Surrounded by lush, green foliage and the sound of rhythmic bass drums booming from every speaker, nature, and wildlife took center stage at Fusha’s vibrant spring 2019 presentation this weekend. Brown leather co-mingled with sequins and a delicate, pastel color palette of yellow, lilac and lime. The elegant collection focused primarily on gowns; a teal blue silk, hooded ensemble stood out as particularly striking and unique. Music was a phenomenal addition to the ambiance as musician, artist and activist Wyclef Jean expertly manned the turntables with a collection of Afrobeat tunes that lent to the primal energy circulated throughout the room.
Prior to the show, I sat down with the designer, Claudinette Jean, to discuss the reason for her long hiatus from the fashion industry and the inspiration behind Fusha’s 2019 Spring collection.
What can we expect to see in tonight’s collection?
Colors! Actually, my inspiration was nature. Sitting in my backyard — I do a lot of gardening and as the flowers grow for spring, I pick up on the colors and textures. A lot of silk chiffon and leather. I love working with different fabrics and even pairing the two fabrics together. I know a lot of people are no longer doing that — but that is my specialty.
Where do you get your fabrics?
I get my fabric from different exhibition shows in Paris and here in New York. It all depends. And then I use some custom-made fabrics also.
The 90s has really come back in a big way — in all different aspects of culture, but notably within fashion. What are your thoughts on the resurgence and will it be reflected in your show tonight?
Fashion is always coming back around. It’s cyclical. So if you are not trendy and keeping up with the youth, it will be challenging to catch up with what’s going on. Thank God I have a thirteen-year-old daughter! (with a laugh)
Is she your only child?
Yes, she is the reason why I took a break from fashion. I took a long break to raise her and now I am back!
Do you feel that you lean on your daughter more in your quest to stay connected with the youth?
My focus is all women — older and younger women. So you are going to see a little bit of everybody [in my collections]. When I first started, I was catering to both men and women. But this time, my focus is only on women.