Wednesday 30 September, 2020

12 Caribbean designers who could make you a showstopper dress

Trinbagonian fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee in a showstopper of her own making.
(Photo: courtesy of Anya Ayoung-Chee)

Trinbagonian fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee in a showstopper of her own making. (Photo: courtesy of Anya Ayoung-Chee)

J-Lo did it again, this time on the runway. The multifaceted entertainer hit the Versace Spring/Summer 2020 fashion show in an updated version of the Versace jungle dress she wore to the Grammy's in the 2000s. Yeah, the one that broke the internet and birthed Google Image Search.

So we got to thinking: Could you get your hands on a replica – or something even more beautiful – here?

In no particular order, here are 12 fashion designers from the Caribbean we feel could recreate a showstopping moment whichever island you find yourself.


1 Carla Gittens, Barbados

Our first interaction with Bajan fashion designer, Carla Gittens happened through the Mission Catwalk television series. Since then, the ByCarlori designer has blossomed into one of the most sought-after designers of the region and boasts dancehall artiste Shenseea and singer Arii Lopez as clients.

2 Simone 'Tasha' Gordon, Jamaica

Afrocentric fashion designer, Simone 'Tasha' Gordon oftentimes makes her own fabric. When she's not busy doling out her varying creations, she's at home making more of the things we love about T&T Fashions.

3 Jin Forde, Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidadian designer, Jin Forde understands botanical prints, shapes, and the female body. Draping is the aim of her game and the beautiful J Angelique pieces she conjures are as effortless as they are sophisticated.

4  Lisa 'Neahlis' McIntosh-Aris, Jamaica

Local celebrity hairstylist, Lisa McIntosh-Aris brought her House of Neahlis label full circle when she added a fashion design arm. Neahlis designs a hot print dress with the woman's form in mind - making her a favourite in the plus-sized community. Celeb clients include Vivica A Fox, Tyra Banks.

5 Kristin Frazer, British Virgin Islands

If you're on Queen Bey's radar, then you're ultimately one to know. From kids wear to adult swimwear and kaftans, BVI native Kristin Frazer creates beautiful patterns and effortless resort wear for all through her Trèfle Designs line.

6 Heather Jones, Trinidad & Tobago

Leave it to Trinbagonian fashion designer, Heather Jones to give you a replica of the J Lo dress. Jones is versed in hand-painted watercolour prints and light airy fabrics that drape the body sensually.

7 Donovan Depass, Jamaica

Jamaican designer, Donovan Depass has enjoyed a steady climb in fashion locally and overseas. The New York-based fashion lover creates pieces that are chic and elegant with an understated edge. He's worked with fashion staples Donna Karan, Vera Wang, and Victoria's Secret.

8 Anya Ayoung-Chee, Trinidad & Tobago

Miss Trinidad & Tobago Universe 2008 title-holder is all about Caribbean vibrancy. While on season nine of Project Runway, she showcased her national pride with banging bold prints. Ayoung-Chee reels in her dynamic prints into flowy kaftans, smocks, and cover-ups, too.

9 Theodore Elyett, Bahamas

Another Mission Catwalk alum, fashion designer Theodore Elyett is sure to give you a jaw-dropper. Elyett designs with precision and true craftsmanship. Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Porsha Williams and Destiny's Child member, Michelle Williams appreciate Elyett's fine bead work, bright Caribbean colours and drama!

10 Felisha Noel, Grenada

Like many of the designers on the list, Fe Noel founder Felisha Noel built her brand from the ground up. Unlike the others, however, Noel started out in the finance industry and, on a whim, began a career in fashion that made her a popular name in the design sphere. Fe Noel loyalists include actresses Gabrielle Union and Aisha Hinds, FLOTUS Michelle Obama, and Beyoncé.

loopcayman Fe Noel

11 Charu Lochan Dass, Trinidad & Tobago

Talk about having your work speak for itself, we saw designs from Trinbagonian designer Charu Lochan Dass in editorials before we knew the face behind the brand. Though she recently made it to our radar, we can confidently express our love for CLD.

12 Shenna Carby, Jamaica

Member of Parliament for Portland East, Ann-Marie Vaz, countless Jamaican personalities, and women in corporate Jamaica would agree that fashion designer Shenna Carby's designs are cut-to-fit. It doesn't hurt that the pieces are timeless and give wearers a bang for their buck.

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