A decade ago, Jean-Paul Gaultier dedicated an entire haute couture show to them, fittingly titled 'Hommage à l’Afrique’. But it was Yves Saint Laurent in the late '70s who really set the African inspiration trend with one of his collections. Since then, the continent has become a recurring theme on both national and international runways.
Following Jean-Paul Gaultier's 2005 ode to Africa, a five or six year wave of African influences broke over the fashion scene. A decade ago, Jean-Paul Gaultier dedicated an entire haute couture show to them, fittingly titled 'Hommage à l’Afrique’.
Ralph Lauren and Hermès gave their 2009 collections a colonial touch, and celebrities walked away with the 'Spicy' beaded python-leather shoes and African mask Marc Jacobs showed for Louis Vuitton. Junya Watanabe ventured into folkloric African prints that it later turned out later had a good deal in common with Vlisco. Barely three years later, it was Cristopher Bailey's turn to throw out a just-back-from-safari look for Burberry Prorsum.
Last week I had the awesome experience of working with a local and talented designer that has been inspired by the evolution of the African fashion Industry. I am speaking of no other than: Yourandell L.C. Provence.
On December 26, 1982 on the beautiful island ofCuraçao, my mother, Marlene Maxima Provence, gave birth to me, her second son, Yourandell L.C. Provence. I was raised in the neighborhood of Jandoret in the Provence’s family home.
After completing high school at the Maria Immaculata Lyceum at the age of 18, I decided to continue my tertiary education in Utrecht, The Netherlands in 2001. After completing my Bachelors degree in Education as a Spanish High School Teacher, I continued on to the University and also completed Masters degrees in Spanish Language and Culture as well as Education and Communication. Thereafter, I decided to make St. Maarten my home in 2010. Why Sint Maarten and not Curacao? During my first year in Holland, I met my now beautiful wife, Jean R. B. Provence-Laurence. Together we made the decision that whenever we decide to return back, we will be settling on the friendly island of St. Maarten. I have been on St. Maarten on vacation a couple of times before and I fell in love immediately with this gorgeous island.
How Did You Start In The Fashion Industry?
My passion was initially sparked by my Mother in Law Bernadette Laurence (a.k.a. Ms. B.) about 1.5 years ago who instructed my niece in law to teach me how to sew straight lines on a sewing machine using line rule paper. After doing such a good job sewing straight lines and then learning to sew and piecing together 5 inch squares, I sat in on a zippered pouch class my Mother in Law was teaching. This was how my sewing passion took flight. I have ever since been sewing bags, clutches and various types of garments. Through the consistent practice, my sewing and designing skills are perfecting. As the love for sewing increased and became serious, I created my very own sewing workshop at home and equipped it with 5 different types of sewing machines and stocked it with different fabrics and all other needed gadgets to complete the enjoyable stitching at my comfy home. Just as with everything in life, I am still learning and I enjoy taking on challenges which makes this hobby a relaxing one. Through my original design of bags and clutches, I also have taught some classes at A Stitch At A Time in Orange Grove, Cole Bay.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from exotic, folkloric and cultural wear, designs of the times, what is in style at the time, what ladies (fashionistas) wear, looking at available fabric and combining textures. I prefer to work free style and pattern free. This way I am free to make any and every combination, just like a painter with his oil paints.
Projections...Where Do You See Yourself 5 Years From Now In The Fashion Industry?
For now, Sewing is my hobby (that is getting very serious) outside of my profession as High School Spanish Teacher and coordinator of the Work Experience Program. For now I just want to enjoy creating, designing and sewing unique pieces. There will definitely be future surprises by Y.P.
Besides The African Collection, What Can we Expect In 2017 From Y.P. Creations (Did you already thought of a name??)
Like I said before, I am always busy creating, designing and sewing pieces to make especially ladies feel Unique. Seeing the interest and the positive feedback, I will for sure continue in 2017. For now I mostly get my inspiration from the African fashion and I am focusing on the different types of pieces that I can make following the African fashion and style. After designing and sewing my very own first Clutch, The Trendy Evening Clutch, I branded my design with my initials. For now this will be the name that goes together with the slogan: Feel Unique Wearing Y.P.
Price Ranges, order Placing Information and delivery time?
The price for the different types and sizes of bags clutches are between 25 dollars to 100 dollars. The price for the skirts varies from 60 to 125 dollars. It all depends on the design, size, material used, time needed to complete the product, etc.
The delivery time depends on what the customer wants. If it is an item that we have available, it can be delivered right away. For special orders the estimated time depends on what needs to be designed and sewn and how busy we are at that particular moment, nevertheless it varies from 1 day to 7 days. If you would like to place an order the best way is to contact me is by calling or via WhatsApp on my phone number, +1 (721) 587-2850.
So ladies this season make sure you check out Y.P creations, I had an awesome time working with him and seeing that he puts time and effort into the wishes of his clients. Remember these are African inspired skirts, but you can play around with fabrics, styles, occasions....mix and match and always pop it with one of his handmade clutches as well.
Photo Shoot Credits: