Friday, July 31, 2009

Caribbean artistes on BET's Rising Icons

Melanie FionaYou don't have to tell us in the Caribbean that our stars are on the rise.

It's like the world is finally waking up to a Caribbean moment in sports and culture. Between our dominating sports stars like Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser and even Lewis Hamilton and our up and coming artistes like Rihanna, Hal Linton, Shontelle and Melanie Fiona, the world is getting a dose of Caribbean flavour in recent years.

And as it so happens, two Caribbean artistes - Barbados' Hal Linton and Guyana-descended Melanie Fiona are featured in BET's upcoming feature collaboration with Grey Goose- the Rising Icons series.

Check out some pics from Hal's performance below.


Rising Icon-Hal performance2


Rising Icon -Hal performance3

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jourdan Dunn confirms pregnancy

Jourdan Dunn has confirmed what we reported a few days back - she is indeed pregnant.

In an interview with, Jourdan said she was excited about motherhood:
"I'm really looking forward to the future and having my baby... I'm lucky - I'm feeling really well. I'm healthy and happy!"

Vogue also reported that the father is Jourdan's boyfriend of many years and that Jourdan plans to continue working between London and New York after the baby's birth in December.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

TC wins at last... and how!

[caption id="attachment_1305" align="alignleft" width="269" caption="photo source:"]photo source:[/caption]

For years now, Barbados' TC has been one of those 'always a bridesmaid, never a bride' kaisonians.

Second and third place knew her well and even though she was a perpetual finalist in Barbados' Calypso Monarch contest and a regular finalist in the Party Monarch contest, she never could seem to make the breakthrough.

Sometimes the judges seemed to mess her up, preferring 'shareholders' like Red Plastic Bag and Gabby to her and sometimes she was her own worst enemy like in 2005 when she had the Calypso Monarch title in her hand after a brilliant first half and then just dashed it away with a weirdly low-key performance of her bigger song in the second half.

But...she did it at last!

Today at Farley Hill, TC won not just the Party Monarch contest but the first ever Sweet Soca (aka groovy soca) contest with her big tune Hot Sun and Riddim.

No longer will she have to endure the 'she's a great calypsonian but..."  discussion.

She got crowns now.

Honestly, the Party Monarch result took folks by surprise, especially since TC was one of three contestants who just re-sang the song they performed like... an hour earlier in the Sweet Soca contest.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hot Islandista style

Islandista Rihanna and Selita Ebanks hit the scene in recent days looking as hot as a Caribbean summer!

First Rihanna was at the London premier of Inglourious Basterds in a black Alexander McQueen jumpsuit. Now we are not real big on a lot of jumpsuits/playsuits out there - too many folks wear them badly and end up looking like either a mechanic or a baby with a disturbingly sexy onesie.

But of course Ri-ri rocked it out... with mounds of pearls, a dramatic pompadour, lace gloves ruby red lipstick and attituuuuude gyal!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Jourdan Dunn is pregnant!

[caption id="attachment_1288" align="alignleft" width="234" caption="Photo credit: David Sims"]Photo credit: David Sims[/caption]

...Or so says Vogue magazine, which casually dropped this bombshell on the fashion public with a piece on titled 'Expecting in Style : What the pregnant Jourdan should wear this fall'.

New York Magazine's followed it up by stating that apparently Dunn is four months pregnant and is due in December.


We're feeling a bit conflicted about this news here at islandista.

On the one hand, Jourdan is an adult - 19 years old. And British women do tend to have children earlier.

But on the other hand ... 19 is still pretty young. And Jourdan's career has just been hitting some amazing highs in the last year. To take a break off from the scene at this point in time could hurt her momentum.

I feel a bit as if a little sister or cousin has done something that you just know could change her life in a big way and you are a bit scared that she's going to have to grow up so much more quickly.

But of course, having been a model since she was discovered at 15, Jourdan has probably grown up quite quickly in recent years and is no doubt more mature than other 19 years old.


Lord knows we love us some Jourdan here at islandista so all we can do is wish our favourite islandista supermodel all the best.

'Tings a get sticky!' - Michael Jackson's doc investigated for manslaughter

Wow... Things are looking real brown for Dr. Conrad Murray, the Grenadian/Trini who was Michael Jackson's last personal physician.

After weeks of wondering and speculation and investigation, he is now apparently the subject of a manslaughter investigation.

