Fashion Fridays: Jamaica’s Love Affair with the Mesh Marina

June 20, 2014

Stylist Susannah Baker. Photo: Marlon Reid/Kingstonstyle

Whether the international market is deriving inspiration from Jamaican dancehall and reggae culture is uncertain, but it can be seen within the confines of Jamaican culture itself that the mesh marina is experiencing a renaissance amongst young tastemakers. From music videos to parties and manifestations in fashion collections, the mesh marina is recurring and like Bakerโ€™s ensemble that hot night in August when Marlon Reid stopped to snap a photo of her, it is both oddly fascinating and culturally interesting.

Walshy Fire,ย who recalls blending his Jamaican heritage and American surroundings in the early ’90s by customizing his mesh marinas with spraypainted graphics in line with hip-hop fashions of the day, says he’s surprised by the development. โ€œI thought Jamaicans would always be on that foreign brands shit,โ€ย he says with amusement. โ€œI thought I would be the only one still wearing diamond socks and Clarks and a mesh marina looking like I came out of Rockers. Now it is a real look again… This is a true resurgence of Jamaican culture and style and identity.โ€

Gregory Isaacs (at center with Peter Broggs, left, and Flabba Holt, right) wears a green mesh marina. Photo via: Midnight Raver.

I-Wayne. Photo: Martei Korley.