The photographs were taken during a fashion show which took place at the main church of the Anglican diocese in T&T on Saturday night as part of Style Week, Port-of-Spain.
Flags advertising the event’s main sponsor, the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), were also displayed on the church’s fence.
Despite the online backlash, however, another Style Week runway show was held at the Cathedral last night which included online swimwear boutique, Genesis Swim.
Ellis Briggs, chairman of Zetick Caribbean Limited, the organiser of Style Week, told Guardian Media those having an issue with the fashion show at the church were just being “hypersensitive”.
“There is a lot of talk about a photo of a model in a bathing suit. I didn’t realise that the human body was something to be ashamed of. I didn’t realise that we as human beings were born with clothes. I think people are just hypersensitive,” Briggs said.
“This is the era we live in. We live in this era where you put something on the internet and it goes viral and it becomes a big controversy and that’s that. Nobody really cares about the fashion designers who are struggling or the models who are getting an avenue to showcase their talents. Nobody cares about that what they care about is just this little sensation for the moment. In a couple of weeks they will forget about that,” he said.
Zetick Caribbean Limited’s Chief Executive Officer Shunnel Roopchand commended the Anglican church for being “forward-thinking and very progress by allowing the show to take place there.
“Style Week is about highlighting talents that are given to us by God, creative talents and that was the position of the church as well,” Roopchand said.
Roopchand said a portion of the proceeds from the show will go the church to aid in their restoration works, “Our agreement with the church is dual purposed. While they are very, very happy to accommodate us, we would also be assisting in their restoration,” she said.
Last August, the Holy Trinity Cathedral sustained structural damage as a result of a massive earthquake that hit Port-of-Spain. Roopchand said funds required for this restoration has been valued at $5 million.
“So hopefully we can get people perhaps interested—maybe some of those same people on social media—to come in and chip in something to help the restoration efforts of the church,” Briggs said.
Briggs said Style Week did not start a trend by holding a fashion show in a church, “This is nothing new. We didn’t set any trend. This has gone on internationally already,” he said.