Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Fabulous Free Beauty Event for All ...J’ouvert Boudoir Lounge is coming to London and you are invited to embark on a journey of discovery

J’ouvert Boudoir Lounge  is coming to London and you are invited to embark on a journey of discovery...

Next month will see the J’ouvert Boudoir Lounge make its London debut at the fabulous Browns Courtrooms Venue in Central London.

This must-attend complementary event will not only offer guests the opportunity to explore the J'ouvert brand but also offer fabulous fashions and luxurious beauty treatments.

Guests can expect to receive mini make-over’s and advice whilst exploring the exciting world of new Independent beauty brand J’ouvert Cosmetics. J’ouvert’s expert make up artists will help you revamp your make up bag and create your signature look for AW 12 and prepare you for the festive season.  

Amongst the exhibitors will also be the glamorous Hollywood Siren inspired label L.2Mae, the brainchild of Hull based designer Debbie Huntley who previously worked for a number of established high profile brands such as Paul Smith and Alice Temperley.

Fabulous Cocktails and Champagne will also be available from the Browns Courtrooms bar for guests to relax and unwind. 

Join J'ouvert's Boudoir Lounge on 5 October, 2012 at Browns Courtrooms in Covent Garden. Whether you’re on lunch, shopping in the city, looking for a day out or just a few minutes to spare, enter into the Boudoir  and be encapsulated with exquisite colour, the latest fashions and luxurious beauty treatments and much more. Start your weekend on a high note, get pampered!

Guess what? It’s FREE ENTRY!

What to expect:

Makeovers + tips, tricks and advice from our beauty experts
Fashion Advice – AW 2012-13 trends
Gift ideas – get into the Christmas spirit
Cupcakes – a must try
Network with other beauties

Don’t keep this a secret to yourself – share with friends, families and co-workers, make a fun day of it. 

For further information on J’ouvert cosmetics visit www.jouvertcosmetics.com

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Catching up with Haitian Fashion Designer David Andre..

Tell us a bit about your brand?
I created the David Andre collection 14 years ago in Haiti. I have 3 main lines, a men's line, a women's line and an unisex resort wear line "sea, sex, sun" since 2004. This line is made in cotton and linen fabrics for the warm summertime to be comfortable and at ease. The cuts are very simple with little details that make each piece different and unique. The colour chart is 80/100 white mix with a touch of colour depending of the season trends. We have two collections per year. Prices are very moderate. Our goal is to be distributed in some high end stores and department stores all around the world, and also to have a very faithful clientele.

Where are your main inspirations?
I am inspired by my environment, by music, colour. As I live and come from a tropical country for this line the inspiration come from the sun, the beautiful beaches that we have with palms trees, the blue sky, the spicy food, and the colours of the nature and the rhythms of the drums. 

Who are your favourite designers?
I fell in love at a young age with some French and Italian fashion icons like Mr Yves St Laurent for his eternal classic touch, Karl Lagerfeld / Chanel for the luxury and the avant garde touch, Jean Paul Gautier for his extravagancy, Gianni Versace for his outstanding creativity and Gucci for the luxury in every single piece they create.

What do you like the best about designing clothes?
I love the concept of a garment that I have in my mind to make it become a reality on a live model. The beauty of a final product after this process of designing, sourcing, patternmaking and sewing is priceless for me because it's a piece of art.

What are your favourite pieces in your collection and why?
I don't have any preferences, I just love each piece that I have created in this collection because they are from my soul and creativity

Who do you envisage wearing your designs?
My designs are for every man and women who love to be stylish, at ease even they are going to the beach, on a cruise, on vacation to some exotics places around the world.

If you could have any celebrity wear your line who would it be and why ?
I'd love to see Madonna the queen of pop to wear of my pieces on vacation on a yacht in St Tropez, Biarritz or Ibiza. The reason why it's because she has a good sense of style, a simple piece can be a statement and the public must have that product once she wears it to an event. That's why she's the queen of reinvention, no doubt about that.

How does it feel to be showcasing in London during the Olympics?
It's a good opportunity to showcase during the Olympics because the world has their eyes turned to the games. It's a great advertising for my line, for me as a designer, and also for my country Haiti. The world has to see that Haiti is about beautiful things, arts, music, paintings, besides the controversial pres. "Haiti represent"

Where can we find out more about your brand?

My line is available in my store in Haiti, in Guadeloupe, Martinique, and very soon in Jamaica. The website is still under construction, but I can be reach on my e-mail address, davidandrecollection@gmail.com to request a pdf catalogue, price list, etc...... 

An interview with fashion designer Sonia Noel..

