caribbean-fashion-show-models_web.jpgDesigners should bring something to the table that doesn’t resemble anything available on the racks of a cheap store.  Their pieces should pop so that women will gravitate toward their fashions, craving to have them in their possession. 

This was not the case at the 2nd Annual Caribbean American Fashion Show, which took place on Saturday, June 19, at the Renaissance Inn in Miramar. Although it began 30 minutes late, the show started out right with the soulful sounds of saxophonist, Jon Saxx.

Following Saxx‘s performance, however, the fashion show left a lot to be desired, beginning with the models’ apparent discomfort with their attire. Although they were quite brave to parade around in skimpy bathing suits and lingerie, Aminah Lacey was the only model to own the runway with flair.

Gina Rodriguez of G & G Handmade Heirlooms’ collection started off well with the different islands of the Caribbean represented in bathing suit form.  The style and cut of the bikinis were classic, with Rodriguez using different flag variations to make the pieces pop.  She should have, however, made tops that flattered her models’ minimal upper proportions so that it did not appear that they were wearing the front part of their bikini tops on their backs.

Judy Barnes of Judy’s Fashion Couture had two collections in this show — swim and evening wear.  Getting a glimpse of Barnes, I saw the rhyme and reason behind her collections.  Her dainty, shy, church lady appearance was echoed in her entire collection. Unfortunately, this also anchored her collection in grandma’s wardrobe from the 80s and 90s. 

In order to witness something new in a fashion show, there needs to be something new. Barnes does not experiment with cuts or fabric or colors. She seems to have what it takes to come out with a stellar collection — if she would only step out of her comfort zone and challenge herself.

Dawn Walden of Lavouches Fashion, Inc.’s collection was short and an obvious experimentation with colors and fabrics. Unfortunately, the only good thing about Walden’s collection was the cute shoes, which weren’t Walden’s creations. Walden has apparently branched out; she just needs to work on making her fashions look good on the right body.

During the lingerie portion of the show, Michelle of Russ Chell had her models parade around in lingerie that looked like it came straight from a cheap sexy shop. 

Likewise was Mimi Pericles of BeWare Swimwear.  While Pericles’ urban chic was fun and flirty, the rest of her collection was experimental with negative results.

I commend Gillian Murray of Gillian E, who obviously went for quality and not quantity.  At six pieces, her collection is short, sweet, to the point, and loaded with fine details that made this picky critic sit up in her seat.  She played with cuts and lines and came out with clothing that sizzled.  I enjoyed her collection the most; so much so that I would even consider making a purchase.

Typically, when I go to a fashion show, I expect to see trendy pieces with bold patterns and colors.  That’s essentially why people go to fashion shows — to discover trends. With semi-professional fashion shows, however, there’s a lot that you can expect, and a lot you can’t.

Suffice it to say, I only enjoyed two portions of this three-hour show: Jon Saxx with his taut body and gorgeous accessories, and Gillian Murray’s style.  Here’s hoping next year’s show will be bolder, full of more life and color, and fewer hours.

PHOTO BY KHARY BRUYNING. Models pose at the 2nd Annual Caribbean American Fashion Show on Saturday, June 19 at the Renaissance Inn in Miramar.