Every Friday in our column “Style Selec’tings” Kingstonstyle’s Fashion Editor, E. Hansen-McKnight, scours the web to give you the week’s best in clothing and accessories from web-savvy Jamaican stores and designers.
I can feel Spring starting to bubble up inside me. I have sudden urges to be outside in the fresh air, a constant pondering of weekend swimsuit ensembles, and a new approach to long hair as the enemy of salt water, sand and heavy humidity. It’s not like a whole lot changes in the Caribbean from one season to the next, the titles of seasons have more of a placebo effect on our actions than any drastic weather influx. One thing is certain, it will get hotter and we will wear less and less.
This week in the column I embraced bright floral, striped and abstract patterns, light-weight fabrics, short hem lines and the many new items from local designers and retailers that are a direct result of the quickly approaching Easter holiday. I’m really excited about a fairly new retail venture from the owner of Grandeur Male, who has set up shop with a women’s store upstairs from the newly relocated men’s store. The boutique is called Massimo and features tons of affordable women’s pieces in a refreshingly stylized set up (many of the clothes are neatly folded inside varnished chest-of-drawers that float wondrously on the walls.) I loved this floral blazer with oversized white buttons up the breast panel and a v-shaped hem. While not necessarily light weight, I’ve been scheming on a series of looks in shorts with just a blazer and nothing but my bareness underneath (cue stick on adhesives). For a little more coverage I like this flamboyant striped blouse with a thick collar. It feels very seventies to me.
I had the opportunity to visit Jae Jolly’s showroom last weekend and her pieces are just captivating. Some of the best designs in Kingston I would say, just based on the quality of her constructions alone. She has an array of colourful designs that are to die for and a swimsuit collection that’ll have you feeling like a video vixen and looking like a style maven. The designer has started her preparation for the holiday season by expanding upon her “Mushroom Coral” coverup design, building upon the colour scheme to include pinks, blues and yellows. She also has a floor length coverup in a vintage-looking flower print that plunges at the chest and drapes down the sides of your leg, peeking open at the front and back: statement worthy.
I haven’t been able to catch up with designer Abenah Adelaide since her return from London Fashion Week but I’m loving her African print pieces for summer. The red and green short set (minus the face wrap) has me pondering a boat ride scenario in an emerald sea with a large floppy hat and an exaggerated amount of wooden bangles. Another local designer who has been hard at work, Slovakian beauty Lubica, who shared this colourful abstract print on a floor length single-shoulder dress she created for the Spring season.
It’s seems many of the local retailers started to roll out Spring stock this week, facilitating the demand for mini dresses and high hemlines. Base Kingston & Belle provides an electric pink bodycon number while Grandeur Femme (who just received a whole lot of new Spring stock) has you covered in this halter skater- skirt dress in pastel floral print. Alter Ego turned me on to the new designs from local swimwear creator, Wild/Free, who is now designing ready-to-wear, like these bi-hemline mini skirts. Erica from Style Savvy also promised lots of new stock to be rolled out in the coming week, sharing light-weight maxi dresses and leather skirts on her Instagram feed. However, it was this energetic pink single-shoulder dress with gladiator heels that had me intrigued. I’ve also mentally bookmarked a promise of new designs from Yahdie Conscious (a Style Savvy retailer) who will be coming out with pieces before Easter Weekend.
Plenty of new local options to look forward to as Spring fever starts to take hold. If you have a moment, revisit the trends for this Spring in our In Perspective column on the S/S 2014 Runway Season, where we discuss mesh fabric, extreme sheer and sporty looks and metallic fabrics. It’s a great guide to putting together a Spring look. Another trend that was revisited on the F/W 2014 runways (an In Perspective coming soon!) was the raising hemline. While we’ve been focused on the midi for a while now, it seems the high hemline is being embraced again (thank goodness.) Most importantly, be keen to embrace your personal style regardless of a the current trend, because if you ain’t feeling you, no one else will.