It’s nearly here, the much anticipated Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival event, Hot Couture! Here are some of the designers who’ll be part of the fashion showcase.
Born in Trinidad & Tobago, Claudia Pegus entered the fashion arena more than thirty years ago, and continues to be at the vanguard of Caribbean fashion innovation. Her work has been shown and lauded internationally at major fashion weeks for over three decades and her reputation for signature work in various types of silks and hand embroidery is intrinsic in her collection.
Delia was trained in New York as a fashion designer but learnt the business side in Chicago, where initially she worked for free to learn the basics of fashion design. When the St Lucian came back home to retire after 30 years in the USA, her plan quickly changed and she began a business named FLIPP Designs, producing a range of clothing, accessories and souvenirs – all St Lucia themed, some madras inspired.
Visionary designer Francis Hendy’s garments have been called exquisite, modern, and sexy with widespread appeal. Color, cut and innovation are his signature design style and philosophy. Leading fashion stylists work with Hendy to dress celebrities like Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, and The Black Eye Peas.
Heather has become an icon in the industry, taking fashion from an idea into the global marketplace and endorsing her evolution with awards and medals over the past ten years. Heather has been received by the US market with open arms and the assurance of a bright future. Buyers from more than 30 US based specialty and department stores were thrilled to find a designer with such unique talent and inspiration, and Heather Jones now feels ready to introduce her collections to the European, Middle East and Asian markets.
Immediately after graduating from school in Vieux Fort, St Lucia, Luciana went to the USA to study Fashion Design in New York, and later in Paris, France. She has been designing since 1990 and is passionate about creating gowns for national and community pageants round the island; she has designed for both male and female but prefers to design women’s wear with special emphasis on evening gowns. Her line is called ‘Incognito’.
Local newcomer Sharleen Lagon is the rising star behind J’Aeylu and her vision is to create unique, chic, fashionable and quality clothing that people can actually see themselves wearing. “J’Aeylu brings to life exclusive creations of the highest quality and aims to promote various aspects of life, culture and tradition in its collections released every year.” Inspired by the island’s French Creole heritage, J’Aeylu features ‘madras’ cotton as a significant ingredient in her designs, blending it with comfortable attractive fabrics in modern sexy styles.
The Kuumba label was created to conceptualize the essence of Esther’s life and she describes fashion as a concept of visual art forms. Blending ethnic and historical influences with contemporary creativity and eco-chic, Kuumba Designs are elegant, exclusive, functional and fabricated in a variety of materials such as crochet, cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, chamois, taffeta, Chantilly lace, Sisal straw and recyclable materials.
LYN BRISTOL MARTIAL
Lyn is a textile artist, utilizing fabric paints and natural fabrics, notably silks and cottons, to represent her unique garments. She specializes in the hand-painted designs, using traditional silk paints and brush. Most of her garment designs are beach or resortwear – easy sarongs, caftans and scarves, complemented with simple pants and tops are easy to manipulate for the wearer to reshuffle her wardrobe as she chooses. Lyn Bristol designs her unique garments and one of a kind works of wearable art at her studio in La Clery, Castries.
Taribba is a 31- year-old designer from St Lucia. She began designing bags five years ago while working in Africa, apprenticed under a young master leather-smith, and has since honed her craft, producing women’s handbags from leather and African print cloth. The concept behind her bags is to make simple styles that are offset by the vibrancy of the African colours, infusing style and fashion into practicality, turning every woman into a fashionista!
Mickaelle Merlin is a rising star of fashion in Martinique. She started to draw her first sketches and make clothes at the age of eleven years and then decided to make her passion her profession, studying fashion design in Paris and Martinique, and working in France for ten years. In 2004 She creates SYRYZYA brand for women and men, mixing sumptuous Caribbean creativity with a touch of French Couture.
Perry is a St Lucian designer whose predominant craft is creating “one-of-a-kind” bags: from clutch purses to hand bags to large tote bags, widely popular with both women and men. His creative inspiration comes from the textures and hues of the burlap fabric, which is his primary material, sometimes mixed with leathers, prints, and other textures; this inspires him to produce designs which are earthy, radical, edgy, and bold; making this the “I must have one of those” distinctive accessories.
In 1999 Shazi Chalon returned from New York to his beloved homeland St Lucia and opened “Shazi la boutique”. Immediately he was able to capture a fair share of the local garnment market and increase his visibility in some of the other Caribbean Islands. Without a doubt he has influenced the fashion Industry in St Lucia. Since its inception in 1992 Shazi Creative Wear now Shazi International has been available in stores, through wholesale in the United States and in some Caribbean islands. Shazi is now based in Martinique and was appointed the cultural attache of the consulate general office of Saint Lucia in Martinique. He has a passion for designing and continues to create!
Shelniel swimwear was launched in 1999 by designer Cassandra Mottley. The lines encompasses everything from swimwear to sundresses. Cassandra pulls her inspiration from nature, past trends, her travels and fantasy. Shelniel has been shown on the runway during several fashion events including Barbados Fashion Week and Caribbean Fashion Week. Shelniel’s current collections concentrate heavily on luxurious, sophisticated designs.
After less than 15 years in the industry, designer Sushma Patel has grown a loyal following for her breathtaking clothes. Patel’s use of vibrant colors, opulent hand-picked fabrics and extraordinary embellishments inspired by her Indian heritage,
juxtaposed with modern approaches to cutting,
draping and the impeccable ability to accentuate a woman’s beauty, has led her to become a favorite of trend-setting celebrities such as Sofia Ali Khan and Alex McCord.
Easy to wear but stunning
in its impact: Tracy’s
island style jewelry is handcrafted from semi
precious stones, embracing the colours and textures of Caribbean with agate,
and jade. Hippy chic
with a sense of tropical
glamour – wear for day and night for maximum compliments! The St Lucian designer is currently battling cancer through a course of chemotherapy, and is
an inspiration for her strength and courage, as well as her talent.