This past Thursday, Bahamian fashion designer, Cardell McClam premiered his newest collection inspired by the iconic Frida Khalo. Frida Kahlo de Rivera (Spanish pronunciation:[ˈfɾiða ˈkalo]; born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón; 6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954) was a Mexican artist who painted many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist.
Hosted at the Courtyard Marriott, the night began with a cocktail hour hosted by Perez Clarke, who held stimulating discussions with guests about HIV and it's effects on the Bahamian population. Many vendors set up shop, while we were treated to a sensational Bachatta by the Maydi Dancers.
As always with a Cardellicious fashion show, the fashion show began with a provocative video, to set the stage for the story that would unfold on the runway. The video clip was taken from a scene in the movie about Frida Khalo played by Salma Hayek. The video depicted what appeared to be the death of Frida Khalo followed by a tribute, but it went on way too long, with the gist being understood within the first minute.
An artist by the name of Positive Energy took centre stage to deliver a prolific spoken word piece. We saw another seemingly misplaced video before a new artist named Danette performed her studio single, Melanin to the Core. In an effort to raise awareness on the facts about HIV,
Cardell hosted a round table discussion asking tough hitting questions like, “Would you date a person who is HIV positive?” The answer shocked everyone, when epidemiologist, Glenise Johnson said, yes she would, because if a person is taking their medication properly, the antiretrovirals would prevent the infection from passing on to someone else. It gave everyone a lot to think about. We watched one more video with Cardellicious designers Cardell McClam and Christopher explaining the purpose of the new line. I loved that we were going to see pieces meant to be worn in everyday settings that we will soon be able to buy in a boutique. I can’t wait to show you the piece that I fell in love with!
We were told that the colours of the night were Blueberry blue and lemon yellow, but we saw a lot more than that. At first the men’s apparel appeared to be random pieces that didn’t belong together in a collection, because none of them shared a commonality, function or theme, but they were still very nice looks. I didn’t get a Mexican vibe from the clothing, but they do look like pieces men can add to their wardrobe.
The blue suit was my favourite men’s look because I love turbans and fitted suits. I also loved the fuschia combo with the large black belt. I felt they were the strongest looks in terms of visual appeal and marketability. Then came the women’s looks, which really blew me away. Naturally I didn’t LOVE every piece, but this collection really spoke to the theme, and I felt it flowed wonderfully. I’ll save my favourite pieces for last.
Like I said, these looks, looked as though they belonged in the same collection. Bold colours, powerful lines and structures - I was able to see the Frida Khalo influence in these pieces and they were well done. These next two pieces I gave a little nickname: The one on the left is what you would wear to your ex’s funeral, and the one on the right is what you would wear to your ex’s wedding. You know, THAT ex. Am I wrong? Or just petty? You be the judge.
That leaves my favourite looks of the night. Everything about these looks screamed fantastic: the hair, the makeup, the models. I loved these looks because they looked the most ready to wear. That’s pretty much what I look for in fashion. It’s all well and good when a designer makes something couture that belongs on the cover of a magazine, but what happens to it afterwards? If a look transcends from the runway to my closet, I’m sold. The first look is a beautiful beach cover-up that looks luxurious to lounge in. Then there is a simple black tuxedo look that I love (I told you I love a fitted suit). It’s on my bucket list to own a matching fitted suit one day. Then there is a sexy long sleeved dress that screams DATE NIGHT! That’s the piece I want the most!
What did you think of the looks? Share whether you think this collection was a hit or miss in the comment section below. If you missed any or want to see them on the runway, check out my live stream here for a full rundown! On Friday I’ll have the complete breakdown of EVERYONE nominated for an Elevation Award in the 2019 Award Show, so stay tuned for that! Will I be nominated again? Only one way to find out!