Caribbean fashion at its best should be seen in the Caribbean, and the Dominican Republic has taken a leading role in championing this notion with the fashion showcase known to the world as Domincana Moda.
An annual event, Dominicana Moda is the fastest growing fashion fixture in the Caribbean and Latin American region, and is the official fashion week of the Dominican Republic. From October 20th-25th some of the regions’ finest designers and fashion brands convened for a truly Caribbean-cum-vogue affair.
On October 21st I found myself in the Santo Domingo ready for a hearty serving of Dominican creativity. Since I missed my flight the day before, I missed the non-Dominican shows. Admittedly, my interest selfishly targeted the menswear which presented itself in the later days.
When the menswear did appear, from shirts to shorts and suits to sportswear, the Dominican sartorial pulse palpitated. Women’s designers dabbled slightly, presenting shirting and swimwear options and as for the menswear creators… they plunged in fully with varied offerings.
After consuming it all (sans the non DR designers), here’s a spotlight of the top three menswear designers at Dominicana Moda, in ranking order.
Jose Jhan’s SS’15 showing was fire. From the heat of the sunny morning (as Jhan opted for an outdoor forenoon show), to the heat of the blazing colours in Jhan’s 80s and futuristic fashion mash up, his collection was Caribbean menswear at its best. Designated “Let’s Get Physical” the collection was an assortment of sportswear and sartorial pieces and one of the largest showings at DM15 with 45 looks. Jhan was inspired by the parody of Olivia Newton-John’s famous track “ Physical” and the colour inspirations were perceptible. Fluorescent hues of greens, oranges and pinks were painted across the collection, mainly in sportswear with bright blues, reds and greens, and muted browns shining in the tailored options. Suiting abounded with double breasted and single button jackets prevailing and across board, Jhan’s detailing and finishing were stellar. From the fabric joining and the French seaming, to the military elements on shorts and jackets, the clothing had true sartorial edge. Bravo Jose… job well done.
The hype around Karlos Nunez began before his showing commenced. Five antique desks outfitted with old typewriters lined the catwalk’s center, hinting at an office of writers at work. When five models dressed in five assorted white shirts, brown trousers and driver hats began their stride down the runway the era was revealed. Nunez took us to his version of the 1920s with coordinated looks all channeling the businessman on his beat. Leveraging a colour palette mainly of beige, olive green, black, gray and brown, Nunez’s collection, entitled “In Tempo”, veered strongly in the direction of modern versions of professional attire and eveningwear. All ensconced in classic touches for the younger chap and the seasoned gentleman alike. Hats, scarves and canes were aplenty, serving as the accessory of choice and compounding a British-like feel across the entire showing.
Then there was Mauricio Alberino, whose restrained embrace of floral and animal prints delivered a resort-esque offering fit for the jetsetter and the tourist looking to showcase a bit of personality. Inspired by the island of Capri (is an island located in the Campania region of Italy), Alberino wielded softer fabrics and prints to create a collection of resortwear and tailored pieces for the man about town. Playing heavily in the tropical lane, Alberino’s colour palette traversed earth tones, blues and whites all seen as separate pieces and united in the print options. While others tapped production elements, for added impact, Alberino inserted famous telenovela stars Lino Martone, Liannet Borrego and Mauricio Henao as models and that had the crowd going wild.