Designer Island LOVES LIST 2014

Published on: November 22, 2014

The common thread woven among the items on this year’s Designer Island Loves List 2014 is the attention to detail, timeless beauty and bespoke style.

Curated from the markets, exhibits, bookstores and pop-up shops we loved this year, these 12 list-makers are some of the finest items in Caribbean fashion; jewelry; visual and literary arts.

The DI Loves List 2014 is your guide to local gift-shopping and a map for creating priceless moments to treasure.

Whether for your loved ones or yourself, for Christmas or gifting throughout the year ahead, here’s a look at some of the beautiful things you may have missed this year.

Check out our favourites, all beautiful items by talented Caribbean makers.
 


• JADE DRAKES JEWELRY

Why we love it:

Jade doesn't simply make handmade jewelry, Jade Drakes makes masterpieces and art infused not only with personal attention and love, but also stories. Bequeath yourself something special and timeless, adorn beloved ears, collars and elegant fingers with Jade’s handmade pieces. Made in gold, silver, brass and copper, found objects, vintage hand embroidered lace antique door knobs and precious stones, each piece is a quality investment made in love.

Where to find it: 
jadedrakes.com

 

• ADAM'S POTTERY

Why we love it: 

We love Adam’s functional wares for their humble yet beautiful design and craftsmanship. The artistry and colour added to these well made cups and bowls make Adam’s pottery not only great Christmas gifts for your loved ones but are perfect as house-warming or wedding gifts as well.

Where to get it: 
The Gallery, Long Circular Mall, Trinidad.
adam-ceramics.com
etsy.com/shop/AdamWilliamsCeramics

 


• COCOBEL CHOCOLATES

Why we love it:

Cocobel Chocolates are artisanal creations of Isabel Brash. These delectable darlings are the perfect gift for the sweet tooth you know or the perfect satisfactions for your own special cravings. These chocolates come in a wide variety of flavor profiles as well as Christmas-specials like Sorrel Bark (candied sorrel with single estate spiced white chocolate and dark chocolate swirls!) they’re designed to look as amazing as they taste. As much as you may only want to sit and stare at Cocobel Chocolates, you won’t regret eating them either.

Where to get it:
cocobelchocolate.com

37 Fitt Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, W.I.

Phone / +1 (868) 622 1196
Fax / +1 (868) 222 0022
Email / cocobel@cocobelchocolate.com

 

• THE CLOTH - 'The Attention Skirt'

Why we love it:
The Cloth is no stranger to colour and pattern and it’s what we love about the brand. The stand out item at the most recent collection was the Attention Skirt. This flirty-eye catcher made of layers and layers of colourful and graphic fabric caught the eye of both international style icon Shala Monroque and Vogue at Caribbean Fashion Week 2014 in Jamaica. The 'Attention skirt' was also one of the 'Looks Loved' at Caribbean Fashion Week by Essence magazine. The length of this skirt adds to its playfulness and makes it easier to pull off even if you’re a blacks-and-whites kind of girl - this is a collectible in its own right. DI Style Suggestion: Pair it with a great white shirt and cute flats and you’re good to go!

Where to get it:
facebook.com/theclothcaribbean

The cloth PROPAGANDA space, 24 Erthig road Belmont.
Opening hours Monday to Friday from 11 am - 6 pm, Saturday 10am - 3pm
(868) 721-7616




 


• MEILING'S KITE DRESS

Why we love it:
We love the structured yet easy dressing of Meiling’s Kite dress. This ‘sneaky caftan’ as described by Trinidadian stylist and fashion girl Kathryn Nurse on her blog Cities and Islands is a great way to introduce designer style into your closet without fear. It’s a shape most anyone can pull off and was yet another Caribbean designer item worn by fashion icon Shala Monroque. Mentioned by American fashion stylist and editor Rachel Zoe as one of the 10 best summer looks of 2015, we think the Kite Dress is trend-defying, quality design - a fashion statement we can make about many Meiling items.

Where to find it:
Meiling’s studio at 6 Carlos Street, Woodbrook, Trinidad.
meilinginc.com
email: info@meilinginc.com       

868 627 6975

 

• RACHEL ROSS JEWELRY

Why we love it:
A respected jeweler with over 25 years under her belt, Rachel Ross is not new to jewelry- making although her work may be new to some of the younger collectors of artisanal local jewelry as its been accompanying pop up shops my Meiling and Aisling regularly this year and most recently at the Meiling|Aisling 2015 collection launch at ‘Home’ just this November. Rachel Ross’ pieces are structural wearable art with an almost gypsy-like feel. Layer on her gold and silver bangles, add the silver cuffs with the large precious stone inlay to your look. These are some of our favourite Rachel Ross pieces.

Where to get it?
The Gallery, Long Circular Mall, Trinidad.
facebook.com/pages/Rachel-Ross-Jewellery

 



• MOULDED MEMORIES By Joshua Lue Chee Kong

Why we love it:
Joshua’s collection of sculpted clay pieces opened to a packed first night at Medulla Art Gallery this year and almost sold out. The figurines ranged from bold framed works to lovely glass-encased miniatures for your mantle of stand-alone pieces, perfect for the home or office. If you’re a seasoned art collector looking for something fresh and new or just starting your collection, these pieces are the best in attainable art. We’re excited to add some more of Josh’s Memories to our growing collections.