Court records filed in Houston on Thursday show that he is definitely now on the radar of the authorities as a suspect, despite the protestations of his legal counsel.

A pair of search warrants that were filed before Federal authorities raided his clinic in Houston, stated that investigators were searching for:
 "Items constituting evidence of the offense of manslaughter that tend to show that Dr. Conrad Murray committed the said criminal offense."

The searches gave authorities permission to look for:
"implements and instruments used in the commission of a crime."


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And then there was one...

Soooo ... after all the hullaballoo and the hurriedly called press conference last Thursday, it turns out that the Jackson One will be performing at Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica.

Initial reports indicated that the massive reggae festival would get at least four of the five remaining Jackson sons - Tito, Randy and Jackie were supposedly confirmed, while they were working on getting Marlon.

It was also said that Jackson matriarch Katherine and Michael's three children would be special guests of the Jamaican government and receive a special lifetime achievement award from Summerfest Productions.

However, this was disputed by Jermaine Jackson who said he and his brothers weren't going to Jamaica.

Sumfest head honcho Robert Russell responded that Jermaine was never one of the ones scheduled to perform.

Now... well, it is looking like it's only Tito who's left.

From the Jamaica Gleaner:

Following conflicting reports on the Jackson brothers performing at Reggae Sumfest, one of the shows directors, Robert Russell, told The Gleaner yesterday that Tito Jackson is the only one confirmed to perform on Saturday night at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, Montego Bay.

Russell told The Gleaner Jackie withdrew from performing because of an illness, but Tito and his band are still confirmed to perform on Saturday and they arrive in the island on Friday. He also said there are ongoing negotiations to have the other brothers perform along with Tito.

"It (negotiations) is evolving as we speak," said Russell. "We are awaiting confirmation from the others and, hopefully, can make an announcement tomorrow (today)."

Eh... t'ings a look sticky.

And Katherine and the kids aren't going to Jamdown either... at least, not any time soon. A statement from the Jamaican Ministry of Culture said:
Michael's mother, Katherine, with her grandchildren and other members of the family, would be honoured to take up the Prime Minister's offer to visit Jamaica, at a later date.

Later date... like Neveruary morning?

Oh well... Tito was the one who essentially started the group. But 'Tito Jackson Live in Concert' still doesn't have the same ring as 'The Jackson Five Reunited'.

Bits and pieces - Lara fete back on, socially aware fashion and more...

Yes islandistas, I have another pelau post here for you - a bit of this and a bit of that and you know seh it always good!

First up - apparently Brian Lara's all-inclusive Crop-Over party is back on. The Prince changed his mind over a week ago so all systems are go once again.

No details on what caused him to change his mind and work the party into his schedule but we're guessing that some fervent pleading from Bajan party-goers may have gone down.

In other news, Barbadian fashion designer Toni Thorne of Bouik is bringing social awareness to fashion with the launch of a new campaign to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, called Wear The Issue.

[caption id="attachment_1282" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Photo source: Wear the Issue Facebook page"]Photo source: Wear the Issue Facebook page[/caption]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Islandista stamp of approval: Party Central limes

The theme for  this year's Crop-Over has definitely been hobbie class.

This season has seen an unprecedented amount of recession-friendly free liming events and the party public has loved it.

Brewster's Road started off things with some jam-packed pre-Crop-Over limes. Their affiliates, Passion Network followed up by flattening the more established Power X 4 every Saturday night by holding their limes just up the road from Px4's Party Stand.

LIME's Pork Limes have been a popular Friday night staple, getting fuller and fuller with each one.

Even Baje has gone into the liming thing, hosting a series of limes at Red Rock Bar.

But the star of the 'liming season' would have to be the Party Central Sunday BBQ limes.


[caption id="attachment_1268" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="photo source: Party Central Facebook page"]photo source: Party Central Facebook page[/caption]


Islandistas, they just.... niiiiiice. They definitely get our official islandista stamp of approval. 

Monday, July 20, 2009

First black Miss England is an islandista!



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The first black Miss England in the contest's history was crowned today and she is an islandista!

Rachel Christie, the niece of Jamaican-born British sprinter and Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie, was crowned Miss England in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

Rachel is the daughter of Linford's late brother Russell who was also an athlete before he became caught up in unsavoury stuff. When she was just eight years old, her father was stabbed to death in a drug war.

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Following in the family tradition, Rachel is also an athlete - a heptathlete who trains with her uncle at the Linford Christie stadium in Hammersmith. 


