New Category : Fashion
Mon, Dec 4th 2023, 01:37 PM
Creative Nassau (CN), the non-profit organization was formed in 2004 and, in 2014 succeeded in obtaining the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities designation for the City of Nassau as a Creative City of Crafts & Folk Art. Now, CN has achieved another international milestone.
The organization’s continuing efforts to promote Bahamian strawcraft was recently given an enormous boost with the local industry’s inclusion in a new, internationally published book Straw Plaiting: Heritage Techniques for Hats, Trimmings, Bags and Baskets written by a Briton, Veronica Main. One of the newest Heritage Crafts publications, this prestige volume was produced in partnership with Bloomsbury Press. Through a series of interviews and communications with Ms Main, CN was intimately involved in providing information and photos reflecting the straw tradition of The Bahamas and supplying contacts with tradition bearers such as Rosemary Brice.
Ms Main states in a release shared with Creative Nassau:
“Since the day I first looked at straw plait, I have been on a mission to make certain the skills are kept alive by documenting this once important industry that provided a living for so many families around the world. To finally see the book in print is my dream come true.
“My journey to collect information was given a tremendous boost when I discovered Creative Nassau online, and the President, Pam Burnside replied to my enquiry that reached her out of the blue. I can tell you that some people that I wrote to in other countries were not as interested in helping with my research!
“To find out about the work being carried out on the Bahamian islands and to have the help of Pam and the Vice President, Patricia Glinton-Meicholas in answering my many questions, was invaluable. For me to see the plaits being made on the islands and to know that those patterns were also being made in other countries around the world proved to me how interlinked all our stories are.
“The Bahamas has a rich history of straw plaiting and weaving that deserves greater understanding, and my book which is available in the UK, Europe, North America, and Australia helps to spread that knowledge. I wish that I could have written more about straw work in The Bahamas, but at least this starts the process of sharing knowledge.
“The book contains history and comprehensive information about tools, processes, and most importantly, instructions for making more than 50 different patterns of plaits, each shown alongside their own unique story. My hope is that it will inspire people to get involved in straw plaiting which will ensure that these skills and makers’ stories survive for future generations.
“Besides thanking everyone within Creative Nassau along with Pam and Patricia, I also want to say how much I appreciated the help of Rosemary Brice, a most talented Long Island born straw plaiter, as well as the kindness of the wonderful artist K. Smith for permitting me to include one of his art works in the book, the most remarkable coloured pencil drawing of a Bahamian plaiter’s hands in action entitled “Miss Emily’s Eleven Strings.”
“What is my hope for all of you? That you can continue to encourage young people to see that these skills can bring them immense opportunities. You have something very special happening on your islands by keeping this rich tradition alive, and if I have helped you to promote this unique talent in any small way by including Bahamian straw plaiting in my publication, then that makes me very proud!” (Veronica Main, November 2023)
CN President Pam states: “Our relationship with Veronica is very special. We met online in October of 2021 and have since gotten on like a house on fire! It was such a pleasure for us to finally meet in person in London last October when she attended a keynote presentation I made on the Bahamian Strawcraft Industry at the Costume Institute of the African Diaspora’s second Biennial Dress Conference. We were absolutely thrilled and proud to be a part of this publication which contains eight references to Bahamian straw, including several full-page photographs! The publication has totally validated our urgency over these many years to make Bahamians recognize what a valuable role straw craft plays in our cultural and economic heritage. It is something that Bahamians have embraced and nurtured for centuries which we cannot afford to lose. We must ensure that it is protected and promoted as the strong economic engine that drove our country forward in years gone by, and can do so once again.”
CN VP Patricia stated: “It has been gratifying to see the genius and continuing industry of our people reflected in a major world publication. We of CN hope one day soon to get at least a measure of the official sponsorship that Ms Main achieved to continue to bring the social and economic importance of Bahamian strawcraft to wide recognition and appreciation at home and internationally. We are grateful to Veronica for providing this major impetus in that direction.”
