On Thursday April 21st, the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort will be the venue of Tobago Fashion Coda 4. Tobago Fashion Coda is a fashion event which brings a fusión of fashion, art, music and entertainment. Producer of the show, Don Grant, is excited about this year’s edition. “I produce the Coda event because I love Tobago, it has my heart. An event like this showases the best mix of Tobago, the public sector and the private sector. Here’s to continued collaboration with the Tobago House of Assembly, the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort, Advanced Dynamics and AS Bryden & Sons.”
With a theme of Tobago Power, the show is designed to empower women and showcase their strength and influence in society. This year’s colour is black to represent power and a show of strength when times are challenging.
The Designers – TFC4 presents a talented list of dynamic designers from both Tobago and Trinidad. We will experience collections from – Charu Lochan Dass (CLD), Claudia Pegus, IsayU, Millhouse, Rhion Romany, Saleem Samuel and teen sensation Tobago Gyul. They will be joined by – Cee Wee Designs, Dellez Fashion, MovementBago, and Yesa Designs. At the Tobago launch of the event, Tobagonian designers Orchid Linton Providence – Tobago Gyul and Kirsten Benjamin -IsayU were on hand to present a teaser of their TFC4 collections. Thanking DG Event for the opportunity to show their creative skills, both designers pledged to bring awe inspiring collections for the show. Orchid, excited about her second showing at TFC, has already has her collection named – “Bago Princess”.
Fashion Meets Art – The Dying Swan comes to Coda!
Iconic mas man, Peter Minshall made a return to the Carnival scene this year with an awesome design entitled The Dying Swan – Ras Nijinsky in Drag as Pavlova. This dramatic masquerade with its fusion of fashion, our Moko Jumbie and the ballet will be making its first appearance in Tobago with an artist presentation during Tobago Fashion Coda4! Jha-Whan Thomas, the performer shared that the gown, a Romantic white Tutu was made by veteran fashion and costume designer Ronald Guy James with 200 yards of layered fabric. This gown, long, floating and ethereal in its beauty is definitely a work of Art and high Fashion and the Callaloo Company is excited to bring the Swan to the Coda Runway. Jha-Whan said – “Can you imagine the Swan nibbling down a fashion Runway – it’s going to be epic”.
- T&T Fashion goes international with Live streaming from Advanced Dynamics Limited. With a multi-camera set-up, the show will be broadcasted live on carnivaltv.net where buyers, associations and fashion shows can get a
- Tobago Things – Designers and Artisans of Tobago to showcase their local brands. “Tobago Things” takes the form of an Expo during and after the main event on Thursday21st April.
- A few Students have been selected from Signal Hill Secondary School to work backstage assisting the stage manager and designers in getting the models ready for the Runway. In fact a few of them may even grace the runway for the show.
- An all-female entertainment cast with scintillating performer Adanna, and DJ – Alicia The Duchess will keep the party going after the Runway Show.
Tickets for this All-Inclusive event have been reduced to $600 and are available in Trinidad at CLD on Gallus Street, and Colthrust PR on Alfredo Street, Woodbrook and Peter Elias at West Mall. In Tobago, tickets can be bought at Time to Wine, Renmar’s, Pigeon Point; Rachad’s Menswear, Carnbee and Bang Bang, Shoppes at West City. They will also be available online at islandetickets.com.
TOBAGO FASHION CODA – DESIGNERS ON THE RUNWAY
Cee Wee Designs is a dynamic brand which designs and manufactures bags and accessories. They originate from and operate out of the beautiful island of Tobago. Cee Wee Designs aims to provide clients with products that exude timeless sophistication with an island flair. Cee Wee Designs made its first public appearance in 2013 at the Tobago Jazz Experience, with much success. Their first collection, “Rustic yet Refined” was made entirely of burlap and introduced a variety of tribal prints and patterns with the natural jute fibres. Cee Wee Designs cherishes every opportunity to help promote Tobago and Tobago's talent to the international market.
Charu Lochan Dass. After returning from London with a degree in Fashion Design and Marketing at the London College of Fashion in 2011, Charu dedicated her time and efforts to creating her self-entitled brand – CLD thus making her dream a reality. The Indian born, Trinidad based fashion designer launched her first line of clothing – Ready to Wear 2014 – two Novembers ago and has since been seen on runways in Amsterdam, London and New York for their Fashion weeks with her recent collect Pret-a-Porter receiving rave reviews at the recent concluded New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016
Claudia Pegus is considered an iconic designer in the Caribbean. She is well-known for her signature work in various types of silks and hand done embroidery. She has built a strong and reputable name in the highly competitive global fashion industry. With a design company which bears her name and focuses on an exclusive niche market, she caters to a cosmopolitan mix of local, regional and international dignitaries, public figures, models and celebrities. The Trinidad & Tobago based designers’ work has been shown and lauded internationally, regionally and locally at major fashion weeks for over three decades. Ms. Pegus has recently made her ready to wear and resort pieces available at the Bacolet Beach Club, Tobago. She is ready to serve all those who wish to live the resort life!
Dellez Fashion for Tall Women is a contemporary clothing line designed by Adelle Prime for women 5’ 9” and taller. Adelle was always quite intrigued by the many layers of fashion however standing at 5’ 10” tall, she always struggled to find clothing that fit well. Her frustration and many shopping horrors grew into a determination and passion to find a solution and with her ingrained love for fashion she had no other choice but to create her own clothing line. With years of research, planning and savings, she ventured out into the world of the unknown and started this business in June 2015. Dellez clothing is not just made longer but correctly proportioned for a tall woman’s frame and her desire is that through fashion, it can inspire women to love and embrace their height so they can realize that being tall is just amazing!!
