Maxi closes CFW

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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REGGAE singer Maxi Priest put in a masterful performance on Sunday night to bring the curtains down on the 2014 Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW).

The artiste, who is known for hits like Close To You, Wild World, and Just a Little Bit Longer, had the fashion set rocking for the duration of his close to one hour set.

Maxi Priest was one of two musical acts on the annual event at the National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew. Earlier, singer Denyque performed.

Like Ishawna the previous evening, Denyque used the opportunity to showcase her swimwear line, Wet Swim.

Entertainment aside, it was a night for fashion. More of the region's established and emerging designers sent their creations down the runway with the hope of taking their brand to the next level.

The collections were a mixed bag. They ranged from Suzilee Chambers' hot summer swimwear to Meiling's crisp, clean lines along with the artistry and craftsmanship of Sonia Noel from Guyana.

After bringing the heat to CFW a few years ago with her Catch A Fire collection, a more sedate Cedella Marley showed a line of menswear — mainly printed T-shirts, hoodies and sweat tops -- branded Marley.
Proceeds from her collection will go towards funding the Reggae Girlz — Jamaica's national women's football team.

Earning sustained applause was Trinidad's Robert Young (The Cloth), who has shown at every staging of CFW. In true The Cloth fashion, his models were accessorised with banana leaves and the females had their feet dusted with gold in a segment known as The Secret Life of Trees.

Jamaican designer Mutamba stayed true to form with ethnic-inspired clothing.

Organiser Kingsley Cooper was pleased with this year's CFW. The onsite and online shopping experience took pride of place for him.

"What we are really doing is putting the power in the hand of the designer. What this means is that for a small designer who is not able to produce in mass, they can shop for the looks straight off the runway, either via the Internet or here at the venue... that puts the style and brands of the region out there for the international market," said Cooper.

On Sunday, 17-year-old designer Yvonne Jewnell of the United States was named Emerging Designer of the Year by British designer Gavin Douglas.

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