(Jamaica Gleaner) Jamaica’s queen of cutwork embroidery, the doyenne of vogue, Olga Francis Keane is useless.
She was 87.
Francis Keane, famend for dressing girls from all strata of the society, together with Queen Elizabeth II, former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, first girls Beverley Manley, Mitsy Seaga, and Edna Manley, died in Florida, USA, Friday morning after ailing for greater than 11 years.
Francis Keane’s protégé Weston Haughton, who studied vogue together with her within the Eighties, stated the lady he affectionately tagged ‘Mommy Keane’ dressed a number of magnificence queens, along with the unusual woman on the road.
“She was so unique, so distinctive, girls would stroll off the road, ordered a costume and pay money.”
The designer, who had all the Jamaica speaking concerning the embroidered cutwork that she wove into Simpson Miller’s wedding ceremony costume and Miss World 1993 Lisa Hanna’s attention-grabbing fitted robe, was so effectively revered in her area, when the Ebony Style Honest got here to Jamaica she was the one native designer chosen to look.
Haughton, co-franchise holder of the Miss Jamaica World pageant, stated that as a pioneer within the vogue trade, Keane operated a manufacturing facility on Hagley Park Highway, earlier than shifting uptown to Central Plaza, the place she expanded, by setting up a showroom, a mezzanine, a big basement, and her manufacturing facility. This was the place she staged her vogue exhibits within the early days.
Francis Keane, who studied at Traphagen College of Style in New York, was lauded by Jamaica’s first supermodel, Althea Laing, whose life has been touched richly by the late trailblazer.
Laing recollects going to Francis Keane for a lot of particular items, however leaving with excess of she anticipated. “She nurtured a lot of our younger girls, extending that maternal predisposition she was recognized for,” stated Laing.
A mom of 5, one predeceased her, Laing stated that for most of the girls in vogue, Francis Keane was their emotional anchor and confidante.
“She motivated us to be who we actually wished to be, fulfilling our goals within the course of,” Laing instructed The Gleaner on Friday.
Francis Keane was spiritual, and a go to to her boutique felt like being embraced by the partitions. “There was this heat as a result of she had such a magnetic character,” Laing reminisced.
The style designer moved to Florida about 13 years in the past, the place she resided together with her daughter as much as the time of her demise.
Her daughters, Jennifer Goodrich and Fay Keane-Headley, described her as a strong-willed girl who believed within the worth of labor and training.
“She had a coronary heart of gold, she gave to everybody. She was an enormous encourager, she discovered the great in all people and hosted various Christmas treats in Greenwich City,” Keane-Headley instructed The Gleaner.
Goodrich, who studied at Esmod College of Style in Paris, adopted in her mom’s footsteps, however is now an actual property dealer in Florida.
“We now have all been influenced by our mother. From the onset I had a aptitude for design, and he or she noticed that in me,” she stated.
Reminiscing on the lady who gave beginning to them, the ladies stated one of many issues that additionally fascinated them about their mom was her hair, which took on a sequence of shades when hit by the solar.
In 1998, Francis Keane was inducted into the Order of Distinction, rank of Officer, by the Jamaican Authorities.