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the UK’S first online magazine for multi-cultural women



ithout sounding too patriotic, I must say this has been my favourite issue! I grew up between London and the tri-island state of Grenada. I got my fair share of fruit, free roaming and ‘licks’ (a common West Indian punishment for bad behaviour) as well as museum visits, shepherd’s pie and treats from Hamley’s. I remember at a young age whilst on vacation in Grenada, I blurted out something in the way that children always point out loudly to the embarrassment of their parents. ‘Mummy he’s not Grenadian, he’s White!’ I shrieked upon hearing the man’s strong accent. At that stage I was attending pre-school in the UK and race differences were clearly defined amongst children through activities like painting faces on paper plates. From that moment on, my mother taught me about tolerance of all people and that physical characteristics are not definitive of a person’s nationality. The world is now such a diverse place because of economic mobility. However, ignorance still brings people back to the belief that a one’s country of origin defines their race. It is often perceived that the Caribbean is strictly Afro-Caribbean, but due to a history of colonization and migration, the Islands are inhabited with large Asian communities; business opportunities entice Europeans and some islands have national languages in Dutch, French and Spanish. This issue of COMPLEXD explores the beauty of the Caribbean, from its blue skies and clear waters to more pressing cultural issues and how the Caribbean continues to inspire me on this Complexd Journey.

Founding Editor Kered Clement

Editor Kered Clement Sub Editor Darcel de Vlugt Creative Director Vanesha Ramdoyal Contributing Photographers Sidney Etienne Andre Rattigan Richard Munro


Fashion Kered Clement Photography Jay-D-Will Make-up Sophia Danielle Model Claudia Smith Special thanks to Natural Heritage Boutique Camden Market

COMPLEXD CONTENTS 04 COMPLEXD STYLE COMPLEXD BEAUTY 06 Calista Anastasia DeJesus 08 Nerissa Nene Irving 10 Make-up Ideas COMPLEXD PROFILES 12 Mamayashi – The Designer 14 Leah Marville- The Model 16 Angela Plummer - The Hairstylist 18 Elaine Johnson – The Artist 20 Darcel de Vlugt – the Campaigner COMPLEXD FEATURES 22 HAITI - Before and After 28 Defiant Beauty - By Black Lily 32 Ladies of the Dancehall by Heike Wollenweber

COMPLEXD FASHION 34 Caribbean Fashion Week 2010 – by Mario Davis 38 Claudia Smith 44 The Rock 54 The Roof is on Fire COMPLEXD MAN 60 Sweet like Mango Juice - Peter Dean Rickards COMPLEXD LIFESTYLE 66 Petite Anse - Building the Dream 70 Sumting Sweet Yu’ - Akiram Catering COMPLEXD TRAVEL 74 Carnival Queen COMPLEXD TALENT 78 Romero Bryan

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HONEY The Hibiscus; is a versatile little wonder that either sits behind ears of island girls or is mixed with a medley of herbs, spices and sugar cane to make a sweet Caribbean beverage called Sorrel. Now it’s being intricately sequenced into the spring summer 10 collection of Asian designer Ashish Gupta. It’s interesting to think that a flower so frequent on Island soil inspires enough to create glamorous pieces handmade in India and sold to fashion’s finest in Cosmopolitan cities.

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RASTA Calista Anastasia DeJesus

Background/beliefs: African American/Filipino/Punjabi I grew my locs because... I can’t style hair if my life depended on it! But I love that each person has loc’s that are unique to them. Loc’s are simplistic yet complex in their formations. I love my locs because... I feel certain solidarity with other people who have locs. Maybe it’s the experience, stigmatism, or journey that we all shared in growing our locs.

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It’s no fashion statement for me Nerissa Nene Irving Background/beliefs: Jamaican/Spiritual I grew up ... in a Rastafarian home so I have been growing my hair since I was 1 years old. Now it’s a fashion statement. It’s no fashion statement for me, it represents my roots. I love my hair... it makes me unique! If someone told me my locs weren’t feminine I’d tell them to suck a duck and then say have a bless day. IMAGES BY SIDNEY ETIENNE

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After applying black gel liner blend out the top edges to soften the look. Use a black eyeshadow to set the gel liner. This creates a 3-D eye-popping effect

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Layering over white eyeliner will help to illuminate bright colours like aqua blue. The trick to defined fades is to place scotch tape on the outer half of the eyes and then blend away. Photographer/stylists Jaumark Pierre Image editing Paul Warren Make-up artist Arlene Villarule Model Shari Demas Swimwear Sandra Hordatt

