Designers ready for Island Couture

Shantel Ebanks’ dream of attracting international and local talent in the fashion industry for a grand show in Cayman will become a reality tonight at the Marriott Orchid Ballroom, in the form of Island Couture.

‘It’s our plan to display what Cayman has to offer to the world of fashion while also learning from other international designers,’ said Ms Ebanks.

Local designer 17-year-old John Gray High School student Jawara Alleyne is excited about showing his collection.

‘I love all art forms, especially visual art. I love to draw and paint and my favourite colour is white,’ said Mr. Alleyne. ‘What I love about clothes is that they allow us to tell a story without saying a single word.’

Idolising fashion greats such as Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, and Marc Jacobs, Mr. Alleyne has hopes of obtaining a scholarship to study business and fashion design.

‘My style of clothing is completely different; in a sense, it’s contradictory,’ said Mr. Alleyne. ‘It encompasses purity, mystery, simplicity, complexity, dark and light. I love couture and futuristic looks. And this is what I will be showing at Island Couture.’

International guest designer Dexter Pottinger of Jamaica sees Island Couture as the perfect platform to display his collection, which he describes as ‘simple sexy and with an edge.’ He also sees it as an opportunity to inspire others. ‘Many people do not understand that Caribbean fashion is more than straw skirts, but my collection is proof that it is,’ said Mr. Pottinger.

With high cheekbones, impeccable style and a fierce pose Mr. Pottinger explains that he always has the designing bug. ‘I began as a model but never really wanted to be that. I was always the model helping out backstage. I got into make-up, styling and then ultimately fashion design.’

Noting that other Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, the Bahamas and Barbados have their own fashion extravaganzas, Mr. Pottinger says he is proud to have been invited to take part in Island Couture.

‘This show will give Cayman what the rest of the Caribbean is getting,’ says Mr. Pottinger. ‘You never know, maybe in the future there will be only Caymanian designers on the show. Things like this inspire and pull people out of their shell.’

Slovakian-born turned Jamaican resident Lubica is also set to wow the crowd with dresses and bikinis crafted for what she calls, ‘confident women.’

Hot on the heels of rave reviews for her showing at the Toronto Alternative Arts and Fashion Week, she said she is excited to come back to Cayman.

She explained her collection. ‘It comprises easy elegant dresses that can go from day to night.’

Included in the What’s Hot-sponsored event are a number of talented musicians, such as Jah Mikes.

Gates open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm.

Tickets are $25 pre-sold,

$35 at the gate and $50 VIP.

The VIP section includes exclusive giveaways, mingling with designers, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and valet parking.

Tickets can be purchased at Chiclit, Roots Delight and GEL Beauty Centre & Supply.

Amongst other prizes, patrons have the opportunity to win a makeover to be featured in What’s Hot.

Guests are being asked to put their fashion foot forward, and dress to impress.

‘This is the first year of Island Couture but we are hoping to make it an annual event, so we are asking the community to come out embrace the gems of the Cayman Islands,’ said Ms Ebanks.