Lisa Barton-Volney is a humble and unassuming yet extremely talented individual. She is the Creative and Managing Director behind “De Kloze Line” which may very well soon become a household name not just in Saint Lucia but across the region. Last week the designer returned from a fashion showcase in Grenada – which was not her first and from all indication will not be her last. The response to her madras collection from all reviews was “overwhelming” and “refreshingly different”.
According to the designer she has been interested in sewing and dressmaking it would seem like forever. However, she was first introduced to the actual “art” of dressmaking at age nine. Her own skills came to the fore during high school as she majored and excelled in Fashion & Fabric, Dressmaking & Design and Clothing & Textiles as a student in Trinidad where she went to school.
“Initially I wanted to be a secretary and a radio announcer,” she told the STAR with a wide infectious smile. “But you know what they say, the Master had other plans for me and I started doing uniforms for my peers while still at school. When I left school I started modeling and I continued sewing as well,” she added. Pretty soon she found herself taking requests for pieces and later still, creating uniforms for a number of corporate entities in Saint Lucia including several hotels.
Since then she has moved into creating her own lines, dabbling in fashion accessories, soft furnishings and bridal and formal wear for both male and female. Her pieces have also been worn by contestants in pageants including the Miss SLHTA pageant for which she has won best “Wob Dwiyet” award. She has also outfitted a number of Saint Lucian entertainers for their appearances at the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.
Regionally, her collections have been well received in Barbados, St. Vincent/Union Island, Trinidad & Tobago at Carifesta in Suriname and now Grenada. Asked about the recent Grenada experience Lisa told the STAR that it came about following a successful showing she had in San Fernando, Trinidad. “Two years ago I did San Fernando Fashion Week and they decided to take it to Grenada this year for the very first fashion week,” Lisa said. The event featured five designers from St. Kitts, Grenada, Trinidad and, of course, Saint Lucia.
“The collection I took to Grenada was total madras since I am trying to get people to warm up to madras as a fabric and not just something worn on occasions like creole day,” the designer explained. However, to her surprise she realized that the fabric was being embraced somewhat in Grenada. “It was Independence weekend in Grenada and so the Friday before the show was called National Colours Day and many people wore outfits made out of the green madras which bears the colours of the Grenada flag,” she informed us.
For the showcase itself Lisa Baton-Volney unveiled a collection in madras catering to various ethnicities. This included saris, wob dwiyets, trendy pleated pants and lace blouses that had the audience in awe. Since returning from Grenada, Lisa has been busy preparing to showcase her work at a women’s conference here on Independence Day February 22 and at Anguilla Fashion Expo at the end of February. She told the STAR that she is excited about the prospects and the opportunity to feel out the trends and demands to better position her “De Kloze Line” brand.
A few years ago she stamped “De Kloze Line” to her brand, a name that came about as a result of something she often told her friends from a tender age. “I was often asked what can you sew or make or what you cannot sew, and my response would be anything you can see hanging on a clothes line, I can sew. So when we were trying to come up with a name, my husband pointed to that,” she explained. About a niche, she says that she is still feeling her way through, but hopes to streamline her business and her brand pretty soon. But for now she is happy for the strides she has made and the regional networking exposure.
For more info on Lisa Barton-Volney’s work and to place orders you can contact De Kloze Line on Facebook.