Image by Valarie Caesar

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resouceful women Mamayashi – The Designer JAMAICAN-BORN, NEW YORK-BRED MAMAYASHI CATERS TO THE AFROCENTRIC ROOTS-CONSCIOUS, URBAN FASHIONISTA WITH HER LABEL SUITABLY NAMED AFTER HERSELF. In 2005... after my son was born, I knew I’d stay at home with him. Designing clothes allows me to work from home. I can cook, clean, teach, while exploring my inner depths. My son... motivates me, but my ancestors keep me greatly inspired. I can feel their presence in my breakthrough moments. I can feel when an idea is coming from a deeper place. Mamayashi is... fresh and funky cultural clothing with a twist. I love everything I make and I’m just glad so many want to own them! My culture is in my work. I reflect the creativity and independence that practicing the teachings of Rastafari manifest.

My “son motivates me, but my ancestors keep me greatly inspired

I ignore... the fashion industry; I know that my ancestors reached creative heights through intuition and natural skill. I use the knowledge in my spirit to bring forth my creations. I am resourceful... by being quirky with very practical things like shoelaces and zippers. I don’t like waste. I re-use my scraps in the creation of new designs all the time and remix old t-shirts into new ones. It takes a lot of energy to make some of these screenprints that are on t-shirts, re-using them saves energy.

Mamayashi’s son wears a marcus garvey T-shirt designed by Mamayashi

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Leah Marville – The Model SINCE STARTING OUT HER INTERNATIONAL MODELLING CAREER IN CAPE TOWN, LEAH MARVILLE HAS ENJOYED A PROLIFIC CAREER. SHE INITIATED ‘FASHION WITH A MISSION’ - AN ORGANIZATION SET UP TO CHAMPION HELP AND AID FOR CHILDREN IN HER HOMETOWN OF BARBADOS AND IS ALSO THE FOUNDER OF ‘THE LOVE CAMPAIGN’ WHICH SUPPORTS CHILDREN INFECTED AND AFFECTED BY HIV/AIDS. I loved... the mix of cultures and easy going lifestyle in Cape Town. It’s described as the playground for Europe, but you’re never allowed to forget its African wild side. Penguins would share the beaches with me; sea lions would lounge at the docks and 20mins away were the baboons, ostriches and if you’re lucky zebra herds. Adapting to... a new culture was a shocking experience. The absence of friends and family and realising that African and Bajan culture had some similarities and drastic differences was hard. South Africa has 27 different dialects, four official national languages and people still spoke about the tribes they belonged to. But because the Caribbean ancestry is entrenched in Africa, I felt a sense of belonging once I settled. In South Africa... my roommate’s brother died from HIV Aids. I was able to learn firsthand the effects of the disease, and its impact on the erosion of families and their income. I entered Miss World in 2008 and one of the mandates was to conceptualize and implement a charity. I knew immediately my charities aim; I wanted to alleviate some of the family expenses such as food, so that money could be used to ensure that the children were able to still live a normal life. My resource ... was my reputation. I leveraged my campaign on my popularity as an international model and television host, to solicit sponsorship and influence the media.

I asked friends in the industry to create a series of television endorsed ads. The ads encouraged people to donate food for the HIV Food Bank and donate cash to the HIV Commission. In the first waive, the campaign was successful to the tune of $50,000. The ads were later endorsed by, Wyclef Jean, Eve, Boyz 2 men, Usain Bolt, Beenie man and a few other Barbadian personalities. I visited several secondary schools with local entertainers and held mini

My roommate’s brother died from HIV/Aids. I learnt firsthand the effects of the disease, and its impact on the erosion of families and their income

concerts promoting healthy lifestyles under the banner ‘Respect Yaself’. Willing sponsors allowed us to develop the TV series, dubbed The Love Campaign School Tour.

