Diotima’s S/S 24 Nine-Nights Collection is a Reflection of Jamaica’s Mosaic of History

Image courtesy of Lucien Pages

After living in Milan and working with Costume National, Rachel Scott designer and founder of Diotima, gained a profound appreciation for the craftsmanship she was surrounded by in Jamaica. “I grew up with it, and I loved it” she describes. “When I saw it elsewhere being made by people but then not being valued, it became a huge desire to try and do something that was connected to Jamaica, but on this level that was understood and accepted on a global understanding of luxury.” Following her nomination as an LVMH finalist, Scott debuted her latest collection for NYFW, titled “Nine-Night,” at Agora Gallery in Chelsea drawing an audience of editors, stylists, and fans like Marjon Carlos, Oyinda , and Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships Eva Chen who have all worn the brand. The setting of the presentation was fitting as Scott partnered with Jamaican contemporary artist Laura Facey, whose art regularly explores the human body, spiritual transformation, and the enduring legacy of colonialism and slavery in Jamaica.

Image courtesy of Lucien Pages

Facey’s recent exhibition Laboratory of the Ticking Heart prompted Scott to reflect on the complex history of the human form in context of the Caribbean. She expressed, “The meditation on death was ever present, but I wanted to find a way to show the complexity of the history and the complexity of Laura and me by doing something that brought us towards the future, which for me is a nine-night.” Scott further elaborated on the collection’s name, “nine-nights,” which refers to an extended wake held nine days after a person’s passing. During this ceremony, family and friends commemorate the life of the deceased through food and music, culminating in turning the deceased’s mattress against the wall to facilitate the passage of their “spirit” into the afterlife.

Images courtesy of Lucien Pages

Inspired by the chalk drawing Seed(2022) from Facey’s exhibit, Scott transformed the work into a cotton print draped into an chic caftan, while Facey’s wood-carved hearts found new life in gold, hazel, and scarlet earrings, waistbeads, and necklaces. Scott is a passionate advocate of slow fashion and her signature, handwoven crochet, was crafted by a group of skilled crochet women stationed in Kingston, Jamaica. As material development is essential to Scott, the unique technique was innovatively incorporated into complementary pieces like the darting on khaki blazers, plaid trousers, and white button-down dresses. Discussing sustainability, Scott emphasized, “I think people think about sustainability only on a material level, but it goes so much more beyond that. It’s also the method of making, it’s about amplifying and supporting people in the global south because they’re going to be on the front lines of climate change, that’s really my passion.”

Right: Laura Facey | Images courtesy of Lucien Pages

The collection showcased Scott’s foray into more eveningwear with stunning iridescent and black tie-dye prints on flowing dresses and skirts, terrific beading, a strapless lemon netted gown, and eye-catching, intricately layered crochet dresses in nut chocolate, lime, and ruby. Notably, Laura Facey herself donned in the ruby version in the collection’s lookbook. Crochet tank tops adorned with glossy embellishments in jet black and snowy white made a prominent statement, complemented by a matching dress with maroon stripes. Scott added her own unique touch to the classic peacoat, infusing it with gold embellishments and featured crochet sun hats in red and cream. Rachel Scott continues to make an authentic mark on the industry, showing that she is one to watch out for.

Rachel Scott | Image courtesy of Lucien Pages

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