History was made in St. Lucia on Wednesday 6 May, as Trinidadians contributed significantly to the production and designer element of the St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival’s HOT Couture 2015 Fashion Extravaganza. The Johnson’s Centre in Rodney Bay was filled to capacity with government officials, fashionistas and cultural enthusiasts, who made up a sold-out audience for the third year in a row.
Themed “Fashion for Freedom”, the showcase included a milestone collaboration with Cuba’s “Arte y Moda” organization and the Cuban Embassy in St. Lucia. For Creative Director of HOT Couture, Trinidadian Richard Young, this key partnership with the Cuban team bridged a cultural inclusion that added a unique flair to the show’s programme, which was well-received by hundreds in the audience. “The special accolade from the Cuban delegation insisting on my curtain call with them for collaborating in the depiction of Arte y Moda was a particularly touching moment in this experience,” says Young, who was blown away by their visual runway artistry. Young’s synergistic connection with the production team – including Mae Wayne, Adrian Augier – St. Lucian-based models, as well as homegrown & international designers contributed significantly to the seamless flow of the show for the last three years.
The Trinidadian delegation included collections from Rhion Romany, Anthony Reid for House of Meiling, Meiling, Robert Young of The Cloth and Anya Ayoung-Chee – who presented her first showing in the Caribbean at HOT Couture since winning Season 9 of Project Runway. Mr. Romany, who enjoyed his second presentation at HOT Couture in two years, had high praises for the production team, which also included STAR Publishing’s Wayne and Augier of Landmark Events. “Working with Richard (Young) is always fun and an absolute pleasure. He ensures that we, as designers, are comfortable and satisfied. He really is exceptional at what he does. If I could work with him at every show, I would be happy.”
Media giant HBO has once again collaborated with the Government of St. Lucia to provide a special cultural segment on this year’s HOT Couture event in Jazz & Arts Festival 2015, due to air in the Caribbean, Latin America and Brazil in the coming months. Mr. Young plans to visit Cuba later this year with Mae Wayne, on a special invitation from the Cuban delegation and the Ambassador in St. Lucia, His Excellency Sr. Jorge Soberon.