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Garment Angela Plummer Photographer Titus Powell Make up Lauren Baker Model Kelby Keenan

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Angela Plummer – The Hairstylist AFTER PROTESTING ‘THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU BRAID MY HAIR’ TO HER MUM. ANGELA PLUMMER A PROUD JAMAICAN HAS GONE ON TO COMPEL WITH HER SCULPTURED BRAIDED WORKS OF ART. TAKING HAIR ARTISTRY TO THE NEXT LEVEL TIME AND TIME AGAIN SHE HAS NOW TURNED HER CREATIVE TIPS TO BRAIDING CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES. The typical... West Indian ritual of hair consisted of my mother combing and pulling my hair and ‘konking’ or ‘chopping’ me in my head. So from the day I banned my mum from doing my hair I braided it myself every two weeks. Over the years I developed a very distinctive style of braiding which is both unique and creative. Braiding is... something that is a part of my Jamaican culture but my work

the industry. I’m a walking example of someone who has never let other people’s negative views hold me back from expressing myself. Its... 3.21am in the early hours of the morning and I am still up. That defines hard work. You need to put in the time and effort because nothing falls in your lap. Hard work challenges me on a daily basis but I always put 100% into any project I do.

I was once told that if I only did natural hair I would not become anything in the industry is more of a reflection of my creativity. I always visualise my styles/creations, then I either free style the collection improving on it as I am go along or I sketch and develop the collection. I am inspired... by negativity. I was once told that if I only did natural hair I would not become anything in

My mum... is my icon. For her strength, love and pain being a single mum but always telling us that everything is OK, when deep down inside it was far from OK. Now I am also a single mother myself, it made me understand that life is not a bed of roses but always follow your dreams and passions.

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Elaine Johnson – The Artist ARTIST ELAINE JOHNSON IS A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST WHO THRIVES OF PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES BY PRESENTING THE MOST OBSCURE IDEAS AND CHALLENGING PEOPLE’S PERCEPTION OF ART. IN HER DEBUT ART COLLECTION SHE RE-USES PIECES OF HUMAN HAIR TO EVOKE MEMORY AND EMOTION. Looking back... I was so frustrated and I needed to be challenged so much more than I was. I knew that I was meant to do something different other than drawing fruit in a bowl so I suffered a few knockbacks when I tried to be different. University was the best 4 years of my life. I really discovered what I was passionate about and that’s when I knew this is what I was destined to do. What I do... is quite hard to place, which I take advantage of. When you hear the words textile and craft, they’re so often associated with fashion, decorative pattern or anything with a function. My work disregards those boundaries completely and has no function other than to conjure up wonder or beautywhether it is for homes or spaces.

with the theme of the piece, so for me that’s a positive thing. I thought... constantly about where the hair came from, who it belong to and what was their story? But that’s why I enjoy using it. I feel like I’m making something beautiful and precious from something which someone had to give away. I want to do it justice in my art.

My work... found inspiration from women who use human hair to adorn themselves and reflect beauty. We believe long hair can make us more attractive and alluring; it represents strength, yet when it is separated from the body it’s regarded as disturbing - which I like to play on.

I knew that I was meant to do something different other than drawing fruit in a bowl

I used... human hair in my pieces because hair was used in mourning to capture a memory of someone and this related well to my pieces being based on memory and emotion. The majority of hair I’ve used was from a really good friend of mine who used it to adorn her hair. It reminds me of her strong personality which marries well

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My materials... are very durable and also recycled. Though hair and other materials like lace and thread seem very fragile, in large quantities they have great strength. However the idea of creating a piece which breaks down naturally or through other means over a space of time has always fascinated me.

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Darcel de Vlugt – The Campaigner THE SAVANNAH WALK FOR SKIN THE SAVANNAH WALK FOR SKIN ON SUNDAY 27TH JUNE WAS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO AND POSSIBLY IN THE CARIBBEAN. ORIGINATING FROM THE BRITISH SKIN FOUNDATION’S ANNUAL WALK FOR SKIN, DARCEL DE VLUGT TOOK THE IDEA OF THE WALK TO RAISE SUPPORT FOR AND PROMOTE AWARENESS OF SKIN DISEASE BACK TO HER HOMELAND. I have had... the skin condition Vitiligo which causes de-pigmentation in my skin for almost 20 years now. I’m one of the rarer cases in which the Vitiligo has spread throughout my body and changed my skin colour completely. Coming from a very mixed background, this medical issue has evolved into one of both race and identity for me. I am often assumed to be white or albino. I began writing... an online blog called Skinned Alive to share my experiences of living with this condition. Followers on my blog had grown since I moved back home to Trinidad. I wanted to complete a personal walk to coincide with the UK’s final walk for skin. After expressing this to a few of my friends and readers, I found more and more people asking to walk with me. The response prompted me to bring the Walk For Skin to Trinidad and create more awareness.