Urban Brand IsayU – In 2015 Kirsten Benjamin of IsayU hit the runway again at Caribbean Fashion Week showcasing his Echoes of The Rainforest Collection which depicted the natural elements and beauty of the Oldest Forest Reserve in the Western Hemisphere. The brand then took off to Japan for Fashion World Toyko, Japan's Largest Trade show for the Fashion Industry. In Japan he got a positive feedback from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers which consummated with orders from wholesalers and retailers from Japan and the European Diaspora. They then took part in the Fashion Vanguard Trade Show in collaboration with Community Development and Culture and the Tobago House of Assembly here in Tobago. At this trade show we got orders from Martinique and French Guyana. In 2016 IsayU plans to showcase again at Fashion Coda, Caribbean Fashion Week, Fashion World Toyko and other prestigious events to push and market the brand to its highest potential. In 2016 the brand will be launching or online store and also their own physical store.
Tobago Gyul. Uniquely Caribbean fashion from the unique perspective of a 15 year old Tobago born designer and her mentor and business partner, her grandmother. A school assignment at age 13 prompted a designing career for Orchid Lynton. After she submitted her project, which entailed creating clothes for a silhouette. Orchid Linton Providence and her grandmother Diamond Linton continue to design and showcase. Together they have shown at Tobago Fashion Coda 3 and Jamaican Fashion Week in 2014. They will present “Bago Princess” at Coda4.
MILLHOUSE started in 1997, but before that they were First Cut Original with just Gregory Mills operating out of a tailor shop on Charlotte Street in Port of Spain. Prior to 1994 they were based south of the island and Gregory was part of a label called Cutting Crew. Today they’re about fit, finish, detail and continuous improvement for the sophisticated man. Millhouse has been featured in several regional magazines, including Caribbean Beat, Caribbean Belle and She Magazine. In 2009, they captured the Caribbean (Male) Designer of the Year Award at the Caribbean Fashion Awards. After a hiatus Millhouse returned in 2014, debuting at London Fashion Week. In keeping with recent global trends, the fashion forward menswear line MILLHOUSE have taken steps towards providing the men of Trinidad and Tobago opportunities for elegance, quality and style in their suiting, and by extension their lives.
The fun loving brand – MovementBago is a streetwear clothing line designed by Tobagonian, Nicolette Leacock. MovementBago is an effort to put Tobago, the lesser known half of the sister isle, Trinidad and Tobago, on the map both regionally and internationally through a cool and creative expression of the island lifestyle. Currently the line includes T-shirts and Tank tops for kids and adults, Crop tops, Sweatshirts, Snapback hats, Bucket hats (or fishers as some people say), and most recently they launched their RAOK jewellery line of necklaces and bracelets. RAOK stands for Random Acts of Kindness and the goal of this line is to inspire everyone to always be kind! A strong attribute of the MovementBago brand is its commitment to corporate social responsibility, after the initial launch in November the Brand donated proceeds from T-shirt sales to the Happy Haven School for children with disabilities. After that they teamed up with St. Clair’s Coaching School and hosted a football clinic for girls called "Girls Score Goals".
The Talented Rhion Romany has a stunning and innovative take on women’s body wear. With applauded collections like “Monroe”, “She Wolf” and his recent “CAELIA” with is mix of both body wear and resort pieces, the Rhion Romany (ЯR) Brand shows his talent, confidence and promise as a designer. To date, his designs have been worn by America’s Next Top Model’s Bianca Golden, as well as the stage dancers of Soca Sensation – Machel Montano. His creations have also been on regional stages such as HOT Couture at St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival and Cuttin’ Style Caribbean Fashion Show & Gala in Toronto. The ЯR brand partnered with TRIBE Carnival for an exclusive line of Monday Wear for 2015 and was very popular among masqueraders for Carnival 2016.
Saleem Samuel. Designing for over 20 years, what began as simple and chic in the early nineties soon transformed into elegant and luxurious clothing. Traditionally confined to the Trinbagonian fashion scene, Saleem’s Designs soon made way across shores to Kingston, Brooklyn & Miami. Whether it's bridal or day-wear, formal or casual, men's or women's, all Saleem’s pieces are usually custom created for each and every individual. Every creation must be able to transport wearers to another place. Fashion is one of the most accessible forms of creativity and innovation and thus he has never compromised on originality. For we gauge the success of our designs with how well they can best tell a story, give a detail or provide insight into the woman or man clothed in Saleem Samuel Designs.
Cassey Daniel, a young Tobagonian is the driving force behind Yesa Design also called Black Diamond Designs. Yesa carries an impartial personality catering for all: The elegant woman, the modest man, the youthful and the bold. In 2012 Cassey participated in her first big fashion show, Tobago's Fashion week in which she displayed her unique clothing line. Cassey has since gone on to represent Tobago in fashion shows in Canada and most recently in Jamaica at Caribbean Fashion week 2015. As Cassey catapults into the World of Fashion with the assistance of her mother Hayley Frith, imprinted upon her designs is a passion beyond your imagination. When you wear Yesa you wear 'Well pleased' you are indeed fashioned beyond the norm. At present all designs are hand painted to cater to today's trendsetters. Wearing.
Photo caption: Designs by Orchid Linton Providence of Tobago Gyul and Kirsten Benjamin for IsayU.