I am certain I have let enough time pass to have fully digested my very first Boston Caribbean Fashion Week (2 mos to be exact, lol) and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The CEO, Althea Blackford, seems to really know her audience well and used her resources and time very wisely to orchestrate a night of Caribbean fashion and shopping. While I am still on a quest to find that perfect balance between urban & high end I realize that productions of this caliber require a large piggy bank and a truly dedicated staff. The venue pulled no qualms and was exactly as described, it included a vendor section and small bar.
Of course there are always things to pick at but I really felt a sense of pride and passion emanating from Althea that somehow overshadowed any dislikes I had about the evening. Blackford is such a "people person" and her dynamic hosting skills were impressive considering she also ran the entire backstage production. Swag bags, great music, and people watching kept the crowd entertained during the intermission between designers. I thought the vendors were selected a little haphazardly (perhaps out of necessity for additional funding?) especially since some of them seemed very disinterested in actually selling their wares. This could also be a result of the lack of purchases from attendees, if the sellers aren't motivated and the consumers aren't buying it makes for a very odd dynamic. I think that is always the challenge when fashion events choose to have vendors It can either come across like an exclusive shopping experience or a flee market bizarre, as mentioned this show was right in the crossroad.
Onto the fashion! It was absolutely a mixed bag of swimsuits, menswear and carnival costumes (Mas Camp) which is okay because the event was more of a showcase. I typically only expect a cohesive design experience when it is a single collection showing. The program included exciting dance performances and a raffle. Nicole Saunders and M2A (Married to Art) were by far my favorite designers, they were so well tailored to each model and also very wearable (this was definitely a "ready to wear" crowd).
After attending so many shows this year it has often crossed my mind whether or notshow producers look for audience feedback or welcome constructive criticism - furthermore if they even care.... I would think in order to really cast a wider net a little insight into the thoughts of previous attendees would really foster new and improved plans for future shows (ijs). An anonymous comment card could really go a long way.
As you may have guessed I'm never invited to the after parties so the show ended right on time for me :). My a/v footage was severely compromised by a tragically misplaced spot light so please excuse the lack of decent photos.
Can't wait for next year!