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand?
I am from a little village in the Essequibo River in Guyana called Bartica. I am a mother of two daughters Shontay and Mariska, of whom the line is named after. Mariska's Designs is celebrating 15 years this year.

I must say that my vision for a Caribbean fashion industry has garnered momentum over the years and I am now part of a wider, shared, regional, networking philosophy that is rapidly growing. My preoccupation with unique textile design gives me an edge:
 -- my peculiar tie-dye techniques
-- my unique seed, bead, wood and bamboo collage art
-- my special applique practices
-- my novel shearing and stripping of fabric to layer on fabric rendering another look and feel to the fabric texture
-- my fascination with earth tones, sand beige, mustard, taupe, chocolate, olive and natural fibres.
-- my use of craft adds value and certainly embellished and adorns simple fabric surfaces
-- black and white ensembles have also become my staple for I love this basic juxtaposition which I feel creates a most striking and lasting impression.  

Being the first Caribbean fashion designer to be invited to Brown’s University to do a presentation on Caribbean fashion was a great honour. In 2011 the British Virgin Islands Fashion Week presented me with the Caribbean Fashion Ambassador Award. I also received the Shabeau Magazine, Pride of Bartica and the GMSA Awards for my involvement in youth development and cross borders promotion of fashion. I have participated in Caribbean Fashion Week, St. Kitts Fashion Week, FWTT, Tobago Fashion Week, USVI Fashion week, Antigua Independence Fashion Weekend and some other fashion showcase in the Caribbean and the Diaspora. My work has been featured in .Shabeau, She Caribbean, Caribbean Belle, Caribbean Style, Caribbean Bride, Posh Caribbean, Paramaribo Post, African Roots, Gem Magazine, Apsara Magazine, Pride (London), Smooth and Sister 2 Sister in New York. I recently launched the Sonia Noel Foundation for the Creative Arts. The mission of SNFCA is to create access for talented individuals, not only in Guyana, its home base, but through the wider Caribbean. It is hoped that through this medium an avenue for the development of the creative industries, so relevant to current socio-economic life chance, be fostered.
What would you consider to be your career highlight de date?
Being able to successfully stage 5 years of Guyana fashion Weekend and 4 years Guyana Model Search Designers Portfolio and have causes such as Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDS and the environment. Helping to develop the industry through nurturing young talent is certainly the highlight of my career.

What pieces of your collection did you enjoy designing the most?

My intricate lattice work concept with the bamboo incorporated into the fabric. It is partly inspired by the beautiful architecture that still exists in Guyana.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Apart from God I get my inspiration from my surroundings which include the flora and fauna. I recalled once I was travelling up the Essequibo River and looking at the lush vegetation, the waves splashing against the boat and the sprinkles on my face I came up with the concept for my FWTT collection. HYBIRD - The line paid tribute to the vegetation of Guyana with special reference to the undergrowth, swamp and savannah
lands, where a variety of foliage and flora live symbiotically. From this inspiration, I played with many green lush hues and posed aubergine, lilac, mauve and purple shades to depict the forest interplay of botanical life yet celebrating the natural coexistence of
varying species of plant life.

What are your favourite fabrics/colours to work with?

I love working with natural fibres. Earth tones which are timeless and black & white can be manipulated into some creative and exotic concepts which can leave a lasting impression.

What are some of your fashion goals?

On a personal note I would love to have my brand available in every Caribbean country and beyond. Also to contribute in a positive way toward the building of the Caribbean Fashion industry and for us to be recognised as part of the wider fashion industry.

How would you describe your own personal style?

When it comes to my personal style I always think out of the box from my hair style to my attire. It is a reflection of my personality.  
I love feminine flair, flowing skirts, making grand entrances and fashion which creates a stir and tells a dramatic story.

If you could work with any other designer who would it be?

If I had the chance to work with another designer it will be Robert Young because he is super talented and has a great understanding of the Caribbean aesthetic as it relates to fashion.

What kind of woman wears your designs?

My designs appeal to a wide cross-section of tastes, personalities and body types. I dress the woman who wants to be comfortable, cool and cavalier. I believe in utilizing breathing fabrics - cotton, voiles, linens, and silks, to express my Caribbean fashion sense. I design clothing from the beach to the ball room and also design clothing for men.

How does it feel to be showcasing in London during the 2012 Olympics?

I feel very honoured and blessed to be part of the delegation going to London. I must mention that the developmental work CEDA is doing for the Caribbean fashion  can put us a great position in the industry and I am very appreciative.

Where can we learn more about your designs?

You can learn more about my designs on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Sonia-Noel/112769025425043 and  soniaenoel.com.online where shopping will be available soon.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Caribbean Designers London 2012 Olympics.


