Words by Jahneen Leslie
The Caribbean’s love affair with the mesh marina is never ending. You might remember Erin Hansen-McKnight of Kingston Style brought us an in-depth look at the history and resurgence of Jamaica’s staple garment. Although the muscle tee is closely linked with rude-boy style, in the last year there has been a rise of rude gyals on the scene rocking their mesh marinas with style, and grace. We featured Savannah Baker of Pum Pum Socks in that original mesh-marina feature, however, with Tommy Hilfiger featuring a red, gold and green print maxi mesh marina dress in his island-inspired 2016 SS collection, and Rihanna donning a similar piece (or perhaps the Hilfiger dress itself?) in her “Work” video, we expect to see a lot more ladies getting on rude this summer!
Jamaican fashion blogger Tia of MyRepeatOffender.com gives us her take on the mesh marina, and why this a garment for gyals and guys alike.
LargeUp: What are some of your favorite ways to rock the classic mesh marina?
Tia: I rock the marina in different ways. The mesh marina will forever be my first go-to for a cover up for the beach. I have a lot of fun with them, and I like to be experiment with dress codes. I always end up cutting my marinas into crop tops, and leaving the raw edge, or I tuck it under my bra for a neater look. At times, I will hear there’s a semi-formal dress code for an event, and I will find a way to wear my mesh marina just to see if I can get away with it. I can wear it casually, or semi-formal.
LU: What are you predictions for mesh marinas in Summer 2016?
T: More and more females are wearing them, and Rihanna wore a dress version in the ‘Work’ music video, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing them all over the beach this summer.
LU: What is the relationship between the love of fishnet fabric in dancehall fashion, and the mesh marina?
T: Jamaican dress is very comfortable, and for most the most part that means not too much fabric. We live in the Caribbean — you won’t see us in suits everyday. Our men will always be in mesh marinas, and our female dancehall divas in fishnet fabric style tops or bottoms, so there is definitely a relationship. But in recent times more females are making the mesh marinas uni-sexual, and we can count on seeing more females in mesh marinas than fishnets this year.
Also, be sure to pree up some videos from leading ladies in their mesh marinas:
Sigala – Say You Do ft. Imani and DJ Fresh
Toian – Rude Boys
Rihanna – Work