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November 2011 • FREE

When we envisioned this publication, our desire was to create something unique and stimulating without compromising our readers and supporters. To be a vibrant source of insight for the progressive and trendy young adult. The goal is to keep you inspired whatever your style is. The Royalty Club



Luke Rebiero


Calvin French






Aaron Rocke


Pauline Phillip

Rondell Paul Miss T&T World Lee-Ann Forbes in an elegant gown from Peter Elias

Yvan Mendoza Jovan Ravello Jarrod Placide-Raymond

Copyright © 2011 We Style Magazine • All rights reserved Printed by Guardian Media Ltd. Distributed by The Royalty Club •














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On the Cover Ryan Rocke Photographs: Calvin French

@WeStyleMag • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 3



At 22 years old, and with just three years as a professional model, Ryan Rocke has amassed quite an impressive portfolio. The laid-back Diego Martin resident has had enviable experience, modeling for world-renowned fashion names in Paris, Milan, and London. Rocke’s foray into modeling was in September 2008, shortly after he started school at The University of The West Indies, where, as he recalls, everyone thought he was a model. He was invited to a photo shoot for Radical Designs and the emerging photos caught the eyes of Calvin French, who sent it to some agencies abroad. “Next thing you know, I’m in Paris and Milan walking the runway,” he says. Everything seemed to fall in place for the 4 • WE STYLE • November 2011 •

Calvin French

young up-and-comer. On a stop-off in New York en route to Paris, a chance encounter with Bruce Weber led him to accomplishing his first goal of modeling for Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F). Rocke was unfamiliar with Weber but came to find out that he was one of the biggest names in fashion photography in New York. He recounts, “He basically took my pictures, sent it to A&F and that was it. I was one of the guys on the bags and posters and everything,” The second most memorable moment of his career came when Rocke completed his journey to Paris, where he walked the runway for Paris Fashion Week, modeling exclusively for Givenchy Men. More than meets the eye, Rocke is also an

entrepreneur. He is the proud owner of two companies; Power Drive Pressure Washer Service and “Mama Yo!” pepper sauce. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering in May, 2011, he registered his businesses and things have been growing steadily since then. Rocke has put modeling on the back burner to pursue his entrepreneurial ventures. He was shortlisted for Dolce & Gabbana and Givenchy, and contacted by agencies in Australia and China, but turned his back on the opportunities to focus on expanding his companies, which takes up all of his time. He remarks, “Modeling for me was an avenue to travel the world to see the sights that I always wanted to see but not at my expense. Right now, my undivided attention is going

“Modeling for me was an avenue to travel the world...” to my businesses. I’m driven to make them a success and to do that requires 100% focus.” Rocke’s desire to visit some other countries that he hasn’t yet seen keeps the possibility open for a return to international modeling. In the meantime, he still does some work locally for companies like Tribe and Converse. He comments, “The thing about modeling is, especially in your later years, you have to become exclusive to one company. You have to focus all your time on that company. I’m not going to have time to represent a company if I own my own companies. Later down the line I don’t think there’s going to be modeling. Maybe in the next five years I’ll do a gig or two just to get out of the country and see the world.” • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 5

