Meiling: Shirts For All Seasons

Recent work by Meiling, the Trinidad-based designer who successfully exports her garments across the Caribbean and beyond, photographed by Steve Cohn

  • A shirt and vest in one: white linen with pearlized buttons, and matching white linen trousers. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Hand faggotting adorns the front panel and sleeves of this stylish white linen shirt. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • A moody batiked and beaded vest with a seascape design, worn with black linen trousers. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Cutout inserts on the sleeves in organza, with diamante buttons, give a special style to this white linen shirt, worn with white linen trousers. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • The batik and beaded vest with its fruit design perfectly offsets the white linen of the shirt, with its hand faggotting down the sleeves and front panel. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • Hand faggotting across the shoulders and diamante buttons characterise this white linen tunic, worn with matching white linen trousers. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • This elegant white linen smock is decorated with organza yoke and organza roses. Photograph by Steve Cohn
  • This sleeveless shirt in white linen gains its flair from its organza ruffle and diamante buttons. Photograph by Steve Cohn

The Caribbean is rich in talented designers, but few have combined creativity with business flair as successfully as Meiling. Her clothes are exported from her Trinidad base across the Caribbean – to Barbados and Jamaica, Puerto Rico and St Thomas, the Cayman Islands – and beyond, to centres like New York and Dallas.

A veteran in fashion design, she launched out on her own 20 years ago and has made her name with the style and professionalism of her products. Her trademark is loving and detailed handwork – faggotting, beading, smocking – and a simple, classic elegance. Her clothes are highly versatile, easily adapted to casual or formal use; her chosen materials are the cottons and linens best suited to the Caribbean lifestyle.

Visitors to Port of Spain can find a wide range of clothes at her shop in the Kapok Hotel.

Photography: Steve Cohn

Hair and make-up: Noelle Attaway

Location: Jane’s Harbour Villa, St James, Barbados (Jennifer Alleyne Ltd, tel. 809 432-1159)