Friday, December 15, 2017

An evening of style at Caribbean Resort


Michelene Auguste CVI Fashion Workshop 2005 & 2008 participant.

Mark Fraser

 Caribbean Resort Styleweek Port of Spain is the region’s premier showcase event for resort apparel and the culmination of the Coco Velvet International Fashion Workshop 2014. During the workshop, ten new and emerging designers will be challenged to conceptualise, design and develop a Swimwear or Resortwear collection. The top three collections will be presented at the gala catwalk event Caribbean Resort which will be held at NAPA Port of Spain on November 2. The top models from the CVI Workshop will join the model cast of Caribbean Resort while the workshop’s event coordinators will join the production management team. Styleweek Port of Spain will be held in November to capitalise on Trinidad and Tobago’s most important fashion season, Christmas/Carnival when it is estimated that the highest volume of locally designed merchandise is sold. Participating designers will be able to launch their 2015 fashion collections to an audience which will include media personnel, boutique buyers, fashion retailers, stylists and fashion conscious patrons.

Why the Resort Wear Niche Market?

At the NIHERST Fashion Fore sighting Workshops, Resortwear was identified as one of the Best-bets for Trinidad and Tobago’s fashion industry because of the abundance of creative energy that goes into the design of fabrics and resort garments, jewelry design and swimsuit design; swimsuits have been the mainstay of costume design for TT Carnival for decades. This natural creativity when refined and developed through formal fashion education and training will be the driving force behind the sector. The Resortwear niche market includes cruise wear, swimwear, jewelry, accessories and fabric design.

The government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is collaborating with fashion industry stakeholders to develop the fashion industry into a viable economic sector and establish Port of Spain as the region’s fashion centre. In order for fashion to take its place in a diversified T&T economy, substantial resources must be invested in capacity building and the incubation/development of new talent. Innovation and new product development will go a long way in positioning Port of Spain on the global fashion map. Coco Velvet International Fashion Management is committed to the discovery and incubation of new fashion talent in Trinidad and Tobago and the creation of new marketing events to showcase local and regional fashion products.

Over time Caribbean Resort Styleweek will help to establish Port of Spain as the Resortwear Capital of the fashion world. Port of Spain will be positioned as the Caribbean’s International Fashion Centre and attract global reputation for high quality/fashion forward resort lines in the same way that London has become famous for Avant-garde fashion and Paris for Haute Couture. As long as Styleweek Port of Spain receives the necessary support, it will grow into the Caribbean’s premier fashion week for resort brands; Coco Velvet International will expand the programme in 2015 to over five days with a full service trade show including a Buyers Gallery and target fashion labels from across the West Indies, Latin America and Florida.

Coco Velvet will host three castings for Caribbean Resort Styleweek in Sangre Grande, San Fernando and Port of Spain to find 50 new models, ten new fashion designers, ten fashion event production coordinators, five fashion stylists and five new make-up artists all between the ages 13-20 years. Secondary school students on summer vacation who are interested in pursuing careers in the fashion industry are identified as the core group. Selected candidates will receive free training at Coco Velvet International’s 2014 Fashion Workshop which runs from June 15-August 24. On completion of the workshop’s Designer Collections Development Module, ten new fashion designers will be challenged to conceptualise, design and develop a ten-piece resort, swimwear or accessories collection for the Caribbean market. At the Graduation Fashion Show on August 24  the top three collections will be selected for showcase at Styleweek Port of Spain. 

The Styleweek Sangre Grande Casting is open to youths who reside in communities on the north and east coast of Trinidad such as Arima, Valencia, Sangre Grande, Manzanilla, Mayaro and North Coast villages between Matura and Matelot. No previous modelling experience is required however model candidates should possess a dynamic personality, slim proportionate physique and a good work attitude. At the end of the CVI Fashion Workshop the top models will be awarded CVI management contracts and join the cast of professional models for Caribbean Resort Styleweek Port of Spain.

The event takes place at the Sangre Grande Civic Centre, Sukhram Street off Foster Road, on June 1 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. There is a registration fee of $100.   

• Designers should walk with a portfolio of their work, fashion sketches or garments they created

• Male models should dress in fitted jeans and T-shirt

• Female models should wear light or no make-up, short, fitted garments and high heels (Except girls under 16 years)

Styleweek Model Casting & Fashion Designer Search #2 will be held in San Fernando on June 8 and Casting #3 in Port of Spain on June 13. For more on Styleweek visit Coco Velvet International on Facebook