• 6 Carlos Street, Woodbrook 868.627.8975 • Kapok Hotel, Maraval 868.628.6205


ROGUE RISING Jovan Ravello

Calvin French

That Anya Ayoung Chee, a 29 year old from Trinidad and Tobago went from having her second to last collection panned to being named the ninth Project Runway Winner was immediately known worldwide. This piece was written a week before her triumph went from being the closest guarded national secret to common knowledge. A nation’s folklore surrounds the ability of one idea to rise above all others and become a law unto itself. Papa Bois for instance is not governed by rules of actuality. Neither does, it would seem to most, Anya Ayoung Chee. But as she would openly admit during a cool afternoon chat with We Style on the porch of Meiling’s Carlos Street digs, it’s impossible to connect the dots forward. The line isn’t original. Steve Jobs, who passed during the months it took for this interview to eventually happen, made the observation during a poignant commencement speech given at Stanford University’s commencement some years ago. But it stands true throughout all our lives before 2011 both this writer and Miss Ayoung-Chee were going through personal crises, (admittedly hers more public ) that, as I would come to realise, significantly affected our psyches. Without directly addressing the elephant which tends to stand next to her these days, Anya speaks of her experience as a finalist on Lifetime’s Project Runway in the tone of someone emerging out of a deep mire. “It really was just one thing after the next for the last five years or so,” she says, as we reach a darker tone in our 45 minute interview “and I feel like these are the things that, when they say everything is for a reason, this is why they say it and I’ve learnt to at least attempt to know that in the moment it’s much easier than in retrospect.” This is a bit more difficult when that entails losing your fabric money on international television or having almost anyone with an internet connection be privy to your most intimate moments. But when you’ve lost a brother and had one kidnapped, before the smaller things occur, moving mountains made of muslin becomes that much easier. “I wouldn’t have found the clarity that I have now if it wasn’t for the things that I’ve learnt because of these more difficult times,” Ayoung-Chee offers. When you first meet her it’s readily apparent why she seems to have the world handed to her and maybe why, for the first time in nine seasons, there were four people showing at the finale. “I would hope 8 • WE STYLE • November 2011 •

to think that if there was a bias it was more because of my aesthetic and my design sensibility than me sorta getting a bligh,” she argues when the question of bias comes up. “I don’t think it was the latter as much as people may have wanted to label it that way.” I mean, she was learning to sew up until the show started which weighed heavily on her even after passing two eliminations before the first challenge even began. “I was like ‘I don’t know if I should do this’,” she laughs sounding as nervous as if the decision were pressing. In fact she told the people at Lifetime that she’d have to call them back. “I didn’t want to embarrass myself and everyone who knows me. I just felt like wow this is the real thing and then I just had enough good people around me to just say ‘Anya, it’s your time, do it’, and I was in two minds ‘maybe it would be better if I went home now then I can’t do any challenges and it won’t be bad’.” “But at the same time I was like I can’t go home in the first five minutes of the show and then when I got in I was like ok now I have to figure it out, now I have to sew for real on tv.” From there on in however her outlook helped despite not knowing how she would do, she grew in courage and after the fifth challenge began to think that she had a chance, what with PR’s face Heidi Klum all but gushing about the New York born Caribbean resident who was given a crash course in garment construction by a mercurial talent from Tobago (more on her later). It is also the main, if only reason, erstwhile normal men sat watching Lifetime on a Thursday religiously for 14 weeks. To get hold of her these days is a bit more difficult than when we first met, during a shindig for another local brand at William Duds. As a direct consequence, our interview, one of six she is scheduled to do during her week and a half home has been pushed back no more than eight times. Finally we’re speaking, a day after the episode in which the final four showed their three piece collections, a restart of a bad memory played out in front of a global audience. She says; “I thought that I had gotten over this need to please people, but it remained...and that really stressed me out. I came back to design the collection to go back

to New York and I just froze.” Now as a full time designer with her eyes opened to an international vision for a brand that was born out of a need to find a real passion when a career in graphic design would not suffice, Ayoung Chee will have to balance pleasing editors and buyers while staying true to herself. It is a 15th and more long term challenge she accepts, with the same mix of trepidation and “hardheadedness” as she has the show. A 12 year old Anya worshipped magazines, (not literally, calm down), and woke up to CNN’s Style with Elsa Klench, the only show of its kind back then. At 15, while in Tokyo, her perspective on design changed. “Design is a principle, a thought process it was just so airy fairy to me, I didn’t get it. Then I went there and reacted so viscerally to it and I knew there was something in me that just loved the way things look and feel and what good design feels like. But after a childhood spent cutting up clothes and revering Meiling the way teenage boys regarded the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers she put a career in fashion on the back burner. “Let me say my parents were very supportive but my father is a surgeon so it wasn’t always palatable to him that I was going to design school.” At this point her mom calls, which is eerie because my mom calls when I’m on the cusp of a bad decision in the way that a mother always will. Eventually she became possibly the shortest ever Miss Trinidad Universe; “I hated it to be honest.” She saw it as an opportunity to ‘have a voice’ but it ended up putting her in ‘a spin’. “The tapes were a big slap in the face. They were like sit down young lady and figure out what you really want. It humbled me and taught me to be more accountable.” “What’s been good about Project Runway is that people are seeing a lot deeper into who I am. It’s allowed people to see that there’s more to me than what they may have thought.” But this is not to say that she’s washed her hands of the whole thing. “I accept responsibility for being labelled as a beauty queen/ whatever people may have thought of after the tapes and what I think I learnt through that experience is that everyone is going to have an

