During one of the classes we had this semester, I was assigned to present on Haitian fashion. I was excited to have this topic to present on since I am an avid reader of any fashion related material. At first, I was really clueless as I had never known about or heard of any popular fashion trends, designers or models related to Haiti...at least that is what I thought. However, what I discovered about Haitian fashion was really amazing.
The Karabella dress and Guayabera were the results I got from researching on traditional Haitian wear. The Karabella dress is a beautiful pompous dress with layers of ruffles at the skirt section of the dress and it is worn with a head piece that resembles the Gele often worn by West African women. The dress is worn by Haitian women at festivals especially during the Quadrille dance. On the other hand, men wear the Guayabera, a white shirt, which is also worn by men in other Caribbean states.
|Karabella dress and Guayabera shirt|
Carnaval De Fleurs, a festival celebrated by Haitians that seeks to highlight Haiti's flora, really caught my eye during my research. The festival which is celebrated annually is full of energy and color! Residents dress up in flower-like costumes and put on complementing accessories to brighten their outfits. The women also apply heavy glam make-up by putting on popping eye shadow colors and shouting lipstick hues. The festival was also established to boost Haiti's tourism.
|Carnaval De Fleurs|
Stella Jean is one of the notable fashion designers from Haiti whose work I fell in love with. She uses traditional fabrics with rich patterns and with the help of Italian high-fashion technology, she creates clothes with a contemporary design. Stella, a Haitian-Italian, uses her brand to develop Haiti by creating sustainable jobs for Haitian artisans and craftsmen.
|Stella Jean designs|
Another notable fashion designer of Haitian descent is Hassan Pierre. His garments are constructed with organic, eco-friendly fabrics, natural dyes and recycled zippers. His work has even been featured in world class magazines like Vogue and Marie Claire.
|Hassan Pierre's designs|
Former fashion model and actress, Gracelle Beauvais (below) is also of Haitian descent. I have seen her in a few of Hollywood movies but I previously had no idea of her origin. She has also appeared in Essence magazine and modeled for well-known cosmetic companies like Avon, Mary Kay and Clariol.
Haiti also has a fashion magazine called Amour Creole that also offers readers the latest in movies and music along with expert relationship on relationships, family, careers and so much more.
Like many other countries, Haiti also hold an annual fashion week which they call Ayiti Fashion Week (A.F.W) that brings together major players in the Haitian fashion industry and promotes Haitian designs and culture.