Joëlle Fontaine, designer and founder of Kréyol, debuted for the first time in New York Fashion Week the Karabela collection, during AMCONYC Fashion Week sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts. The fashion label Kréyol incorporates Fontaine’s love of costuming and ancient periods in a comprehensive collection that represents sophistication at its best. Encompassing Fontaine’s fascination of 1800’s silhouettes, vintage, precise cuts, bold funkadelic patterns, discothèque sequence and classic femininity, Kréyol also utilizes old Haitian uniforms and dresses as a basis and inspiration for design.
Karabela is inspired by the traditional quadrille dress that is utilized in folk dance and traditional ceremonies in Haiti. It is usually made of a denim material, featuring intricate details, such as embroidery or hand painting. This bespoke dress is worn by many women in the Caribbean countries. It is the folk costume of Jamaica, Dominica, St. Lucia, and Haiti. It is known by a different name in each region. In Haiti, it is called Karabela. Fontaine utilized some basic design elements from this dress to inspire a collection that is fresh, young, feminine, flirty and most importantly, wearable.