Isy B. was proud to represent Cayman Islands fashion on the runway at Carifesta this summer in Barbados. Carifesta is the traveling Caribbean festival of the arts which aims to showcase and promote Caribbean culture
Selected by The Cayman Islands Cultural Foundation as one of the leading Cayman fashion designers, along with the fabulous Jawara Alleyne, Isy B. presented its capsule collection entitled Mermaid - The Tales That Bind Us to the pan-Caribbean audience of fashion lovers.
The story of the mermaid is a woven into the Caribbean folktales. The indigenous Caribbean Taino already knew them as Aycayia and when the Spanish discovered the Caribbean, they told of sightings of beautiful and beguiling creatures; half woman, half fish. The African slaves brought with them their own ancient tales of Mami Wata, beautiful water spirits, capricious daughters of the sea who could bring good luck or bad.
The Isy B. Caribbean mermaid collection tells the tale of the island girl who dreams of becoming a mermaid. We follow her transition from creature of the land and sun into a creature of the sea until her full metamorphosis into Mami Wata - The Goddess of the oceans.
It was an amazing experience to watch the story unfold through the clothes on thr runway. I love it when a concept comes together!
This was the first year fashion design was featured as a category. The traveling distance between the Caribbean Islands makes it difficult for designers in the region to network and be inspired by each other and Carifesta provided a fantastic opportunity for designers from as far a field as Cayman, Venezuela Guadaloupe and Haiti to meet for the first time and see the work that we are each doing in our various countries.
One of the most interesting observations for me was how Caribbean influenced fashion has a slightly different flavour in each country. The themes are the same, with similar issues of Caribbean identity and the shared history reflected as a common thread in the designs but the expression of each was so varied and so exciting for me to witness as a designer.
The festival atmosphere and the general excitement made it a fabulous event to be a part of and I'm grateful to the Cayman Islands Cultural Foundation for choosing my portfolio of work to enter into the festival.