About a month ago I met Jerel Langaigne. We met in April, 2018, at a Seminar for persons interested in photographers; I was introduced to Jerel by a very good friend and sister in Christ, Genel Forteau. Genel had told me about this Christian young lady who was into fashion and I anticipated meeting her.
I always wanted to hear more about her, to hear her story, especially because fashion and models have really been sold in a manner that glorifies the bodies of the models, the sexy garments they display on the runway, and the designing and construction skills of many creative designers out there. I saw it as an Industry, like all other industries focused on gaining recognition and business opportunities. I wanted to find out more about her perspective on fashion and the role to be played by Christians within this industry.
I have had my own dreams (and still do) of somehow impacting the world through fashion because, I love designing.
Jerel Langaigne grew up in a Christian Family, she attended the St. Joseph Convent in Grenada, one of our Prominent Secondary Schools. Jerel was desirous of becoming an Architect; her dream was to travel to Cuba to study Architecture. Cuba, because she would then get the opportunity to be bilingual. She felt confident this was God’s will for her life and waited, with high expectation, for it to materialize. Well, it didn’t, her scholarship application was turned down.
While waiting for answers and still seeking God’s will, Jerel began teaching. It later became paramount that she become qualified as a teacher, hence her quest again to obtain a scholarship. Her story takes an interesting, mind boggling turn; Jerel received a scholarship but not for Teaching but for Fashion Designing, she was told, this is the area available. Her question was, “Lord, why Fashion Design?”.
In our journey through life, there are those moments when all we could do is trust God’s leading. You see, as he leads, we are often taken through a maze that makes very little sense to us and all we could do is draw closer to God praying for a word soon, for the revelation.
Jerel held on to God’s unchanging promises and waited for him to reveal his plan for her. She successfully completed her degree graduating with great distinction (Magna Cum Laude), from the University of Trinidad & Tobago – Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design. You can get a taste of what I am speaking of by checking out her awesome thesis collection on YouTube; you can see the application of Fabric surface treatment on most, if not all of her pieces. Jerel speaks of her financial limitations that restricted her spending and how blessed she was to have learned how to treat fabrics (tie-dying) She was able to take one basic colour fabric and transform them into beautiful fabric. I enjoyed every bit of the video, pressing “replay” more than once.
Here is the link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VFcc0InMQA
Jerel speaks of countless challenges while studying in Trinidad and is grateful today, for each one. After listening to her story, I am convinced that her journey was personally designed by God and her success at the University confirmed that he was there all along. Jerel (with a capable team) was able to pull off the first ever “Totally Local Grenada Fashion Week”.
The journey to Fashion Week began in 2017. The Fashion Week was held from July 7th – 14th, 2018. I really wanted to be there to experience the display of our local talent, but my work and family schedules made it difficult. However, owing to the Facebook connection, I was able to follow to an extent.
The Fashion Week started with a Beauty Conference organized by M.E. Salon and Virtue School of Beauty, Grenada, who partnered with Grenada Fashion Week.
The Beauty Conference was held at the Salon and offered the opportunity to learn more about;
- Natural Hair Care
- Make up Artistry
- Manicures and Pedicures
- Nail Technology
- Massage Therapy
A key aspect of the Conference was an Empowerment Session; the presenter was Genel Forteau, Director of Virtue School of Beauty. I couldn’t be there in person, but I was able to listen to the live video later. Genel’s empowerment session was truly empowering! Feel free to check it out here; https://www.facebook.com/virtuoushine/videos/10156291053620170/UzpfSTM0MzU4Mzk3Mjc3Mzk1MDo0NTc1NjI5NjEzNzYwNTA/
Extracts from Genel’s empowerment session;
“Sin came to take man away from God’s glory. What does that have to do with purpose? Everything! Our purpose is locked up in understanding God’s glory and yielding to God’s glory”.
This statement struck me deep; it was the statement of essence and it summed up the point of the entire presentation, pretty much!
The Bible reference given was;
Matthew 6:33 King James Version (KJV)
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”.
Another of Genel’s quotes:
“When it comes to our purpose project, when it comes to our destiny, it is all in the Creator”! I just love this.
