The 3D Special

In 3D

Sunday, October 08, 2017

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His larger-than-life persona and creative mastery loomed large on The Rock's entertainment landscape, and his untimely passing a month ago cast a long shadow not only for his inner sanctum but also a storied list of music and fashion insiders, corporate executives and ardent admirers that extended far beyond the island's shores.

Dexter Pottinger was a force to be reckoned with. His abundant talent as an in-demand hair- and wardrobe stylist and make-up artist on fashion shoots (yes, Vogue summoned when the iconic glossy mag needed assistance for its locally-lensed editorials), television commercials (Digicel, Red Stripe and Ting were among the multiple brands that had him on speed-dial) and music videos (frequent collaborator and director Ras Kassa hailed the late artist as a “pace-setting forerunner”) made him one of his generation's boldest and most idiosyncratic of personalities.

The late 34-year-old Pottinger — whose first brush with the arts came as a teenaged dancer with the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble — was scouted by Saint International Chief Executive Officer Deiwght Peters 17 years ago in the lobby of the Jamaica Pegasus hotel and encouraged to pursue a modelling career.

Dispatched to London for go-sees with agencies and casting directors, the handsome, ebony-hued Pottinger didn't take a shine to the model life but found great interest in the production process behind-the-scenes, and seeking out the help and subsequent guidance of celebrity stylist Ty-Ron Mayes, he successfully carved out a career as a stylemaker, creating distinctive images for entertainers Ce'cile and Tifa, and so many others who came a-calling.

Pottinger, himself a man of edgy sartorial sensibilities, was visually savvy, capable of transforming venue spaces and wardrobe choices, from an outing to a dancehall session or red-carpet engagement. As both a menswear and womenswear designer, his aesthetic was always fashion-forward, ber-cool, resembling the covetable threads he himself would step out in. An original in every sense, Pottinger was unmatched in his brilliance.

Most importantly Dexter Pottinger was our anointed one. He was our Alexander McQueen, our Gianni Versace, our Yves Saint Laurent. His spark burned bright, but was short. His obsession with doing, pushing boundaries and lifting others is now fully comprehensible: he would not be with us for long! He has taken his rightful place among the luminaries who went before him as we piece together our fragmented hearts. It would have been remiss of us not to dedicate an issue to our beloved style arbiter because, even as we mourn, there's so much to give thanks for...

SO pays tribute through the words and treasure trove of photos from the Observer archives and those who knew him best. Rest in love, Dexter.




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