The Beth & Tracie Barbados team have been very busy shooting next seasons collection at a quintessentially Caribbean location.
Whilst very excited to get a sneak peek of the new styles and prints coming in SS17, here on this side of the water the UK team were slightly green with envy when we saw this most beautiful destination.
Fustic House, a colonial style building on the western coast of Barbados was originally built in 1740 but was completely redesigned in the 1970's by Oliver Messel.
Messel was a famous artist and stage designer well known for fabulous theatre sets and costumes for such as Romeo and Juliet and Gigi - for which he won Tony nominations. In between creating theatre designs, Oliver retreated to Barbados to winter in an attempt to aid his recurrent arthritis. He fell in love with the island and loved the colour and vibrancy of Barbados and designed and refurbished many of the buildings there, with wealthy well-connected friends eager fro him to transform their homes too.
Well-connected through his nephew Anthony Armstrong-Jones who became Lord Snowdon upon marriage to HRH Princess Margaret, Messel went on to design her famous retreat on Mustique, Les Jolies Eaux.
Yet it was Fustic House, Barbados which was to become one of his most favourite buildings, where he brought the theatrical, romantic style of his stage designs to the building with Greek-style pillars, columns and mouldings.
He also designed the pool the world famous pool at Fustic House which is formed like a naturalistic lagoon, pictured, edged in natural rock and still today lit at night from beneath.
The vibrant colours and heat of the tropics seemed to inspire Messel's designs with an added energy and enthusiasm and he seamlessly linked the indoor and outdoor space in much of his work, in what would become a very successful second career designing and refurbishing buildings there.
Oliver Messel's legacy in Barbados remains not only in the beautiful buildings he left behind after his death in 1978 but also in his trade mark favoured shade of light sage green known as "Messel Green" by Caribbean Paint companies to this day. This particular shade and white combination being what many of us lucky enough to live or visit the island feel epitomises a quintessentially Caribbean look.
Privately owned Fustic House boasts 7 luxury suites set in 11 acres at St. Lucy, Barbados and is available for rental.
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