SO 2 - September 8

Sunday, September 08, 2019

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Although it's just begun, September is already beginning to live up to its moniker of the “January of Fashion”.

It may be far from perfect, but fashion is economically significant for many nations. It's not just pretty frocks and colours of the season; fashion is also one of the few visual indicias of what's happening culturally at a particular moment in time. Remember the plethora of grey during the economic downturn of 2008? Oof. However, this September is extra-special for us here in the Caribbean. For, you see, at the centre of some significant fashion moments this month are some very inspiring West Indians.


Carly Cushnie named CFDA board member

On Tuesday, September 3 news broke that Chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Tom Ford called four new members to the board. Among them is Jamaican-blooded fashion designer Carly Cushnie.

Cushnie, who is no stranger to SO, will be joined by fellow new board members Virgil Abloh (yes, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear and CEO of the Milan-based label Off-White), Kerby Jean-Raymond (the Haitian-American fashion designer who founded the much-talked-about menswear label Pyer Moss), and Chilean-American womenswear designer Maria Cornejo.

These new faces, three of which happen to be people of colour, signify that under Ford, it's a new era at the CFDA. Talk about a make-up shakeup!



A Load of Dem

In Manhattan's Chinatown lies a cunning clothing and accessories shop — Dem. The brainchild of Trinbagonian model Michelene Auguste, Dem is a curatorial ode to Caribbean fashion and design. What was originally a summer-long pop-up shop that caught the attention of Vogue, clearly has extended its life due to the breath of fresh island air that it has brought to Gotham's fashion scene.

Carefully chosen vintage designer pieces (hello, Cavalli and Gucci!) hang alongside some that have been brought back to life with the brushstrokes of Auguste and her mixed media artist partner Jordan Sullivan. Dem also features a plethora of Caribbean designs, which brings us to last Wednesday's fashion lime.

Auguste, who is known for playing Caribbean beats all day long, hosted “a lil ting” last Tuesday at Studio Dem featuring the SS20 designs of fellow Trinis Claudia Pegus, Anya Ayoung Chee, and Crystal Antoine-Alleyne. The party spilt onto the sidewalk (but of course) and the sound of steelpan music and Caribbean rhythms carried for blocks.



Bienvenidos a Vogue México, Alicia Burke!

There was a collective gasp when the images from Pulse star Alicia Burke's Vogue México spread made the rounds on social media. The spread, entitled Energia Centrifuga (centrifugal energy) sees Burke in several futuristic looks, and each frame is absolutely stunning!



Last year SO and many fashion mags, reported on the global fashion industry, finally pointing its lens towards Africa. Well, Wednesday, it was announced that South African designer Thebe Magugu was the recipient of one of fashion's most coveted awards the LVMH Prize. Congrats, Thebe! A win for Mother Africa is a win for the entire diaspora.

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