CARIBBEAN FASHION FOCUS – #2/14

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Our vaunted fashion landscape and colors…..forges a Caribbean Fashion brand that will command the attention of the world’s fashion cognoscenti.

 ELIZE ROSTANT

Elize Rostant

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Nature’s Jeweler

Elize Rostant had one of those engagingly bohemian childhoods that’s this country’s best gift to a child. Growing up in Gasparillo, her parents spent many hours piling into the family car on trips into the countryside. “It was really seeing the country,” as Rostant recalls. “I’m just trying to recreate that beauty in my work.” She was raised along with two sisters and two brothers by parents who were both teachers. “Looking back I realize it was a very academic household. My parents were the only people on the street who had gone to university. We had a library and when we read and found something we didn’t understand, we would have to go and look it up in the encyclopedia. “That was just normal to me then, but I know now just how uncommon that was.” Almost as uncommon as her distinct memories of her father in a dashiki and full Afro DJing as Sio’s Super Sounds and a mother who continued to play music for pleasure. “We were encouraged to experiment,” she said. So Elize Rostant did, and she found her calling in art early in an internship with jewelry designer Gillian Bishop when she was just 15. The family connection was hardly tenuous. The late Pat Bishop was the godmother of her sister Alyssa; so another Bishop adopting another Rostant was just part of the flow between the families.

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Elize Rostant would go on to take her degree in fashion at the Savannah College of Art and Design crunching the course of study into an intensive two-and-a-half years. Of all the design paths that the school trained her for, however, it seemed that she was always on a path back to jewelry. “Even my finals work had these metallic collars,” she recalls with a smile. With formal training in design, she began to appreciate her mentor Bishop’s work even more. “I’m always inspired by her work; you’ll see a gem hanging off the piece by just a little wire. Amazing stuff.” The young artist returned to T&T and took up a job at the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism to render the compensatory service that her scholarship called for. “Last year I realized that I hadn’t done anything for two years, and it was really time to do something.” The show that resulted from that first return to her art met with mixed results. “My last collection included feathers, which people liked, but didn’t buy,” Rostant confessed.

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But the young jeweler isn’t daunted and will present her work, alongside other work by Christine Lorde and Gillian Bishop, at the Christmas Bazaar by Signature 2000, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh 3.0 beginning at the Hotel Normandie on December 8. Potential buyers will see in her new work an enthusiasm for color and textures expressed using beads made of glass, acrylic and wood along with fabric and ribbons. “I have to be conscious of the weight of the work when I’m done” she admits with a hearty laugh. “I’m also thinking a lot more about whether someone will wear the piece.” During Carifesta in Suriname she met the husband-and-wife team behind Atelier Doré, whose work in silver rekindled her desire to work with metals again. Rostant is keen to get behind a jeweler bench again, but works steadily at her dream on a restored Singer sewing machine which doubles as a work bench for her current works. She’s working in a humble atelier of her own, a cosy space poised above her small living room in a Cascade apartment, the single bulb burning down on the polished, weathered wood as she deftly twists metal filaments and fashions cascading fingers of beads into organic shapes that she hopes will be just the right accessory for a customer. Visitors to the Signature Christmas bazaar can expect vivid colors and textures from Elize Rostant’s new collection as well as an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of early work from a promising new jewelry designer. “I want to produce work that really expresses me,” Rostant says, “work that’s lasting in the world. This collection will be for the woman who has style and wants to make a bold statement with her accessories.”

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LEE-ANN FORBES

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LEE ANN FORBES was crowned Miss Trinidad & Tobago World 2011 and represented the twin island in the London pageant. Lee Ann signed with the New York Model Agency and landed a photoshoot with Seventeen Magazine which was published in the 2012 summer edition. In her homeland she graced the cover of Caribbean Belle magazine in the Wedding Edition. Currently Lee Ann is “field ops/brand officer with the TTCO (Trinidad and Tobago Copyright Collection Organization)

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JEANENE FOX

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jeaneneJEANENE FOX born 15 February 1978, grew up on a small island in the Bahamas. Her mother, Diane Gerace, was a Canadian Olympic High Jumper and her father, Ulrich Fox, was the first entrepreneur to manufacture ice in the Bahamas.

Jeanene began her modeling career at the age of 15, when a German photographer discovered her climbing a fruit tree on Paradise Island. Jeanene monopolized the Bahamian market quickly and moved off the island for more international exposure.

She moved to Canada and signed with Elite Models, but shortly monopolized the market and yearned for new career challenges abroad, her mother suggested she visit her older brother (Rick Fox) in Los Angeles for a change of environment where she accepted the new challenge and signed with Elite Models Los Angeles.

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She began her modeling career in Los Angeles and also enrolled in University finishing with two Magda Cum Laude Bachelor Degrees in International Business and Apparel Manufacturing .

While making funny comedic gestures amongst her friends in a Beverly Hills restaurant, she was approached by a commercial acting agent. Not having any experience in acting, she accepted the new challenge.

Her first role was an Amazon in the very successful world-wide commercial for AXE/LYX “Billions” (2005). That same year, she drew the eye of Hollywood Producers ‘Louis J. Horvitz and Roger Goodman, who casted her as the exclusive Trophy Model for “The 77th Annual Academy (Oscars) Award” (2005). Her first feature film appearance was a Victoria’s Secret Model in Big Momma’s House 2 (2006). Thereafter Jeanene concentrated more on commercials and booked many global and national commercial campaigns.

Jeanene Fox

During the economic recession in the U.S.A. 2007, Jeanene found much success in Europe starring as the sexy and sarcastic character “La Filippona” “Striscia La Notizia” (2007/2009)  (Italy’s prime time comedic TV show -their version of  “Saturday Night Live”) where she did 71 episodes – which raised her interest in pursuing a Film & Television career acting in Christmas in Beverly Hills (2009), and _Sei Passi Nel Giallo (2012), _Sotto Protezione (2012), and was recently in the comedy/drama AmeriQua (2013)_ with Alec Baldwin, Bobby Kennedy III, and ‘Giancarlo Giannini’ 

SHAHAIDA LYNCH

Shahaida Lynch 1Shahaida in Shanika Burnett Design; Girlfriend Expo. 2014, February 1 & 2/Barbados.

NATALIA HOLDER

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natalia 1 natalianatalia 2Natalia is an Guyanese born law student attending Beckles Law School in Port of Spain Trinidad & Tobago. Natalia’s passion is Fashion Modeling.  At age 13 she was on the runway after being recruited by well-known fashion photographer Eustace Dyer. After completing her studies, her hope is to be Super-Model “Talli”

NIGEL EASTMAN AND OMZAD KHAN

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eastman 5 eastman 7 EastmanZADD AND EASTMAN LINE:: Bold colors and beautiful prints are a part of Nigel Eastman’s fashion design repertoire. Eastman is one half of the dynamic duo that makes up Zadd and Eastman Designs. Together, he and design partner, Omzad Khan, have clothed celebrities such as Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child fame and Grammy award winning artist Dottie Peoples. Although they started off with brown and tan hand-painted linen, they have since ventured into bright silks and chiffon adorned with floral patterns. They both hail from South Trinidad and have chosen to base their newly upgraded retail space, and design hub, in their home country. Their clothing has been showcased regionally, in Caribbean Fashion Week in Kingston, Jamaica, as well as internationally. In addition, representatives from Trinidad and Tobago, for Miss World and Miss Universe, have walked the world stage, in a Zadd and Eastman design. 

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