Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rise of CLD fashion


—Photos: Stephen Simmersholm

Mark Fraser

 Only five months old, CLD has fast emerged as one of the hottest labels in the local fashion scene. The brand officially launched in late November 2013 at Aria Lounge, debuting its inaugural collection of impeccably created pieces epitomising elegance, class and fine taste, with just the right amount of sensuality. This one show generated widespread, glowing reviews from critics and fashion enthusiasts alike, and truly put CLD on the fashion map. 

Since then, the label has produced a second collection along with individual pieces, many of which are reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour, with on-trend design elements and materials to create modern, yet timeless appeal. Designer Charu Lochan Dass — the eponymous founder and genius behind the brand, was born in India and grew up in South Trinidad. Her love for fashion prompted her to open a clothing store in Princes Town, after which she formally pursued her studies at the London College of Fashion. 

Following her launch, Lochan-Dass was overwhelmed by the public’s response. “The reviews have been more positive than I ever hoped for and I simply cannot believe the demand right now. Within a matter of weeks, almost every initial piece was sold, and customers are requesting that I create unique designs just for them. I am so humbled, and so grateful.”

As a true testament to designer’s talent, attention to meticulous construction and use of superior materials, interest in CLD’s has quickly spread beyond the shores of Trinidad and Tobago. The designer has been invited to a host of shows across the Caribbean and North America; she presented her first collection at BB Fashion Week in Barbados in late 2013, and her second during New York Fashion Week earlier this year. Currently, the CLD team is hard at work on a resort collection to be shown at St Maarten Fashion week this Spring, and designs are far advanced for a much larger show in New York during the fall. 

The organically growing demand and widespread acceptance of the label, including among several well-known local personalities and public figures, has prompted Lochan-Dass to open a boutique on Gallus St, Woodbrook. Customers will soon be able to come in to select and purchase garments from the various collections and lines, have them altered and tailored on-site, and expertly styled by the CLD team. In addition, this space is expected to serve as a true atelier with garment construction taking place on-site. Lochan-Dass intends to continue to work individually with clients to design and create pieces that suit their body types and personalities, while maintaining the label’s hallmark sophistication and femininity.

The CLD boutique on Gallus St Woodbrook opens to the public on April 14.