At the invitation of Tobago Fashion Coda and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Trinidad and Tobago, Liselore Frowijn (NL) and her label FROWIJN recently hosted their 2018 Fall-Winter Runway show under the iridescent blue Caribbean sky, amidst palm trees and falling coconuts at the Magdalena Grand, Tobago WI. An unusual location for a winter presentation, these twenty-two different looks focus on aesthetic disorder while simultaneously promoting their complexities. A chilling, grey wind just before sunset perhaps fit the creative message hidden under heavy, jacquard wools designed far across the ocean in Amsterdam, NL by graphic artist Michiel Schuurman (NL) and produced in Italy. The one-sleeved cape, and matching inflatable accessories caught the attention of the press like surfers catching waves.
It all began when Frowijn and Schuurman visited Villa Noailles in the south of France on a research trip. Frowijn’s new Fall-Winter Collection 2018 is inspired primarily by artist and patron of the arts Marie-Laure de Noailles (1902-1970), an eccentric personality known for supporting the likes of Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and Man Ray, as well as countless others. Her economy of sharing and enabling young artists to produce their work is still valid and necessary today. Art, as a social tool, is needed to connect people in a more sustainable way in order to offer a fresh perspective of our future. “After visiting Villa Noailles I started thinking that the time we’re living in now feels like ‘the boring ages,’ compared to Marie-Laure de Noaille’s lifestyle” said Frowijn. “How do we protect ourselves for losing our creative engines? And how do we think about creativity alongside sustainable practices? I want to challenge myself and exchange it with others.”
Other materials that made an appearance at the show in Tobago were flock-printed cashmeres, eco-cottons, eco-leathers and lace, along with office shirting stripes cleverly turned into wearable outputs. Frowijn’s signature printed matelassé, a particular favorite with the locals, also evoked sportswear and all the activity taking place around the resort. Pinstripe tailoring had a strong presence, especially the deconstructed double-breasted blazer worn on bare skin with an open back– a new and audacious promiscuity spotted on several of her looks. The designs dedicated to the paradisiac island of Tobago evoked reverence in the audience and can be seen as an manifestation of the island’s slogan “Pulchrior Evenit,” which translated from Latin means, “She becomes more beautiful.” The designer did not hesitate and things got darker when a ruffled, long gown ornamented with leather felt almost bridal. No models, however, were headed toward the island’s famous wedding arch and instead were headed towards a creation beyond compromise.