vogue Italia, Essence Magazine and AOL. Also, she has an affiliation with Harvard University.

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(Photo courtesy: Fashion Bomb Daily)

http://fashionbombdaily.com/2015/05/12/claires-life-maracas-beach-in-trinidad-in-andrea-iyamahs-kanda-high-waist-bikini-and-tess-blue-beach-cape/

Creative Space

Forward advanced incrementation is brought back home with the person the Caribbean identifies as the one who gave second breath to Trinidad and Tobago’s Fashion Industry, Anya Ayoung Chee. She has created a space for creative artisans and like minds to network and collaborate at her HOME. She launched Exhibit A. This is a part of HOME where designers can host displays and shopping nights to name a few. These projects are curated under the supervision of The Project Runway Winner. This step is indicative of a safe haven and mentorship platform to fill gaps in the local fashion industry from commercialization, marketing and distribution from local designers to consumers.

In the future, this “pay it forward” system could potentially connect more dots than originally intended. The stakeholders, game changers and veterans help these creative entrepreneurs and they in turn help others by sharing what they know. It is a tried and true principle that has worked in other industries for years. It is definitely transferable to Trinidad and Tobago, as an aspiring  fashion destination.

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(Photo courtesy: Exhibit A)

https://www.facebook.com/ExhibitAatHOME

Caribbean Fashion Recognition

This year a few pivotal points were established in Trinidad and Tobago’s fashion. However, another event will make a powerful statement in taking Trinidad and Tobago and by extension the Caribbean’s fashion to the world . This event is called Caribbean Style Week. This will be held in south Florida from June 23rd – June 29th 2015. Caribbean fashion, models, designers and stylists will be showcased. Panels,workshops, runway shows and special events are planned for this Caribbean Style Week. Caribbean fashion is gaining its fair share of international recognition. This can only mean more viability and visibility for Trinidad and Tobago and the region.

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http://www.caribstyleweek.com/

 

 Basically, if the stars continue their alignment and this momentum is reciprocated at light speed or even at this organic pace then the future for the creative industries (fashion) and Trinidad and Tobago as a fashion destination seems hopeful.

"Trini" Alice in Filipino Wonderland

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The Honourable Dr. Eric Williams  invited the Filipino community to Trinidad in 1964. This was just after his trip to the Far East. He may have realized that for such a skilled nation of 7,102 islands and over 103 million people it may have been competitive for the Filipinos to find work in their own job market. He may have also realized that this community which speaks English, Spanish and dialect Tagalog of Catholic and Muslim religions may have been similar to his multicultural state of Trinidad and Tobago.  In addition, a lightning bolt idea probably struck him when he may have realized the resourcefulness and dual benefit to these citizens and to his Trinidad if he offered them employment by inviting these skilled professionals to fill the labour shortages in his country. Later they would arrive from the island of Cebu and the capital city of the Philippines, Manila to fill skill gaps as medical personnel, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and to assist with the restructuring of the then TELCO Trinidad telephone state services which were deplorable and affecting everyone including Dr. Eric Williams. Today, the estimated Filipino population in Trinidad is approximately over 1,000 persons. They are found in several skilled areas of engineering, medicine, construction, art, culture, business and culinary arts.

2014-12-06 19.59.12 2014-12-06 19.59.17 I have been fortunate to have been invited to their “potlucks” on several occasions (Birthdays and New Years Eve) to experience first hand Filipino culture.  This is a house party with lots of Filipino food ( the Filipinos attending bring a dish or more to the table), karaoke singing and family (this does not necessarily mean blood relation but friends from the Filipino community in Trinidad). Filipino food is usually steamed or stir fried. Their diet is quite healthy and they consume less oil. Although, there is almost always the roasting of a pig over an open fire! This pig is stuffed with herbs and covered in coconut oil and roasted for flavor, texture and fat reduction! It is neither too salty or too sweet or too spicy but flavorful for the palate. Even if you are not family you are treated as though you are part of their household. There is plenty laughing and though they speak Tagalog their English is quite good and the “Trini” dialect as well! They are excellent hosts as they always make sure their guests are comfortable and happy. Their hospitality emanates like a pulsating aura of love and positive, clean, happy energy throughout their home from the minute they greet you throughout your stay even until you leave and get in your car ready to leave. One can reminisce that they went to the Philippines and returned to Trinidad as this culture immersion captivates individuals each time almost like magical realism to a “Trini” Alice in a “Filipino” Wonderland fairytale!

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It is this very essence of culture immersion, adaptability and diversification that reflects how one nation, a twin island state can exist in peace with many others under one sun and one sky. Trinidad is blessed by this beautiful gem of multiculturalism. Even though we are many cultures the respect and appreciation for each other shout volumes of amplified unity and harmony as one body of a Trinbagonian identity.