Following the Conference, three Fashion Shows were held, the first in St Mark’s, on July 11th, the Second in the Parish of St. Andrew’s on July 12th and the final one in the Capital, St. George. As I looked at the designs, I was truly inspired to see the great attempts made by our young and thriving designers. Something Grenada can be proud about.
I asked Jerel, “As someone working in the field of Fashion, how do you manage the conflict, being involved in the Fashion Industry and being a Christian?” I loved her response “By Ministering to them.” She further explained that what is important is that you openly share your faith and do not compromise on your Godly standards. She reminded me that Jesus dwelt among sinners, so he can reach them. The idea is to infiltrate to influence; not becoming like them but remaining uncontaminated, so that our Father can be glorified.
The curtain came down on the last day with a reward and recognition ceremony.
I pray that Jerel is successful in drawing others to Christ as she seeks to be salt and light in the Fashion Industry. I may not understand everything about the “how” and it is not my duty to. What I am, is filled with anticipation, to see how God would use her in such a time as this.
I look forward to “Grenada Fashion Week 2019”
I started this blog on my birthday, September 25th, 2017, to be exact, and today five months after, I know more than ever, that I made the right decision.
I prayed about it, pondered on the idea because I never wanted to just do something because it sounded good. I try to please God in every decision I make. I have not done so every time, but I can say most times.
This blog gave me an opportunity to breathe, to exhale, to share things as the Holy Spirit would prompt and nudge me to. I have been blessed by your feedback, online as well as offline, I have been truly inspired by your kind words.
Please know that I appreciate you and the fact that you are taking the time out to read what I write. My goal is to make sure each post is sound, inspirational material that brings glory and honour to my Saviour and King, Jesus Christ.
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Once again thank you for visiting!
I love the colours, black, brown and navy blue but I found myself trapped into thinking, “that’s me, I am drawn to the dark colours; brighter, lighter colours are just too loud and it’s not my thing”. What I needed was some colour, not just in my closet but in my life. Interestingly, I found that the lack of colour in my closet represented the lack of colour in my daily living.
It started with an introspection one day; I started to observe my behaviour when I walked into a store. I would see something of colour, strikingly attractive and then I would shift my focus to the darker colours. As I analysed myself, I realised, that I was indeed attracted to brighter colours, unusual patterns and styles, but I felt there was a need to play it safe. What I was doing was suppressing my appetite for more colour. Poor me, I was robbing myself of so much fun!!
A major part of my thinking came from my humble upbringing, which I am so proud of. However, in my quest to be a “good christian” and to make sure that I was not the reason someone would walk away from God and not to his direction, I deprived myself from wholesome, healthy expressions of the beautiful person God created.
Embracing colour required me to disregard the inhibitions, and the senseless pressures, to be seen in the public’s eye as “modest”. My focus was too much on how I was perceived by others, rather than how I was perceived by God and how much I understood my purpose.
While I still have a tendency to walk over to the black skirt, instead of the yellow skirt, I am much more aware of my choices and what influences them.
I understand, now more than ever, that the Holy Spirit enables me to release my inner beauty, passions and interests, to have fun with colour, patterns, fabric and designs, in a way that allows me to shine. I know that I am expected to glow within the context of the inner peace and joy that I feel, knowing that, I am who I am, because of the Grace of God!
I bear the marks of someone who God has done wonders in and continue to do no less. I am constantly counting my blessings, amidst failures and regrets, and my blessings easily outnumber the latter. I know where I came from, where I could’ve been and I have a pretty good idea, from God’s word, where I am going.
I therefore conclude that I have justifiable reasons to dance, shout, scream and embrace life with colourful confidence, fully geared towards pleasing my Wonderful Saviour and Friend, daily.
I need to shine so that others would long for what I have found; the source of my colour, my peace and my joy. JESUS!!
Maybe, you can identify with my experience, and you feel as if you are swimming in a sea of dark colours, but you are dying to explore the brighter colours, which represents the unexpressed qualities and gifts planted within you by God. Lack of self-love, negative experiences, and a lack of understanding, of who you really are or are created to be, can seriously influence the extent to which you are enjoying life.
I encourage you to give God a chance to colour your life and watch him cause you to bloom, to shine and to share with others the joy of living with colour.
While dark earthy colours are beautiful, you would be amazed to see what more colour can do for your mood, your spirit and your personal drive to pursue your dreams.