She actually got into beauty contests with the idea of funding her athletics career, admitting frankly in an interview with the Independent:

I'm just an athlete at the minute, which means I'm unemployed and I'm broke. Modelling could fit round training in a way that a lot of other jobs couldn't."

 She had a close call a few days before the contest when she got into a car accident in Acton and suffered whiplash and bruised legs that almost caused her to miss the first round of the contest.

Christie is fully aware of the historic nature of her being in the contest. Just a few days ago, she commented on the dearth of black entrants in beauty contests, saying:
"I don't know why so few black girls enter. I think they think they won't win because beauty queens always have blond hair and blue eyes. I think they need to advertise more to change that. I'd be so proud if I were the first black Miss England.

And now she is. Congrats to Rachel!

Chris Brown says what he did was 'inexcusable'

Chris Brown is sorry. Five months after he assaulted Rihanna, the teenyboppers former (?) king has come out and publicly apologised to Rihanna and his fans. In the video which was posted to his website, Brown took full responsibility for what happened that night, saying:
"I'm not going to sit here and make any excuses… What I did was inexcusable."
He also confirmed that he and Rihanna have been in contact since the assault, saying he has told her "countless times" how sorry he is. First up, we'd like to say - at least he was man enough to apologise. Shoot, Ike always maintained he did nothing wrong. So for the young boy to man up and admit his wrong, we will give him credit for that. Of course, there are still a whole lot of questions.

Caribbean commess around the Jacksons

As if there was not enough drama surrounding the death of Michael Jackson, a whole lot of Caribbean-style commess has been added to the mix.

We all know by now that Jackson's last doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray is a Grenadian-Trini and that he has been repeatedly questioned by investigators on Jackson's last moments, what drugs he would have prescribed for Jackson and even had his car impounded.
Conrad Murray

But on top of that, Dr. Murray is apparently a Caribbean-style village ram, fathering six children with five different women. And these women were not playing with his tail. He apparently had a trail of debt and liens on his salary, due to numerous child support claims.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rihanna's (kinda) new do

Islandista good girl gone bad Rihanna has constantly kept her hairstyle changing in the last few years and this week she unveiled yet another look - the half-baldie.

Yes, Ri-ri has gone the way of Cassie and shaved off half  her hair. From the side it looks ... interesting. I'm not a big fan of the half-bald look but with Riri's hair being short already it is not as shocking or ridiculous looking as Cassie's... at least that is what we think, but see the pic for yourself.

[caption id="attachment_1256" align="aligncenter" width="435" caption="photo credit: Splash News"]photo credit: Splash News[/caption]

From the front, it doesn't look that shocking at all. It just looks like a spikey version of her pompadour-esque hairdo.

[caption id="attachment_1257" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="photo credit: Splash News"]photo credit: Splash News[/caption]

So what thinks you, islandistas? Chicks have faithfully been following Ri-ri's hair incarnations for the last two years straight now. Will they follow her to the half-baldie?

[polldaddy poll=1792571]

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Marleys meet the Obamas

The First Family of Reggae met the First Family of the United States recently.

Matriarch Rita Marley, her son Ziggy Marley and assorted little Marleys visited the White House recently and snapped a pic and got autographs from President Barack Obama and his First Lady Michelle. Check the pics below.

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marleysDreadlocks in the White House? Loving it!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Really Baje?

So Wet Fete 2009 is behind us and it has left some not very happy campers.

Apparently the VIP section, which was run by Baje International, left much to be desired.

For $175, the very important patrons were supposed to get free food and drinks.

Instead, all they got was rum and beer - everything else had to be paid for.

As for the food?

On a big, big Sunday afternoon, they give people ham cutters, cheese cutters, fishcakes and chow mein.


Worse, according to our sources, the security for the VIP was apparently pretty lax. One person said they were able to let in about 10 people on their wristband while other people reported that the non-VIPs pushed down the fence for the section and let themselves in.


What Baje really going on with? How you going to make people pay for drinks in VIP? People hear free drinks and come in VIP with their wristband, car keys and two long hands because having paid VIP price they do not expect to have to pay for drinks.

That is slackness, pure and simple.

Which all-inclusive will run tings this year?

We know that islandistas STAY partying - even though the recession is real, we still need to ease the tension with a li'l fete. And this is the season for it - summer!

