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Meiling - Mentor

Meiling’s career began when she left Trinidad to study at the Lucie Clayton School of Design. After receiving her diploma in the early 70s, she returned to Trinidad, where she set up her first studio and avant garde retail outlet in a renovated garage. The global perspective she brought to Trinidad not only spiked local sartorial interest, but also raised a sky-high bar on the staging of runway shows. Since her return, the MEILING brand has been renowned for her work in fine linens and natural fabrics. No longer in a garage, Meiling remains connected to the principles of individuality and good craftsmanship. For each bi-annual couture show her skilled team works one-off garments by hand, paying close attention to the detailing of every piece, whether beading, embroidery, or a razor-sharp pleat. The list of local, regional and international celebrities who wear her clothes include celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam.

In 1982, MEILING Limited Editions Ltd was founded, a successful corporate wear division to outfit employees in several companies locally and throughout the Caribbean. In 1996, the brand established a resort line for export and, later that same year, Z MEILING, a clothing line targeted at a market of 15-30 year olds.

Since 1983, Meiling has worked closely with Emmy Award-winning costume designer, Peter Minshall on his Carnival productions and other artistic presentations. This collaboration has won her accolades, notably for her involvement in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, and for her work with the Miss Universe Pageant, which was held in Trinidad in 1999.

In 2005, Absolut of Sweden commissioned the MEILING brand to design uniforms for the Absolut bar at 51 Degrees, a local nightspot. This collaboration proved so successful that the company concocted an “Absolut Meiling” martini. Absolute International also featured her in their quarterly international magazine as the ‘it’ designer to watch.

Meiling is also known for her work with and support of local musical talents, including calypsonian David Rudder and acclaimed Rapso artists, 3Canal, with whom she has an extended working relationship. For the trio’s Bacchanal show, Meiling reinvented ole-time Carnival characters in a stark palette of black and white, an effort that brought her the 2006 Cacique Award for Most Outstanding Costume Design. That same year, she designed Opening Ceremony uniforms for the Trinidad and Tobago team at the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia.