Pride. Exhilaration. Joy. Fulfillment.
Those are just a few of the words that I’d use to describe the emotions that ran through my mind during the pre and post Port of Spain Style Week events this weekend.
I think every stylist dreams of styling a runway collection, especially one that has the potential to be viewed by industry-relevant people (I see you British Vogue!), so I was beyond elated that Abby from Bene Caribe entrusted me with executing her brand’s vision.
Although I was always in tune with the major happenings, I only started to dig deeper info the local fashion scene during the past two years when I realized that my path was shifting, and that I wanted to fully embrace my passion. I remember scouting out Caribbean brands on Instagram and coming across Bene Caribe for the first time. I just recall thinking “Wow! There is absolutely no way that anyone could say that this is not Caribbean”. The fabrics, the prints, the life – I was in love. To me it represented what I considered to be quintessentially Caribbean. Little did I know, that was only one side of the story. As I got more acquainted with Abby, the part of the story that I learned to love the most was how passionate she was about promoting fashion practices that are “Good for the Caribbean” through leading by example with Bene Caribe.
Bene Caribe in my opinion, is one of the local brands that is leading the way in promoting ethical fashion in the Caribbean, through ensuring that all pieces produced are done to those standards not only for the benefit of the environment, but for the benefit of their consumers. I also find it extremely inspiring that they have made a part of their mission and brand identity, to use their influence to educate others on the importance of being conscious about clothing. I personally have learned so much about this aspect of fashion over the past few months through working with the Bene Caribe team. Their messages on ethical and sustainable fashion are thought-provoking and stimulating, and have even caused me to subconsciously stop and ask myself “How I can do more to support this movement?” (but that’s what education is supposed to do right?!).
After a few brief discussions with Abby, I gathered a clear vision of how she wanted the collection to be portrayed and received. I began execution immediately, working alongside Keziah Lendor, the experienced head Stylist for Style Week, to begin prepping and fitting the 12 looks. The day of the show came shortly after, and the morning was spent with Abby running through and fine tuning the looks that Keziah and I came up with. When we were satisfied and convinced that the collection was ready, we gathered up all of the pieces and made our way down to the venue, bubbling with excitement.
Everything ran smoothly. Not a bump in the road! Not a single pothole! All of the looks were steamed, assembled in order and labeled, pending the arrival of the models to begin dressing. Now this is the hectic part, because as much time as you think you have to dress, it is NEVER enough. Time always seems to escape you. Nevertheless, everyone worked seamlessly together and after that single whirlwind moment, we were able to send a vibrant, cohesive collection down the runway.
I stood on the sidelines watching the models walk past me and felt immensely proud. As a stylist not only is it a dream to work with such a great team and such beautiful pieces, it is also a dream to represent a brand who stands for something so important: the promotion of ethical and sustainable practices for garment use and production. Bene Caribe’s collection not only lit up the room with it’s rich colour palette, but also showed every single person who was watching the sheer allure magic that can occur when fashion an ethics collide.
Pride. Exhilaration. Joy. Fulfillment.
Those are just a few of the words that I’d use to describe the emotions that ran through my mind after seeing Bene Caribe’s Collection show at Port of Spain Style Week yesterday.