‘Makin’ Style’ – The Emerging Caribbean Aesthetic
Is there a Caribbean Aesthetic?
Aesthetic has to do with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. I truly believe that there is a Caribbean Aesthetic – a unique beauty, lifestyle and ‘way of life’ that is uniquely Caribbean and constitutes a Caribbean aesthetic. It is true that this unique Caribbean Aesthetic has a myriad of African, Asian, American and European influences, but this unique Caribbean Aesthetic hybrid, as it may be, is coming of age.
What is this Caribbean Aesthetic?
There is a definitive value, an overarching set of features and an empirical reality, that can be encapsulated with the use of the term “Caribbean Aesthetic”. I believe in its relevance in defining the engaging style of Living in the Caribbean.
A Distinctive Sense of Self and Style
I have been coining the term Caribbean Aesthetic, for over a generation now, as an actioning label to rally together our progenitors of style, our arbiters of fashion tastes and our creative imagers to arrive at a common ground so as to apply, to appreciate and to applaud our distinctive sense of self, our sense of becoming creatively verifiable, our hybrid sense of style, and to unlearn our predetermined sense of self, as inculcated by our former colonial cognoscenti. Above all, I want to celebrate that the Caribbean is more than a geographic location, it represents an inimitable ethos.
Fashion Consciousness and the Caribbean Aesthetic
Indeed, our fashion consciousness is shaped by this alluring spirit and influenced more so by our historical nexus. Our contemporary Caribbean creative reality is guided by a prescient soul that is no longer answerable to the dictates of a mother country deification. We were products of a Soyinka-esque ‘underdevelopment’ training of our psyche and it is only through liberation, not only of socio-politico systems but of cultural and artistic constraints, that we could unearth our creative potential and birth our new originative energy – the fresh, postmodern and cutting edge promise of our own independent style, relying on our indigenous anecdotes and our singular experiences to craft our interpretation of a style identity.
Quintessential Caribbean Style
The Caribbean fashion mosaic is, in fact, a tapestry interwoven with style innuendos which are cosmopolitan just as much as they are provincial. This is the extraordinary nature of our Aesthetic, quite dissimilar from other style admixtures in other parts of the world and proving itself to be remarkably exclusive.
Whatever we wish to express, presently, about ourselves, as conscious, true-to-form, forward-thinking trendsetters, unravels in an autobiographical narrative that shouts quintessential Caribbean style. Laced with plural, eclectic reference of our historical influences and inspirations, in general, regional terms, and replete with insular incarnations which bear localized imprint.
Richard Young’s passion for the Caribbean aesthetic is legendary. He is consumed by an avid preoccupation with our distinctive way of expressing and imaging our uniquely idiosyncratic Caribbean Travel Lifestyle and Aesthetic.
Richard is recognised as one of the leading Creative Directors, copywriters, script crafters, and orators in the Caribbean.
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Excellent narrative. PPP is needed to push forward a conversation that is designed to capture the world.
What we need to avoid is European designers taking over the Caribbean Aesthetic conversation and making it their own – as they have done with Asian/Chinese design…
It is our collective responsibility to make this a reality…