Wednesday, February 21, 2018

It was a pleasant surprise when Old Harbour News learnt that one of the fashion designers behind Miss Jamaica Universe Davina Bennett’s wardrobe is a native of Old Harbour.

Within hours we made contact with Donald Mirander, the young 24 year-old designer who only got involved in the trade three years ago.

Bennett ignited global appeal as she finished third from 92 beauties in the 2017 Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas two weeks ago.

The stunning Nubian beauty from Mitchell Town, Clarendon, had tongues wagging as she sported a distinct natural afro hairstyle along with several eye-catching outfits, some of which were done by Mirander, who gre up in the Old Harbour community of Marlie Mount.

Mirander, a past student of Marlie Mount Primary and Glenmuir High, was the creator behind Bennett’s royal blue cocktail dress that had an extravagant knot at the back and also the black jump suit worn by the Miss Jamaica Universe winner at the Celine Dion concert in Vegas.

Donald Mirander (left) and Davina Bennett (Photo: Contributed)

In an effort to maintain uniqueness and originality, the Rednarim brand founder told Old Harbour News, that he tries not to read too much fashion articles.

“I try not to read too much fashion news, because I want to maintain originality. And even if I look at what’s trending, I put my personal touch to it to give it that unique look,” Mirander, who recently graduated from the University of Technology with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Apparel Design Production and Management, said.

It took him less than a week to design, cut, sew and complete the pieces worn by Bennett during her time in Vegas, he revealed in our interview recently.

“All the materials were bought here in Jamaica,” he said of the pieces done for the beauty queen. “Yes, we have some good materials here in our local stores.”

The partnership with Bennett only started in May of this year, he recounted, after doing a show in Kingston.

“It was Davina who reached out to me after I did a show at the Jamaica Pegasus,” he said. “She was like ‘I like really love your work’ and then we had a meeting the same week.”

Since then the two have been working together, with Mirander the artist behind Bennett’s pieces paraded at the Miss Jamaica Universe pageant in August.

Despite his limited years in the fashion industry, Mirander’s work has been a real shot in the arm, a work of artistry and imaginativeness.

Jamaica's 'First Lady' Juliet Holness in her Rednarim design (Photos: Contributed)

His work has been strutted by Jamaica’s ‘First Lady’ Juliet Holness, wife of the Prime Minister; 2015 Miss World third runner-up Sanetta Myrie; 2016 Rhodes Scholar Sherona Forrester and he was even invited to join the 2017 Miss World Wardrobe.

Increased attention is highly anticipated, but the young university graduate, who was the only male in his batch, is up for the rising demand that is to come.

“Yes, definitely,” says the talented designer who finished top of class, “there has been a steady growth. I will have to expand for sure. But everything comes down to managing the demands. It’s important not to take on too much work because I do not want to compromise on the high quality standard I’ve set myself.”

Mirander can be found via Facebook and Instagram

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Previously it was Daniel Dinnall who grabbed the headlines. But without doubt the penultimate Kaluga Fashion Month show, staged last Saturday, belonged to Alicia Clahar.

The 25-year-old designer, who models her own pieces as well, is clearly not afraid to push the proverbial envelope by being daring, edgy and appealing. Her sexy eye-popping white mesh beachwear turned quite a few heads on yet another good night for upcoming designers.

In front of a packed Kaluga Kafe, Clahar made good use of the opportunity showcasing her gift, a talent which she envisages to take her to higher heights.

“It was very, very important seeing that a lot of people that I don’t know get to see my stuffs and loving it,” Clahar told Old Harbour News afterwards, while adding the pieces displayed reflects her personality.

“I really see myself going far because I see myself as a very talented individual and winning even Mission Catwalk.”

Not to be outdone though was Daltonette Crawford, who made a statement of her own with her DeeBeaut Collection of custom-made bags suitable for any occasion and Roxanne Rose-Genas’s Be Beaded jewellery.

Crawford, an Edna Manley College graduate, began her craft making bags during moments of leisure, she told the audience. Soon her bags were in demand from friends and acquaintances and what was just a hobby of sort is now real business.

Fashion aside the night also celebrated with the Bowers, a Clarendon couple reflecting on 28 years of marriage and a group of teachers from Gimmie-mi-bit.

The curtains will come down on Kaluga Fashion Month on Boxing Day with four designers taking centre stage.

Show time is 9:00 pm.

Images courtesy of Andrae Henry of Datzryte Entertainment

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