by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Public to vote in April on design to be made Grenada’s National Wear
- 5 fashion designers selected to design male and female formal and casual wear
In April, Grenadians will have the opportunity to vote on which fashion design will be selected to be made Grenada’s National Wear, as part of the final leg of the National Wear competition launched by the Grenada Cultural Foundation in January 2019.
From 14 designers with a total of 18 designs judged, 5 fashion designers were selected and given 2 months to design male and female formal and casual wear that will later be judged. The finalists are:
- Jamila Douglas
- Talisha Alexander
- Jerel Langaigne-Sampson and Mary Joseph
- Vanel Cuffie
- Tamara Prosper
Each designer was presented with a cheque worth $1,000 on Wednesday to assist in covering the cost associated in designing Grenada’s National Wear. $23,000 is up for grabs in prize money for the top 3 places. First place in either category will receive $10,000; second place $5,000 and third place $3,000.
During the registration phase of the competition, designers went through 2 stages: they were required to present a typed synopsis of their design and then present a prototype indicating what the final design will look like.
Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Cultural Foundation, Shirma Wells, said that the designs will be made available in the forms of billboards and posters throughout the various parishes to allow the general public to vote on which design will be selected. She spoke of the importance of this initiative and the criteria that will be considered by designers when developing their designs. “There were certain criteria established going forward as it relates to who we are as people, our culture, taking also into consideration that we are a mixed-race of people with different personality and origins,” Wells said.
The judges involved in the selecting the finalist came from a diverse background and includes a historian, a fashion designer, experts involved in culture and an ethnologist.
“The historian and ethnologist will look at us as a people and determine what are the emblems that were used, is it the nutmeg? And also taking into consideration where we live, so we look at how the design is done: was it in keeping with the Caribbean theme. So, a lot was looked at to determine the finalist,” she said. “There were lots of pretty designs but all didn’t necessarily cut it, but the understanding of the importance of following the instructions that were given and this was not something that was just pulled out of a hat. This manual of instructions came out of deliberations of people over a very lengthy period of time. The final document was spearheaded by Shadel Nyack Compton and presented to then Minister for Culture, Hon. Senator Brenda Hood.”
A voting system will be made available to facilitate public input into choosing the final design.
“We will be establishing a voting system. We are in the process of designing how we are going to do it but the public will vote via what they see, whether it is a number system we use with a box where they put their various forms that says which designs they prefer. We will also be utilising social media where they can also vote for their favourite and then we will tabulate all of that. Hopefully, we get one of the telecom providers to offer us a platform to do that as well,” she said.
Wells said a formula must be worked out to decide what percentage of public votes will be considered in the overall finals judging. Five judges will be tasked to make the final decision on what will be Grenada’s National Wear.
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