Reflecting our history: incorporating traditional motifs and local materials for hand-dyeing and jewellery

Commonwealth Fashion Council

 Explore the exchange story of designer Fashion is Payne from St. Vincent and The Grenadines and artisan Designs by Nadia from Saint Lucia and find out how they created their look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, 2018.

"Sustainability to me means being able to live and produce effectively and efficiently without causing harm to the environment, the places we call home."  
Jeremy Payne
The Exchange: St. Vincent and The Grenadines x Saint Lucia
For The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange 2018, designer Fashion is Payne exchanged with artisan Designs by Nadia to create a look that was inspired by the nature and culture of both countries. The look was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 2018, and later moved to the Australian High Commission, London, where it was open to the public in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, April 2018.
St. Vincent and The Grenadines: Jeremy Payne
Native to St Vincent and the Grenadine Islands, Jeremy Payne is interested in all aspects of art and design, working with many local talents to explore the native culture. He is a great believer in the transformational quality of fashion, bringing a little Caribbean sunshine into the lives of the wearers. 
Saint Lucia: Artisan Designs By Nadia
Guyana-born, Saint Lucia-living, Nadia Jabour combines silver and gold with pieces of nature for her Designs by Nadia jewellery collections. Seeds, wood, sea glass, stones and in fact any natural material placed in Nadia’s skilled hands will be elevated into a precious, miniature work of art. Ensuring that the raw materials she works with come from Guyana and across the Caribbean region, her designs spread a little Caribbean magic throughout the world.
The story behind the look
Jeremy's Fashion Exchange gown was inspired by imagery found in local rock carvings. The look was created with sustainable materials and natural dyes. 

Illustration of the dress


The gown was created with hemp and organic cotton.

Natural dye

The material was tie-dyed with locally grown turmeric.

Design inspiration

The hand-painted motifs, chosen to connect to indigenous ancestors, reflect the imagery found in local rock carvings, believed to be up to 5000 years old.

Hand-painted motifs inspired by local rock carvings.

Jewellery by Designs by Nadia

Nadia Jabour from Saint Lucia completes the look with a custom necklace fashioned from copper and carved coconut shells.

Final look on display at Buckingham Palace, 19 February 2018

Final look on display at the Australian High Commission, London, 22 February 2018

Credits: Story

This content has been specifically curated for the Google Arts & Culture platform on behalf of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition that launched on the 19th of February at Buckingham Palace in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The project, created and managed by Eco-Age, with the support of The Commonwealth Fashion Council and The British Fashion Council.

More information about the images is available by clicking on them.
Read more about the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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