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Caribbean designers impress at Barbados Fashion Week

CARIBBEAN CREATIVITY: Designer Kristin Frazer left models a piece from her latest collection

The eye-catching designs were showcased at the recently held International Fashion Festival - Barbados Fashion Week could easily have been snatched from the runway and worn to the beach or to an upscale all-inclusive event.

Among those featured was fashion designer Kristin Frazer of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. She showcased her 10th anniversary collection Zion, under the fashion label Trefle. Here the designer talks about her ambitions and how she wants to make the women wearing her pieces to feel.

Describing her collection as “nice, easy and beautiful”, Frazer presented monokinis and flowing dresses in colourways ranging from coral and blue to red and lime green. The highlight of her capsule collection was an original print named Eustatia, after one of the islands in the BVI.

“We create all our prints; we’ve been doing so since 2015. That is something we decided to do to step out of the box and make us a little bit more eye-catching not just for the local and regional markets but for the international market because we are export ready,” she said, adding that she caters to wholesale and retail buyers.

“I really want to be able to stand out, especially coming from a small country with less than 30,000 people. So if I want to go international, I really, really got to stand out,” she added.

Worth mentioning is the impeccable fit of her swimwear, something she attributes to her strong sewing skills.

BEACHWEAR: One of the designs from Kristin Frazer's label Trefle

“Well, I am a seamstress first then a fashion designer. When I design I try to think about different body types...I am not only catering to Caribbean women, I am catering to European women when the tourists come down. I am catering to the American woman so I try to design things to fit all the body types without stretching myself too far.

“A swimsuit is a swimsuit, but because I am a seamstress I try to engineer the best way to make sure a swimsuit truly fits and not just truly fit a size four and size six. The swimsuits that I do start at size four and go up to size 20. I also add what is called high powered mesh for tummy control to provide more support. I don’t use any underwires, I use soft foam paddings so your nipples don’t show through.

"I try to come up with those little details that matter and that count so when a woman puts on a Trefle swimsuit, she really feels comfortable and she’s ready to roll…my swimsuits are a bit more conservative but they really help to make you feel empowered and beautiful, so I try to standout in that way,” Frazer said.

Extending a “huge thanks” to the Caribbean Export Development Agency for its support, the fashion designer added: “It’s really coming together in terms of trying to get Caribbean designers into the mainstream and international markets. I enjoyed the fashion workshop also so I really want to say thanks.”

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) supported the designers who participated in the fashion showcase held on October 27 2018 at Bellevue Plantation, Barbados, with funding from the European Union via the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP).

As well as Frazer, The Caribbean Export Development Agency also lent support to designers Kimya Glasgow of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Indira Moss of The Bahamas; Roy Thompson of Barbados and Henré Designs of Antigua and David André of Haiti.

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