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Fashion Icons – Jamaican’s with Style

Jamaican’s with a Unique Style |Vintage Fashion

My fashion icons are my parents, their sense of ‘style and fashion’ is atypical to their generation and others from the varying islands in the Caribbean.  What’s interesting is their fashion, the elegance of their attire is called ‘Vintage Fashion’ today, the blue Duchess Satin off the shoulder dress worn by my mum 50 years ago would not be out of place at a cocktail party today; pearl earrings, elegant court shoes, simplicity and sophistication, that’s my gorgeous mum for you.

Bespoke Dresses and Suits

A bespoke dress that was designed and made specifically for her, finishing accessories a clutch purse, compact mirror, lipstick and powder, a silk scarf stole.  My parents and their generation were and still are ‘one-of-a-kind.

The Zoot suit, worn by my dad,  single breasted jacket;  the jacket is not as long as some traditional Zoot Suits, neither are the trousers excessively baggy as with ‘Cab Calloway’ and if that is going too far back think ‘Kid Creole and the Coconuts’ , OK, if you are still scratching your head, think ‘Jim Carrey in The Mask’.  The term used to describe these suits today is ‘retro’.

Theirs was a time when a gentleman would always have a handkerchief in his top pocket, usually monogrammed, buttoned up shirt, sleek patterned silk tie, tie pin and cuff links, leather brogues, aftershave that scented a room.  Again ‘bespoke’ only this time a gentleman’s suit, a dapper gentleman my dad.

If you were to attend Sunday church in any of the West Indian islands today, from babes in arms, to elders who stand tall with their silver hair, and those in-between, you would witness a catwalk fashion show of individuals whose sense of style doesn’t carry a fleeting trend, instead timeless fashion statements that speak of their individuality they definitely keep Milliners in business local and overseas.

I’ve been reading recently from Dana Thomas’s book ‘Deluxe – How Luxury Lost Its Lustre‘ with the advent of the swinging 60’s Leslie Caron is quoted as saying “I stopped buying couture because frankly, it was considered old-fashioned.  You couldn’t wear hats anymore, you couldn’t wear gloves or a bra, and you looked really old-fashioned if you wore couture dresses”.  As we move forward, that which for a period of time was considered ‘old-fashioned’ is very much sought after today – why?  Because the quality of workmanship, detailed designs, the fit of the garment, all those necessary components that transform metres of fabric into a magical form of dress, the time it takes to produce such garments is sadly diminishing.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, a new genre of designers-makers/sewing professionals are picking up their thimbles, sourcing unusual fabrics, they who refuse to go quietly into the night, they also bring to their pattern cutting tables fashion sustainability, through making garments that have lasting qualities, distinctive detail.

My parents fashion styles is as relevant today as it was in the 50’s, especially if you want to stand out for the individual that you are.

To talk more about one-of-a-kind have a look at the link https://coralturner.com/unique-designer-dresses/

Until next time,