In Barbados, the Crop-Over season is just hitting high gear - three more weeks of frenetic partying to go! With the demise of one beloved all-inclusive party - Brian Lara's Crop-Over party; and the demise of another not so beloved so-called-inclusive event - C&W-now-LIME's eNVy, the market for Crop-Over all inclusives is wide open and a number of folks are stepping into the breach.

Bliss poster

High on our islandista radar are four events over the final weekend of Crop-Over.

 Two of them - Esquire Entertainment's Bliss and Island Mas' Breakfast Party are familiar and have been on the scene for a few years now. Bliss in particular has a great reputation and is a hot draw for young professionals who come from all over the region.

Drawing on their own experiences from living, studying and working in Trinidad and Jamaica, the directors of Esquire have been showing Barbados how proper, genuine all-inclusives are supposed to be held, since their first one back on Old Year's Night 2005. They do hot venues like Lion Castle's polo club and the Barbados Concorde Experience headquarters, good food and nuff drinks and wuk-ups. What more could you ask for?

Island Mas is a combination of Bajans and Trinis in Barbados - hence their slogan "a TrinBajan experience". They held their first breakfast party (and the first breakfast party on the Crop-Over scene) back in 2007, seeking to bring a Trini Carnival season staple to Bim.

photo credit:


 Following hot on their heels this year is yet another breakfast party - a new introduction to the Crop-Over scene called Sunny Side Up. Again this is another Bajan-Trini connection, as it is being hosted by BashBrothaz from Barbados and the Sunny Side Up crew from Trinidad. You know we're all about regional love and unity on Islandista - which is what nearly all these events have in common. U-ni-ty!



Right now the menu looking real Trini-ish - the website says the breakfast will include:
"Hot tasty doubles, Spicy Corn Soup, fresh succulent fruits, various breakfast items."

They do promise that the menu will be updated soon so we expect to see some fishcakes and bakes up in dey soon! SSU is billing itself as 'the premium all-inclusive breakfast party' and at US$75 for singles and US$130 for couples, we trust it will be!

 That like it is an intro price to hook Bajans, because the Trini Carnival version is even more expensive. Another new event is the Bathsheba Experience - an all-inclusive party at a villa in one of Barbados' most beautiful and rugged East Coast villages.

Bathsheba Experience poster

There is not much more information on this event other than it is up Bathsheba which is gorgeous. We hope the promoters will forward with some more details in short order!

So islandistas what do you think? Who will run t'ings on the Crop-Over all-inclusive scene this year?

Friday, July 10, 2009

You better WORK! - Islandista models making moves

Islandista models Jourdan Dunn and Arlenis Sosa seem to be taking RuPaul's legendary advice to heart - "you better WORK!"

And work they are, both figuratively and literally.

In the last month, the two have racked up four major ad campaigns for boldface names - Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancome and Maybelline.

First Jourdan was featured in an ad for YSL's La Nuit de L'homme fragrance, seductively sniffing the actor Vincent Cassel.

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Then she was featured in the ad for Calvin Klein's CK fragrance.

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Arlenis, who is the face of Lancome, shot some more ads for the brand as well. See them below.

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And thennnnn, this pic popped up this week of Jourdan on the set of the shoot for her upcoming ad campaign for Maybelline.

jourdan dunn-maybelline work

Fantastic. I am so heartened to see the next generation of islandista models getting some serious all-round work. It is one thing to rule the runways as Jourdan has been doing but everyone knows the real money and security is in the ad campaigns.

Monday, July 6, 2009

ISLANDISTA EXCLUSIVE: Vashtie Kola speaks for herself

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Islandistas, I know it is from 19-how long that we promised you our exclusive interview with multi-talented islandista it girl and 'Downtown's Sweetheart', Vashtie Kola.

But you know how it is... good things come to those who wait... and keep reading Islandista in the meantime!

So without further adieu, here are some unfiltered insights into the life and work of Vashtie Kola.

Really Ri-Ri? X 2

Rihanna has been getting up to some... interesting antics in the last week or so.

First she hit up East Side Ink in New York City last week to tattoo some folks. Some reports say it was her friends and cousin, while others say it was some of the tattoo artists working in the parlour. She tattooed little umbrellas (ella ellas?) with Rs in them on her willing subjects. But of course... what else? It's almost cute.

Certainly the owner of East Side Ink, Yadira thought so. He told MTV:
"We had a blast. It was so funny and cute."