that this walk would open up the avenue for discussions amongst the skin organizations in Trinidad to really invest their time into creating sustainable support groups for sufferers of skin diseases and their families and friends. This year... I have managed to raise £500 for the British Skin Foundation and the Vitiligo Society, and in total I have raised over £1300. This money is going towards research for treatments and cures of all skin diseases, with a

There were people walking for Vitiligo, Eczema, Psoriasis,and Dermatitis. The walk was also a celebration of the variety of beautiful skin tones in Trinidad

Participants were asked... to wear black and/or white: to signify the two ends of the skin colour spectrum and everything in between! I hoped

portion of it specifically designated to Vitiligo. Donations as little as £2 can still be made online until September 2010 at: SKINNED ALIVE BLOG:

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HAITI BEFORE & AFTER ‘The calm before the storm’ Images by Sidney Etienne - Haitian photographer/graphic designer Sidney Etienne captures the beauty of Haiti and expresses how he felt about the occurring events.

‘For Haiti, I have nothing but pride. It’s the one place that will always call out to me. The country, people and culture that is rich with diversity. I wouldn’t want to call anywhere else home!’

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‘When the earthquake hit I almost had a nervous breakdown. It took 5 days before I knew that my mother and grandmother were still alive! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless in my life knowing that many of my family members were there and out of reach.’

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‘For a long time Haiti has been portrayed in a negative light. What was once considered the Pearl of the Antilles is now considered nothing more than the poorest country in the western hemisphere. The media has always focused on the negative as opposed to the true beauty of the country’.

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‘The earthquake, in many ways was a blessing. It’s giving a country that has been without structure for a long time a chance to start from scratch. I hope to see a change’.

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DEFIANT BEAUTY BY BLACK LILY Sometimes, the unthinkable… happens. On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the tiny, impoverished, Caribbean island of Haiti. In the days and weeks that followed, the world watched powerlessly as mindblowing images of human suffering came crashing into our lives, like it or not. It was hard to look. It was even harder not to. Well, we did ‘what we could’ (not enough, of course) from the relative comfort of our little lives across the globe. We texted a bit of relief aid into a mobile phone here, said a prayer or two there. We bought the overpriced candy from our friends children’s well-meaning school drives and their homemade, “help Haiti“lemonade stands. And, we tried to figure out which relief organizations were legit (“Does Wyclef’s Yéle Haiti have the internal structure to get the aid to the people?” we wondered, “Or should I just give to the Red Cross?”) But, in the face of such unfathomable devastation - to the tune of over 230,000 dead and two million people displaced from their homes - we knew we could hardly even make a dent to relieve the suffering. Even now, almost seven months after the initial shock and the best efforts of both Haitian citizens and international relief workers, hundreds of thousands of human beings still reside in “temporary” tent cities under the most unimaginably difficult living conditions, and will probably be there for months to come. And then, in the midst of all this incomprehensible tragedy, the strangest thing is happening. I began

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hearing stories about makeshift beauty about beauty, at all - they were more about restoring a sense of normalcy salons popping up right in the middle and routine into the midst of utter of the various tent cities. I mean, hot chaos. They were about creating a pink roller sets were being discussed kind of oasis, a female sanctuary right alongside talk of fresh water where women could come together and vital sanitation needs. It hardly to share their pain and talk and lay seemed like the time to be discussing healing hands on one another in the nail lacquer selections and cuticle guise of a new, braided hairstyle or maintenance. More than that, I couldn’t a pretty French manicure. They were believe I was personally so vapid as about economic empowerment. to be so besotted by these stories After all, millions of Haitian jobs of trivial beauty stuff when there disappeared under those mounds of were much more pressing and rubble in January - so, starting one’s critical issues at hand. Throughout own small, entrepreneurial venture had history women have been known to become the primary source of income beautify themselves during times of for residents in many tent cities like war. French women would get fancy Port-Au-Prince‘s Petitionville Camp wet sets during WWII (powering the (formerly a fancy electricity for their hairdryers by little “ PERHAPS A STROKE OF RED golf course, at times now housing boys on bicycles), LIPSTICK FOR A WOMAN upwards of 60,000 and American LIVING UNDER A TARPAULIN, displaced Haitians women in the 40’s post-quake). drawing black SURROUNDED BY But, more than stocking seams SEWAGE IS THE COSMETIC anything, I think down the back EQUIVALENT OF CLIMBING the seemingly of their legs with eyeliner pencils TO THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN incongruous and frivolous focus on when nylon and AND SCREAMING beauty is really all silk were in scarce I. AM. NOT. BROKEN! ” about resilience, supply. Those defiance and the stories absolutely remarkable feminine spirit of strength fascinated me, as did the ones and determination. Perhaps a stroke about female soldiers in Iraq jumping of red lipstick doesn’t really look like through hoops to seek out a decent an act of revolution to the naked pedicure in the desert. Not forgetting eye, but for a woman living under a the horrifyingly memorable tales of tarpaulin, surrounded by sewageAfghani women willing to risk their laced muddy waters; a woman who lives or possible imprisonment under has lost her home, loved ones, job, Taliban law, in order to frequent black maybe even her children - that little market beauty parlours. So, when I splash of red, waxy pigment is the heard about the Haitian, “tent city” cosmetic equivalent of climbing to the beauty salons, it somehow all made top of the tallest mountain and screaming sense. It made sense because I knew to the universe, “I. AM. NOT. BROKEN!” these tent city parlours weren’t really

