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Eric Raisina: The True Malagasy Progeny

Eric Raisina: The True Malagasy Progeny

11/8/2009 12:00:00 AM
By: Edward Russell III

Nassau, Bahamas -- Malagasy designer Eric Raisina made his Islands of the World Fashion Week debut the final night of the three-day international event mixing dark colored, form-fitting dresses and ethereal pieces in one colorful and mesmerizing showcase.

The designer, whose “silk fur” fabrics and “African lace” are highly sought after by design houses Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent and other Parisian fashion houses, is best known for his textile designs of bold colored fabrics which he masterfully crafted in pieces that classily accentuated the femininity of each of his models.

Vibrant reds, rich fuchsias, burnt oranges, subtle olives, shocking turquoise, varying shades of blue and uncertain grays dominated the showcasing as models took viewers from a warm and playful summer’s day to a dark and fierce summer’s night.

Perhaps one of the most notable pieces in Raisina’s showcase, which was a true exhibition of his pride for country, was a bright red organza dress with strips of chiffon cheetah fabric underneath. As the model strutted onto the runway, pockets of air lifted the soft, almost translucent fabrics in waves of red giving the illusion of a heat wave during a red African sunset.

His general style mixes influences from Madagascar, which is an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, and Asia.

The fusion of the two countries form the highly acclaimed Eric Raisina style.

“Because I’m designing my own fabrics, it makes my silhouette unique…and the fabric itself tells me if it’s a dress or skirt. I’m a big fan of natural fabrics like silk, raffia, cotton and linen,” said Raisina after his showing.

In addition to his participation in this year’s Islands of the World Fashion Week, where he took home the Eco Fashion Award and one of four Seals of Excellence Awards, Raisina’s other major showcases have included New York Fashion Week where he exhibited his Spring/Summer 2010 collect and the Johannesburg ARISE Fashion Week.

The designer, who grew up in Madagascar and studied European Fashion and Textile Design at the Institut Francais de la Mode in Paris, settled in Cambodia in the late 1990s where he devoted himself to the development of Cambodian silk weaving and dyeing techniques.

Tailoring his wears to women who simply want that special something inside her wardrobe, Raisina hinted that this is the type of client he lives for.

“I have ready-to-wear where ladies have something casual and then I’m keeping in doing something unique pieces because today with the globalization of fashion and the industry of garments, ladies finally have some new pieces in their wardrobe, so I’m here to do that,” Raisina said.

And although Raisina travels to gain inspiration for his collections, he needs only to look forward to the Malagasy summer.

“I’m always inspired from summer. My inspiration is always my country because it is such a huge island [and] I have a lot of things to tell about my country,” Raisina said.
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