Jamaica Observer / “ Lights , camera, fashion!” was the call to order issued by Saint International principal Deiwght Peters when he — equipped with his ready and able muster of muses, some freshly jetted in from the runways of Paris and Milan — as any designer of a reputable standard would, artfully threaded four uniquely impressionable events into one spectacular presentation of fashion: Styleweek Jamaica 2018. The lawns of the French ambassador’s Hillcrest Avenue residence and the beautiful mansion as the backdrop, on Thursday, were the exquisite frame within which French Élan, the first of the Styleweek offerings, was set. It was here that Peters and the French ambassador to Jamaica Jean-Michel Despax, and his wife Line — amiable hosts for the evening — plied guests with the well-crafted offerings of Heather Laine, menswear designer Dexter Huxtable through his Spokes Apparel label, and the dramatic movement through moods which was the untitled collection of Martiniquan-born Parisian designer Kevin O’Brian, which were on display at their elegant red-carpet affair.
From there, Peters and his army marched over to the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) Southern Car Park on the Waterfront where they, through a host of headress-wearing golden Saints, acknowledged the 50th anniversary celebrations of the UDC, partners for the event. Peters then upped the ante with seven local designers — Moses Fennel, Janseen Graham, Oshane Hinds, Rico Vassel, Desmond Onfroy, Mercy-Ann Copeland and Karlene Levy — whose works were, in true Jamaican fashion, a melange of styles and influences — from the shores of Africa to the annals of avant-garde history.
The 140 ft catwalk on the 170ft runway smack dab in the middle of Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston, was a hub of excitement and pure fashion drama on Saturday for Fashion Block, arguably the most anticipated of the now fourteen year old event. On the magnificent white runway, a dozen designers — home-grown and hand-picked from the diaspora, notably Jamican-born Colombian-based designer Caffery Van Horne — unveiled a veritable onslaught of prints, sequins, trains, vests, and suits in a night which amply satiated the cravings of the crowd.
On Sunday, the choice of a “decidedly exclusive” venue — the Rooftop of the Digicel Headquarters on Ocean Boulevard — reaped much rewards for the Styleweek finale event International Mecca of Style. There, designers Courtney Washington and New Jersey-based Rick Bailey issued a fine start to the affair with sophisticated silhouettes. But, it was the sheer craftsmanship of Jamaican-born Canadian design house Greta Constantine which took the roof down when the stream of gorgeous Saints dazzled the audience with pops of sequinned glamour. It was an incredible debut, SO reckoned, for the Spring/Summer 2019 collection which is slated to appear in New York and Paris hereafter, and indeed, it was a fitting close to Saint International’s week of style.