So Live and Let Live,

Love and Be Loved,

Experience Culture & Respect Each Other

Represent Your Nation

Trinidad and Tobago

The True Caribbean

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 xoxo

Let’s Go Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

COCO Dance Festival

The COCO Dance Festival began in 2009 with dance professionals and founders Nancy Herrera, Sonja Dumas, Nicole Wesley and Dave Williams. This festival gives choreographers and dance professionals the opportunity to pioneer approaches to choreography and explore contemporary and post modern forms of dance. Moreover, there is much space to experiment with dance aesthetics. This festival is a dynamic force for propelling the Trinidad and Tobago Dance Industry. It fosters the development of collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches in the production of art, performance and lecture with The University of the West Indies and the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s dance programmes. Basically, it offers mentorship for emerging choreographers by giving them a professional platform for performance and experimentation with direction for development as their steward.

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So far the work of founders as well as creative art and dance professionals from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Canada and the U.S.A have been showcased. This year the festival has a guest cast of the New York Battery Dance Company (supported by the Embassy of the United States of America), The University of South Florida’s Dance Program, The University Dance Company of Texas Tech University (supported by Texas Tech University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts). The COCO screening committee also chose Akuzuru, Brittany Williams, Deliece Knights, Jacob Cino, Jelae Stroude-Mitchell, Jillene Forde, Juan- Pablo Alba- Dennis, Kinesha Charleau, Sade Chance and Santee Smith to perform. The COCO community outreach programme  has selected finalists from the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy competition to make their contribution. Other dance entities participating include Ibis Dance Company directed by Sherma Burke, New Edition by Jodie Daniel, Eh Beh Oui Don Don directed by Kizzy Murray. founders and directors like  Sonja Dumas and Dave Williams will also feature their work.

20141002_221723(Summer Fall – Sean Scantlebury  – New York Battery Dance Company)

The calendar of activities include a free film series( four french films in collaboration with L’Alliance Francaise), the annual COCO awards and the COCO Dance Festival programme of performances. There is also the community outreach initiative with a series of master dance classes that are being facilitated by local and foreign dance professionals at TTD$40.00 per class. The types of dance forms include contemporary modern, contemporary Amerindian, Zena Rommet Floor Barre and Modern African Caribbean techniques. The COCO Dance Festival itinerary starts on Friday October 3, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. (inclusive of the COCO Awards). On Saturday October 4, 2014 there will be outdoor/indoor spatial presentation at 6:30 p.m. However, showtime is at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday October 5, 2014 there is an outdoor/indoor spatial presentation at 5:30 p.m with showtime at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are only TTD$100.00. They are available at Alliance Francaise, The Bread Basket in St. Ann’s and Woodbrook, participating choreographers and Queen’s Hall.

20141002_203627-1(Oshe – Sherma Burke – Ibis Dance Company)

After being invited to attend the dress rehearsal for the COCO Dance Festival last evening at the Queen’s Hall we realize the commitment that this country (public and private stakeholders) has made to its creative arts industry. This is not to be taken lightly. An industry can only grow and develop further from partnership, collaboration, stakeholder relationship, excellent quality and quantity of resources, zero tolerance for laissez faire attitudes, an ambition to improve, a strong recognition for standards and their maintenance of them. They identify that dance is an art form and like true connoisseurs of this art form Sonja Dumas and her team appreciate that there is no room for sub standards. Rehearsal after rehearsal they must get it right because the international stage is watching. But this is not the only reason. Aside from the fact that this is the social media era where any click on a camera phone literally puts Trinidad and Tobago on the map Sonja and everyone participating must ensure that quality of production is up to par  because this affects end result of production.

20141002_202409(Intomergence – Jeane Travers)

The design thinking behind costumes, choreography, musical arrangements, programme structure all tie together to evoke emotions and convey the visionary’s (committee’s ) concept. Last evening, locals and foreigners performed on the same stage. There was a high rank of execution and delivery to the audience. However, there was enough clarity to distinguish among the Caribbean, American and Canadian dance professionals. Simply, each contingent owned their dance aesthetic identity which is most important in any art form. I could not choose a favourite for the night because they were all exceptional. They communicated a plethora of  undertones; love, happiness, sadness, pain, struggle, freedom,celebration and so much more which were easily identifiable. The couples, solos, trios, groups were all on point. Their exchange and collaboration made for the perfect night allowing the viewers to vicariously live through their performance. (Yes it was that authentic even though we were just observing!) Yet, it was the design management of the production that allowed for the COCO Dance Festival to be identified as such a superior creative arts brand in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

20141002_222927(Striking – Jacob Cino)

Overall, the advent of training sessions, the exposure to foreign work and these outstanding dance personas, the support of local dance institutes, production companies, the passion for dance and the  national pride exist to promote the art form as an international brand with its distinct aesthetic. They  signify advance development for the creative arts sector in Trinidad and Tobago. The “powers that be” should carefully consider the magnanimous implications of future development and promotion of the creative arts sector. The COCO Dance Festival is already a box office hit. One can only suggest that  creative arts as a solution to the migraine of diversification in Trinidad and Tobago (an ironically already diverse destination) would result in the catapulting of a more sustainable and stronger economy.

So what are you still waiting for?

Go get your tickets!

Don’t miss out on this experience!

https://www.facebook.com/COCODanceFest

Thank you Liza Miller ( Estuary PR)

for your invite to cover

The COCO Dance Festival

xoxo

Let’s Go Trinidad and Tobago