Brooklyn designers rock Guyana Fashion Week

Brooklyn Designer Gem Fraser with Arti Cameron,
Photo by Tangerine Clarke
By Tangerine Clarke

One year ago, Hurricane Sandy washed away a Far Rockaway showroom of well-crafted dancehall attire, and expensive sewing equipment, once owned by Brooklyn Fashion Designer Horace “Goldteeth” Carter, threatening the livelihood of the skilled professional.

But the verbose couturier whose out-of-the box, wicked clothing – line as he calls it, re-emerged in two creative, edgy and stylish male and female collections that wowed a capacity audience at Guyana’s recent inaugural Fashion Week at Rahaman’s Park, on the East Coast Demerara.

The crowd went wild the moment models stepped on to the runway in sexy mini dresses, close-fitting gowns, see-through jumpsuits, a bustier, finished with a Kankan hemline, and many more unorthodox designs cut from stretchy fabric, lace, and sheer material. The all black women’s wear was accentuated with jewels and elbow-length leather cuffs.

The standing ovation was a testament to the designer’s victorious comeback from the hurricane disaster he called a blessing in disguise. He named his collections -“bombastic”.

With 25 years in the fashion industry under his belt, Carter showed true grit, and credits his flow of creative juices for the spectacular ready to wear pieces that are now available at his 7871 Flatbush Avenue location.

Inspired by water, with the tag lined – “water is life, and fashion could only have life if you give life to fashion” – GFW attracted 18 designers from the Caribbean region, Suriname, emerging Guyanese designers, and Brooklyn-based Guyanese-American Myrna Dale Patterson, whose dream it was to display her chic collection in her homeland.

Patterson was inspired by a home decor of the black/white motif. The fashion expert matched a slim white dress with animal print etching on the front, with a white jacket and knee-high boots.

The models sashayed in Patterson’s layered mini-skirt and off the shoulder top, while a white floor-length dress with trumpet sleeves, a floor-length navy lace piece, a black skirt with frilly top, and pantsuits, cemented the designer’s methodology.

Another Brooklyn designer just off her first New York show, of evening wear, felt honored that her “Twisted Tradition” collection was unveiled to hundreds to close GFW.

It is unbelievable, said virtuoso Gem Fraser, whose one-of-a-kind collection was in keeping with the variation of fabrics she effortlessly merged for a debonair look.

The couturier who is in the process of creating a new line to meet the demands of her New York clientele, showed off an African print pant with solid shirt, floral print gowns, a formal sequin look, a silver off-the-shoulder gown, and a barrage of outfits, many matched with quintessential headwear.

The four runway shows, captured the multi-cultural fashion frenzy that is taking over Guyana, and meshed modern, chic and emerging looks that GFW’s CEO Sonia Noel wanted to convey to the diverse audience.

From young designer Melessa Payne’s vintage swimwear collection that garnered applause, to Tracy Douglas’ innovative “Bohemian Rhapsody” tie-dye pieces, Paula Evans “Folklore” batik design, and teenager Shmeeza Subrati’s Indo-Guyanese inspired pieces, the event provided a stage for visionaries.

Fashionistas, buyers and patrons alike, saw creations by Natasha David, Chandini Rambazak, Denita Prowell, Nelsion Nurse, Juliet Bernard, Paul Burnette, Andy Cumming, Amanda Burgess, Brian Williams Tyrone Nelson, Tiffany Samson, Sacha Castillo, and Mariska Designs by Sonia Noel.

The branding Guyanese style event that fused the arts of fashion, food and music, opened with a competition that paired designers and chiefs for a cook-off making use of local foods during the “Cuttin’ Style” segment.

In addition, patrons shopped at a jewelry, wine and clothing marketplace that ran throughout the week of the fashion soiree.

Guyana fashion week included workshops in Esteem/Confidence Building, Hair Art Business of Fashion, and a dance and performing arts showcase.

Fly Jamaica -sponsor of the Aspiring Designers Showcase, presented a return ticket to any of its destination, to a lucky audience member.

Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Week director, and Creative Director of GFW, Richard Young, explained that the event invite designers to tell their story through fashion in a simple collection to challenge themselves, and be creative by using recycled items. “Sonia has a selling space for designers after the show so they have an opportunity to market their work,” Young added.

Creation by Brooklyn Designer Horace ‘Goldteeth’ Carter.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

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