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Images by Wyatt Gallery

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‘The minute I walked out of the makeshift airport, all I experienced was the resiliency and openness of the Haitian people. Day after day I wondered what the need for these military trucks with guns was for; everyone was extremely welcoming and very uplifting and inspiring. It was truly a moving experience.’

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‘The women living in tent communities had a mixture of hope, pride, dignity, sadness, anger, joy and loss. They were making do with what they had in any way they could. But they had their head up high and even smiled and laughed while we interacted and I photographed them. They are strong people who are looking towards the future and deserve more assistance to get back on their feet.’

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LADIES OF THE DANCEHALL “FACE IT, WOMEN LIKE THE “RAE RAE, BRUK OUT SONGS” SO THAT WILL NEVER REALLY CHANGE BUT AT LEAST THEY’RE STARTING TO RESPECT THEMSELVES MORE” – NATALIE STORM ARE DANCEHALL LYRICS EMPOWERING OR DEGRADING? HEIKE WOLLENWEBER EXPLORES THIS ONGOING DEBATE... Dancehall music is prevalent throughout Jamaica and is perhaps the most controversial musical genre in the Caribbean. It is often perceived as sexist and explicit; many think that it is degrading to women. This argument often stems from a lack of understanding of Jamaican society and, at times, misinterpretation of lyrics. The explicit nature of dancehall speaks overtly and directly about sex and male/female relationships but it reflects notions of Jamaican culture and society, both good and bad. In Kingston’s inner city communities, many women are less educated and have fewer options for upward economic mobility. For the majority of women gender identity is based on motherhood; therefore women seek out men who can provide for them and their children. Dancehall music often speaks to that reality with lyrics such as “be proud of your pickney” or songs entitled ‘Babymother’ by artists such as Vybz Kartel, Anthony B or Tony Matterhorn.

Female artistes take their own stance and often objectify men in the same way. They go on stage stating they only want a man with a lot of money who knows what to do in bed. Lady Saw, the Queen of Dancehall, has been banned many a time due to her performances being too raunchy and lewd. The playing field has levelled out over the years. Female artistes are more confident in themselves and their sexuality and so they tell their audience, especially women, to take control of their life. The next generation of female artistes - such as the official ‘Bad gyal’ Ce’cile, D’Angel, Tifa, Natalie Storm and Spice - have an international audience and they can definitely hold their own on any stage. ‘Dancehall has historically never been particularly empowering for females,’ says young artiste Natalie Storm. ‘It’s just now we’re starting to change the things we as female artistes sing about ourselves and the way men sing about us. Face it, women like the “rae rae, bruk out songs” but at least they’re starting to respect themselves more. And for every “bruk out” song we sing there is always a strong message there. For me personally it’s all about women having ambition and seeing

themselves through their own eyes rather than their idols’. In reggae music artists talk more about the qualities of women, relationships and love and female artistes also generally have fewer songs about sex and related topics. On the forefront of female culture artistes are Queen Ifrica, Etana and a more mature Tanya Stephens. Queen Ifrica takes a very strong stance against certain dancehall songs such as Vybz Kartel and Spice’s ‘Rampin’ Shop’ and Vybz Kartel’s ‘Virginity’. She is a woman with an opinion and not afraid to share it. With songs like ‘Daddy Don’t Touch Me There’ and ‘No Bwoy Can Draw Me Round the Corner’, Queen Ifrica speaks out against abuse and also against sexual prowess in dancehall. Her songs try to teach young girls to wait and cherish their bodies. Female artistes have a strong voice today, and a lot more to say. They are taking on the men and often taking the power from them lyrically and setting standards. As Kim Marie Spence of JamPro adds: ‘Sometimes dancehall refers to both men and women as more than pieces of meat or cash and if women were to let men set all of the agenda for music we’ll only be hearing about guns, sex, and “bad man-ism”.’

