Van der Vlugt
Trinidad and Tobago
Darcel de Vlugt is a Caribbean-based designer, who was born in Trinidad & Tobago but raised around the world in the Middle East and Cyprus. She spent six years in London after graduating from high school with five A levels, as well as a teaching qualification in modern dance, where she acquired her Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Technology for Womenswear at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (UAL).
In 2007, she used her internship semester as an opportunity to get back in touch with her Caribbean roots by working alongside top designer Meiling Esau for six months. In 2008, following graduation from UAL, she made her runway debut at the Islands of the World Fashion Week (IWFW) in Nassau, the Bahamas, where she placed as a top three finalist in every category: Next Generation Designer, Eco-Sustainable & Cultural.
She returned to the Bahamas the following year to win the Next Generation Designer Award 2009 with her Mad Hatter’s Tea Party collection.
Following her return to Trinidad & Tobago in 2010, Darcel de Vlugt became the Editor of the premier Caribbean fashion resource CFstyle.com, as well as concurrently being the sub-Editor for UK-based multicultural women’s magazine ComplexdWoman. During that time, she exercised not only her writing skills but also creatively directed a number of photo shoots and productions in collaboration with other Caribbean designers. She became a mother in 2011 and returned to the world of design in May 2012 with a small collection on the runway of the re-designed Islands of the World Fashion Showcase (IWFS) in the Bahamas as a veteran designer. Having teased the public with hints of bridal and red carpet allure throughout her work, in February 2013 – after being one of only three designers chosen to showcase their work in London at the International Fashion Showcase during London Fashion Week – she made the decision to pursue the niche in bridal/special occasion wear during her time in Trinidad.
She has now been doing bridal wear and accessories for five years and has quickly become the “go-to” designer for all things bridal. She is known for her exquisite laces and handmade, hand-sewn accessories using Swarovski pearls and crystals.