Caribbean Designers set to m
ake their Mark during London 2012 Olympics 

th July 2012, London, England – On Saturday 4th August, a selection of hand picked exceptional Caribbean designers will present their collections as part of the Fashion Engage series of events sponsored by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export). 

The fashion showcase serves as the opening of Caribbean Export’s Grosvenor presence and its involvement in the African Caribbean Business Expo in London.

Following on from the 
highly successful Caribbean Collections London Fashion Week debut in February 2012, seven designers have been selected to highlight the region’s flourishing fashion talent. Showcasing designers include Phelicia Dell of Haiti whose range of handbags were chosen by Diane Von Furstenburg to be sold across her global chain of stores, Trinidadian designer Meiling, who has worked closely on a number of successful projects with Emmy Award-winning costume designer Peter Minshall, Jamaican designer Arlene Martin whose designs have been worn by Jamaican supermodel and American Vogue favourite Jaunel McKenzie, Haitian designer David André, Guyanese designer Sonia Noel, Luxury Suriname Jewelry brand Atelier Doré and Trinidadian  jewellery designer Kirie Bain. 

The exclusive presentation which will be attended by a select audience of European buyers, stylists, fashion press and celebrities will take place at the Luxurious 
Grosvenor House Hotel during the 2012 London Olympics. 

For further information contact: 

Dowdell E: beth@lagenevenorth.co.uk  

The Fashion Engage Event is Sponsored and Supported by the 

Sunday, 8 July 2012


Tuesday 3 – Tuesday 24 July 2012, Southbank Centre 
Africa Utopia is a month-long festival of music, theatre, film, literature, dance, fashion, talks and debates programmed by Southbank Centre in conjunction with renowned Senegalese singer and human-rights campaigner Baaba Maal, as part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World with MasterCard. An invited group of young delegates  guided by ‘elders’ including Baaba MaalBen OkriLemn Sissay and Wole Soyinka  engage with African arts organizations and cultural leaders to explore how art projects can be mobilized to bring about social change.    

Festival highlights 
  • Word Sound Power – world-class writers and poetsled by Lemn Sissayread to live music performed by Baaba Maal and his band 
  • Headline concerts by Angelique KidjoOumou Sangaré & Bela Fleck and Taj Mahal 
  • Robben Island Bible – drama based on the true story of how The Complete Works of Shakespeare infiltrated South Africa’s Robben Island prison 
  • The very best African literature from Somalia, Nigeria, Angola, Ethiopia and beyond 
  • Sci-Fi Africa – future visions of Africa in literature, visual art and film 
  • Inua Ellams’ theatrical adventure through an urban landscape with poetry and live music  
  • Gregory Maqoma – award-winning South African choreographer channels his Xhosa heritage in an explosive night of music and dance 
  • Rwanda Catalyst – a celebration of the transformative power of hip-hop on Rwandan street children through film and dance  
  • A delegates programme for talented young artists/activists with a passion for Africa 
  • All-star festival finale with Baaba Maal and friends 

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director at Southbank Centre, said: “Africa’s cultural contribution to the world is incalculable. Throughout July we hear the music of inspirational musicians, see the work of rising star choreographers and gain fresh perspectives on contemporary Africa through the writings of some of the continent’s most talented writers and poets. And, guided and mentored by an illustrious gathering of ‘elders’, an invited group of young delegates explore the transformative potential of culture as an agent of social change through talks and debates.” 

Baaba Maal, singer and human rights campaigner, said: “Africa is all too often written off as an intractable ‘problem’ for the world to solve, I hope this festival will reveal just some of what Africa has to offer the rest of the world: The energy of our youth and their desire to engage with the world; The transformative potential of culture and, perhaps most potently, the power of community to bind people together. 

Throughout the festival there will be performances by iconic musicians who share Baaba Maal’s belief in the power of music for social change.  Whether as ambassadors for UNESCO, UNICEF, the United Nations or instigators of their own social projects, they have all have used their position to effect change in AfricaFamous for exploring the links between American blues and the music of West AfricaTaj Mahal (performing on 4 July) has brought the musical cultures of Africa and North America together over half a century of travel, landmark recordings and collaborations with everyone from Tinariwen and Toumani Diabaté to Angelique Kidjo. On 18 and 19 July continents are bridged once again as American musician Bela Fleck, considered the world’s premiere banjo playerreprises his inspired collaboration with the great Malian singer Oumou Sangare in a concert that draws the banjo back to its ancestral West African roots.    

