SO2 — June 30Sunday, June 30, 2019
The annual dinner for patrons and supporters of the Royal Drawing School hosted by Prince Charles and held at Buckingham Palace had a distinctly Jamaican theme this year.
The two keynote speeches were made by Oliver Macdonald Oulds and Cherie Smith, the two artists selected for the Hanover Grange Residency in Jamaica this year.
Both speakers were enthusiastic about the opportunity afforded to them to work and paint in Jamaica for two weeks.
The Hanover Grange Residency is funded by Theresa and Andrew Roberts who are longstanding patrons of the Royal Drawing School, and Buckingham Palace habitues.
This year they were joined by several individuals with Jamaican connections including celebrated fashion icon Ralph Lauren and family, philanthropist Michele Rollins and former US ambassador to Jamaica Brenda LaGrange Johnson.
Work from last year's Hanover Grange Residency was on display for the guests, who also included Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Viscount Linley, Lady Sarah Chatto, Demi Moore and Stephen Schwarzman, to enjoy.
Theresa Robert's busy summer schedule continued Tuesday at the Serpentine Summer Party sponsored this year by her label of choice Chanel.
On Wednesday, June 20, Ralph Lauren, a shareholder of the cashmere-chic Round Hill Hotel & Villas, became the first American fashion designer to receive an honorary knighthood from the British royal family. Prince Charles did the honours in a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace, presenting Lauren with his KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for Services to Fashion.
Naturally, his family made a fashion statement in coordinated tuxedos as they watched him being knighted.
Celebrities Will Smith, Porsha Williams, Maxwell, and Michelle Williams have one thing in common: in the last six months, they have all worked with fashion designer Theodore Elyett — catapulting the Mission Catwalk Season 3 and Bahamian Icon winner from Caribbean sensation to international designer to the stars.
Most recently, multi-award-winning recording artiste Michelle Williams dazzled in Elyett's Queen of Junkanoo kimono robe, igniting a social media frenzy with popular blogs Fashion Bomb Daily and The Root posting Williams in the design, and Essence Magazine forecasting it as “a look” for summer '19. The look, styled by J Bolin and captured by photographer Marcus Owens, garnered more than 56,000 Instagram likes in just three days.
On her Instagram post of the image, Williams commented, “I doubt 'turn to them the other cheek' meant it like this! I'll keep turning if I can wear this Theodore Elyett design everyday! Stylist J Bolin this was a fun one, I felt that I was back in the old glamour days! Let's bring 'em back!!”
Elyett was sought out by Williams' stylist, J Bolin, to provide looks for Williams' appearance at the Wearable Art Gala. The gala, launched by Beyonce's mother, Tina Lawson, aims to promote, support and raise funds for youth art programmes. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood attend the event, including Jay-Z, Samuel L Jackson, Tyler Perry, and Beyoncé.
With just 48 hours to spare, Elyett began working on a bespoke piece inspired by the Lion King, to celebrate the event's theme: A Journey To The Pridelands. However, it was a second option that Elyett included for Williams, a multi-coloured jewel-toned Queen of Junkanoo kimono with exaggerated train, that caught Williams and J Bolin's eye.
J Bolin and Elyett met in person this June, fostering a relationship that could lead to future collaborations. The stylist, based in Dallas, Texas, works with a number of celebrity clients including Tyra Banks and Tamia.
“Sharing my designs with the world has always been a dream of mine,” noted Elyett. “The mind-blowing opportunity to work with some of the amazing, talented entertainers I have connected with in recent months is confirmation that with hard work and persistence this dream I have had since I was 13 years old will continue to manifest more and more every day.”
As a native of The Bahamas, infusing elements of Caribbean culture is central to Elyett's design aesthetic. The colourful fabric and feathered trim used in the Queen of Junkanoo kimono design pay homage to The Bahamas' iconic street festival Junkanoo, which features colourful costumes made of cardboard, crepe paper, and feathers.
While his star is quickly rising on the global circuit, Elyett is no overnight success. His fashion portfolio dates back to 1998 when he emerged as a 13-year-old award-winning designer, creating works of art showcased by contestants in the Miss Bahamas National Costume competition. Fast-forward two decades later, and Elyett is still turning heads and making waves in the industry.
A little over a year ago, Elyett showcased his designs at Buckingham Palace, with supermodel Naomi Campbell and British Vogue Editor-In-Chief Edward Enninful attending the soiree. Just months later in 2018, he was awarded the prestigious Bahamian Icon Award for Fine Arts.
With dozens of awards under his belt and hundreds of gowns created over the years, Elyett admits that he feels like he's just getting started.
Saint International model Tash Ogeare is the stunning new face of the Off-White Resort 2020 collection by Virgil Abloh. SO2 shares an exclusive peek into the lookbook that was shot in the scenic historic town of Auray, France.
Photographer: Brett Lloyd
Casting Director: Piotr Chamier
Stylist: Victoria Sekrier
Hair: Jonathan De Francesco
Makeup: Karin Westerlund