The Designer Island Loves List 2015

Curating the Designer Island Loves List has always given us the most joy at the end of an often busy and crazy year with deadlines and New Year planning. It’s the time of the year when we get to look back at all our personal wants lists, gather and select the 12 items we feel best combine beauty, function and good design and share those discoveries with you.

This year we’ve found that as the creative industry grows and more Caribbean designers become entrepreneurs, the pool of designer items locally and regionally are becoming larger and selecting for our list becomes more of a task but it however becomes a challenge we welcome.

Each year our DI Love List comprises a variety of items from fashion to home ware, literature and edible items, and this year we are happy to also include designs with integrity and a backstory as well.

Our Loves List brings together, good design, bespoke items and it is where lifestyle often meets Caribbean innovation.

Whether gifting for Christmas or purchasing for yourself and home, here’s a look at some of the best discoveries this year and a few items you should pre-order in 2016 from talented Caribbean artist, designers and makers.

 

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COCOA VINTAGE CERAMIC JEWELRY

We love the work of the growing cult brand Cocoa Vintage. The Trinidadian designer, Crystal Antoine-Alleyne crafts a fun and creative take on classic Caribbean elements and charms. Her hand painted ceramic jewelry reinvents and draws inspiration from island life and turns your grandmothers ceramic keepsakes into delightful on-trend statement making jewelry. From open hanging cocoa pods to bananas and parrots we love the designers conviction to her aesthetic. Truly, little, hand painted, pieces of art.

Where you can find them:

• UpMarket Dec 6th & 20th
• Rainy Days Store, Ellerslie Plaza, Maraval, POS Trinidad
• The Little Black Dress at West Mall, Trinidad
• nomorefashionvictims.com
facebook.com/Cocoa-Vintage
etsy.com/shop/CocoaVintageJewelry
• Instagram: @crystalcocoa

 

 

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JADE DRAKES' ROBOT RINGS

The Trinidadian designer Jade Drakes continues to innovate and push the boundaries of what is expected of the Caribbean artist and jewelry designer. Her work at times exudes child-like genius and play and other times leaves you wondering if perhaps you peaked in at a modern art gallery. This time around her sculptural robot rings push us forward with architectural shapes and bold gems. Not designs for the trend-follower but the trend-maker.

Where you can find them:

jadedrakes.com
• jadedrakesjewellery@gmail.com
• Instagram:@jadedrakesjewellery

Photography courtesy: Marlon James 

 

 

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'BLOOM' BY MAKING

We love these beautiful and functional vessels for plants. With the core design inspired by the classic mailbox, these plant pots will make for an attractive and attention loving curb appeal your clay pots can’t compete with.
Trinidadian, Product Designer Marlon Darbeau, debuted his ‘Blooms’ earlier this year at the Birmingham 2015 Autumn Fair with great interest and we’re excited about having the opportunity to add a couple ‘blooms’ to our own front lawns.

Where you can find them:

Limited ‘Blooms’ are available at the By Making open studio on Dec 5th to 6th,

You can also purchase the 2013 Love List maker’s designer salad bowls then as well.

Open Studio location:
By Making Studio
3A La Croix Malabar Arima

• bymaking@gmail.com
bymaking.com
• Instagram:@bymakingstudio


Photography courtesy: Kibwe Brathwaite

 

 

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TONI CROCKETT PILLOWS

We loved the collaboration between Trinidadian interior designer Toni Crockett and fabric and fashion designer Lisa Sarjeant-Gonzales. Toni debuted a line of hand painted, decorative pillows with Caribbean motifs of cocoa and coral and her newest addition to the collection inspired by the architectural details of fretworks in bold and attractive colours. The pillows are silk at the front and burlap behind for beautiful and durable pillows that can withstand the Caribbean weather and the island life.

Where you can find them:

nomorefashionvictims.com
tonicrockettdesign.com
facebook.com/tonicrockettdesign
• Instagram:@tonicrockettdesign
• email: rishi@tonicrockettdesign.com

Photography courtesy: Rene Ortiz

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KAR & CHACH SPLATTERED CLUTCHES

Perhaps it’s our affinity for Carnival and Jouvert that makes us adore these painting splattered clutches by Kar & Carch. The Jamaican born, Miami based designer Karen Evans, embraces the American street-wear influence and blends it with her Caribbean roots creating handmade accessories that will bring instant fun and delight to the wearer.

Where you can find them:

karandchach.com
• Kerry Man Woman Home, Kingston, Jamaica
• Mimo Market, Miami, FL 33126
• Instagram:@karandchach
 

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JAE JOLLY SWIMWEAR & RESORT WEAR

The design sensibility and consistent good taste of Jamaican designer Janel Jolly gives her the know how to mix varied prints, patterns, textures and colours, crafting them into tiny bikinis, sexy one pieces, luxurious cover ups and jumpers for a swimwear and resort line that is everything and enviable. Attempts by mere mortals to combine such a variety into swimwear easily turns into a shipwreck but Miss Janel is no mere mortal in the category. From bright, vibrant, patterns and prints to dusty roses and oranges with black and white piping, fluorescent yellows, colour blocked against bold geometric browns, we are almost positive everyone can find a reason to love colour and find a favourite or few in Jae Jolly’s island paradise.

