COUNTRY STRONG: Among the ranks of Jamaica's top female fashion designers of the moment, it's hard to find a more patriotic sister than Lisa 'NeahLis' McIntosh, who is among the handful of design start who answered the call to producer a series of one-of-a-kind pieces, as 'Festival Fashion' hits the comeback trail, returning to the Emancipendence celebrations under the theme "Bandana with Denim: Ketch the Fashion Riddim." "To be asked to create these unique and special pieces to coincide with the Independence celebrations is a great honour. Anything for my country," the designer tells TALLAWAH. "Travelling the world you see how designers in other countries have taken our Jamaican colours and created interesting fashion, and a lot of us support those instead of our own. So this serves to remind us to respect our craft more." She adds, "I hope to put together a collection and hopefully have them sold in stores." Shades of Africa, Cocobeenz, and Mark-Anthony are among the other designers who've caught the Festival Fashion fever.
STAYING STRONG: Lisa Hanna continues to recuperate and cope privately in the wake of the vehicular accident she was involved in recently. But her admirers and well-wishers, from Kingston to Kenya, have been keeping her close at heart. "I have received a tremendous outpouring of support from persons not just locally but regionally and internationally over the last couple of days. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers, and I'm back on my feet," the Youth and Culture minister noted as she opened her address at the launch of the 2015 Emancipendence activities at Jamaica Pegasus' Talk of the Town Wednesday morning. "Prayer is extremely powerful ― and so is wearing a seatbelt!" The minister, who looked as stunning as ever in a form-fitting white column dress, also took to Twitter to express her gratitude. "Thank you for your thoughts and prayers," she wrote in a post accompanied by a hospital photo of her sporting a neck brace. "#GivingGodThanks." As for the celebrations this August, Minister Hanna said the idea of community spirit is particularly apt this time around. "Every town is expected to come alive," she said. "National community spirit will be once again rekindled and re-energized."