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fashiona Caribbean designers get Rome ? Paris ? New York These are among the fashion meccas that attract movie stars, moguls and the mega- rich. Now, there is a new destination that's commanding attention on the world style stage: the Caribbean. In the wake of Jamaica launching its Caribbean Fashion Week in 2001, a host of islands have moved fashion to the forefront of its attractions along with sun, sea and sand. One of the most recent additions is the US Virgin Islands. VI Fashion Week, the brainchild of model, entrepreneur and co- producer Vern St Aimie- Tonge and Chief Executive Henry Marsham Jr, attracted a distinguished cadre of designers last October and previewed the region's fashion forecast for the coming year. " Caribbean fashion," defi nes Tonge, " is a fusion of culture and creativity. Similar to music it tells a story. The tale is of each individual island and its people and that of the Caribbean as a whole. Caribbean fashion is colourful and free, free to be expressive of one's self." TO FIND OUT HOW THAT TRANSLATES TO THE CLOTHES WE'LL SEEK OUT THIS YEAR, LIME MET 6 OF THE CARIBBEAN'S NOTABLE DESIGNERS… MIKE JONES DEAN BARNES A fusion of culture and creativity, Caribbean fashion is starting to make waves on the world stage. Carol Bareuther talks to six of the region's top designers 56 lime January - March 2009

FASHION January - March 2009 lime 57 MIKE JONES 1 Roger Gary CLASSICAL ELEGANCE " For 2009, it is all about comfort and elegance," says Roger Gary. " Choosing the right fabric is key and the right silhouette that complements your personality and body type. In terms of color, mahogany/ chocolate is the new black. It's fl attering on any skin tone. Well- tailored pants in luxury fabrics with a smashing top and accessories and a woman can be elegant for a night out." Born in Guyana, educated in Jamaica and currently residing in New York, Gary's current designs embody this trend, but with an added twist. " My latest collection is inspired by an ' imaginary visit to a tropical forest at midnight', as I like to describe it, as well as many visits to my birthplace, Guyana," he explains. " I am also known for the use of colours – defi nitely my Caribbean connection." Gary's newest styles come to life in two colour palletes: mahogany and ivory as well as vibrant fl oral prints, and these are blazoned onto dresses, skirts and pants. Recommended accents include feather headpieces and neck chokers created out of twigs. " Accessories that look as if they were made out of materials found on the forest fl oor," he explains. Gary's designs are found in select stores in New York and Miami. He also custom- designs for his clients. ble MIKE JONES LL