Among the many attention-seekers from the local fashion industry who will be in evidence as the country’s Independence anniversary celebrations continue is fashion designer Carol Fraser. On Sunday evening, her work, along with pieces from other up-and-coming designers, will be on show at the Roraima Duke Lodge, Duke Street, Kingston at what the organizers hope will be a well-attended event.
There is a consensus of opinion in local fashion circles that the Jubilee celebrations and more particularly the attendant return home for the festivities by Guyanese in the diaspora offer a valuable opportunity to build bridges and, perhaps, even to create new markets, both at the one-on-one level as well as the level of more complex commercial arrangements involving local designers and fashion outlets abroad.
Fraser, a media release received by this newspaper says, will display her customary creations in leather and fabric along with what is being promoted as her own interpretation of national wear for men and women which she says can be worn at national occasions and can also provide Guyana with a distinct identity on international stages.
The release from the organizers of the event says that Fraser’s versions of an envisaged line of national wear derives from “primary research” based on interviews and discussions with local writers, artists and historians, among other pursuits. Other designers may, of course, have their own interpretations of what a national costume should resemble.
The show is attended by a formal dinner and is being held under the patronage of Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green. In a twist that is clearly designed to generate additional interest the organizers have succeeded in pressing the Mayor, along with other high-profile Guyanese women into service as a models for some of the apparel to be displayed tomorrow evening. The organizers say that the event has been organized in a manner that allows for exchanges between the designers and potential buyers.
The release from the organizers say that invitees to the event will include industry professionals, including manufacturers, buyers, stylists and fashion consultants and that the show will also serve to “promote the work of other local seamstresses and designers as we seek to network our local fashion, jewellery and cosmetics industries.”
Up until now, the work of the vast majority of Guyanese fashion designers has enjoyed only limited exposure in North America and Europe, with opportunities being confined to periodic trade shows. Local designers have been clamouring for more opportunities to expose their work on foreign markets, a circumstance that has been constrained by the high cost of participation in international fashion fairs.