ONE AND ONLY: The designer acknowledges her CFW audience.
Attired in her trademark all-black ensemble and spectacles, Trini designer Meiling Esau is the very definition of minimalist chic. The same can be said for the clean, effortless designs she sent down the CFW runway last Saturday night to a rousing reception from viewers. Including nicely textured pieces for both sexes, the collection (whites, seascape looks, and sandy tones) was a study in unfussy refinement.
“It’s called Mid-day. It’s about the hot sun in the middle of the day,” she tells me of the collection backstage. Why that theme? “Because I just finished my retail collection in Trinidad, which is called 24 Hours, which went from dawn to midnight. So I took Mid-day from it to show here today.”
The lovely new collection aside, Meiling is most eager to discuss the future of Caribbean fashion. “What is very hopeful to me is that there are a lot of very young, emerging designers and hopefully what Anya [Ayoung-Chee] has done with Project Runway is gonna open a lot of doors for our young designers,” she says. “We also have a fashion academy in Trinidad & Tobago, and the first set of B.A. students will be graduating this month. And that’s wonderful.”
Looking ahead to the next chapter of her own artistic pursuits, Meiling says she’s content to simply keep pushing the creative limits. “Hopefully I’m gonna get to do London Fashion Week, either this year or next year. There are so many projects going on,” she explains. “Soon I’m going on a study tour funded by CIDA, so I never stop working.”