Clothed In History
Zoltan makes a statement, Neo-Caribbean style
The sun was on his shoulder, it’s fire in his head. With a bottle in his waist, those hips sashayed… sashayed to that addictive rhythm that is pure West Indian.
De calypso was we
He was we
Dat was Caribbean ting!
Zoltan (Calvin French & Christopher Balogh) launched it’s new clothing line ‘Neo-Caribbean’ at the new Angostura Complex,Laventille, on June 8. Flaunted designs and carefree movements described the spirit and the pride that are bound up in this term. Neo-Caribbeandraws from the wardrobe of a colonial past and combines bacchanal and lassez-faire with blazing sun and plentiful ocean to give meaning to all that is typical Caribbean fusion. Selections were made from a white palette dotted with rich green, blackand navy…and all the while, gay-coloured voiles flittled in and out.It was Carnival again as sailors (perhaps drunken sailors as they borerum courtesy of Angostura in their waists) strutted in white airy pants.
Added to the look, painted bodies emphasised historical undertones,while reflecting the art of costume design.
Sleeveless cardigans were paired with white shorts or light drawstring pants. A painted floral was matched a gold linen trousers and a reversible jacket (white outer, gold inner?) in true tropical glory. lithe bodies,sarong wrapped sauntered in an exihibition that can only be called ethnic.
Feminine styles seemed to depict Orisha strains as models flounced in white, simple linen dresses, waists bound with coloured sashes. Sometimes,’sun scarves’ were used to accessorise. Sheer shirts accompanied raw,uneven, undulating skirts that gave that shipwrecked feel…telling of our arrival past. The belle dancer theme was loud in full, double layered white skirts, fringed with red and black.
Island cotton shirts let the cool Caribbean breeze in as cutaway designs adorned the black. East Indian saris and African wrapping traditions were combined to create splendid draped pieces. The use of jersey weaves facilitated the unrestrained, fluid personality that is the West Indian.
The collection successfully suggests the easy cool of the island people and yet…it captures most brilliantly, with its free moving fabrics,the choppin’ nature of their soul.
Caribbean flavour has always been shaped by a variety of merging influences.What is now Neo-Caribbean is a simple response to an advancing world.It stands is a redefinition of this ‘Carib’ theme, this locale, to encompass new movements and ever-existing orders so that there is new dimension in distinctiveness…one that is certainly very neo-cosmic.