22 June 2017


Known for its creativity and playfulness,  UTT Fashion Week always leaves us with serious style envy, and this year's showcase was no different. On the runway we saw models boldly showing off their unique senses of style, starting fun new trends we can’t wait to test out for ourselves. While some of the trends we saw are definitely not for the sartorially faint of heart, most looks are more than approachable. From folklore-inspired designs to the paper folding techniques of Origami these looks are guaranteed to earn a place in your heart (and your wardrobe).

"UTT Fashion Week 2017, a fixture on the local fashion circuit, showcases the creative ideas of young designers in garment designing, fashion illustrations, textile techniques, digital technologies as well as fashion accessories design. The annual Art and Design Exhibition has become one of the more popular events as guests can visit the week-long installation and engage with students and staff at CAFD. As a collaborative and unique experience, UTT Fashion Week 2017 saw students and staff at CAFD engage with notable fashion industry stakeholders. Designers, Shaun Griffith Perez and Dianne Hunt have mentored UTT’s students during this year’s Designer Critic project while international wardrobe stylist and image consultant, Crystal Ivy London, will took an active role styling for the Senior Thesis Fashion Show."

 The theme of this year’s event, Eclectic, was chosen as the designs are derived from ideas, styles and tastes from a broad and diverse range of sources. Decent and creative clothing aside, the presentations were lovely. Instead of being held outside for hours, as some events do, all guests were allowed to be seated and patiently waited for the presentation to begin. After dinner, the runway show began. The collections were sultry and sophisticated. What was different than in the past UTT Fashion Show was that the clothes didn’t seem to be trying so hard; they were more in service to the individuals wearing them than the cinematic runway moment. There was drama in the designs, a backless black and gold dress was pure ecstasy, shapes and structures were the order of most designers' pieces. Many of the garments were appropriate for pieces that were not necessarily  intended to be consumer facing, which made me think about success strategies in FASHION... Retail Fashion to be specific.


CAFD’s graduating class of 2017 comprised of young, eclectic designers who collectively are a diverse mix of ages, backgrounds, personalities and nationalities and so much more. Thus, they have created a collage of creative themes so eclectic, that it exhibits a fresh, new and vibrant perspective for the Caribbean Fashion industry. A Caribbean Fashion showcase featuring cutting-edge fashion, “Eclectic” highlighted two segments.  The first part featured the Designer Critic Show displaying designs by CAFD’s third-year students, while the second part comprised of  the Senior Thesis Fashion Show.

The Junior Designer Critic Fashion Show was a collaborative academic exercise between CAFD’s 3rd year BFA in Fashion Design students and T&T’s leading fashion designers. This year's selected designers, Dianne Hunt and Shaun Griffith Perez were responsible for setting a project and then lending their expertise and help to a group of six to seven students. The most successful student designer of each group  received the Designer’s namesake Award. At the Senior Fashion Show, the CAFD  presented the work from the final year BFA students’ “Thesis Collections.” This was representation or collection of each student’s design philosophies that they created capsule collections of six to eight garments from a basic concept to the completion.

The Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design (CAFD), Designer Critic Show was a collaborative academic exercise between CAFD’s 3rd year BFA in Fashion Design students and T&T’s leading fashion designers. The designer was responsible for setting a project and then lending their expertise and help to a group of 6-7 students. The most successful student designer of each group received the Designer’s namesake Award. Names of 2017 collaborating DesignersDIANNE HUNT & SHAUN GRIFFITH PEREZ


Fashion Mentor: Shaun Griffith Perez
Theme:  "Evening Illusions" 
2nd Place: Marcia Joseph 
WINNER:    Tonielle Williams 

Fashion Mentor: Dianne Hunt
Theme:    "Tea Party in the Forest" 
2nd place: Stacy Riley   
WINNER:  Scharron Bain  


Fashion Management Editorial Styling Award
Won by Shari Patrick

For the sixth time in 2017 the Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design (CAFD) presented the work from the final year BFA students’ “Thesis Collections.” This was a representation or collection of each student’s design philosophies as they created capsule collections of 6 to 8 garments from a basic concept to the completion. 

Designers explored the lightness and colorfulness of Caribbean attire in their collections whilst others collections offered a zen moment in the confines of the Art. Under the white tents faces surveyed the serene proceedings with just as much aloof detachment as the models who ambled forth on the  runway. Levity was expressed through layers in ivory hues, yellows, greens, blues and teals. Patterned and crinkled skirts generously swirled around the legs, while textured wardrobe dressed the upper body in their nubbly expanses, revealing tantalizing slivers of skin. This purported the prudent sensuality that animates many of these designs. Later on, designers played with construction. These silhouettes hinted at outside-the-box possibilities that not been touched upon recently. In using summer weight fabrics and the finest drapery, designers made their creations look like a breeze on a stultifying day.