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aribbean Fashion Week (CFW) launched in 2001 and is the most popular and anticipated fashion event held each June in Kingston, Jamaica. Hosted by Pulse Investments and supported yearly by large contingents from neighbouring islands, CFW showcases the best of Caribbean designs and models. The country was still a little tense, having only just recovered from the Dudus fiasco. Curfews were still in effect for most of the greater Kingston area and as a result, the event itself had to be pushed back an entire week. However, people still came out in their numbers and the celebrities were also present to lend their support. Internationally renowned photographer Marc Baptiste was on hand to receive a CFW award and also present were singers Katia Cadet – who was specially invited as part of the “Haiti Initiative” – and Johnny Gill, this year’s headliner. The reggae artistes Not Gramps and Una Morgan of Morgan Heritage and dancehall group T.O.K performed at the event. The design masters who have become synonymous with CFW over the years were all there to show their latest collections. This included the design duo Mutamba, Barry Moncrieffe and Uzuri, as well as the Trinidadian design divas Meiling and Claudia Pegus. Crochet queen Minka made a comeback and there

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were, of course, CFW debutants who of thunderous applause. So CFW 2010 represented themselves well, the most was in some cases a little pepper pot. notable being Arlene Martin who stole Designers who show at CFW yearly Sunday’s show. highlight the fact that there are those if there was an award given to in the fashion industry who possess the designer who made the biggest a great amount of passion, creative impression on the large gathering at talent and skill to someday make the National Indoor Sports Centre extraordinary strides in the global (NISC), then it award would go to marketplace. However, much of our Arlene Martin. Opening her show fashion is still not being regarded as with Tony Matterhorn’s ‘Dutty Wine’, equal to that of international cities. Many Martin’s ‘Attitude’ collection was of our designers are still ill prepared in just that and then some. Better yet, areas of design – such as finish – and it was pure drama! If the first outfit marketing. Yet so rich are our forms of was killer, then the second could be expression and culture that quite often described as ‘ferosh’! She showed a these are copied and referenced by complete and better-prepared well developed designers and “SO RICH ARE OUR line that included brands, in particular FORMS OF EXPRESSION those from Europe, cocktail dresses, separates, North America and AND CULTURE gowns and even China. THAT QUITE OFTEN even outerwear Our burgeoning for layering – designers still need THESE ARE COPIED everything for the training opportunities AND REFERENCED ‘it’ girl’s closet. If to assist them in BY BETTER-PREPARED Gossip Girl came their preparation for to Kingston, entry into the larger DESIGNERS AND she would arena. This includes BRANDS” most definitely not only design be wearing training but also ‘Attitude’. Overall, the designers of other skills and professional training in collections made use of the typical marketing, business education and the Caribbean fibres and materials. There knowledge of intellectual property and was lots of linen and cotton burlap licenses. With this talent and knowledge used for texture. For those who at hand, imagine what we could achieve ventured a little outside the box there as an Industry. I would say a truly unique was innovative use of features and and dynamic Caribbean Fashion Week fringes as well as the use of gorgeous experience that would encourage silks, taffetas, brocades and PVC. designers, press and patrons – both local These designers were the ones who and international – to attend, view and have found themselves on the receiving end their fill of the best of Caribbean talent.

MODEL MUSE We caught up with new face Sedene Blake returning home from the international runways and spreads in Italian Vogue. What do you miss about Jamaica? SB: “NUH MUST DI FOOD! And my friends and family too”. Designs by Phylicia Ellis

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ROMANTIC WHITE Sensational white gowns hovered over the runway. They were modest in fit, slightly embellished and supported by intricate straps. That was enough to envision a simple yet perfect Caribbean wedding.


Dress RAANG Designs Images Andre Rattigan Edited Paul Warren

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SOPHISTICATED BLACK A curvy model on the runway is no big deal at Caribbean Fashion Week! And just to poke a bit of fun at stringent size requirements,designer Sandra Kennedy added a soundtrack of ‘Slim Vs Fluffy’ by dancehall artiste Spice and Pamputae.

