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)

6 June 2016



The reason I love fashion shows so much is that I literally do not know what is going to happen next. That excitement of not knowing and of watching something live is compelling. Fashion is so much fun. Yes it promotes materialism, but it also promotes dreams. So even though it has its flaws it's becoming more inclusive. I love fashion shows for the atmosphere of it- namely all the eccentric personalities. I love that the fashion mentors and facilitators are motivated  by the joy of discovering talent and that the designers create art and beauty in personal brand-building.

So you may have heard that UTT fashion week was underway this past Sunday. When it comes to fashion shows most style obsessives celebrate these momentous occasions by taking to the compulsively check social media for up-to-the-minute details, on who designed what, how the models looked  (did any models trip, or fall), who was there, and which designer is their favorite.

Well here’s the rundown:

The show began with the Designer Critic, which featured presentations from sixteen junior designers who are third year students of the the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design. These junior designers were mentored by Robert Young of the Cloth and Shaun Griffith Perez of Shaun Griffith Perez Designs. Eight junior designers had the privilege to work under the mentorship of Robert Young, producing designs which captured the theme "A National's Return", while the other eight students under the mentorship of Shaun Griffith Perez produced designs inspired by "Caribbean Architecture"

Fulani Greigg with her models

Design by Janeen Charles

Design by Janeen Charles

Design by Latoya Samuels

Design by Latoya Samuels

Design by Nelson Sterling

Design by Nelson Sterling

Design by Ruben Gonsalez

Design by Ruben Gonsalez

Design by Kerry Bezi

Design by Kerry Bezi

Steven Basano with his models
Design by Hazel Stanislaus


Design by Jamila Douglas

Design by Jamila Douglas

Jamila Douglas and her models

Ms. Williams and her models

Design by Kenisha Charles

Design by Kenisha Charles

Design by Launesha Barnes

Design by Launesha Barnes

Launesha Barnes and her models

Design by Gabriella McMillan

Design by Gabriella McMillan

Gabriella McMillan and her models

Design by Adrian Wilson

Design by Adrian Wilson

Adrian Wilson, winner of the Designer Critic award, with his models

The designer is responsible for setting a project and then lending their expertise and help to a group of Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design (CAFD) students. The most successful student designer of each group will receive the Designer’s namesake Award.

Shaun Griffith Perez Award for Designer Critic 2016
* 2nd Place Gabriella McMillan
* Winner: Adrian Wilson 

Robert Young Award for Designer Critic 2016
* 2nd Fulani Greg
* Winner: Hazel Stanislaus

The students of this show are stars in their own right, each contribute to a unique, intricate and beautiful formation. they are putting forth modern and distinctive collections that comprise of carefully developed collections that comprise of carefully developed garments, interconnected through theme and technique. The coming together of these designers and collections culminates in this show entitled "FASHION CONSTELLATIONS"

Christiana Isaac - " In Paramaribo"

Cheryl-Lee Christian - "Tribute"

Harvey Robertson - "I am Soca"

Marie Richardson- "The Void"

Hannah Charles - 'Greek Roman Fusion"

Fanny Murray- "Bossa Nova"

Shaahida Carr - "Peace Over War"

Nicketa Frank - "Atlantis" 

Rakesh Ramoutar - "Madame a la Mode"

Graduating class of 2016

Fashion Styling project where the students were required to create editorial stories for a prominent fashion magazine. These editorial stories are then assessed by an independent panel of judges from the Fashion Management community.
* 2nd Place: Rebecca Aird "Tomboyish"
* Winner: Gerard Perry for "Boudoir Chic" 

Senior students hosted “Designer Spaces”; a static display of their retail/boutique spaces for their 2016 mini thesis collections. The goal is to display an envisioned boutique to complement their final collection. This exhibition is also a competition toward the “Student of the Year Award.”
Creativity Award
* 2nd Place: Shaahida Carr,
* Winner: Marie Richardson 

Janoura's Award for Most Promising Designer
* Winner: Shaahida Carr

Harvey Robertson- Student of the Year

Congratulations to Harvey Robertson, CAFD Student of the Year 2016 for attaining the achievement of Student of the Year, Harvey will receive a photo spread in Caribbean Runway Magazine, A retail space at Simply Runway, Grand Bazaar, and one complimentary runway showcase at the next New York Fashion Week! Congratulations to all fashion students! Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design, UTT Fashion Week 2016.

The Takeaway: Caribbean designers possess talent that belong in the pages of Vogue and on the best runways of the world. Fashion shows not only give designers and brands a platform to show their collections, but to establish a point of view and communicate the rich stories for which the luxury world depends on. They celebrate the vision of designers and their work. Fashion shows also create numerous opportunities for content. Not only for brands, but for retailers and bloggers  who capitalise on social media to share their own personal experiences, which in turn gives longevity to the event.