Donna launches Canopy with a message

A serious message will be imparted tomorrow afternoon through fashion when well-known designer Donna Ramsammy-James launches her 2011 collection ‘Canopy’.

Donna will transform her D’Urban Backlands residence into a fashion run way which will not only hammer home the importance of protecting the environment but will also seek to highlight Guyana’s natural rainforest and warn against littering.

Protecting the environment is big on the front burner for Guyana with President Bharrat Jagdeo leading the way with his Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and it is with this in mind that Donna decided to focus on the issue in her 2011 collection aptly titled ‘Canopy.’
“The title ‘Canopy’ is in synergy with the importance of foliage to forest ecosystems world-wide and international activities to mitigate the anticipated effects of climate change,” Donna said.

Known as a designer of style and class, Donna once again promises a “stunning display of elegant ladies’ and men’s wear incorporating the softness of Asia, the depth of Africa, and colour of the Caribbean.”

“It will be dealing with the environment and we also trying to make people more aware of our natural rainforest,” Donna told The Scene recently.

Giving some details about tomorrow’s show Donna said that the first three of the ten segments will see the models in regular make-up but from the fourth scene two models at a time would emerge and their faces would be painted depicting the environment and instead of being called by their names they would be called a leaf or flower. The 15 models will display some 141 pieces in 43 minutes.

“We timed it during rehearsals and it took 43 minutes to be exact, that is how I do things the show would start on time and everything would run smoothly,” she said adding that having her shows at her residence is always convenient because then she is always in control.

Unlike previous years, her clientele in Guyana are not the first to view pieces from her new collection as a preview was already held in Miramar, Florida early last month during which one third of the new collection was on display.  The event was held at a private residence with select persons in attendance and most of these, according to the designer, were American business people and a few Guyanese, such as former students of her old school Bishop High School, whom she invited. She revealed to The Scene that she designs for the consul of Miramar’s wife and her pieces worn by the woman has been the envy of some of her friends who from time to time enquire where they came from and whether they can have similar pieces made.

It was following the urgings of this client that saw the recent fashion show being held in the US for a “very select audience at a private residence.”  And it was a lucrative venture as people in Florida unlike other US states can “wear my type of clothing almost year round because of the weather.”  Many of her new customers wanted outfits to attend cruise weddings but requested less of the trimmings.

“It was a very positive fashion show and a lot of people who never heard about Guyana learnt so much and were asking many questions. I was proud to be a Guyanese,” the designer said.

She has since been invited to hold another fashion show but this time it would be much larger and be held at a convention hall.
“But because of my schedule it cannot be done this year but definitely next year,” she said.

‘Canopy’ is Donna’ 11th local collection and in the past she has had collections under the themes: ‘Vision’, ‘A Touch of El Dorado’, ‘Cultural Mosaic’, ‘Calypso in Colour’, ‘Umoja Sasa Spirit of the Caribbean’ and ‘Mother Earth’ among others.

“A versatile choreographer, dancer, and artist, Donna is today best known for design and its display of ethnic fusion, art through fashion, traditional cultural styles, dress, motifs, and notions. She also says she is the “embodiment of the rich diversity of Guyana and the Caribbean.”
Tomorrow’s show gets on the way at 4: pm.