[caption id="attachment_1209" align="aligncenter" width="235" caption="photo credit: Splash News"]photo credit: Splash News[/caption]

Unfortunately for Ri-Ri, the New York City Health Department does not think it's cute or funny and now she could be facing fines of $300 for the first offence, $500 for the second and $1000 for the third.

The Health Department announced that they planned to investigate the amateur tattooing session, with a spokesman telling TMZ:
Only licensed tattoo artists can administer tattoos in the city according to the City's Health Code. We are sending someone down to follow up on this."

As if that was not enough, Rihanna decided to bust out over the Independence holiday weekend in the United States, when she attended a party at Tao in Las Vegas in one of her most daring outfits yet... and that is saying a lot.

Take a look below.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Trini Carnival - a look forward and a look back

Even though we're in the midst of the summer Carnival season, things are already heating up for Trinidad Carnival 2010.

Talk is already flying about what plans the various mas bands in TnT have in store for 2010 and two top Trinidadian mas bands - Spice and Carnival Tribe, are set to hold their band launches this month on July 19th and 25th respectively.

In fact, Spice has already given us all a sneak peek of their 2010 presentation, The Spice Route, when they held their media launch two weeks ago.

They displayed the front line costumes of two sections - the Caspian Sea and Rubies of Mumbai and they are bee-yoo-tee-ful!

I especially like the Rubies of Mumbai (below). The tear-drop shaped red gems dripping off the waist piece and the sari like material for the shoulders - fantastic!

[caption id="attachment_1201" align="aligncenter" width="292" caption="photo credit: Joel Angelo/"]photo credit: Joel Angelo/[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1202" align="aligncenter" width="292" caption="photo credit: Joel Angelo/"]photo credit: Joel Angelo/[/caption]

Spice's Eastern theme is one that seems to be quite popular for Trini Carnival '10. Tribe is going with 'The Secret of Silk' - a slight change up from what was rumoured to be the original name - The Silk Road.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Last look at Fashion Week TT

I wasn't actually going to do any  more posts on Fashion Week Trinidad & Tobago since it finished over a month ago, but then CF Style weakened my resolve by posting these gorgeous pics of Shurnel's collection on Night 5 of the event.

We. love. it.

Sharp angles, bright colours like acid yellow and burnt orange pre-dominated but yet it was totally wearable. Take a look at a few of our favourites below.


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Friday, July 3, 2009

A bit of Crop-Over suss - no Lara fete, no eNVy

Just a quickie here about one of the most hotly-anticipated parties on the Crop-Over fete scene - Brian Lara's all-inclusive at his plantation home - Ebworth.

It's not on this year.

Sorry folks.

Islandista has it on very good authority that Lara's all-inclusive do which has been in Barbados the last 3,4 years or so will not be coming off this year.

The reasons are not exactly clear as yet but it seems to be a matter of planning and schedules not working out.

Lara's all-inclusive is not the only one that seems to be no more.

We have not heard a THING about LIME's big eNVy fete which they held last year. Moreover, it is not included in the lineup of events in LIME Contact's band brochure.

That one is perhaps not so surprising. People were NOT happy about how eNVy came off last year. For US$125 per ticket, folks do not expect to be waiting in a long-ass buffet table line for over an hour. Worse, when they get to the table, they discover that the food is quite ordinary.

Fishcakes and hamburgers for a US$125 ticket?

They really tek Bajans for poppets but I know lots of people said LIMe could not get their money again this year. Worse it is a recession

Barbados may not hold a lot of all-inclusive parties like Jamaica and Trinidad but for damn sure the people that shelled out their good money for eNVy last year are well-travelled islandistas and islandistos that have been to them in other isles and know how it is supposed to be done.

And eNVy was not how it is to be done.

So maybe they are wheeling and coming again?

We'll let you know.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Islandistas at the BET Awards & after-parties

Sighhhh.... oh BET.


What can we say about Black Entertainment (or is that Exploitation?) Television's awards show on Sunday night?

Well for one, we like others really only tuned in for the expected Michael Jackson tribute.

If it weren't for that, we doubt we would have made it all the way through.

It was especially rough towards the end there when Lil Wayne and the world's most hyped new rapper Drake performed 'Every Girl in the World'.

And Lil Wayne brought his 10 year old daughter and her friends up on stage.

To sing along with the lyrics "I just wanna f*ck every girl in the world."