Sunday, 10 June 2012

DRENNA LUNA @ CFW: Arlene Martin steps out of her comfort zone

A NEW SPIN: Martin puts her vibrant stamp on creature comforts.

If there’s one thing you can’t accuse Arlene Martin of it’s not being a risk-taker. This season, the creative force behind the increasingly popular Drenna Luna brand is, wait for it, embracing colour – bold, vivid hues that have lent her latest CFW collection a vibrancy and tropical appeal that fans aren’t accustomed to from the ace designer.

“It’s actually new for me because I usually do a lot of muted colours, very subtle,” Martin tells TALLAWAH backstage Friday night after her show. “I remember the first collection [2009] I did, it was mostly black, and people were like, Where are the colours. And when I did the Negril collection in 2010, it was a lot of blues because it was Negril, and I was going for a particular hue. So this is the first year really that I have done bright colours and a mix of colours. It was very exciting for me doing it.”

Set to a Bob Marley soundtrack, the Drenna Luna collection hit the runway in a riot of eye-popping oranges, deep purples, yellows, etc. Above all, they were well-crafted day and evening pieces, wearable, innately Caribbean, and absolutely lovely to look at. “I wanted to do a departure generally from what I was doing. I started out really wanting to celebrate Jamaica, because it’s our 50th. So I’d wanted to do something for that and play around with a number of different things,” Martin explains. “So many designs and experiments throughout the process, and I finally settled on what was like birds and butterflies for me, with some lovely colours, fabric selections, and silhouettes.”

Where can shoppers get their very own taste of Drenna Luna? “In Kingston now, clothes are available at Indigo boutique and in Montego Bay at Elegance boutique.”

Up next, Martin says she is determined to take her brand to the world. “I’m actually trying now to export so during the summer what I’ll be doing is taking this collection and a couple of other collections to London to try and meet with some buyers,” she says. “There are a number of business activities before the Olympics so I’ll be doing that in July. And I’m going to trade shows in August and October in the US. I really want to start exporting now.”

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