The Undiscovered Beauty of DEEP SOUTH
Style Observer (SO) takes you back to Port of Spain Trinidad where designers on Saturday, November 7, unveiled virtual collections. The Undiscovered Beauty of Deep SouthSunday, November 22, 2020
“Neutral”, “patience”, “a quiet stillness” and “the necessary detail” were the words used by designer Nigel Eastman (one half of the design label Zadd & Eastman) to describe the brand's 2020/2021 collection for POS Fashion Week, “The Undiscovered Beauty of Deep South”.
With its signature aesthetic of fashion sophistication for the stylish woman in mind, the collection embraces a socially conscious theme amidst the turmoil of the global moment, while making it high fashion and tackling topics such as Black Lives Matter, hunger vs body shaming, struggle and revolution.
“It's COVID and we're having a fashion week. There are so many important things to talk about while the world is trying to continue as normal. It's a battle between economics and life… In all of this, there is a silence that says — think.”
Eastman emphasised that fashion has always been an artistic medium but has seen seasons of transformations where its meaning has evolved through necessity and tastes. He also referred to the limitations on resources during this period of repeated lockdowns, juxtaposed with the restrictive societal influences under hot discussion, which he believes will influence popular fashion.
“Among all the noise that is happening — noise to which we have become immune — it is a clash of realities. You're wearing a beautiful gown, but hunger is still around; the garments are made of silk. Fashion is what it is; should we choose the cheapest fabrics and make fashion? That doesn't happen. You will not get the desired outcome with the cheapest fabric,” he pointed out.
“The world is based on different economies — the fashion industry, the food industry, the oil and gas industry — nothing wants to be shut down, or losing money, losing lives. We are creating fashion for the purpose of fashion, but it should be more than that — keeping the industry alive.”
Citing 95% of the average local wardrobe as being from external countries, Eastman lamented that fashion offered in the Caribbean seemed to be either imported wholesale or mimicking designs from “first world” style trends reproduced for the Caribbean customer.
“Too often we want to compare pizza with roti or make a roti pizza — we shouldn't do that. A Caribbean style and fashion are there to be used in the space. What will happen with people not being able to travel or move about? The Caribbean style will become the Caribbean woman's own to embrace. Too often, most of the Caribbean woman's wardrobe is not from Caribbean designers.”
At a time when many other Caribbean islands have been enjoying low infection rates of the COVID-19 virus and begun reopening borders to international travel, Eastman shared his vision of the Caribbean as the new global leader of luxury.
“How does the world see the Caribbean? Somebody tosses away a cellphone, wearing flip flops, throws their feet in the water, short pants kind of thing. We have a luxurious side to us, too.”
“(The Caribbean) remains a resort-centred place; it remains luxurious. Gone are the days when going into a posh hotel in a big city is luxury. Maybe it might be escaping to the Caribbean with less people, on a beach.
“The Caribbean could be the new luxe, but we'll have to see. We must create the ambiance. When people come, we also have to know how to treat them. We must condition our minds. Are we ready for this hospitality service?”
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