Fashion designer Charlene Sheppard-Duncan spends half the year travelling, mostly to Africa and Asia, where her designs are inspired and made.
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Icons of fashion to be honoured for Emancipation 2011
The Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) has announced its honourees for the 2011 Spirit of Emancipation Award. Heather Jones and Claudia Pegus, two of Trinidad and Tobago’s most prominent and talented fashion designers will receive the award based on their contributions to the industry. They will share the honour with three of Ghana’s foremost designers, Josephine Haylock, Faustina Ansong and fabric designer Grace Adovor, who have sold clothing at the Emancipation Village for the last 11 years.
The Spirit of Emancipation Award is given to individuals whose work embodies the ideals of emancipation. Claudia Pegus has been a mover and shaker of the fashion industry for more than 30 years. After training in Barcelona, Spain in traditional methods of hand crafting, and travelling through Europe, she returned to T&T in the late nineties to launch her very successful couture line, Claudia Pegus. Additionally, her CPFS label produces the ready wear and career apparel lines for retail and wholesale purchases by boutiques, hotels, resorts and corporations.
Pegus specialises in work in various types of silks and hand done embroidery and her clientele includes local, regional and international dignitaries, models, figures, celebrities as well as Caribbean Heads of State. Among her other accomplishments, she was awarded the Chaconia Medal–Silver for her contributions to the fashion industry. She has been closely involved with Caribbean Fashion Week since its inception and is a board member of Fashion Week Trinidad and Tobago. The name Heather Jones is synonymous style and fashion. A veteran, with more than 30 years in the industry, she has successfully taken her creations to the global stage, from the Caribbean to the US and Europe, where she attracts the attention and admiration of legions of fans and fashionistas.
It has been said that Heather Jones succeeds where others don’t because her work is so different, inspired as she states by the “rhythm, movement and passion of the islands”. It is no wonder then that her work had once been described as: “…clothes on an island painted by Gauguin,” by Martha Phillips a renowned icon of the international fashion industry.
Heather Jones’ many awards and accolades include the Chaconia Gold Medal, which she was given in 2009 for her contributions to fashion. In 2005, she was given the Woman of Great Esteem Award by the Woman of Great Esteem Foundation in New York. She was also awarded the International Pret à Porter Style Award, which she won from a field of 27 ready-to-wear designers at the Fall 2002 Collections Fashion Week of the Americas in Miami. Faustina Ansong specialises in Afro-centric designs and fashions. In 2001, she won a contract from Essence by Mail to produce one of her outfits for the US market. She produced nearly 500 pieces of that design for the catalogue. Her design was catalogued in spring 2001 and sold so well that a re-order was made.
Fabric designer, Grace Adovor is well known for her batik and tie dye fabrics and Josephine Haylock is an exceptional talent in the African garment industry. All three Ghanaian women have made the journey to Trinidad for the Emancipation Celebrations every year for the last 11 years. The fashions of these foremost women of fashion will take centre stage at the Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, on July 31 from 6 pm to 9 pm in Celebrating our African Heritage through Fashion - An evening of Fashion and Song. Admission to this event is free.
Featured events for Emancipation 2011 include:
• Afro-Mexican Photo Exhibit, as seen through the lens of Tony Gleason, at the National Library (Nalis in Port-of-Spain – Today); Emancipation Village (July 29 – August 1);
• Lidj Yasu Omowale Emancipation Village, featuring Something Positive Inc African Caribbean Performance Company and local acts;
• The 11th Annual Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Symposium, titled, Africa: The New Business Frontier, Partnering for Success, today, from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre;
• The highly anticipated Pan African concert, Sankofa Looking back to go Forward, on Saturday, July 30, from 8 pm to 11 pm;
• Celebrating our African Heritage through Fashion: An evening of Fashion and Song on Sunday, July 31, from 6 pm to 9 pm;
• Kambule Street Procession on Emancipation Day, August 1, at 6 pm.