“What is life if you can’t dream?”

By Lakhram Bhagirat

When it comes to fashion, there is so much one can say but what sums it all up is the fact that fashion is dynamic while style is individual. We are in an era where fashion is limitless, there are no rules that govern what designers put out. We have the old being branded ‘new’ and new as out of the box.

However, the local fashion industry is one that lacks the originality of what Guyanese fashion is truly about. On course to change that is 29-year-old Anthony Dinally.

Anthony is a classic millennial with a passion for everything beautiful and artistic. Always challenging traditions for a modern outcome is how he describes himself. The Georgetown native has always unconsciously been at the front of the fashion scene, since he would always offer advice to his mother and older sister.

Coming from a single-parent household meant that there were struggles in his life but it always allowed him to be humble. Despite his humbleness, Anthony has always had ginormous dreams, and his favourite quote is “What is life if you can’t dream?”

His initial introduction to the fashion industry was in 2009 when he entered the ColeFacts Fashion Competition organised by designers Michelle Cole and the late Trevor Rose. However, owing  to work commitments, he was forced to withdraw, but in 2013, the opportunity arose in a different form.

“I met Damian Moore, an artist and fashion designer and former student of the CAFD UTT, through a friend. He was offering an introductory course to fashion design at the Burrowes School of Arts. I signed up and by the end of the programme, he had convinced me to apply to UTT (University of Trinidad and Tobago) Caribbean Academy of Fashion Design. I took some time but I managed to compile a portfolio and submitted it in May of 2015 and I was accepted for the new school year, starting September of that year,” Anthony explained.

The journey was one that was literally blood, sweat and tears for Anthony. He pushed beyond his boundaries and  did not give up.

“I will begin by saying the fashion industry ironically isn’t as pretty as you think it is. It is labour-intensive; blood, sweat and tears, literally! Each semester, each level, posed new challenges since fashion is both theoretical and practical with almost impossible deadlines. I am grateful to have been blessed with amazing classmates, for without each other, none of us would have lasted,” he revealed.

The hard work paid off and when Anthony graduated in June, he created history as he was awarded the Student of the Year Award. He is the first regional or international student to receive the award for fashion.

For him, it was a moment to pay homage to his fashion icon, Lee Alexander Mc Queen.

“I’m quite humbled to be honest. I guess the most rewarding thing throughout the final process, was seeing people’s reaction to my concept and vision and actually getting it, agreeing with it! Almost like they were being awakened,” he said on receiving top honours.

Now that the easy part is over, life gets real. It is time for Anthony to put all that he have learnt into practice and develop a brand that fully represents the Caribbean and South America at an international level — the representative sustainable clothing brand of this region.

He certainly did that with his collection “BODYSCAPE”.

BODYSCAPE was inspired by landscaping under the theme “sustainability and technology: the future of fashion”. The collection was developed to exhibit the amalgamation of two contrasting elements (the natural environment and artificial intelligence) working together to prove that both elements are quintessential for the health of the environment and for innovative and new design possibilities.

Anthony has a bright future ahead as he seeks to create his mark and leave behind a legacy that will challenge his icon’s.