June is the month when Pulse presents its Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW) for local and international fashion houses to showcase their latest collections in fashion capital Kingston. When one thinks of the runway, the vision is most often of models strutting their stuff in front of the world’s press and fashionistas in a way that makes each piece of couture appear more extraordinary than the next in the few seconds provided in the spotlight.
However, pleasing a crowd full of critics at a fashion show like CFW is no easy feat, and the production team and the couturiers have to think outside the box in order to capture the imagination of guests. Here comes the advent of rhythm on the runway, combining tight catwalk choreography and exaggerated movements into a fusion of high-octane music. Music in production is very significant to the designers’ collections because it helps to build the atmosphere and the narrative of the designs, says co-managing director of Pulse Investments Limited, Romae Gordon.
Gordon told The Gleaner, “It (music) pulls everything together, and so when you hear that rhythm, if the designer wants a sombre mood, then the music selected is as such. A lot of research goes into preparing the music for the collection for it to have that resonant message.”
Claudia Pegus, known for avant-garde, high-fashion garments, kick-started the CFW presentations, which explored the theme ‘Collections from Africa and the Caribbean’ inside the tropical forest setting of Villa Ronai, with a unique resort collection called ‘Welcome’. It was accessorised with hats by her yoga teacher-turned-designer, Kassandra Pemberton, modelled to a compilation of groovy soul and funk music. Mutamba followed with a flavour of Afrobeat music; the sounds of Nigerian artiste Skiibii’s Sensima playing low in the background added a little more authenticity to the relaxed mood of the breathable fabrics yet projected the vibrancy of the Afrocentric pieces.