The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is helping to shine a spotlight on Cayman’s burgeoning fashion industry with their latest exhibition, Art of Fashion.
The Pink Duck Publishing cast of creatives enjoyed a sneak peek of this fascinating exhibition – now open to members of the public - at the recently held Members’ Preview.
The exhibition showcases a selection of fashionable apparel by Caymanian fashion designers Isy Obi and Jawara Alleyne, offering an exciting fusion of both art and fashion.
Curated by the gallery’s director, Natalie Urquhart, with assistance from gallery staff member Simon Tatum, the exhibition is an examination of the world of art and fashion. The exhibition explores how the two disciplines have simultaneously co-existed and collided, with the boundaries between the two often blurred.
Both fashion designers were commissioned by the gallery to create a series of works in response to the gallery’s Permanent Collection, which features a wide range of artwork, from intuitive art by the likes of Gladwyn “Miss Lassie” Bush and Charles Long, through to the emergence of the Native Sons, and on to the critically engaged contemporary art that is being practiced today.
“Each designer has approached the challenge from a unique viewpoint using colour and pattern, shape and volume, draping, and embellishments to reinterpret some of the most iconic artworks in the island’s history,” Natalie said. “The resulting collections act as both a celebration of the two disciplines, while representing how art and fashion can harmoniously inform one another.”
Isy is the founder of Isy B, an award-winning fashion brand, which was recently named one of the “Caribbean brands to watch” by the Caribbean Journal. Since it’s launch in 2015, Isy B. has gone from strength-to-strength both locally and internationally, with her designs being seen on red carpets across the globe. In 2016, Isy was awarded the Lifestyle Designer of the Year at Phoenix Fashion Week in the U.S., and in 2017 she successfully launched a capsule collection for Evine, the third largest home-shopping network in the U.S.
Jawara is an award-winning Caymanian fashion designer and artist, currently based in London where he has worked with a host of international fashion brands. His work is inspired by Caribbean culture and is an exploration of the attitudes and values that underpin it. The name Jawara means lover of peace. Accordingly, he has created a brand that aims to peacefully and lyrically explore evolving concepts of identity.
The exhibition is free to view and runs until Nov. 30. An extensive programme has also been developed around the exhibition, including lectures, panel discussions, workshops, school tours, and family events. For a full listing of events, visit www.nationalgallery.org.ky
Photograph Credit: Jeremy Walton