There wasn't an empty seat in the house during the final day of Curaçao Fashion Week, which featured a series of decadent collections, theatrical performances and emotional finales. The success of days one, two and three had the whole island buzzing, eventually making it's way up to the country's Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte, who cleared his schedule to sit front row and center with his entourage. And the show's organizers understood the pressure of his presence: they enlisted the help of every designer, model, artist and Hilton Curaçao staffer to ensure that CURAFW's final bow was a memorable one.
Last night featured three Curaçao designers, starting with 26-year-old wunderkind, David Paulus. Championing his "Art Couture" aesthetic, he showcased a collection of futuristic numbers complemented by models in creepy makeup and heel-less footwear à la Lady Gaga. From high-neck chiffon gowns to strait jackets to one shoulder satin rompers, this was the best interpretation of an elegant space zombie that I've ever seen.
Next was Liza Lopez, who was born in Curaçao's capital of Willemstad but now lives in Barcelona, where she's apparently a mega star. Her range was mashed up with casual sportswear, utilitarian officewear, bodycon partywear, sophisticated eveningwear —you name it. Her daughters joined her on stage during the show's finale, which promptly filled the room with ample applause and awwwws.
The last show of the first-ever CURAFW was helmed by Albertico Tico Sambo—a 26-year-old former dancer known for designing some of the most inventive carnival costumes on the island. He honored his theatrical background by putting on a near hour-long showcase that featured everything from interpretative dance (set to the sounds of Celine Dion's rendition of "Ave Maria," no less) to a trio of nearly-nude models wrapped in tulle (which I'm sure means something) to a touching ceremonial interlude. As for the garments, the palette was devoted to black, cream and crimson, and every intricately-detailed gown sparked the crowd to applaud—including Mr. Schotte. Bravo Curaçao.