Elite models rock the runway
T&T’s Shenika Fernandez, Guyana’s Amanda King and Antigua’s Krystal Benjamin are the winners of the regional final of the 2011 Elite Model Look Caribbean Fashion Competition. The event, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain last Saturday, was staged by Trinidad Carnival mas band Islandpeople Mas.
The show started 45 minutes after its 7 pm scheduled time before a packed auditorium, but transitioned between segments rather smoothly. Ace pannist Yohan Chuckery opened the show with his rendition of the national anthem on the tenor pan, and an African drumology, with moko jumbies as extras, was the preamble to the models presenting themselves in black swim suits.
However, it was quite obvious that a number of the 21 young women, who seemed to average an age of 16, needed more training in walking the runway. In a press release, EMLC project manager had stated, “We are putting together a show that will be on par with other international Elite productions.” A goal that was subject to review after Saturday’s show, during which video presentations were rife with technical difficulties. Even soca singer Kes Dieffenthaller had difficulty singing over his voice track, as there seemed to be an echo in the room, perhaps caused by a lack of synchronisation between the back and front engineers. But whatever it was, it caused him to hit several wrong notes to the song Where Yuh From.
The Jury, who were the judges responsible for selecting the three winners, were Michaela-Quesada, president of Elite International, Jean-Pierre Begon, vice president Elite International, Sofia Kraeczyk of International Elite Model, Caridad Fernandez, president of Puerto Rico Fashion Week and Anya Ayoung Chee, former Miss Trinidad & Tobago Universe (2008) and the 2011 winner of Project Runway. One thing was certain, most of the models did not conform to the standard by which many judge beauty. They were outfitted in three areas: swimsuits; resort wear; and final looks, by local designer Peter Elias. While the resort wear and final look selections represented the Caribbean, with their array of bright colours, the styles were very simple and at times monotonous. It almost appeared as if members of the audience were cheering for individuals and not how the finalists looked in their ensemble. Fernandez, King and Benjamin will represent the region at the Elite Model Look 28th World Finals in Shanghai China in December.