By Suelika N. Buchanan
Brown Sugar Fashions Inc., one of the Federation’s leading fashion house, prepares to produce a mega-fashion show called Sugar Stories on Dec. 18 at the Royal St. Kitts Marriott Ballroom.
Head Designer of the Brown Sugar, Judith Rawlins, explained that the show did not take place last year because she busy with the opening her new boutique, Caribbean Designs, at the Marriott.
“Last year was very busy, it was a lot of work getting the new boutique ready but people have missed the annual Fashion Show that I started in 2001 and we are very excited about this year’s show,” Rawlins said.
Sugar Stories is the name of the event created by Rawlins and the concept is meant to show the link between sugar in St. Kitts and lifestyles.
“Any story about sugar is about me and my life as a Kittitian… the images of sugar stories in my mind, are of the small home in the village, people sitting on steps that lead to the door way, just living the chores of their lives in the public eye,” Rawlins said.
Sugar Stories will tell many stories on the afternoon of the Fashion Show, for instance, the tale of a men’s line will unfold along with the intimate and very sexy lingerie line.
“We’re really going to do the male line, it’s been in demand for years and finally we have gotten the designs down, the men have been asking for it,” she said. “Lingerie is new for us, they will all be signature Brown Sugar Designs, and we’ll be exploring different types of deigns from Carnival shorts to evening wear.
“We’re also going to explore our cultural wear, and give it a modern twist, I think people usually want to be something cultural to wear but don’t because of it is being looked at as old fashion and so we’ll be giving it our touch.”
With the inclusion of a male line, Rawlins will be seeking male models.
“Finding males will be a task, the look for Brown Sugar is a lean tall look, with various complexions,” she said. “But of course, all males can wear Brown Sugar.”
For the female models, the Brown Sugar designer said that she has already contacted some agencies.
“I’ve already started looking for models, and sometimes the quantity is difficult, twelve models is not enough for a fashion show, you need about 20 to 30 models for the show to run smoothly, not using all of the models in each segment of course,” she said.
Rawlins said she is seeking female models with a fresh or striking look.
It is hard to find a model who isn’t afraid to command the stage and exude sexiness, Rawlins said.
“I guess it’s because of how our society is. We’re very conservative and it seems as though our models are afraid to command the stage,” she said. “For this fashion show we need models who are comfortable with the skin their in, who are professional, good attitude on and off stage and those who recognize the importance of the show and means something to them.”
One of the guest designers on the show will be Patrice Barthlette-Henry who will showcase her deigns Raymonde’ Signature Designs.
The models from Image Model Agency out of St. Vincent will also be apart of the show. This is the second time they will make appearances on Brown Sugar’s fashion show.
Rawlins also said that the setting of the show will be one of a kind with the selection of the music and the design of the stage.
Sugar Stories will have runway style stage with a backdrop that reflects the concept of the show, Rawlins said.
“I want to go beyond expectations. The backdrop will have some showcase of human life and while models are onstage their will be artistes performing, I want something that’s different,” she said.
When Rawlins created her first designer line of clothing in 1994 and dubbed it “Brown Sugar” she had symbolically linked the creation of fashion in St. Kitts to our tradition of producing brown sugar locally.
The stories of sugar in St. Kitts is not just a story about cultivation, production and the colours of our landscape, but stories about the people, Rawlins pointed out. She pointed out that how we live, play and pray, the many aspects of their lifestyles although diverse and distinctive, share that uniting thread of families tied to sugar.
Rawlins strongly believes that the stories that are told of this island are all stories of sugar, afterall Brown Sugar fashion designs is another product of St. Kitts that is expected to be here for generations to come.
So in celebration of over ten years of designs by Rawlins, she brings a fashion show that influences our lifestyle, hence Sugar Stories.