Style Observer

What's trending for 2013? - Designs by Courtney Washington — Part I

Our local brands are, that’s what!

Monday, January 21, 2013    

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We’ve got front-row seats inside internationally acclaimed local designer Courtney Washington’s atelier. Washington is the designer of choice for not only corporate Jamaica's movers and shakers, but for international celebrities like actress Lynn Whitfield and singers Angie Stone and Erykah Badu. His unique designs are distributed to over 300 boutiques around the globe and are worth adding to your wardrobe. Look out for Part 2 of our feature on Washington next week.

Name: Thalia Lyn

Occupation: CEO/Managing Director of Island Grill

The pieces I'm wearing are… very dear to me. The bronze silk piece, with the dramatic boat collar, is from Thailand. When we had Thai week in Jamaica a few years ago, the Thai floral artist had beautiful Thai silk draped all over the venue, which he left with me. Now that I've discovered Courtney, all my silks are coming out of my treasure chest.

The floral teal evening-set is made from hand-painted Thai silk. Zhenyu Zhao, a former Chinese ambassador gave me the silk. I always thought the print was kind of busy, so when I gave it to Courtney I never thought the result would be so WOW. That's Courtney's creative genius. I love the colour and style of my magenta gown made from the puckered fabric. It is reflective of my personality — a little flamboyant, it's easy to wear and care, and travels well. I can dress it up with fancy Jimmy Choo stilettos or down with sandals.

My love affair with the Courtney Washington label began… last year when I saw his booth at Market on the Lawn. I must have bought something in every colour he had available that day.

I support the label because… it is local, stylish, of-the-moment yet classic.

I have… well, let’s just say if I put it in print, my husband will realise just how much I am spending here.

My favourite is… really hard for me to select. Just when I think I have a favourite he creates something new that I fall in love with.

Name: Elsa Kong

Occupation: Sales Consultant at Toyota Jamaica Ltd

The pieces I'm wearing are… a red cocktail dress with black lace and tube straps. I also showcased my pleated pink silk skirt-suit with a dramatic collar.

My love affair with the Courtney Washington label began… last September. I remember my sister and I had a really big event that we needed outfits for and a friend of hers told her to try Courtney Washington. So we headed straight to his boutique and immediately felt at home. Since then I have come back quite a few times. Every time I come in I end up getting something, even if I had not planned on getting something. Plus, it is reasonably priced.

I support the label because… when I need to get something nice to wear to a wedding, cocktail party or church, I know I can get it here. They are all so comfortable and coming here feels like coming home.

I have… about 10 pieces so far.

My favourite is… a vibrant pantsuit. It is so colourful and it fits perfectly! It adds colour to my life and makes me feel happy when I wear it.

Name: Blossom Pickersgill

Occupation: Sales and Marketing Manager at Agri and Industrial Packaging Ltd

The pieces I'm wearing are… a raw silk two-piece with a cowl-back collar; a floor-length gown which is strapped — not only does it have a flattering V-neckline but it also has a chic black and white hem; and the third outfit is a grey two-piece linen and silk evening apparel with a cowl neckline. I think the black dress in particular is extremely exotic and shows what a woman should look like. While the grey piece is one of those outfits that transitions from day to evening with ease; it's special.

My love affair with the Courtney Washington label began… years ago. I have known him for over 20 years. He opened his boutique right next to where I was working at the time. I have been a fan of his work for years.

I support the label because… I truly love his work! He makes clothing to suit my body and my personality.

I have… way over 30 pieces from the Courtney Washington brand. It is pretty difficult for me to pick a favourite piece from the bunch. But I really love the pieces that I wore for the shoot.

Atelier Courtney Washington

11 South Avenue • Kingston 10 • Tele: 351-1287

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