Features

Caribbean Fashion

Anya Ayoung Chee
Anya Ayoung Chee

“PARIS of the Lesser Antilles” – this is the name once given to Martinique’s former capital Saint-Pierre. Often this reference was used to justify Martinique’s fashion appeal which stems from France’s fashion dossier.

Coloured stilettos, netted stockings and rose-topped fascinators all speak to the sophistication of French attire. Every year, hot couture hits Martinique’s runway with an array of modern sophistication and chic accessories. This public display of fashion has been mimicked in other Island Neighbours such as Dominica and Saint Lucia.

Dominica has invested much into the development of its fashion industry. With the establishment of the Dominica Beauty and Fashion Association (DBFA), beauty and fashion are constantly being paraded and developed in the nature isle. Events organized by this non-profit organization include Dominica Fashion Week and the Caribbean Model Search. It is the first non-profit association in the Caribbean to focus on beauty and its place in human existence.

St. Lucia has followed Martinique and Dominica’s example with its Hot Couture show during the Jazz and Arts Festival. This year, the third edition of the show is being held and will feature designers from St. Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean.

Have you been to one of these fashion shows? How was your experience? Has your fashion sense been recently influenced by any one of these fashion shows? Tell us on facebook: Island Neighbours.

Birdwatching in Dominica
Birdwatching in Dominica

Happenings
Jazz is in the air and that means that St. Lucia’s Hot Couture is back. On May 6, the third edition of the fashion show which comes to the Johnsons Centre in Rodney Bay. This year’s show which features designers from St. Lucia, Turkey, Trinidad, Guyana, Cuba and Island Neighbour Guadeloupe.

Famed Project Runway winner Anya Ayoung-Chee will be this year’s feature designer. Elsewhere, Martinique’s buzzing with activity this May. Today, a sports extravaganza awaits with a Golf Tournament. This event is sponsored primarily by Air Caraibes and Banque des Antilles Francaises. On May 9 the Caribbean Summit on Climate Change takes place in Martinique. The planet is warming up! It’s time to act!

NeighbourlyGetAways
Next time you’re in Dominica, catch a ride on the wild side with a bird watching tour. Most hotels in Dominica offer this service to tourists through guided field trips. Dominica has 167 recorded species of birds and such a trip offers you the opportunity to create your own bird photo album. Be sure to take your camera along.

Let’s go Shopping!
Calling all shopaholics! A jazzy season can inspire creativity in fashion. Do you agree? Then, let’s take a look at some of the stores in the region which offer that extra something to accent your look. In Dominica, Fashionline Store offers the latest trends from your favourite designers; Phillip Van Huesen, Calvin Klein and Izod. Duty free shopping is also available on brand named shoes; Sebago and Adidas. If you’re in the isle of flowers, use your duty-free shopping privileges to step out in style in summer. Live a little! Shop a little!

Caribbean Summit on Climate Change in Martinique.
Caribbean Summit on Climate Change in Martinique.

History
Historical note! Did you know that France is a leading country in the fashion industry alongside Germany and Italy? Getto know your neighbours!

A bit of the French for the VisitorDesigner de mode :Fashion Design
Women’s fashion –la mode féminine
Ready to wear – prêt-à-porter
New trends – les nouvelles tendances
Clothing Production – Production de vêtements
Fashion& Society – Mode et société
Fashion Promotion– Promotion de mode
The art of cutting – L’art de la coupe
Menswear – mode masculine
Tailor Expertise – savoir-faire du tailleur couturier
Costume design for the cinema – design de costumes pour le cinéma

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