Grand Cayman’s largest international fashion event in more than a decade took place Dec. 6 on the Paseo as luxury retailer NKY celebrated its 10 years at Camana Bay.
The ticketed event included food and drink provided by Abacus and proceeds from ticket sales, silent auction and raffle benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands.
Nicola de Lima, owner of NKY Fashion Group with four shops in Camana Bay, teamed up with Markus Mueri, owner of Abacus in Camana Bay, to produce a night to remember.
“NKY Fashion Week was a huge success,” said de Lima. “We celebrated 10 years of fashion, luxury and style in the Cayman Islands with some of our long-standing partners and hosted an amazing event to showcase their collections for Spring 2019.”
Fashion brands featured in the show included BCBGMAXAZRIA, Robert Graham, Hale Bob and Trina Turk.
Each of the brands sent representatives to the show, and for some of the designers, this was their first trip to the Cayman Islands. They were accommodated in style at The Residences at Seafire, the resort-residential development adjacent to Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa on Seven Mile Beach. Prior to the event, the designers and models took part in a lifestyle photo shoot that showcased both high fashion and high design at The Residences at Seafire, with the mixed patterns and textures of noted interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard and vibrant turquoise colours of the Caribbean Sea serving as the backdrop for the models.
On the night of the fashion event, the Paseo in Camana Bay was transformed with a catwalk lined by luxurious cars provided by Mercedes-Benz, one of the main sponsors. The evening began with emcees Richard Barton and Courtney McTaggart wishing both NKY and Camana Bay a happy birthday after 10 years together, noting that the relationship has come full circle as NKY held its first fashion show at Camana Bay a decade ago. That first show also benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Next to the stage were hosts Natalie Urquhart and Ed Chisholm, who each had four outfit changes throughout the night, modelling samples from the featured designers.
Headlining the event and kicking off the fashion show was global brand BCBGMAXAZRIA with 25 local female models showcasing the 2019 spring resort line. The designs by Creative Director Bernd Kroeber and his team featured traditional colour blocking mixed with Middle Eastern-inspired patterns with hard and soft elements, a BCBG mainstay.
The audience was then treated to a performance by 11-year-old Daniela Shibli, the winner of Cayman Music School’s “Magic Voice” singing scholarship 2018. From the first note of her performance, her operatic voice had the crowd fall silent as she sang Christmas carols, ending with “O Holy Night,” which even drew a few emotional tears.
Next, it was time for the men to shine as Robert Graham’s collection, revealed first by emcee Ed Chisolm in a paisley blue and red dinner jacket, displayed the finest in tailoring. Rachel Madris and Dominique Sita, brand representatives, presented tops and shorts full of sophistication, elegance and creativity that work equally well for the office or a seaside happy hour.
Local entertainers Quinn McCrimmon, Flo-Motion and Renee Ravanzzani kept the creativity flowing with an electronic remixed version of “The Nutcracker” featuring a ballet performance, acrobatic dancers and contortionist tricks.
Keeping with this new rhythm, Trina Turk kept the volume up as the women debuted caftans and sundresses in prints and unexpected colour combinations. Dubbed “the tourist,” according to “Vogue” magazine, this new collection focuses on the thrill of exploration and invites fashionistas to be bold. NKY’s own Alex Cote definitely got that message as he returned to represent the men donning a navy jumpsuit, high-fiving Rhonda McCartt and Erin McCauley, executives from Trina Turk, during the encore walk.
Alexandra Yegorova, an international concert pianist and winner of numerous piano competitions in Kazakhstan, Russia and Italy, took a turn to capture the crowd and tickle the ivory keys. As she hit her last note, Urquhart and Chisholm introduced the final collection of the night as local band Hi-Tide made their way to the stage.
Lead singer and local favourite Shane Allenger sang “In the Air Tonight” as the models took their last walk in a collection from Hale Bob presented by Cathy Cooley. Allenger’s soothing voice and the band’s rhythmic beats provided the perfect backdrop for the models to parade the feminine dresses, tunics, maxis and lightweight playful summer designs with intricate details and lines for both casual and evening inspired beach wear.
To close out the night, local performer Rico Rolando hit the stage with Scotch & Soda. Rico can also be seen at next month’s KAABOO festival.
NKY Fashion Week concluded with BCBGMAXAZRIA, Robert Graham, Trina Turk and Hale Bob all hosting trunk shows at NKY, NKY Collections and Fifth on Seven.
De Lima said the representatives of the designers were impressed by what they found on Grand Cayman.
“The teams behind BCBGMAXAZRIA, Robert Graham, Hale Bob and Trina Turk enjoyed seeing our beautiful island, meeting the generous people in our community and they look forward to returning again along with other leading brands for our next event in the near future,” she said.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Cayman chair Pilar Bush expressed her gratitude for the generosity of the businesses that sponsored the event and the members of the public who attended and supported the organisation.
“We are so fortunate to live in a generous community such as Cayman where people give their time and money willingly to many worthy causes,” she said. “As we move into this new year, we hope members of the community will continue to give back by spending time with a child.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters encourages its volunteers to spend an hour each week with children or families that need extra support, Bush said. Members of the community are invited to contact Big Brothers Big Sisters to volunteer or to learn more about becoming a “Big.”