Originally published on November 25, 2013 in print issue of Metro Magazine.
Thinking about Bridal Wear in the Caribbean may often leave one to envision more flowers and sheer fabric than needed. But what if I tell you there’s a Caribbean designer who can soon be hailed as the Vera Wang of the Caribbean? Van der Vlugt (VdV) can soon be a name synonymous with Bridal Wear, and they are making all the right moves to make it happen. The preview of VdV’s “Yes” collection last Sunday (Nov 24) was all that it was built up to be. One of the best fashion presentations in Trinidad and Tobago for the month, the event was filled with many popular industry heavy-hitters who came out to support designer Darcel de Vlugt in her debut solo show including designer Meiling, Trinidad Lookbook, and of course, yours truly representing Metro. Few know of the hard work it takes to produce a brand and a few guests could be heard echoing how much they were proud of De Vlugt as they know of her struggles to get to this point. Getting to that point was indeed a beautiful ride as the Van der Vlugt brand has been photographed by many great local photographers and have recently been used for a 2013 Ferreira Optical Advertisement. The ad featured former Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe, Avionne Mark wearing the Van der Vlugt signature strapless bubble canary yellow dress, which opened the 10 piece showcase that night. The brand was also showcased at the International Fashion Showcase in London earlier this year and featured the black, layered $10,000 VdV gown which was also shown at the “Yes” collection showcase. Although many were expecting the full “Yes” collection, the designer instead opted to preview a few pieces and included Van der Vlugt signature pieces because she did not “anticipate how much work it would have been,” she told the audience with a laugh. However, the full collection will be launched at Christmas. The models walked to recent pop and hip hop music opening with Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and “Royal” by Lorde was even thrown into the mix. This music choice was a bit unexpected for a formal bridal show, however little details such as this are what made the show stand out from the rest. In place of the normal gift bags, guests received cute gift boxes with sweet treats including a cupcake from Breakfast at Tiffany’s Bakery. According to the designer, the “Yes” collection is a collection which will cater to the bride-to-be from the moment she says yes to the ring, to when she says “yes on her wedding day.” The idea of being outfitted by the Van der Vlugt brand for special occasions leading up to one’s wedding day such as the bridal shower or rehearsal dinner brings a certain exclusivity to your journey to becoming a wife. In addition to the signature pieces, the strapless white trumpet gown with oriental style red plum blossom print waistband was a standout piece, as well as the high waist A-line black skirt with red flowers. The collection also included sexy lace blouses and pants. The House of Van der Vlugt seems poised to become a strong bridal fashion entity in the Caribbean and dear I say, beyond. Every bride will soon be saying Vera who?