Available for purchase on Amazon, Straw Plaiting: Heritage Techniques for Hats, Trimmings, Bags and Baskets, has been described as “an engaging maker’s guide to the history and craft of straw plaiting brimming with 400 step-by-step diagrams”. The volume was launched in the United Kingdom and Australia earlier this year, followed by a North American launch in October 2023.
Veronica Main is acknowledged as the most experienced traditional straw plaiter in the UK. For more than 40 years she has rigorously researched the industries of the UK, Europe and the United States, unlocking information and learning how to recreate Plaits using authentic techniques. She was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list for Services to Straw Hat Plaiting and Endangered Craft.
Tue, Jul 11th 2023, 10:59 AM
Fri, Mar 3rd 2023, 08:47 AM
Well, the reviews are in. Bahamas Masqueraders did not disappoint.
The carnival band unveiled its suite of diverse costumes for the 2023 Bahamas Carnival last week - and let's just say there is no shortage of bling.
Held at one of the theaters at Fusion Superplex, the unconventional launch offered viewers comfortable seating and lots of space. While the launch lacked some of the hype and excitement that one expects at a traditional launch, the after-party made up for that.
But, let me get to the costumes.
First up, was the "Jouvert" section.
Anyone who has ever been to jouvert knows that while you may go in looking pristine, by the time jouvert is done, you will be covered with every color of paint there is. It was no surprise then that the jouvert section, designed by Jamal Moss, was a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors that included shades of blue, yellow, pink, orange, green and white.
From the demure to the risqué, jouvert's bodywear options offer something for just about everyone.
"Bacchanal", sponsored by BTC, was the second section unveiled. Royal blue is the base color in this section. Highlighted by vibrant pinks and fluorescent green, and lots and lots of jewels, this section shines from afar and up close.
For those looking to disguise their identities a bit, the frontline section has a bedazzled horned face mask option that adds a mythical vibe to the overall look. As the word bacchanal suggests unruly behavior, that mask may be just the thing for masqueraders in this section.
"We Limin'" was the third section to be revealed.
In keeping with its name, the costumes are lime and refreshing. The royal blue feathers and jewels offer a nice contrast. The bodywear, made with a mesh material and spandex, brings an added twist to the costumes.
The final section to be unveiled was, "In Di Mas".
A unique mix of bronze, blue and burgundy, these costumes were probably the most unexpected. Accustomed to brightly colored costumes, this section adds to Masqueraders' growing repertoire.
From the barely there to more full-bodied options, one common theme all of the bodywear have in this section is the vast amount of jewels. A jeweled, wide-brimmed hat and bronze cape are also options for those looking to add some drama on the road.
Which section is your favorite? I'm still trying to decide on mine.
Mon, Jan 16th 2023, 08:46 AM
Kassedy Dean, a sixth-grade student at Ginosko Centre for Academic Excellence, recently promoted a season of giving. Dean gifted young females at Elizabeth Estates Children's Home, who attend church and Sunday school with her, dresses which they could wear to Christmas Day service.
Kassedy donated 20 lightly used, but in good condition, dresses with the intent of 20 girls benefitting.
"Donating the dresses made me feel good inside," said Kassedy.
"I decided to donate the dresses because I know many girls aren't able to come to church because they don't have anything to wear. Therefore, I decided to gift some of the girls who attend my church, Epiphany Anglican Church, a nice dress. I hope they went to the girls of my church. However, I just [wanted] to make someone smile on Christmas, so it doesn't matter where it goes as long as the person receiving it loves it and appreciates it. But I believe most of the dresses went to the girls I attend church with."
The 10-year-old said a good citizen finds ways to positively affect change in their community, and that donating the dresses was a good way to give back to the community.
"I've always viewed myself as a good citizen to my country and community. The donation was important to me because it gave me a chance to positively impact a young girl's life, making her smile and know that there are people in this world who still care for her and want the best for her," said the tween.
