We are here because of Momma Grace

The first time I saw her on screen, I was ten years old. I remember being so engulfed with her bone structure, and her commanding presence.

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Growing up, I was super fascinated with Grace Jones. The first time I saw her, I was ten years old and she was playing a Bond girl in the James Bond movie ‘A View To Kill’. I remembered being so engulfed with her bone structure and commanding presence on screen. I loved her smirk, and the way her eyeliner extended her deep eyes. I loved her black lipstick and how confident she appeared in her skin.

My dad was a huge James Bond fan, so as a child, I too was obsessed with the franchise and would pour myself into watching every last one of the Bond movies. I was so taken in with Miss Jones, that it took me nearly to the middle of the movie to realise that I had never seen any of the James Bond women look like her before. She was not white, with blond hair and big boobs. Instead, she was a dark unconventional beauty, with flawless skin and a toned body that I had never seen on the big screen or in magazines before. She was a perfect balance of masculine and feminine, an androgynous enigma who was unapologetic about standing out. She was everything I wanted to be.

One of the reasons I loved my father, was that when I would watch a movie with him, or he would give me a book to read, he always took time to explain the significance of what I was partaking of. “Grace Jones is Jamaican.” I was like what?? He repeated his statement, “Grace Jones is Jamaican.” And he began to lay out her bio to mr. He explained how she was discovered, and how she became the muse for many great artists and fashion designers.

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Today, I watch as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and others, all in some way borrow inspiration from the 70s and 80s style that Grace Jones iconified. These are the things that made me think about being from the Caribbean, and how as a people we define our style, whether it be through our clothes, language, music or the architecture of our homes. What is our signature style? Do we even have one? Or are we a multitude of narratives bursting with self expression and unique voices that continue to inspire the style and swag of new generations? Rihanna’s fashion sense, which is swamped with her Bajan heritage, graces many fashion houses and magazines and continues to be one of the reasons her brand keeps growing as so many consumers rush to copy her looks. In the summer of 2016 in Brazil, Olympic gold medalist and record-breaker Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce daringly took the stage of what could be her last Olympics, with a Jamaican flag coloured inspired Rapunzel wig. All I could think of was, watch weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Is so we stay.

West Indians, and Caribbean people on a whole, have to be the most confident set of humans walking the earth. We are rightfully so the original slay queens and swag kings. Style Caribbean is meant to embrace that hop in our step when we tek the road. This platform is about embracing, celebrating and unearthing all the stushness that others try to mimic. We are excited to feature all the Caribbean baddies doing great things not only in the region but internationally. We are excited to discover the next set of fashion superstars, and spotlight those fashion and beauty bloggers who are making a name for themselves in the competitive blogsphere. We will be stepping back into time to celebrate the original style mavens and movements that have crafted our present, and spotlight those new brands that are challenging the world to make room for their voices .

Welcome to Style | Caribbean, my name is Elle. I am the Creative Director of this platorm and we are about to lift off.

So, now the introductions are over with, let’s get to it. Thank you for visiting us. Do go and like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, where we will be posting daily style inspirations and updating you on all the fashion news from around the region. And if you are interested in learning more about us, or would like to partner and work with us, drop me an email at watchwestyle@gmail.com.

I thought I’d take style to its limit… My philosophy is a belief in magic, good luck , self-confidence, and pride. – Grace Jones