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Hat & Waistcoat Mint Vintage Clothing T-shirt I.LOVE.RASTA Trousers H&M Jewellery Bianou

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Jacket H&M String Vest Natural Heritage Hat Camden Shorts River Island Sunglasses Louis Vuitton

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reams of excavation and discovery as an archaeologist were suddenly ditched when Claudia Smith realised she wanted to sing soulful music. Currently working toward fulfilling her musical career, it is obvious that Claudia was never meant to be just a body in a crowd. Her modelling career kicked off in 2007 when she attended a casting to enter the Caribbean Model Search competition, which was debuting in the UK for the first time. She was instantly scouted by the brain behind Caribbean Fashion

Week and Caribbean Model Search, Kingsley Cooper and Romae Gordon, and ruled out of the competition. Appointed as official ambassador that same year she went on to fulfil her modelling career and travelled to interesting destinations, booking enviable jobs. Her achievements are not a stroke of luck but the determination of a persistent young woman. After falling victim to a serious throat infection in 2008 that could have possibly dashed her singing ambitions, she is now back with a vengeance to pursue her main dream and soothe with her funky Neo Soul sound.

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Hat Mint Vintage Clothing Top I.LOVE.RASTA Trousers Zara Bag Vintage Mulberry

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Hat Zara Jacket I.LOVE.RASTA Belt The Loft Shorts H&M Jewellery Bianou Team Credits Fashion Kered Clement Photography Jay-D-Will – Make-up Sophia Danielle - Model Claudia Smith

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THE R Photography Ami Lafleur Hair & Make-up Issidora Assistant Ivo Buric Production Harris Hodovic Model Marinka & Vica Pelivan

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Dress Addy van den Krommenacker Shoes Rene Caovilla

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Bikini Dolce & Gabbana

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Photographer Louie Angulia Make up Rokael Lizama Hair Tryna Molina Wardrobe BTFL PEOPLE Model Breanna Box

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SWEET LIKE MANGO JUICE PETER DEAN RICKARDS IS A PHOTOGRAPHER AND DIRECTOR FROM KINGSTON JAMAICA. HE CREATES SEDUCTIVE IMAGES BY BRINGING OUT THE ALTER EGO IN HIS FEMALE SUBJECTS. In Jamaica... I’m called ‘brown man’ or ‘red man.’ Asking me... if I studied photography is like asking if someone studied how to program a VCR. I would have loved to photograph... Lady Diana. I remember... shooting Edward Seaga on his last day in politics; it was like watching Darth Vader eat papaya slices after the Death Star blew up. In 10 years... I want to be married to a nice Jersey girl with children almost old enough to punch me out. 4 words that describe my life... ‘Why wouldn’t you listen?’ If I could have one wish... it would be to turn into Jay-Z and run New York.

Model Cindy Wright

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e had been in Grenada for a couple of days and already exhausted from the mass of masses they called J’ouvert – in which you arise before the sun each morning to join an airtight army of revellers covered in oil, paint, mud water, powered or anything that created an unsightly paste by the rise of the sun. Serenity was what we sought by the end of our trip so we were driven far up county to a secret hideaway our tour guide concealed. Meandering roads lead uphill to narrow roadsides that plunged into deep ravines. Local men hailed us out as we sped past, our hair blowing in the wind. Finally reaching our destination, we drove into an evenly paved road shaded by tall forest trees. We left our vehicle to discover a hidden paradise that overlooked the Grenadines and tri-Island state of Grenada. Then to our right: a neat cluster of homely villas that looked out to the ocean. This hideaway retreat was the vision of newlyweds Phillip and Annie Clift who fell in love with Grenada and decided to embark on building a dream. This is their journey from a patch of land to a picturesque haven.


BUILDING THE DREAM Petite Anse... was instant decision. We saw the land and thought – Wow! Who owns it and do they want to sell it?

We grow much of our own produce and we live locally in an old plantation house and have fruit and vegetable gardens. What we don’t grow, we source from high quality and fresh local providers. We like to provide a homely comfortable and relaxed feeling, as though our customers are staying with friends in a private house. Fortunately, as we are overlooking the channel to the Grenadines, we don’t suffer much from mosquitoes. They are mostly blown away in the sea breeze, which is gentle, but too much for the little mites.

