Claudia Pegus Debuts Trapped for Fashion Week
During Fashion Week (Trinidad and Tobago) which begins today, skinny women and chiselled men will walk the ramp at the Hyatt showcasing dream collections from some of the country”s top designers.
But in the audience, as Claudia Pegus watches the debut of her CPFS line after its six-year hiatus, she will recall that less than a week ago she was held at gunpoint along with some of her employees when three bandits (two were female) brandishing a gun entered her Woodbrook atelier with a promise to kill.
After 15 minutes of terror and ravishing the contents of the design shop, the thieves did not leave behind body bags but they left instead gaping scars on the designer’s memory which even as she cut, pinned, and tucked material onto the mannequins transformed the nature of her debut collection.
“When I started designing the CPFS line just before Carnival, it was going to be called Illusion. I wanted to play on my strong reputation as a couturier and how it had obscured the fact that I did ready-to -wear with ease. The collection was a poke at me, a reminder to others. It was supposed to be fun and beautiful and light."
When the Pegus line debuts today, it will be anything but.
“After the incident, I felt (and still feel) emotionally drained and as I resumed work the pieces in the collection began to take a different form. On hearing the news of what happened, many people called to commiserate. As we spoke I began to realise how many of my friends and even acquaintances had been direct victims of crime. Many are living in fear. It’s like we all feel trapped. The well to do and the middle class are trapped, no matter how high the wall or strong the burglar proof. Perhaps even the bandits are trapped in their ignorance and their environment. But mostly I felt that my sense of safety and my well being had been ripped away"
Pegus’ CPFS line had a new name and direction.
Since last Friday, Claudia and her staff have worked non-stop to produce Trapped, a collection, carefully constructed with strings and ties and rope. Skinny female models and chiselled men will be utilised to make strong anti-crime messages. Masks will be worn. Spray paint will be utilised and a character used to specifically to convey the message of confinement will surprise and shock.
"Can crime inspire?
“I think it makes you feel angry and ravished and despairing but I also I think creativity can come from all kinds of sources. This is a very strong line," said Pegus.
Trapped comes on the heels of the designer’s recent show of a stunning collection of dresses at the recently concluded Fifth Summit of the Americas Fashion.
Last week, Pegus was tied and ordered to lie face down on the floor. She was later taken around the shop with a gun pointed to the back of her head to identify valuables.
None of the bandits wore masks. All were under 25.