Imaging the Caribbean… First Cut

by Petite Careme

I think of my modelling as having a purpose that extends beyond my own experiences and beyond my time. I’m always genuinely surprised when I’m chosen for anything. This is not a case of low self esteem but one that stems from an understanding of branding in the fashion industry that promotes a white phenotype; not only am I black with distinctly ethnic features, I also have a ‘ras’.

When I first saw the poster on line for the ‘Designer Critic Fashion Show’ I decided I wouldn’t go to the screening, however Chrtistopher Nathan showed up at my runway rehearsal, watched me walk and chose me (in addition to others). This was only the first cut but it served as a great reminder to me that however I feel about how people would respond to my look comes out of years of consuming popular culture but this feeling should never hinder my entrance into an image selection process out of an idea that mine would not be chosen.

My modelling career might never be a huge international success but my efforts  make it much easier for persons with looks to match mine who are now starting off. I look at these opportunities as steps toward re-imaging the Caribbean, widening definitions of beauty and deconstructing the untruths of branding with regards to the marketability of white as opposed to black images.

He said, “You’ll walk and then if we choose you I’d give you this flyer”. I didn’t even here my number when he called it. I was so unconcerned because I honestly thought that I would never get past even the first cut.

CAFD @ UTT Designer Critic Fashion Show Model Casting
May 04, 2011
Theatre One – NAPA
4-7 pm
Models should walk with a short fitted garment or swimsuit and high heels
For more info please call 642 8888 Ext 26343
www.u.tt/fashion

(Fashion Sketch by Adrian Foster)

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