“Caribbean Fashion Comes Ashore”

by: Charissa Lawrence

FT. LAUDERDALE – Though the climate in Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday evening was a far cry from paradise, the pleasingly tropical weather of the Caribbean could be felt through the first annual Caribbean American Fashion Show.

On June 28th, the elegant Plantation Renaissance Hotel hosted what is hoped to become an annual tradition of showcasing the innovative styles and fashions of up and coming Caribbean designers.

The scene before the show was just a glimpse of the high energy to come over the upcoming 3 hours. Maurice Tucker, the show’s director, mingled with the crowd while helping to organize the ensuing press and media.

Meanwhile, backstage the models, make-up artists, stylists and designers were singing, primping and practicing in preparation for the models’ one minute strut up and down the runway. Spectators stood in line anxiously awaiting their chance to walk through the doors and come face to face with the 100 foot runway.

Once inside, the VIPs claimed their front row seats and the remaining crowd gathered in closely behind. Heads were bopping in synch to the beats of Bob Marley, Serani, Wyclef Jean and other Caribbean artists. Mr. Tucker greeted the audience and shared his enthusiasm about the opportunity to help promote and advance Caribbean designers outside of their native islands.

The show kicked off with a well choreographed dance tribute to the late world renowned entertainer Michael Jackson, who was undoubtedly a fashion icon. Although the act was organized in just a few days, the fashion accurately captured Jackson’s black shoes, shining socks and close fit leather jacket. And of course, no tribute to Michael Jackson would be complete without the unfathomable body twisting moves and the legendary Moonwalk.

Following the tribute, the spirited culture and style of the Caribbean began to come alive. What better way to kick off an island fashion show than by strutting down the runway in hot bathing suits and high heels that intelligently display the vibrant colors of the Caribbean? The male models soon joined in showing off their athletically toned bodies that were only slightly covered with high-end fabrics sewn with the highest level of precision.

Daytime casual wear followed with ladies and gentlemen strutting down the runway bopping to Caribbean inspired music. Designers showcased clothing and accessories that tastefully embraced authentic Caribbean culture. The animated display of big hats, flowing skirts, marina shirts, hand crafted jewelry and leather sandals was met with enthusiasms from the crowd and a standing ovation.

During intermission spectators were delighted to learn that the designers were taking measurements for custom tailored clothing. Many took hold of the opportunity to purchase garments exhibited during the show. Display tables also featured members of the Caribbean Diaspora in South Florida who were able to promote their local businesses and services.

The second half of the show featured equally breathtaking styles suited for the beach, the office and the pool. The Caribbean American Fashion show finished with a magnificent display of Caribbean design talent – evening gowns. Again, a standing ovation ensued.

Both the spectators and participants of the 2009 Caribbean American Fashion show recognize that they were are part of history on Sunday evening. There is no doubt that the event has jumpstarted the careers of many talented designers and stylists from Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Kitts, Dominican Republic, Antigua and Cuba.

The success of Maurice Tucker and his team certainly warrants an encore, which the South Florida community will eagerly await.

Related Articles

Back to top button