Fashions dedicated to Cancer Awareness

Yolanda and other models showcase Kafans.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Guyanese fashion designer Gem Fraser’s one-of-a-kind concept took center stage recently at her first ever fashion show at Brooklyn’s St. Jude Hall. It captured the essence of her elegant style and stunning looks.

The adience applauded Gem’s great sense of technique and the way she skillfully transforms each piece of fabric into a masterpiece.

“Gem by Design has received rave reviews,” said the designer, describing her collection as “an extraordinary fusion of tradition and trend, with an exotic flare.”

From wedding gowns to charming jewelry, bags and a line of colorful high-fashion hats recently launched as the “Twisted Traditions,” this presentation lit up the runway with more than 40 pieces ranging from gowns, shimmering skirts, and blouses, to an array of kaftans cut from splendid pattered fabrics.

Fraser’s fun personality and maturity were evident in her avant-garde collection. Her black floor-length dress designed with hand-painted appliqués; her sexy brown sequin topless evening wear and a leopard jumpsuit, all set the stage for a saturation of great designs: a fiery red gown with a plunging V-neckline, a full-figure navy sequin outfit, white lace mini shorts with matching top, and a gorgeous white topless gown accented with a shaul and an elaborate frill at the bottom.

The designer was in top form, racking up applause as the models sashayed along the red carpet wearing fashionable and comfortable garments. It took the couturier only three months to put this smashing collection together. Her dream is to create one piece that someone would call her own, like the one that climaxed the show: an oxblood snakeskin gown — an ode to the Chinese Year of the Snake. The infinity sign on the back of the tippet signified “Forever” — Frasers pledge to designing.

“My collection is not the standard collection. When I see a piece of fabric that speaks to me, I buy just enough to make one outfit,” said the virtuoso, whose defining moment to prove her girt in the fashion industry, as her muse, Miss Guyana World 2012, Arti Cameron heads to China to compete in the international pageant.

Cameron saw some of the Fraser’s designs and became enamored by the versatile collection, said Fraser, who quickly created a wardrobe for the queen to compete in. Now, the multifaceted designer who started her craft at age 15, is world-renowned for her work, and was voted as the People’s Choice to win the international competition.

Cameron was also a sports finalist and wowed audiences with her wardrobe which significantly consisted of pieces from Gems by Design, said Fraser.

Gem’s universal appeal is the result of her impressive talent and passion for taking traditional pieces and adding a unique twist to them. Gem’s exquisite collection will be on display at the first Guyana Fashion Week, Oct. 20 to 27 in Georgtown. The mantra of Gem by Design is: “Fueled by Passion for Designer” — words she dedicated to her first show in tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She wore a pink outfit alongside her top models in support of family members who are affected by the disease.

Designers Myrna Patterson and Sonia Noel celebrated Gem’s success by also showcasing their own collections on the runway.

Arti Cameron and Phillipa Morrish flank designer Gem Fraser, in pink for Breast Cancer awareness.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke
Fashions dedicated to cancer awareness
By Wilfred Cameron

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