Award for Fashion Design - Most Creative Designer 
won by Gabriella Mc Millian for her thesis collection entitled, 'Bamboo Echoes'. 

Award for Fashion Design - Most Promising Designer 
Won by Keri Bazzey for her thesis collection, 'Planet Origami' 


A special prize was awarded to Jody Akal and her 'La Diablesse A La Mode' thesis collection of a TT$5,000 retail contract courtesy Simply Runway. 

At the conclusion of the show, the “Student of the Year” award (voted on by the programme professionals) was won by Adrian Wilson. On interviewing Adrian about his inspirations behind his collection he stated:
"As a student at Cafd it was quite challenging when I now started the programme with no knowledge about fashion and fitting in with students that had knowledge or background within the  industry was very difficult. What help me throughout my 4years was doing plenty research, working hard and of course being humble and listening.  For my final year thesis I wanted to do something that represent me as an individual strong edgy and confident. My theme for my collection is Apocalypse and I was inspired by a number of influences like  Mad max, steam punk and apocalyptic fashion and pulling certain key elements and twisting it and putting it in my own style and vision for my collection. This collection would include simple silhouettes focusing on line detailing texture and volume."

Congratulations to Adrian Wilson and the Class of 2017. I had a fantastic time at this event.  Lots of laughs and gorgeous Caribbean fashion.

29 August 2016


Red Runway Fashion Gala

                                            DESIGNER & STYLIST | NABALLAH CHI

The Red Runway Fashion Project began in 2008 with its key objective being the exposure of new models and designers to the fashion industry. Red Runway to date is now Trinidad and Tobago’s biggest fashion showcase and model training program. Red Runway allows new and upcoming designers as well as experienced and renowned icons in the fashion industry the opportunity to showcase their designs on a grand scale. Through continued efforts Red Runway has and is transforming hundreds of young people’s lives, contributing positively to the development of Trinidad and Tobago.  This year's event hosted 15 designers and 180 models.

The inspiration behind my collection: 
On Saturday, I had the honor of presenting my most personal collection yet: AfrocenCHIc. My love for African prints* more correctly known as Kente, Ankara etc. is no secret. I adore the color combinations, the patterns, the art and the stories they tell. These prints are so interwoven into the fabrics of West African culture yet the wax print finds its roots in Indonesia. The prints tell a different story to different people and are so personal in their allure and appeal; they are given different names by different West African countries and these names are often relevant to the message the fabric is communicating. Ankara fabrics, or wax prints (or block prints, as some people call them) are a mainstay of West African fashion. They are bright, bold, graphic and geometric prints that command attention and are widely worn. Now ankara prints are popping up all over the place, but rarely are they called by their proper name. 

*You can often see them imprecisely referred to as “African prints." (Again, I’d like to remind folks that Africa is a massive continent with 52 distinct nations, hundreds of cultures and languages and scores upon scores of different styles of artistic expression.)

 African Fashion is much more than tribal prints! We all as designers have our own story to tell and I love the different ways in which designers are choosing to narrate theirs. I can't speak for other designers. I can speak for myself. African fashion is so very sophisticated and rich  so much that it has spurred a growing group of young designers to launch their own brands in Trinidad and Tobago. That said, my optimism is sometimes tempered by doubts about the local industry's willingness to patronize its own young talent. People often think chic means wearing international brands from the USA and Europe. That's not true. One of the biggest challenges facing fashion these days is the disappearance of traditional craftsmanship in the industry. As a young, African designer, I choose to preserve my heritage and culture. This direction enables me to create a different narrative, with a different take on fashion design. Everyone can tell their stories via fashion and adapt their particular styles of design and production. African prints are always trending and has a vibrant market so it will never go out of style. As designers we always think where is the money. Everyone wants ethical fashion. This type of fashion is in and trendy. As an Afro-Muslim, I'm very passionate about my culture and I choose to showcase that passion through fashion creatively.

Lala applies makeup to model, Aaliah

Work work work work

Model, Lena, gets her makeup done by one of the MUAs
MUAs enjoying the process

With model, Sherwin, applying the finishing touches of paint to complete the AfrocenCHIc look
AfrocenCHIc models L-R ( Myles, Jamel, Mark and Martin)

 A few pieces from my collection:



DJ ChozenWunz and Lala Lamar

Lala Lamar and Mussy Muhammad

With designer Kristian Jaggesar


With DJ ChozenWunz

With designer Azizah Salma Ali
With my team of MUAs L-R (Annah Sullieman, Mussy Muhammad and Lala Lamar)