We decided... to sail our yacht back to the UK and sell it. The yacht had been our home for 5 years so it was emotional. The next big step was coming back to Grenada and completing the purchase of the land. We then drew lots of sketches and designed the hotel and applied for planning permission. The final and biggest step was when we actually brought the first load of timber and started to build the site hut. I do remember my thoughts at the time “What the hell am I doing!” We have... always liked Grenada. The locals are very friendly and helpful. We felt that there was an opportunity in the rural north part of the Island. There was virtually no development here. We also liked the idea of being able to contribute something to the island and provide employment opportunities. When the building started… the hardest part was trying to get my work force to tell me: ‘Boss, we will need some more cement/screws/ plywood etc tomorrow’, rather than telling me: ‘Boss, that’s the last bag of cement/sheet of plywood etc’! I never really did manage to overcome that one! We have built… with a small ecological footprint in mind and this is reflected in the way that we manage our restaurant.

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Our building inspiration... Asian and a dash of Mediterranean. We have used sustainably produced Guyanese hardwood in each of our villas as we feel it reflected our ‘green’ philosophy in using wood sourced from the region. Our guests... come from far and wide. North & South America, all of Europe, New Zealand and a couple from Nepal last week! We are still getting our breath back after this year, but yes we have other ideas for small boutique development in the North of Grenada.



T FF B FES 5% O LEXD LI otel & H P COM tite Anse auteurs e P om nt, S aura eanse.c t s e t R i t .pe www


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MARIKA ALLEN, FOUNDER OF AKIRAM CATERING SPENT A GREAT DEAL OF HER LIFE IN THE CARIBBEAN WHERE SHE BEGAN HER JOURNEY INTO CULINARY ART. HER PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE HAS BEEN FINELY HONED THROUGH HER TRAINING IN HOTEL MANAGEMENT IN THE BAHAMAS AND YEARS OF SERVICE AND CULINARY SKILLS DEVELOPMENT IN THE HOTEL AND FOODSERVICE INDUSTRIES THROUGHOUT THE CARIBBEAN. Akiram Catering is... Caribbean fusion cuisine presented using bespoke handcrafted designs. Our goal is to be diverse by capturing the individual influences across the islands and reflecting that in our distinctive menus. I believe that Caribbean charm, delectable and elegant food can all feature on the same plate. I am... British by birth, but Jamaican by heritage. I like to think that I

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represent a fusion of Caribbean culture. I have lived in Jamaica, studied in the Bahamas and worked in St. Lucia. This rich exposure has stirred in me a deep passion for the region, its culture and the flavour of the food. I endeavour to introduce to my clients the Caribbean taste experience. I have enjoyed cooking... for as long as I can remember! I think my love for the culinary arts intensified

through my hands-on exposure in various hotel kitchens, catering and conventions departments throughout the Caribbean. The stage was set from my high school days in Food & Nutrition labs, when friends would eagerly wait for ‘their share’. What I do is not merely the love of cooking and baking, it’s the love of the creative journey. It’s coming up with an idea, conceptualising it and developing it into an edible art form.

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Photography Erika Lager Fashion Kered Clement Make-up Jo Sysum Hair Jennifer Kouao Model Oreintha Russell Garments Van der Vlugt by Darcel de Vlugt

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We scoured the Carnivals of the Islands and there wasn’t a scantily clad woman out of sight. We loved the women of all shades, shapes and sizes dancing together – un-modestly but exuding outright confidence. We think every woman should take a sip of Carnival juice and love the skin they’re in all year round.

Images by Richard Munro –

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t takes one minute with Romero to be inspired. This fashion designer has a big personality and his designs express the same individuality. Romero nurtures his clientele and embraces the fact that they are not all slender minimalist fashionistas. I’m a... one-man army at the moment as I find it real hard to delegate jobs with a relaxed heart, so I like to do things all myself. My designs are... unique, cutting-edge, affordable fashion. People assume they’re for Black women only but when I design I do not design with a colour in mind; however people may just see those influences coming through within my designs. You can’t... please the critics at all, so what I aim to do is please myself and most importantly my loyal clients with every collection I design. I aim to introduce myself to a new clientele every season. The Rome/Romero Bryan wearer is... confident, sexy and someone who likes unusual clothes.

Photographer/ Camera moving visual Nigel R Creative Director & Make-up Theodora Hair stylist Wayne Shorter-Campbell Model Thyria

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for daily update visit

Caribbean issue 03  

A taste of Caribbean culture

Caribbean issue 03  

A taste of Caribbean culture