opini o n a n d that is to be expected, I’m just happy now that I’ve given people the oppor tunity to have another opinion. “It’s really only when you have a close relationship with someone that you get to know all the sides, so it’s really much more compassionate and loving to assume that people have more to them rather than to assume that what you see is what you get. The show has taken its toll but Anya believes she is better for the experience “and it showed me that I’m on a constant journey to learn how to be loving to myself and to know that once I follow my own heart everything going to be OK.” In his address the late Mr Jobs urged the young adults in the audience to resist the trap of dogma ‘which is living with the results of other people’s thinking,’ and Anya who follows when I reference the

speech appears to be on the same wavelength. Ayoung Chee will use the fan favourite money, $10,000 US to be exact, to give back to the Trinis that voted and agitated for votes for her to win it, through a loan facilitated by the Tallman Foundation, which helps creative youth learn to express themselves, a cause close to her heart. Additionally she has plans to establish a retail space to push her brand which will be presented under her own name with PILAR remaining as a special edition arm of the pending empire. Even though she credits the show with advancing her education as a designer significantly, she will continue to exploit the ‘island-life mystique’ while focusing on an international outlook, joking that she won’t continue to make maxi dresses until she dies. And so it was that Anya entered the folklore of the national consciousness, the beauty queen/ rogue/designer, who in the face of a division along lines of SOEs and Goebbels-like propaganda machines triumphed over all her demons and detractors, a full circle if I ever saw one. And even if it does not look that way to you it’s better just so. “I think perfection is ugly,” Yohji Yamamoto once said “Somewhere, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion,” look at your life you’ll see those too, and you’re even better for it. • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 9

212 Boutique Accessories Blaanix

Aboutique Mall, Port-of-Spain 1.868.623.1311



Fashion in Trinidad and Tobago never had it so good. The government met a week before Anya Ayoung-Chee won Lifetime’s Project Runway to ruminate over a proposal that would see Port-of-Spain become the region’s fashion capital. Anya’s giving a leg up to young designers and their creative peers with the ‘Rogue Fund’, a loan that’ll facilitate their dreams. And for the first time since they began their degrees at the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design University of Trinidad and Tobago, the next generation of designers has reason to be optimistic. The Saturday after Anya’s win, I met up with the woman who whipped her into shape in the space of four months. It’s a story that began at Carlos Street in Woodbrook. “Actually I didn’t know her teaching skills,” Meiling Esau says, “but I knew she had something of a quiet spirit but was very knowledgeable of her craft.” She’s of course speaking of Delia Alleyne, who helped Anya work on her collections for Fashion Week and Antillia’s Be. “I myself am very particular with who I let in my space.” Esau continues “Of course my door is open to all but they have to come with a certain amount of respect, not just for me but for my staff and each other and I saw this in Delia.” Alleyne got home from the viewing party at the Carlton Savannah just in time to see Anya and Joshua face the judges’ decision. “The moment (Heidi) said “Anya...congratulations” I jumped and screamed, my pores raised and if my friends weren’t there, tears would

Jovan Ravello

have come out my eyes.” The response was of any proud teacher standing in the wings at graduation. It wasn’t the first time she’d taught, either. She moulded young minds at Goodwood High School for eight years. But she shot into the spotlight when, Ayoung-Chee began mentioning her as one of the people pivotal to her success, It’s something that means the world to Alleyne. Months away from presenting her final 6-piece collection at the CAFD end of year fashion show, Alleyne says her student’s triumph has convinced her and her peers that there’s hope for their future. “It was a concern throughout the academy but (Anya’s) win has helped us feel that everything is going to be alright.” Alleyne describes herself as shy but from a distance her fuschia pink coif communicates something completely different. Asked about it, she begins a spiel about fashion being about self-expression before breaking into a chuckle. The hair is just that and she remains that quiet girl from Tobago.  Her mother was a seamstress “and I always wanted to sew but I wanted to create the things I was sewing in terms of design. I wasn’t attracted to stuff you see in the mass market.” From then on her life reads like a brochure for following your dreams. “So I did clothing and textiles and after Secondary School I came to John D and did my Technicians Diploma. “I first heard about the programme in 2006 at ‘Making Style’ when UTT Programme Administrator, Christopher Nathan presented a bro-

