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Of cricket, fashion and birthdays

Published:Friday | March 2, 2012 | 12:00 AM
From left: Pulse's Safia Cooper, Bruno Mars producer Phillip Lawrence, Pulse CEO Kingsley Cooper, and celebrity stylist Urbana Chappa. - Contributed photos
From left: Jamaican designer Arlene Martin of drenna LUNA with Pulse and CFW fashion director Romae Gordon and Trinidadian designer Meiling.
The BBCs Eddie Nestor with Sky TVs Jasmine Dotiwala and Jamaican designer Juliette Dyke. - Contributed

Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor

My dears, can we talk? Luvs, this here scribe is one of those who believe that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller should refuse to meet with Dr Julian Hunte of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) until he or his board apologises for the intemperate remarks directed at the prime minister a few weeks ago. This will be adhering to the standard set by the WICB, that for them to consider entertaining Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle, he must first apologise for daring to express his opinion.

And frankly, my dears, if Chris Gayle were to apologise, he would have lost the moral and nationalistic high ground. And so he should hold fast and continue playing cricket internationally, while West Indies cricket continues in its death throes under the expert and professional guidance of those now guiding it to the pinnacle of stardom.

The truth be told, like the West Indies Federation, whose idea had run its shelf life, the time has come for Jamaica to go it alone in the world of cricket, as the internecine sniping and pettyfogging posture by pompous windbags is not deserving of the attention of the prime minister. It reflects the animosity and culture of animus with which some Caribbean nationals treat Jamaican nationals, whether it be at their borders or in the many other areas of life in which Jamaicans are forced to interact with these other nationals.

Implicit in the WICB criticism of the prime minister and the continued enforced but unofficial punishment of Chris Gayle, the WICB has made it plain that it will not entertain any criticisms by or from Jamaicans of any stripe. So that being the case, Madam Prime Minister, why bother entertain its president?

Then, my dears, it's all systems go for the visit of the royal son and dears, the stampede y'all are hearing is the rush of would-be socialites who are lining up to make the guest list for the official functions being hosted to celebrate the visit. And dears, you have all heard the line 'hell knows no fury like a woman scorned'. Well, try that of a socialite, with no invite.

Carib fashion in London

And last month, it was all about London Fashion Week and the storming of the catwalk by Caribbean fashion designers and models!

Darlings, talk about upping the ante! Ahead of Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) here in Kingston, internationally acknowledged designers: Jamaica's Sandra Kennedy; DrennaLuna; Julan from Jamaica; Suriname's Atelier Doré; Haiti's Phelicia Dell, David Andre and Michel Chataigne; UK-based Gavin Douglas and Trinidad's Meiling and KAJ were representing the emerging fashion trends in the Caribbean, with all the vim, vigour, vitality and verve of the Caribbean people and, as they say in local parlance, "Di ting sell off!"

Dears, this was the first in a four- pronged fashion initiative under project management by the region's foremost fashion authority - Pulse Investments Limited with the Caribbean Fashion Industry Association's Chairman Kingsley Cooper, and Pulse fashion director Romae Gordon the driving force behind the idea. It was conceptualised to broaden the exposure and market for the region's designers, and was cemented after Gordon visited London twice in early February to prepare the groundwork as well as consult with that city's leading fashion industry insiders.

And so it was, my dears, that for the first time in the history of London Fashion Week, a Caribbean contingent showcased their designs at the European gateway. The much-acclaimed exhibition lasted two days from February 17-18, hosted at the Charing Cross Hotel, and an exclusive dinner fab Five-Star Corinthia.

And dears, we are talking a smasheroni of a dinner at a London property which boasts among its international clientéle actor Johnny Depp, who makes it his London home when in that fab city.

And talk about chic, luvs, the collections were presented in the ultra-mod private dining room in the Northall restaurant, with Pulse models Alexia Palmer, Vogue rising star; the fabulously hot daughter of the minister of justice, Tasmin Golding; Oreintha Russell; Racquel Smith; and outstanding new face from CMS, Annisha Pitterson, headlining the Caribbean models working the runway, with Britain's and Ireland's Next Top Model winner Tiffany Pisani leading the group of UK models for the presentation.

And luvs, the continuing buzz is that the movers and shakers of the world of fashion were out, too, with headliners such as Italian Vogue's Federico Poletti and the buying director of Harvey Nicholls, David Pun and Stefan Siegel of Not Just Another Label; owner and head jewellery buyer of Juwelier Schumann, Franz Knops; the BBC's Eddie Nestor; Sky TV's Jasmine Dotiwala; New African Woman's Regina; buyer and LA-based celebrity stylist, Urbana Chappa; Bruno Mars producer Phillip Lawrence; full-figured supermodel and actress Toccara Jones; Caribbean Export's Chris McNair; JAMPRO's Kim Marie Spence and Joy Walcott; Pulse supermodels Jaunel McKenzie and Nell Robinson; designers Juliette Dyke, Arlene Martin, Meiling, Kevin Ayoung Julien, Cheyenne Uiterloo, Gavin Douglas and Safia Cooper (who will be officially joining Pulse this weekend).

My daahlings, not only was the Caribbean invasion the talk of the town, the buzz is the contingent created such an impact that this year's CFW, slated for June 7-11, will not only be the second stage of the four-pronged project, but will see a number of fashionistas and leading buyers and editors of fashion mags in attendance.


And speaking of fabulous people and events, happy birthday wishes to: businessman Mark Brooks; Denton Ellis, in May Pen, Clarendon; and former French embassy official Claudie Warner, now back in France, who all celebrate their birthday today.

Tomorrow, birthday celebrants will include: the People's National Party's Courtney Spence; the charming Sonja Griffiths; the lovely Kim Chase, Strawberry Fields, St Mary; Sigrid Gaffga-Ribbe, in Montego Bay; John Beckford, in Florida; former Miss Jamaica World Cornelia Parchment Horn, now in Newport, Connecticut; north coast habitué Louis DelGaudio, of North Hackensack, New Jersey; Lucy Silver from the Chain of Hope Charity and resident of the UK, will all be partying their own birthday storms.

On Sunday, March 4: Major Joanna Lewin; Michael Abrahams; Pauline Gordon-Gray; Clifton Harriott, now in Brooklyn, New York; Prudence Anderson, now in Buffalo, New York, share the same birthday.

On Monday the fifth, those celebrating their birthday will include: Peter Morris of Gymkana, of the Guardsman Group; the fabulous Carleene Samuels, of Solid Agency; le grande dame of style Nerissa Braimbridge, in Montego Bay; the fab Alissa Perry Allen; Leroy Francis, now in Atlanta, Georgia; the lovely Moya Hamilton Ashman, in Brooklyn, New York; will make it a special day of celebrations.

Come next Tuesday the sixth, the lovely Candy DePass; Davion Cole; the lovely Andrea Johnson; Oscar Williams in Grenada; and the fab Mary-Kay Mullally, in San Diego, California, will make it all that.

On Wednesday the seventh, the musically eminent Donovan Germain and the charming Karen McDonald will celebrate.

Next Thursday the eighth, the fabulous Nancy Burke; the lovely Karen Preston Francis, in Montego Bay; the charming Paula Hurlock, also in Montego Bay; and Dr Adrian Richards, in Barbados, will be among those doing the birthday shuffle.

And belated birthday wishes to Shirley McCatty Harrison, who celebrated on the 24th of February; and special belated anniversary wishes to her and husband George Harrison of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, who celebrated their wedding anniversary on the 26th.