Where you can find them:
• Jaejolly@hotmail.com
• Instagram: @jaejolly
Exhibit A
  6 Scott St, St Clair, Trinidad


 

 

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TOUCH BY VLS

Designer Victoria Silvera of Touch by VLS creates artisanal, ceramic, sculpture inspired by the sea with her ‘Urchin Collection’. We love her pendant lights and shadow lamps that reminds us of days at the beach, coming home with pockets filled of shells, textured rocks and other beautiful beach treasures. Her work feels lux and modern while rooted in Caribbean-ness and would bring an elegant charm to any home.

Where you can find them:

touchbyvls.com
• Instagram:@touchbyvls

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SMAKS CHAI RUM

We’ve had the pleasure being one of the early tasters of this delightful mix of chai tea and rum, If smooth and sophisticated are words you’d use to describe a pleasurable tasting then this Caribbean made rum is meant to be best enjoyed neat.

Trinidadian, Tea maker, Kiran Shiva Akal has created one of the world’s first Chai Rums. Launched in late 2013 this delectable decadence can be found at locations listed below.

 

Where you can find them:
Location listing at chairum.com

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TURTLE WARRIOR & MICHA GOMES BRACELETS 

We love this creative collaboration between Nature Seekers’ Turtle Warrior and Micha Gomes Jewelry.

Ethical fashion brands are fairly new to the Caribbean and of those that exist not many manage to prioritize good design for a great cause the way Turtle Warrior does. Pairing with an up and coming jewelry designer to make a limited edition line of their handmade, recycled glass beads to add gorgeous little silver and gold charms for the bracelets was not only a smart business move but made for a beautiful product that already had our hearts at their hand-carved, coconut, turtle symbols, reminding us of why we purchase the beauties and why we love this cause.
 

Protecting leather back sea turtles since 1990, in the turtle village of Matura, Trinidad.
We can only hope the growing success of Turtle Warrior encourages more design and entrepreneurship for good in our region.

 

Where you can find them:
• 
Limited styles available on: etsy.com/shop/TurtleWarriorTT
• Follow Turtle Warrior on FB & Instagram for more details on upcoming markets they’ll be at in Trinidad)
facebook.com/TurtleWarriorTT
• Instagram:@turtlewarriortt

Photography courtesy: Marlon James 



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BAUGHAUS DESIGN TABLEWARE

We’ve fallen in love with Baughaus design’s Jamaican perspective on tropical modern. Designer Dana Baugh creates ceramic tableware and dinnerware that confidently floats the line between geometry and the organic with shapes and forms that makes a beautiful statement on the table of any modern Caribbean home.


Where you can find them:
baughausdesign.com
• facebook.com/baughaus
• Instagram: @baughaus



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BY BURNI

We clearly have a thing for beautiful light fixtures at Designer Island but more importantly, we are so awesomely surprised by all the great design work happening in the Caribbean. It’s not only thrilling but also inspiring!

Jamaica born designer, Bernadette McKinley of By Burni creates stunning, black pendant light shades. We love her fearless and modern choice of black finishes, contrasting soft curves and cut outs that mimicked our night skies.  


• Island Art & Framing, Jamaica |  iafjamaica.com
• KERRY manwomanhome, Jamaica | kerrymanwomanhome.com
• PARISH, Jamaica | 876-822-2822
• Instagram @byburni
• facebook.com/ byburni



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BRAIN LEWIS' CONTEMPORARY CARIBBEAN ARCHITECTURE BOOK

There are not enough beautiful books and there is not enough done to document the immense and growing talent and design genius in our region.

Brian Lewis’ 14x11inch book of Contemporary Caribbean Architecture documents 47 stunning works of modern architecture in the Caribbean across Trinidad, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Barbados, St. Lucia and several other islands in a beautiful hard cover 328 page collectible book. While stunning full page and full spread photography make up the majority of this collectible, the book also contains insightful details, introductions by photographer Mark Lyndersay and architects; Mark Raymond and a conversation with the architect and architectural photographer Brian Lewis with fellow architect Jennifer Smith.

It would be a mistake to think this book is just for Caribbean Architects though every Caribbean Architecture student should have this book accessible in their library. This book is a collector’s item for every Caribbean Designer.  
                    

Where you can find them:

Contact Medulla Art Gallery for the book’s availability as sadly this book is printed in limited stock.
1 868-740-7597
medullaartgallery@gmail.com
Medulla on facebook
Paper Based Bookshop
at Normandie Hotel, Trinidad.
1 868 625 3197

 





We hope you enjoyed our Loves List this year.
Contact and follow the designers listed for purchases and to follow their work progress and design stories and of course don't forget to check out Designer Island on facebook and Instagram as well as we share the work, lives and stories of Caribbean designer and makers on designerislandlife.com.


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PAST DI LOVE LIST

Designer Island Loves List 2014
Designer Island Loves List 2013

 

 



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The Designer Island 2015 Love List was curated
by DI founder and creative director:
Tanya Marie Williams-Rhule

The Designer Island 2015 Loves List graphic 
‚Äč& animation work was designed by: Crhule

Seasons Greetings & Happy New Year
from the Designer Island team of 2015!


 


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