chure about the proposal to form the academy. So I waited two years and kept in contact with him constantly and as soon as he said yes I applied, got accepted and I am here today.” Alleyne says her time at the CAFD has helped shape her thinking into what it is she wants to offer the world of fashion. And while her focus now is on completing school, she may already have a future given the rave reviews of her own work as well as her prowess as an instructor. “The morning after the win I had some greater level of confidence I walked through town thinking ‘yes Anya did it! I feel so proud to be a Trinbagonian’ I felt so proud to be one of the people that has helped contribute to her success.” “There are so many lessons to learn from this. If you have a passion for something go for it, take the necessary risks.” The relationship between the two also stands as a marker for the fashion industry, as famous for being catty as for producing great work. “It’s time for us to get over the infighting in the industry and get together and do the work and imagine the possibilities,” Ayoung-Chee said in an earlier interview. Meiling is convinced that this is the start of a renaissance period in local fashion. “Finally there’s going to be a new wave of fashion designers in Trinidad and Tobago,” she exclaimed, warning however ‘but you can have the most skill in the world, if you do not have that humility and generosity of spirit, you have nothing.” • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 11




Calvin French

An expert in his field, Stevenson Dillon has built up a solid reputation in his ten years as a professional personal trainer. He is one of the most sought-after in the business, well-known for his work with local celebrities. His journey started at age 14, when Dillon began training at the gym with the primary goal of putting on some size. Once he started seeing results, he became hooked and since then has devoted his everything to the health and fitness lifestyle. What started off as a small mission turned into a full-fledged career for Dillon, who went on to complete the TT Defence Force Personal Training Instructors course and later became ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) certified. Dillon is primarily based at the Long Circular Health & Wellness Club, where he sees a wide array of clients ranging from young to old, Average Joe to popular personality. In addition to being Destra’s go-to guy for the last ten years, he also trains Patrice Roberts and has worked with other soca artistes like Shurwayne Winchester and Kees Dieffenthaller. Apart from musicians, he has also been responsible for sculpting the bodies of Miss T&T beauty queens such as Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam, Anya Ayoung-Chee, La Toya Woods, and most recently, Lee-Ann Forbes. Dillon did a small amount of modeling on the side in his younger days but remains a full-time personal trainer. “Personal training is my life,” he comments, “I started doing this for myself so I always make the time to train myself.” Even in the busy pre-Carnival crunch workout season, which runs roughly from October to February, he manages to squeeze in at least an hour every day for his own physical pursuits. According to Dillon, who incorporates a lot of circuit-training into his programs, it takes on average 4 months of consistent training to start seeing real results. He remarks, “My greatest joy as a personal trainer is seeing my clients get the results they want.” Dillon offers the following free tips for faster results: • Drink lots of water – keep the body hydrated • Get 8 hours rest – allows the body to recover • Maintain balanced eating habits • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 13

SimpliCity Mall, 45 Murray Street, Woodbrook (868) 704-6982

ELLERSLIE PLAZA, MARAVAL (868) 622-0442 LEVEL 1, WEST MALL (868) 633-3350

Style Watch



Peter Elias


mericans spent more than US$15 billion in 2005 on it… and it’s also meant to be the #1 item in most countries the world over. In the year 1885, jeans could be bought in the US for $1.50 (approximately US$97 in 2011)….and today in the US a pair of durable jeans can be purchased for US$50 (thanks to China probably). Why the fascination or is it plain old function? Let’s try

to understand… The word ‘jeans’ comes from the use of the French phrase ‘bleu de Gênes’, literally meaning ‘the blue of Genoa’ where the first denim trousers were made. Jeans fabric, or denim, originated in the French town of Nîmes, from which ‘denim’ (de Nîmes) gets its name. Some of the earliest American blue jeans were made by Jacob Davis, Calvin Rogers, and Levi Strauss in 1873 and were actually worn by cowboys.

