What you wear says something about who you are to people. Your outfit is a form of self-expression. It can reflect your level of confidence and your mood–whether you are daring, fierce, confident, deliberate, purposeful or happy.
It was no different at the ceremonial opening of Parliament’s Fourth Session last Monday at the Red House in Port-of-Spain when parliamentarians and other special guests donned their outfits and stepped out.
In clothing reflecting their mood or what they stood for, prominent personalities faced stifling heat, traffic restrictions, and a heavy security presence to attend the event.
Her Excellency President Christine Kangaloo, wearing a sleek, tailored ivory pants suit and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar who donned a fuchsia dress, were fashionably present. Mrs Sharon Rowley, the wife of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, wore an eye-catching navy and white outfit.
Stepping outside of tradition, Minister of Planning and Development Pennelope Beckles-Robinson donned a white Tahari jacket which she bought in the United States.
“I’ve been in Parliament for a long time, and traditionally it’s always been a lot of black; as a lawyer, that’s the colour. But I thought white is also a nice colour,” she said.
For Minister of Housing and Urban Development Camille Robinson-Regis, her choice of colour was more than for the sake of appearances. She wore a purple dress for someone she loved dearly.
“I chose the colour because one of my nephews just died. And so, I’m in mourning. I didn’t want to wear black. His favourite colour was purple. I have a dressmaker in Arima, and she did [the dress] for me,” Robinson-Regis shared before entering the Red House.
At the reception, Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Sport and Community Development and MP for Tobago West, who wore a pink dress, stated why she chose the vivid colour for the ceremony.
“I like the colour pink. I dress according to my mood, and it’s a new day for us, a new chapter as it relates to Parliament. So I chose the colour that makes me feel happy. I bought it at Style57 Fashion in Tobago,” she revealed.
Also, amongst the crowd was activist and former temporary opposition senator Marsha Walker, who spoke about her choice to wear a yellow jacket.
“I chose yellow (also the UNC’s colour code) because I’ve been very vocal against my political leader (Persad-Bissessar) right now—I love Caesar, but I love Rome more. I do love the country and want the best for the party. This is me reassuring everyone that I’ve not crossed the floor, that I still love UNC,” she stated.
Speaking on where she got her jacket, Walker said, “I got [the jacket] from ITNAC (Is There Not A Cause); it’s an NGO. You can donate clothes and on the flip side, you can go on and purchase clothes. This cost me $25! And I get to know when I shop there that all the funds go towards feeding the homeless, towards a good cause.”
–reporting by Matthew Chin