21 February 2013
by Osman Ahmed
It’s no secret that there’s more to Trinidad and Tobago than sun, sea and sand. If there was any doubt, the International Fashion Showcase exhibition at the country’s High Commission confirms it.
Three graduates of the Caribbean Academy of Fashion & Design have travelled far and wide to present their collections. Mark Eastman combines preppy with island vibe, using aspects of coral and wildlife as decoration around his structural separates. Lisa See Tai fuses African prints with a modern attitude, making separates for a young and fashion-savvy customer.
“People don’t take fashion seriously at all in Trinidad and Tobago,” explains the designer. “In London, people are able to express themselves so freely and I was amazed when I went to Somerset House during fashion week how people were dressed. My trip had definitely changed me approach – it’s inspired me to do whatever I think of.”
Also in the exhibition is London College of Fashion graduate Darcel de Vlugt, who took inspiration from Greek goddesses and mythology for her collection of sophisticated evening wear. One dress is made with 33 yards of silk organza and entirely hand beaded, demonstrating the designer’s dedication to luxury and detail.
“The Caribbean doesn’t really have a bridal dress industry,” explains de Vlugt. “I want to be the Vera Wang of the Caribbean and help people to embrace those special moments in life that are far and wide.”