BY TANGERINE CLARKE
Entertainment virtuoso, Philbert Giddings, founder and CEO of the first ever Guyana Fashion Showcase, joined New York fashion designers, Roger Gary, creative director, and Michelle Cole-Wagner, executive director, to unveil the extravaganza, billed as an exciting weekend of music, visuals, and artistry.
The four-day event, will take place in the capital city of Georgetown from May 24 -27.
Giddings told Caribbean Life last Wednesday in an exclusive interview in Brooklyn, that the moment he had the idea for the show, he asked award-winning designer, Roger Gary, with whom he had worked for many years to get onboard. He said, with Gary’s authenticity and industry experience, and his (Giddings’) level of integrity and background, there is no doubt fans will turnout to experience the beauty and grandeur of the events.
The expected, star-studded blowout – tagline “Style and Beauty in the Rainforest Fashion and Travel Lifestyle,” will bring 10 models from the US, plus locals to the runway of the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel Ballroom, to strut their stuff, in creations by 14 designers from the US, the Caribbean, and Guyana, during the main event on May 24, to kick off the weekend.
Famous Jamaica dancehall and reggae artist, Buju Banton will rev-up the crowd during a concert at the National Stadium on Saturday, May 25, followed by jaunts to the rainforest, the majestic Kaieteur Falls, and other tourist spots, on Sunday, May 26, and a carnival revelry “from the runway to the roadway” on Monday, May 27, coinciding with Guyana’s 53rd Independence Anniversary.
World-renowned designer, Michelle Cole who works closely with Gary, is lending her sophistication, fashion sense and carnival costume talent, to bring cutting-edge, excitement to the event, raising the bar for a spectacular collaboration in the homeland.
Giddings said the group has partnered with mega Guyana conglomerate, Hits & Jams Entertainment, and other Guyanese dignitaries.
He added that they would arrive, in Georgetown on March 20, to add the finishing touches, which includes a male model casting on March 24 at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown from 3 pm.
“Everything is coming along excellently. We are carrying the load of this presentation and it will be a momentous occasion,” he said.
Giddings, who brings a history of entertainment to the event, is confident that stakeholders will get onboard in 2020, after they experience the level of professionalism that went into planning the Fashion Showcase.
Roger Gary reiterated, that the fashion, travel and lifestyle event integrates Guyana’s Eco-tourism package so that visitors have options to discover and rediscover the Republic during the yearly weekend of events.
He noted that revelers found it difficult to attend Mashramani in February, just after the Christmas season, choosing May instead where they get to enjoy the fashion showcase, as well as independence celebrations, that will include a flag raising ceremony.
This year the group partnered with Caribbean Airlines for group packages, and individual discount. However, Gary is hopeful the carrier would be onboard next year as a full sponsor.
Gary’s Aqua Couture, ready-to-wear swimwear collection, along with Cole Facts collection by Michelle Cole Wagner, Guyana born, New York based men’s wear designer Andrew Harris Jr., couturier, Randy Madray, and ZAR, by Cesar Galindo, New York based designer with Mexican roots, who has dressed celebrities, Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Missy Elliot, Mary J Blige, will all light up the runway.
Twelve-year-old Sapphire Rose is the youngest designer in the show. She will début her whimsical d’Obvious Rose collection, six years after moving to the United States from Guyana.
Jamaica’s master tailor, and men’s wear designer, Mark Anthony, Venezuela’s Nikini Resort and swim wear, elegant Yumi Katsura of New York, Sidney Francois, and others, said Gary, are part of the runway lineup.
“We have been working overtime in an effort to bring the most amazing fashion event to the shores of Guyana,” said Gary.
Travellers from across the globe are encouraged to purchase tickets online at: www.ticke