Where to find it:
facebook.com/pages/Joshua-Lue-Chee-Kong
 

• SMALL MAN FILM

Why we love it?
The Small Man film debuted at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in 2013 and trained its spotlight straight into 2014 with appearances at other Film Festivals and Season 1 of AfroPop. This enchanting web-short by film-maker Mariel Brown captures the personal account of Richard Mark Rawlins who reveals the real and imagined worlds of his Trinidadian father and maker Kenwyn Rawlins. From simple push toys to elaborate 1/16th scale waterline battleship models and dockyards, miniature furniture and dolls houses, the senior Mr. Rawlins lovingly constructed all of his pieces from everyday raw-materials. This priceless short isn’t for purchase but a DI LOVE and worth seeing for sure.

Where to find it?
​Watch on youtube!

 

• ILLUMINATED POSTURE By Clayton Rhule

Why we love it?
We loved ‘Illuminated Posture’ by artist and designer Clayton Rhule from his Dwelling exhibit in June this year. We dare to call ‘Illuminated posture’ a  lamp - Its hand-crafted design is a functional work of art and was by far the most-whispered about and photographed piece in his exhibit. This fancy fixture fits right at home in any stylish dwelling.

Where to get it?
crhule.com

 


• BOOKS - (1) READY, SET HATCH! By Jeunanne Alkins.

Why we love it:
Children’s books can be a difficult thing. Finding a balance between good looking and attractive, educational but not a text-book is quite a challenge. Jeunanne Alkins, brainchild and loving mother of the brand ESPjr has written and produced the perfect balance. The exceptionally illustrated and well thought out book tells the story of the leather back turtle. The protagonist is aptly named Hatch and the book is too adorable for words. Even if you don’t have children of your own this children’s book is the must have that will make a perfect present especially for your Caribbean friends abroad. Getting a copy for yourself for that just in case moment is definitely something that you must consider.

Where to get it:
This book is affordably priced and available at
Paper Based Bookshop

10 Nook Avenue,
Saint Ann'S, Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad And Tobago

 

 

• KIDS WEAR FROM:  SAN SARAI & SEW LISA KIDS

Why we love it:
It’s good to see kids being dressed like kids again, instead of mini versions of adults. Sew Lisa and San Sarai’s kids clothing lines offered colourful and fun, fashionable options for both the boys and the girls.

San Sarai launched at Style Spirit earlier this year and stole the show with happy and funky little tots strutting down the runway. For the fashionable mums and dads who don’t want to exclude their little ones, this clothing and accessories line is a nice harmony of cute kids with a fun edge.

Lisa Gittens relaunched her brand Sew Lisa with a new look at a Pop Up shop at 6 Carlos but it’s her kids line has been attracting more attention than she expected, with requests to expand to little boys clothes as well. This fun, colourful and patterned filled brand will have your fashionable little ones looking like spunky ones in clothes they’ll love to wear.
 

Where to get it:
San Sari
facebook.com/sansaraiwear
sansarai.com
Shop online at: nomorefashionvictims.com

Sew Lisa

facebook.com/sewlisagittens 
Shop online at: nomorefashionvictims.com


 


• BOOKS - (2) WRITING DOWN THE VISION: ESSAYS & PROPHECIES By Kei Miller

Why we love it:
This book takes us back to the days of Saturday and Sunday evening visits from the by name Aunties and Uncles on the verandah with some drinks and old talk. Kei Miller delivers his work in such a conversational tone that we nearly put it down half-way to go buy a hammock to hang in our verandah and pretend we were old talking with the writer himself! He allows the reader to run through a full spectrum of emotion as you read about interviews, moving to Scotland, his mother and assumptions made by society.

Where to get it:
This must have can be bought at:
Paper Based Bookshop
10 Nook Avenue,
Saint Ann'S, Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad And Tobago


•  IMMORTELLE BEAUTY ESCENTIALS
The newest Caribbean luxury beauty products from Immortelle Beauty

Why we love it:
No overpowering sweet or soapy scents here. We love the expansion of the beauty products from Immortelle Beauty — shower gels, body sprays and lotions in a variety of fresh scents like jasmine and evergreen, agave and hibiscus, citrus and granadilla and tea and thyme.  

Her home fragrance, the AMBRÉ candle,a warm amber musk with just a hint of sweet ginger is a particular favourite. Stock up on these, we promise you won’t regret it.

Where to get it:
i
mmortellett.com
facebook.com/ImmortelleBeauty
You can also shop her earlier collections online at:
 nomorefashionvictims.com

 

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Too many people on your shopping list?  

Take a look at what we loved in our DI LOVES 2013 List with makers and designers who debuted in 2013 such as Aisling Knits, Lend & Borough Bags and Micha Gomes Jewelry.

 

~ Happy Shopping & Seasons Greetings from Designer Island.

 


 






[Special Photography credits: Cocobel by: Nadia Huggins & Isabel Brash, Meiling black kite dress by: Shannon Alonzo, The Cloth by: Adrian Richards.]

To the Designer Island Team, a special thank you to Indra Ramcharan for the literary selection and co-editor Raeanne Watts.







    






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Design Studio: Tanya Marie

Digital Partner: Nicholas Ragoobar