After all God created colour for us to enjoy. 🙂
Do you place more value on your clothes, when they can outlast a season, or a fashion spurt and still be worn and seen as appropriate for the day? I am personally determined not to let fashion trends dictate to me how often I should buy clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I love observing fashion trends, taking note of the creativity and originality of great designers.
As a woman, I do enjoy the fun aspect of dressing; I think it is exciting! I am also aware of the fact that maintaining my originality is also important. It requires me therefore, to pursue balance in my choice of clothes, it is not something anyone should take for granted. Your clothes can say a lot about you. It can communicate to those you have never met, seen or spoken to; it can communicate who you are.
So, as we explore clothes, fashion and design, we are also exploring who we are and how we want to be represented. What you wear can show to others, that you are comfortable in your own skin; what you wear can also show that you are unhappy, miserable or bitter inside. It can also be you screaming desperately “I do not love or value myself”.
It is important to understand that self-love is healthy, it is important for us to accept and love ourselves. if we ought to love others. The word of God admonishes us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We often feel that what we wear is just that, clothes worn, not understanding that we select our clothes based on how we feel about ourselves.
On the other hand, it is not right to judge someone based on what they are wearing, remember there are cultural differences and practices that heavily influence our way of dress. We are also on varied levels of knowledge and understanding and as we grow, we understand how to better present ourselves to the World.
I wish to inspire you to accept the value God has placed on your life; he sees you as worthy enough to die for, he died on the cross for you, so that you can have life abundantly. It is a priceless gift that is extended to every man. When we understand our value to God, we are transformed inside and outside. We can do no less but to make sure when we step-out, we represent the King. Once God’s perspective of you has captivated your heart, it shows.
Next time you go shopping for that new suit, dress or shirt, ask yourself if your choices are in keeping with your value and with your purpose.
Today I visited “Fashion Outlook” and had some fun taking pictures of a few of the attractive clothing on display. Fashion Outlook is a small boutique located Hillside Mall on Market Hill, St. George’s, Grenada. It is small but well stocked and ready to serve you.
It is owned by Ruthlyn Forteau who is a great example of someone who believes in perseverance. As a godly woman, Ruthlyn truly inspires you through her selections and through her customer service. I can guarantee you, you would feel like a valued customer the moment you step in.
The Boutique presents taste, variety and colour and designs that are different.
As someone who loves to design women’s clothing and as some-one who loves wearing unique and outstanding pieces, I often find myself falling in love with a dress or a skirt or a blouse or a piece of jewelry, when I walk into “Fashion Outlook”.
When it comes to fashionable earings, I love glitter, I love class. The pair of earrings I purchased today is a very good expression of my taste.
Hope you are inspired to persevere towards your dream.
Our lives are filled with things to do and places to go. Whether it is a school concert, a field trip, your work-place award dinner or church, there is always a need for you to go knocking on the doors of your clothes closet. I think our closets will be happy if we would think a little more before we go shopping for more clothes.
Think and spend wisely. Build a wardrobe that would give you value for money.
This is my first substantive post on fashion and I hope it inspires you to build a wardrobe that would serve you well.
Everyone should have a black skirt or pants as part of their wardrobe. A solid black pants or skirt can go a long way. If you have a favourite black pair of pants in your closet, like I do, you are on your way to building a practical wardrobe.
To get a simple casual look, try wearing your black bottoms with mild coloured tops along with flats or casual sandals. To accomplish varied looks, you can wear your blouse in or out of your pants/skirt. You can easily switch to a classy look by wearing bright coloured blouses with the same bottom, along with a pair of classy heels. If you wish to step up even more, to a formal look, simply add a jacket.
It is important that your pants or skirt is durable; in other words it is not cheap material that would fade after a few spins in the washing machine. Learning how to identify durable material from non-durable is a learning process. Having knowledge of reliable clothes’ brands can also make a difference. It is important that you feel satisfied that you have spent every dollar wisely. Don’t be attracted to the bling and the glitter or what everyone is wearing; think quality, think class. Do your research on brands and various fabrics.
1 black pants or skirt, two blouses and one jacket can give you up to six different looks, can you figure them out?
By the way my favourite piece seen in these pics is the peach-orange blouse, purchased from “Fashions Outlook” located in the small mall on Market Hill, St. George, Grenada. Check them out soon.