Gems of Jamaica

Top Jamaican fashion designs specially photographed on Jamaica's north coast by Steve Cohn

  • Rock, in red, green and gold with stripe accents ($35.00). By Denise Heffes- Martin for Spunk. Accessories from Xaymaca. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Scoop neck sun-dress, hot tomato cotton knit. Mijan Interlocks for Caribbean Clothing. Hand-painted silk scarf ($180.00) by Ritula Frankel: fish motif on black background. Multi- coloured glass bead earrings ($10.00) by Virginia Burke for Gia Accessories. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Shakira's Star of David hat ($5.00), Yard T-shirt ($8.00) and shorts ($27.00) are screen-printed on cotton. From Yard Gift Shop. Calabash coin bags with hand-knit finish, hand-painted, and beaded bracelet and earrings from Xaymaca. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Shakira's Star of David hat ($5.00), Yard T-shirt ($8.00) and shorts ($27.00) are screen-printed on cotton. From Yard Gift Shop. Calabash coin bags with hand-knit finish, hand-painted, and beaded bracelet and earrings from Xaymaca. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Pleasant top and full skirt in 100% cotton gauze with lace inset ($75.00-100.00). By Ivy Ralph.  Hand- carved coconut shell earrings ($4.00-10.00) by Collette Garrick for Wanders. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Left: U-back tank dress in mid-calf length ($22.00). Mijan Interlocks for Caribbean Clothing. Multi- coIoured glass bead earrings ($10.00) by Virginia Burke for Gia Accessories. Right: Bodysuit or Catsuit with hip wrap ($22.00). Hand-painted silk scarf ($180. 00) by Ritula Frankel: hibiscus and butterflies on zebra print background. Multi- coloured glass bead earrings ($10.00) by Virginia Burke for Gia Accessories. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Twisted bra top ($8.00) and pareo skirt ($20.00). By Mijan interlocks. Hand-painting "face" motif on coconut-shell earrings ($15.00) and matching bracelets ($20.00 each) by Virginia Burke for Gia Accessories. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Bandana plaid baseball cap ($7.00), oversized men's shirt ($34.00) and baggy trousers ($35.00). Pat Wright for Wright Style. Plaid shoes by Bridget. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Bandana plaid baseball cap ($7.00), oversized men's shirt ($34.00) and baggy trousers ($35.00). Pat Wright for Wright Style. Plaid shoes by Bridget. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Janice's hand-woven vest ($36.00), shorts ($22.00), hat ($16.00) and back-pack in bold  stripes and African prints are in the colours of the Rastafari. From Yard Gift Shop. Beads and crystals on a leather thong. Necklace by Collette Garrick for Wanders. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Pleasant top and full skirt in 100% cotton gauze with lace inset ($75.00-100.00). By Ivy Ralph.  Hand- carved coconut shell earrings ($4.00-10.00) by Collette Garrick for Wanders. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Batik sundress in 100% cotton. By Ivy Ralph. Wooden balls with glass bead earrings by Virginia Burke for Gia Accessories ($10.00). Sandals ($25.00) by Bridget. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Unconstructed jacket ($56.00) over short sleeveless sheath dress ($30.00) with matching straw fedora hat ($18.00), all in bandana plaid. Pat Wright for Wright Style at Wright Wear. Plaid shoes by Bridget. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Jean Harlow-style swimsuits in candy-floss pink ($ 105.00) and matching two-piece in chartreuse ($78.00). By Denise Heffes- Martin for Spunk Swimwear's Footprints Foil Collection. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Roots, in red, green and gold with black accents ($ 32.50). By Denise Heffes-Martin for Spunk's Roots, Rock, Reggae Collection. Wooden hand-painted and glazed pins by Magic Toys and straw hat from Xaymaca. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Batik Denalbo pants and tank top in 100% cotton ($50.00-75.00) by Ivy Ralph. Wooden balls with glass bead earrings by Virginia Burke for Gia Accessories ($10.00). Photograph by Steve Cohn

Jamaica these days is sizzling with creative energy and potential, and its leading fashion designers are long past the point of copying established styles and ideas from beyond the Caribbean. Instead, they are creating an island style unmistakably their own.

To do that, they are drawing on a wide range of resources. Some are looking to Jamaica’s historical and cultural roots: the results can be seen here in Ivy Ralph’s cotton cutwork, Wright’s bandana plaid designs, Yard’s collection of Rastafarian colour schemes, and Spunk’s Roots, Rock, Reggae collection.

In the fabric art of Ritula Frankel and the vivid tropical colours of Ivy Ralph’s batik you can see the obvious influence of the island environment, reflected also in the preference for local, natural materials in many of the accessories.

Mijan’s knits successfully adapt a popular universal fabric to tropical conditions. Clean in line and colour, here are sensual designs and an economy of purpose which allow garments to be mixed and matched to make the wearer equally at home in an elegant restaurant or on the beach. While in Spunk’s Footprints Foil Collection of swimwear, you find a sense of playful theatricality that would do credit to a top European fashion house.

Photography: Steve Cohn

Stylist: Michelle Haynes Make-up: Sandra Baylis Models: Janice Whittingham, Shakira Chin

Prices quoted in US dollars

LOCATION

The Sans Souci Hotel & Spa at Ocho Rios, on Jamaica’s north coast, was host to this special BWee Caribbean Beat fashion shoot. This elegant five-star beach resort provides a full range of sports and watersports, excursions and entertainment, as well as top-rated conference facilities and its own specialised spa services and personal fitness programmes.

P. O. Box 703, Ocho Rios, St Ann, jamaica tel. 809 974-2353 fax 809 974-2544 North America

tel. 800 654-1 FDR fax 516-223-4815

THE DESIGNERS

Spunk Creations

20A South Avenue, Kingston 10 (809 929-6101)

Yard Gift Shop

Shop 4, Island Plaza, Ocho Rios (809 974-2877)

Wright Wear

1 Balmorol Avenue, Kingston 10 (809 926-4796)

Caribbean Clothing

13 Oxford Terrace, Kingston 5 (809 929-0314)

Ivy Ralph

35 Temple Meeds, Jack’s Hill Road, Kingston 6 (809 927-8332)

ACCESSORIES

Xaymaca

Lawrence Chang, 16 Oxford Terrace, Kingston 5 (809929-3767)

Ritula Hand Painted Silks

Ritula Frankel, 68 Hope Road, Kingston 6 (809 927-7970)

Gia Accessories

(809 927-7519)

‘Wanders’

Collette Garrick, 3 Queensway Road, Kingston (809926-6071 )

Bridget

1 Abbeydale Road, Kingston 10