18 • WE STYLE • November 2011 •

Initially, jeans were simply sturdy trousers worn by workers, especially in the factories during World War II. In the 1950s, interest in jeans began to surge, based on the then ‘Bard Pitts of that time’…James Dean popularized them in the movie Rebel Without a Cause and wearing jeans by teenagers and young adults became a symbol of youth rebellion causing them to be banned in theaters, restaurants and schools. Even 50 years ago, jeans came in various fits, including skinny, tapered, straight, boot cut, Mommy-cut, maternity, and flare. By the 1960s, both men’s and women’s jeans had the zipper down the front and the wearing of jeans became more acceptable…by the 1970s, it had become general fashion in the United States for casual wear. In 1965, Limbo, a boutique in the New York East Village, was “the first retailer to wash a new pair of jeans to get a used, worn effect, and the idea became a hit. They then hired East Village artists to embellish the jeans with patches, decals and other touches.” In the 1970s the denim industry introduced the stone-washing technique which helped to bring denim to a larger and more versatile market. Acceptance of jeans continued through the 1980s and 1990s to the point where

jeans are now a wardrobe staple, with the average person is said to own seven pairs, in the world, not just the US. Today, jeans are worn by people of all genders and ages and are considered the most popular form of casual dress around the world…and has been so for decades. Here are some looks of denim used by renowned designers on the runways. • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 19

Y o u c a n d r e ss t h e m u p o r p l a y t h e m c o o l . Wear them clean and trim or aged and torn. T h e m o s t v e rs a t i l e t o o l i n y o u r w a r d r o b e j u s t g o t … . . m o r e v e rs a t i l e .

JEAN • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 20

Black Denim Jeans and White Cotton Shirt - Peter Elias



Blue Skinny Jeans and Checkered Shirt - Peter Elias Jacket - Calvin Klein 2011 •• WE WE STYLE STYLE •• 22 22• November • October 2011

Blue Jeans and Checkered Shirt - Peter Elias Jacket - Calvin Klein • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 23

From left: Blue Denim Shorts by 212 Location Blouse by Benetton Black Denim Shorts by 212 Location Blouse by Benetton Blue Denim Shorts and Blouse by Benetton Bra Top by BraFit • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 24

25 • WE STYLE • November 2011 •

Blue blouse from Benetton Black Denim Shorts by 212 Location Jewelry from House of Jaipur • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 26

ON HER Black skirt from 212 Location Bra Top from BraFit Denim Bustier Top from 212 Location Jewelry from 212 Accessories ON THE GUYS Denim Jeans from Benetton • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 27

ON HER Denim Jeans from Benetton Bra Top from Bra Fit Shoes from Blaanix by Bang Bang Jewelry from 212 Accessories ON HIM Jeans from Benetton • November 2011 • WE STYLE • 28

From Left: Jeans from Benetton Brown Boots from Benetton Jeans from Benetton Black Bra Top from Bra Fit Necklace from 212 Accessories Bracelets from House of Jaipur Jeans from Benetton

29 • WE STYLE • November 2011 •


On October 13th, decadence was Indian inspired as the Trinidad Hilton ballroom was transformed into a Bombay masterpiece. On its second annual staging, The House of Jaipur’s ultra exclusive, charitable event Bombay Dreams, held under the patronage of the Prime Minister, treated VIP’s to Fashion, Art and Music glamour all within the confines of a stylized cultural atmosphere. At a cost of $1,000 dollars per plate, proceeds went towards the Samaan shelter for abused women and children and the Vitas House Hospice for terminally ill cancer patients.























1 Dancers bring life to the stage 2 Giselle La Ronde West and son 3 Peter Elias and daughters with Ravi B 4 Design from House of Jaipur 5 Anya and Meiling Grace the stage 6 Sexy red dress from Peter Elias 7 Meiling Design 8 Christian Steel in Heather Jones 9 Peter Elias 10 Meiling 11 Valene Maharaj in Peter Elias 12 Meiling 13 Peter Elias 14 Christian Steel in Peter Elias 15 House of Jaipur’s Dhisha Moorjani 16 Beautiful design from House of Jaipur 17 Kes rocking Indian gear from House of Jaipur 18 Wendy, Wendy, Wendy 19 Nikki Crosby in House of Jaipur 20 The ever stunning Penny Commissiong in House of Jaipur 21 House of Jaipur


We Style 3 - November 2011  

Third issue of We Style Magazine.

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