Saturday, 5 November 2016

FRONT ROW CENTRE: Sparks aplenty, ample variety at Fashion Directory’s superstylish debut

WALK THIS WAY: Designers and their models brought lots of oomph and strong visuals to the Devon House runway.

The curvy revolution was in full throttle, as the first-ever Fashion Directory runway show slipped into high gear last Thursday at Devon House, unleashing a torrent of fresh, fun designer collections that had the sizeable crowd in applause mode all night. But it was the fearless duo of Alicia Jarrett and NeahLis McIntosh who got the most vociferous response, after dressing up their models (plus-size divas on a mission) in figure-flattering designs that could have come branded with the apt slogan, “Real women have curves.”

Flaunting the goods with the attitude to match, the ladies came strutting down the runway, high-fiving each other occasionally and bearing placards that screamed everything from “Curvy Girls Rock” to “Curvy and Confident.” And they certainly looked the part, sending a strong message about how full-figured women should be viewed but, better yet, how they should view themselves.

Put on by the very enterprising marketing team at the Jamaica Yellow Pages, the event (under the auspices of the Jamaica Observer’s Take Style Out extravaganza) combined spark and spectacle, vigour and verve, to deliver a night chock-full of highlights that brought back memories of last season’s Mission Catwalk grand finale.

Delivering terrific eye candy for the ladies and the fellas looking on, Kerry-Kay’s 13-piece collection mixed all-white silhouettes with stunning black-and-white looks exuding that warm, every-occasion appeal. The well-chiselled male models, meanwhile, were mostly shirtless, drawing attention to the close-fitting pants and vibrant bow-ties that eventually directed viewer eyes back up to the necks again.

Livewire emcee Nikki Z, who had her style game turned all the way up with a flurry of costume changes, also introduced such design houses as T&T Fashions, paying homage to ‘the sexy African queen’ with bold tribal prints via a collection anchored by dancehall vixen D’Angel, who later re-appeared for NeahLis’ Tropical Glam collection. Among the best of the rest: Angela Scott’s Safidah Collection, which brought lots of blush pink and other cotton-candy hues to the party (sexy minis and one-shoulder dresses galore.) 

Music and bold fashion go hand-in-hand, so it was a real delight to see Tanya Stephens (rocking her signature ‘comfort chic’) hitting the runway to deliver a channel-surfing of her career hits and impart some tongue-in-cheek food-for-thought in-between songs. Earlier, emerging singer-songwriters Kenzic and GiRL, talented young artistes who take their looks seriously, hypnotized us with a dose of flavourful reggae-soul, thanks to their groovy, radio-ready single “Fly.” 

Overall, given the impressive variety that greeted us at this year’s debut of The Fashion Directory, who knows what next year’s bounty will bring? The real thrill, without a doubt, will be found in how the package gets better and better, year after year.

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