Tag Archives: fashion

The Art of Design

21231750_10214197102507537_5084057354635053102_nI’ll admit that this contest wasn’t really on my radar before and it only is this year because my niece emerged as the winner. In any case, it’s in step with some of what we do here, share and celebrate young Antiguans and Barbudans doing creative things; so I thought this was an appropriate platform to share. Per coverage in the local press, Nicoya Henry (in black and braids, 2nd from right in the top image) has emerged winner, from a field of nine, of the 2017 Courts Fashionista Competition.

“In a release from Courts, the furniture store said the event was conceptualized with the primary purpose of improving and developing the talent of our youth.” – from the Daily Observer, September 1st 2017

Growing up, Nicoya’s love of fashion and modelling ran alongside her love of art and design – she’s modelled on local, regional, and international runaways and she’s won visual art competitions like St. Anthony’s Sidewalk Art Festival. In recent years, her love of art has found expression through fashion – she’s performed well in the fashiontastic design competition (and in fact, runners-up in this contest, Shem Henry and Shirrine Gillon, are names I first came to know at Fashiontastic), organizes and promotes a fashion event called Fashion Formation, and gets her side hustle on creating clothing. So, the evolution continues with her win of the Courts competition.

It was a very Project Runway type of competition in spirit – right down to competitors getting a stipend to purchase material needed to create their designs (the equivalent of having access to that store they do on the show) and designing in response to a unique, shall we say, challenge. As Nicoya explained it to me, contestants had to do a design based on a Courts product (for those who don’t know, Courts is a furniture store). This was her item:

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This was her drawing: 21325878_10154959746868481_638764358_n

And this is the final design on the runway:21361156_10154959704348481_5524166_n

She walked with EC$2500 and the title, and said in the post-interview: “I feel very, very great that I won. I put in a lot of hard work, and it wasn’t easy breaking those mirrors. Right now, I still have splinters in my fingers, but it has paid off.” – from the Daily Observer, September 4th 2017

Cool, right?

To quote an audience member quoted in the paper “Our people have talent and I believe they can compete on any stage around the world.” – from the Daily Observer, September 4th 2017

Word.

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As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, With Grace, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. Do not re-use content without permission and credit. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

 

 

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Kudos, Calvin

Black ‘n Black… Southwell Inc… Calvin S… Beautiful People… designer Calvin Southwell has been trending as a fashion icon since the late 1980s. A new documentary tracks his journey.

calvin s

If you could see Calvin’s facebook page, you would see how much love he’s receiving and if you get a chance to see the documentary, you’ll see why. For me, part of what I liked about the documentary apart from the insight to what shaped him, was that he is an example of someone stepping out on a limb, following an improbable dream. In a society, especially, where creative pursuits are seen as hobbies, the effort, the hard work, the cost not fully appreciated, that took some guts…and no doubt a fair amount of turning a deaf ear to the ones trapped in the box. That Calvin is still a cool, down to earth, friendly kind of guy makes it that much easier to join with others in celebrating him.

Beyond that, all I can say is, we need more of this kind of recording and celebration of the dreamers and doers in our society. I think of this, and before this the Short Shirt documentary, that serve as inspirational reminders of the talent birthed right here that can with determination imprint on society. Calvin S’s imprint on fashion in Antigua and the Caribbean is undeniable. Congrats to him. And let’s tell more of our stories!

Read coverage of his red carpet premiere here. And here are some highlights from Calvin S.’s remarkable career (a career still very much in progress) from the event programme:

  • Designs featured in magazines far and wide – including She Caribbean, Profiles, Panache, Island Wear, Elan, Shabeau, Business Focus, and the in-flight magazines of BWIA, LIAT, Caribbean Star, as well as several online fashion journals.
  • Designs shown on runways in London, New York, Paris, Miami, Toronto, and various Caribbean islands including at the prestigious Caribbean Fashion Week.
  • Awarded the Grand Order of Merit in 2003.

The documentary – Calvin S of Antigua, the Designed Life – was written, directed and produced by D. Channsin Berry, a Hollywood based producer of numerous documentaries including the acclaimed and thought provoking Dark Girls.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, are okay, lifting content (words, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Melissa G Wins/Tameka J Debuts

Okay, I’m a little late with this one. But bear with me; a lot of artistic Antiguans out there doing their thing and I just trying to keep up. This time I turn the spotlight again on Melissa Gomez.

Her first feature length documentary Silent Music won the Audience Choice Award at the Toronto Deaf International Film & Arts Festival in May. It had its US debut shortly after, in fact earlier this month, with a screening at the DC Caribbean Film Festival in Maryland.

Go on, Melissa!

And you, reader, go here to read my October 2012 exclusive Wadadli Pen interview with Melissa. And here and here for my previous coverage of the film’s movements on the festival circuit.

Now for a little six-or-less degrees of separation trivia. Melissa’s partner in work and life is Christopher Hodge, the director of Dinner, written by Tameka Jarvis-George who is mentioned all over this site as songwriter, poet, screenplay writer, actress, model, novelist…and now we can add fashion designer after she debuted her GenX 724 line at Caribbean Fashion Week. What first time designer debuts at the biggest fashion showcase in the region? Tameka J that’s who.

Go on, Tameka!

Read about Tameka’s adventures in Jamaica and the dreaming and daring it took to get there on her blog.

Ent ah tell you artistic Antiguans out there doing their thing and ah jus’ tryin’ to keep up?

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