Christal Jonas-Clarke; CEO, Creator, Creative Director, Marketing Guru and Fashion Designer of the Unconventional, Haute Couture Fashion House “SHONTELL”; an ode to my middle name, which originated from Barbados (my birth place), meaning “God’s Gift”. I grew up on the sovereign country of St. Lucia; a small, beautiful island situated in the Caribbean; the place where I draw most of my design inspirations.
My aspiration for Shontell is to manifest to my audience that it is OK to be one’s Authentic Self. My innate desire for self-edification and refusal to accept the status quo fostered me to create designs which aids in empowering anyone who wears my creations to stand out from the rest, feel comfortable in their own skin by increasing one’s confidence; whilst also looking Phenomenal. My specialty ranges from couture gowns, swimwear, casual apparel, and accessories and caters to men, women and kids. Throughout the years, I have designed various collections, partaken in runway shows including “New York Fashion Week” and “Paris Fashion Week”; have been a part of fund raising activities, talk show and radio appearances, pop-up events; just to name a few.
“Iyanola” by Shontell Graced
Photos: Herlan Garcia.
My design inspiration is most often derived from nature. Every ensemble I create tells a story and has a peculiar meaning behind it. The bright vibrant colors of leaves; to the movement of the beautiful blue ocean waters and the stagnant portrayal of a uniquely shaped rock; are just a few elements of which captivates my creative mind wholly. My collection showcased at Milan City Fashion Week is named “IYANOLA”, which represents Versatility, Enthusiasm, Agility and Unconventional Methods. It attracts Empowerment, Adaptability and Trustworthiness; the perfect and most fitting name for this Tour de force collection, which represents who and what the brand SHONTELL truly stands for.
The collection consisted of ten (10) Haute Couture Pieces. The inspiration behind the collection embodies a majestic Isle with each design being meticulously named to represent royalty. (1) FLORA; long sleeved, turtleneck, corset mermaid gown in a rich mix of vibrant colors and diverse floral patterns. (2) ARI; white bodysuit overlaid with a beautiful buoyant structured sleeve, coupled with an alluring open-ended fish tail skirt in green, affixed by a two-piece diamond teardrop clasp. (3) NALA; beaded floral and pearl corset layered beautifully with a ruched skirt and exaggerated train, stratified with stupendous colored diamonds along the seam.
(4) MONA; graceful spiral flounces commands the hem of this exquisite mini dress, exhibiting the flow and movement of waves. Flowers, rhinestones and beads are perched elegantly throughout the ensemble. (5) LEIA; intricate mini dress handmade by the interweaving of bias tape, emanated from a beautiful rose flower adorned with sparkling crystal gems. (6) AURORA; mint colored mini dress designed to personify SHONTELL. The name shontell is spelt by strategically being hand sewn throughout the bodice of the dress, utilized by diamond-studded trimmings.
(7) BELLE; three-piece ensemble, seashell inspired, floral lace corset adorned with rhinestone trimmings sculptured in the shape of seashells, with the movement of waves portrayed at the hem. Layered over a long sheer beaded gown. (8) AMEENA; color blocking of rich sun yellows and rosy pinks harmonizes this beautiful midi dress. An asymmetrical pleating design accentuates the bodice of the gown with a side-layered tail securely clasped at the waist by an exquisite diamond applique. (9) MAJESTIC; white lace ruched gown adorned by flowy gold frills, gracefully accentuated at the center back, waist and bodice by elegant gold bug brooches. (10) MIRA; long sleeved, golden mermaid goddess, shimmering as bright as the sun. My dress was name ARIEL; rich, vibrant, under-the-sea color combinations adorned this tour-de-force fishtail gown.