Faith and Fashion Files: Dominican Republic

fashion- dominican republicWhen I visited the DR back in 2008, I remember my auntie and I went shopping at this little store and my excitement was over the moon. Keep in mind that it was just ready-to-wear and not a designer’s specialty boutique. But everything was bright and more unique than anything I’ve seen in a long time for such an affordable price. Tank tops had beaded straps with geometric cuts, tops were completely covered in sequins or tie-dyed and off the shoulder with a ruffle, and prints resembled a combination of a Moroccan mosaic and a zebra- but it worked! I soon found out that this was a normal sight as I went to a grocery store/mall called La Sirena with a few friends. They immediately brought me to the vibrant jewelry and clothing baskets that we dug through until the store closed. #goodtimes

Because of this past experience I wasn’t too surprised during my research for this “Faith and Fashion File.” Read on!

a: Design which reminds me of that little store! Dominican fashion designer, Sully Bonnelly, a Santo Domingo native graduated from Parsons in New York and sold collections in Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and other high end retailers throughout the world.

b: Did you know Oscar de la Renta was a Dominican? He was one of my ultimate favorite fashion designers because of his haute couture gowns and ultra-feminine statement details. After graduating from the National School of Art in Santo Domingo, he traveled to Spain and worked for Cristobal Balenciaga, then Paris for Lanvin, then New York to design for Elizabeth Arden. Afterwards he finally started his own ready-to-wear label in 1965. A true inspiration. RIP.

c: A designer who has stayed more local, Lourdes Libman has become a favorite of the nation’s First Lady and has designed gowns for several Miss Universe contestants. I love that gigantor of a bow on that gown!

d: Traditional Dominican clothing echoes those of Spanish and African influences. These dresses were introduced by the Taino culture. Bouffant, colorful dresses with ruffles and floral headpieces. Now all that’s left is Spanish music!

e: Although there aren’t many world-renown fashion shows that takes place, that doesn’t stop the Dominicans from creating their own such as Republica Dominicana Fashion Week among others. Design by native G Her Hernandez.

f: In relation to letter “e,” guess where the world famous Mercedes Benz Fashion Week recently hit in April? You guessed it, the DR’s capital Santo Domingo!

g: In jewelry land, larimar is the stone of the Caribbean and only found in the DR. It literally looks you’re wearing a part of the ocean! Its color variations include white, light-blue, green-blue, and dark blue. You can purchase them in necklace, earrings, bracelet, or ring form from Harrison’s, the DR’s largest jewelry store chain. #shamelessplug #hehefaith-dr

The more I research on these four countries, the more I realize how prominent Roman Catholics are in the world. So interesting.

The Hope International missions trip from 2009 was my first medical trip and I will never forget the eyes that lit up when they were given practical aid, the smiles when they received their goody bag of clothes or toys, and the hearts that were softened when they heard God’s Word speak to them for the first time. What will 1 Nation 1 Day be like across 20 different regions?!?!?!?!?!????

To donate towards my 1 Nation 1 Day missions trip:

“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”
– Deuteronomy 15:11

Author: fashion meets God

Christ ambassador and faith & fashion blogger at

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