On 26 July the Royal Festival Hall plays host to Benin-born Angelique Kidjo, who is regarded as one of Africa’s most potent musical forces. UNICEF ambassador and founder of The Batonga Foundationwhich gives girls secondary school and higher education opportunitiesKidjo was recently voted by The Guardian newspaper as one of the world’s top 100 most inspiring women. Africa Utopia also features performances from The Vocal Ensemble of Africa (23 July), made up of singers from six different African countries, violinist Max Baillie who performs with Gambian kora player Sura Susso (27 July), and a special free gig by Gregg Kofi Brown (20 July).  In what will be a fitting finale to the festival on 28 July, Baaba Maal himself returns to the Royal Festival Hall – the venue of legendary concerts in 1999 and in 2009 as part of Ornette Coleman’s Meltdown  in the company of a star-studded array of guests and friends.  

Dance and Performance 
On 17 July the award-winning South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma channels his Xhosa ancestry in Exit/Exista piece inspired by the 19th century leader Chief Maqoma who struggled to maintain Xhosa traditions in the face of colonial dispossession. The piece combines traditional movements with contemporary insights and is powerfully enhanced by live music, including four exceptional South African singers who have toured with Hugh Masekela.  In 2011 world-renowned B Boy dancer Pervez visited a pioneering centre for former street children in Kigali, Rwanda. Yes Man! is an inspiring film of the work that Pervez did with these children, all of whom were passionate about hip-hop. The film will be screened as part of Rwanda Catalyst on 19 July, and the evening will feature performances from three boys who have travelled from Rwanda, and a conversation with the centre’s leader Rafiki Callixte 

On 22 July, Inua Ellams’ Knight Watch will take audiences down to the stark, urban environs of Southbank Centre’s Production Arch for a thrilling mix of live poetry, percussion and music that conjures the violence of a city not unlike London and imagines a more beautiful world. We follow ‘Michael’ as he passes through a landscape where tower blocks are mountains and the walls become urban tapestries telling of epic fights between warring tribes that he tries in vain to avoid.  

Literature and Spoken Word 
African literature has been a particular success story over the past twenty years and has been crucial in countering preconceptions and polarized impressions of the continent, providing insight into the reality of contemporary African culture. On 3 July, poet and Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Lemn Sissay teams up with Baaba Maal to present a unique evening called Word Sound Power, which sees world-class writers read their work over the music of Baaba and his band. Also on 3 July is Robben Island Biblea play based on the true story of how a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare was smuggled into the prison made famous by Nelson Mandela’s incarcerationThe book became an inspiration to the inmates, including Mandela himself, who endlessly passed around, copied and recited the treasured text. Elsewhere in the festival Nuruddin Farah (4 July) gives a fascinating account of contemporary Somalia and Mogadishu and discusses his new novel Crossbones, and in Sci-Fi Africa (4 July) the relationship between science fiction and narratives situated in the African continent is explored. Also on 4 July there is the chance to learn more about the complexities of modern day Nigeria and its giant literary heritage in a discussion between Transwonderland author Noo Saro-Wiwa, and Chika Unigwe, whose latest book Night Dancer is published this summer.   

Africa Utopia has been made possible with additional support from Arts Council England and is part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from21 June until 19 September 2012, bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. 

For Africa Utopia press information please contact: 
Miles Evans 0207 921 0676, 07792 026949 / miles.evans@southbankcentre.co.uk  
or, Lara Delaney on 0207 921 0917 / lara.delaney@southbankcentre.co.uk 
Southbank Centre Ticket Office – www.southbankcentre.co.uk / 0844 847 9910 


Notes to Editors  
Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World  
1 June to 9 September 2012 
Southbank Centre’s summer 2012 site-wide Festival of the World with MasterCard opens on 1 June 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee Weekend, and closes on 9 September 2012. As London welcomes the world this summer, Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World will include inspirational projects from the UK and around the world, which showcase the power of the arts to change the lives of individuals, communities and whole societies. The site will be transformed with art installations including a giant ‘robot’ sculpture; a colossal baobab tree made from fabric; ‘Rainbow Park’, a multi-coloured beach; and an exhibition in the Royal Festival Hall of the thinkers, artists and communities who have inspired and contributed to the Festival. The reopening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, weekly food markets, and a pop-up cafe complete the Festival landscape. www.southbankcentre.co.uk/world 

Southbank Centre 
Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. www.southbankcentre.co.uk 

About MasterCard 
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, travelling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNewsjoin the conversation on The Heart of Commerce Blog and subscribe for the latest news. 

Arts Council England 
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk 

About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival 
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements.  Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people. The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in this UK-wide festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation. Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council EnglandLegacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor.  BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival. For more details visit www.london2012.com/festival