"The home's administrators determined who got which dress. However, I know that no matter who got the dress, they would love the dress and feel comforted that they [could] attend Christmas service in a beautiful dress."
Kassedy, the daughter of Desra and Keno Dean, said that before Christmas, her mom usually does a deep clean of their home, during which she clears out clothing that they do not wear anymore or that are getting small. She said she asked her mom if they could donate the dresses that were still in good condition, and that she agreed.
The dress donation was not Kassedy's first. She said she has previously donated travel-sized toiletries to make care packets for a group of young girls who attend Youth Matters Incorporated.
She is also a smart kid with a 3.84 cumulative grade point average and believes education is gathering as much information as she can that will open new doors and opportunities for her future.
Thu, Jan 5th 2023, 09:53 AM
Wed, Sep 28th 2022, 11:43 AM
After a hiatus of two years CIAD’s second Biennial Dress Conference: Fibres, Threads and Fabrics:Textiles and Cloth as Material Culture takes place at London College of Fashion on Friday 28 thOctober 2022 9.30 am – 8 pm.
The Costume Institute of the African Diaspora (CIAD) in association with London College of Fashion(LCF) and Fashion Academics Creating Equality (FACE) is proud to announce the launch of its seconddress conference at the end of October 2022 to round up Black History Month celebrations.
Organised by creative director Teleica Kirkland and the CIAD Team this second dress conference,which comes after a two-year postponement due to the COVID 19 pandemic, focuses on thecreation, representations and significance attributed to fabric and textiles and how those aspects ofour social reality determine our feelings toward and relationship with cloth.
For this second conference we are joined by 8 academics, cultural custodians and artist practitionersfrom the United States, Botswana, Brazil, The Bahamas, and the UK all of whom will be discussingfascinating and engaging elements of their research and stories about their work to share the finerdetails of African and African Diaspora cloth and its meanings.
The resurgence of this conference welcomes Pamela Burnside, president of Creative Nassau, analum of St Martins College of Art (now UAL: Central St Martins) and a valued friend and colleague ofthe CIAD organisation as the keynote speaker. Burnside brings with her a wealth of knowledge aboutthe renaissance and continued development of Bahamian straw practice and how it lends itself tothe creation of sustainable textiles.
Holding this conference during Black History Month at London College of Fashion’s central Londoncampus highlights the collaborative work that continues between CIAD and the university anddemonstrates the universities commitment to providing a platform for academic research from theAfrican Diaspora.
After a hiatus of two years CIAD’s second Biennial Dress Conference: Fibres, Threads and Fabrics: Textiles and Cloth as Material Culture takes place at London College of Fashion on Friday 28 th October 2022 9.30 am – 8 pm. The Costume Institute of the African Diaspora (CIAD) in association with London College of Fashion (LCF) and Fashion Academics Creating Equality (FACE) is proud to announce the launch of its second dress conference at the end of October 2022 to round up Black History Month celebrations. Organised by creative director Teleica Kirkland and the CIAD Team this second dress conference, which comes after a two-year postponement due to the COVID 19 pandemic, focuses on the creation, representations and significance attributed to fabric and textiles and how those aspects of our social reality determine our feelings toward and relationship with cloth. For this second conference we are joined by 8 academics, cultural custodians and artist practitioners from the United States, Botswana, Brazil, The Bahamas, and the UK all of whom will be discussing fascinating and engaging elements of their research and stories about their work to share the finer details of African and African Diaspora cloth and its meanings. The resurgence of this conference welcomes Pamela Burnside, president of Creative Nassau, an alum of St Martins College of Art (now UAL: Central St Martins) and a valued friend and colleague of the CIAD organisation as the keynote speaker. Burnside brings with her a wealth of knowledge about the renaissance and continued development of Bahamian straw practice and how it lends itself to the creation of sustainable textiles. Holding this conference during Black History Month at London College of Fashion’s central London campus highlights the collaborative work that continues between CIAD and the university and demonstrates the universities commitment to providing a platform for academic research from the African Diaspora.