Monday, August 31, 2009

Rihanna in blackface & Islandistas on I-D cover

idcoverIslandistas are all over the place for the September round of fashion magazines.

Islandistas Jourdan Dunn and Arlenis are featured on the cover of the September issue of I-D magazine, along with fellow models of colour Chanel Iman and Sessilee Lopez in a historic all-black cover.

Jourdan, who is five months pregnant (reportedly with a boy), spoke about her baby's father, the pressures on minority models and how she has finally become comfortable with not having the type of body prized in the Afro-Caribbean community.

About her boyfriend:
My boyfriend didn't even know I was a model when I started going out with him and we've been together for three years now. It's hard, you never really know whether people want to be around Jourdan or Jourdan Dunn, and he's been there from when I was just Jourdan.

About her body:
I’m starting to feel more secure in who I am now. Being from an Afro-Caribbean family, being black, skinny, isn’t really acceptable in that community; it’s all about having curves and stuff.... That’s why I’ve never been comfortable with my body until now, when I realize I can say this is who I am, I’m healthy, I’ve always liked to eat, and I’m now happy enough in my own skin to not give a fuck what anyone says about me any more.

About the pressures on black models:
There are loads of black models working and the idea that there's only a few of us, or four of us, to let in as top models at any one time is just bullsh*t. It creates an unnecessary competition when we should be standing together.

True talk Jourdan. Pity Naomi didn't recognise this back in the day and was so mean to Tyra.

In other islandista fashion magazine news, we have more pics from Rihanna's shoot for the couture supplement of Vogue Italia.

And... we're on the fence about it.

Chris Brown: I still love Rihanna

Just when you thought it might be over...

Chris Brown has confessed that he is still in love with Rihanna.

In his first interviews since the Grammy night beating of his former (?) girlfriend Rihanna, Brown has opened up to both People Magazine and Larry King  to talk about what happened that night and his feeling about the whole situation.

The most shocking (and yet not) revelation? He still loves Ri-ri.

Chris told People:

"I never fell out of love with her. That just wouldn't go away."

Sigh... Young love really is a bitch. It is just the most irrational, painful ish...

The full interviews will be coming in People on Friday and on Larry King on Wednesday.

I can't wait to see what Chris Brown's crazy, Rihanna-hating stans make of this though...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bring back the 90s!

It's inevitable isn't it?

Just like how 70s fashion came back in the 90s with bell-bottoms (flares anyone) and afros being ok again and the 80s has hideously resurfaced in recent years with everything from acid-wash to shoulder pads and (urgh*) Hammer pants, being regurgitated, we figure the 90s has to be the next decade of fashion to come back in fashion.

In fact, we're already on the border of late 80s/ early 90s style anyway.

Yes, it's a rather scary prospect to us here at Islandista too since that fashion moment will officially mean that we're... not so young anymore. Truth be told, having the 80s come back into fashion is pretty horrifying to us too. It's waaayyy too close for comfort.

But it is surely inevitable.

In fact, we spy signs of it already. The August issue of US Vogue talking up velvet as a key trend for fall was a hint. New York Magazine is also trumpeting velvet as a fall trend too.

And surely we can all remember how big velvet was in the 90s. Long velvet skirts and long velvet dresses in rich colours like ruby red, forest green, deep blue, purple and jet black were the thing in the early to mid 90s.

And to be honest, this is one 90s trend we don't mind seeing come back. Velvet looks and feels good and is more forgiving than other fabrics. Plus - no ironing!

Fellow bloggers are also foreseeing the return of the 90s - Jezebel had a hilarious post about it and Fashion Bomb chronicled the mostly stylish tv students of  (mostly) the 90s.

So without further adieu, here are the Top Ten 90s trends we here at Islandista want to see come back - just for shits and giggles.

Rihanna in Vogue Italia

Well, sorta kinda.

She's actually featured on the cover of Vogue Italia's September couture supplement.

But hey, it's still Vogue and she does look fierce.

The cover was shot by Steven Klein and she's wearing a very futuristic, metallic Valentino dress with a crazy dramatic robot-esque sleeve and matching (?) metallic leg bands.

Check it.

[caption id="attachment_1361" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Photo credit: Steven Klein for Vogue Italia"]Photo credit: Steven Klein for Vogue Italia[/caption]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy birthday Alexandra & last word on Rihanna and Chris Brown incident

So at last, at last for real this time, the whole Rihanna/Chris Brown brouhaha is over. Brown was sentenced yesterday to 5 years' probation and 6 months community labour and ordered to stay away from Rihanna for the next five years.

The sentence was the culmination of his plea deal and marked the end of the whole sad, ugly mess that started in the wee hours of February 8th.

Or did it?

Some interesting details came out in his probation report which confirmed some things that have been whispered about but not mentioned out loud way before he beat Rihanna on the night before the Grammies.

From the UK's Daily Mail:

A probation report prepared for Tuesday's sentencing describes two previous violent incidents. 

It said the first happened about three months before the February beating while the couple was traveling in Europe; Rihanna slapped Brown during an argument, and he shoved her into a wall.

In the second instance, Brown allegedly broke the front and passenger side windows on a Range Rover they were driving while visiting Barbados, Rihanna's home country. Neither attack was reported, the probation report states.

The whole of Barbados knew about the second incident - it was the talk of the island when it happened last summer, particularly since they apparently had their fight on a  public road in full view of plenty of gypsy Bajans.

The first incident will give fodder to the crazy Chris Brown stans out there - it's sure to be the life line they have been waiting for in their blazing hatred of Ri-Ri and they will hang on to it as if it justifies what Chris did to her.

Anyhoo... on to more positive news.

Islandista singer and X-Factor reality show winner Alexandra Burke celebrated her 21st birthday last night in style.


[caption id="attachment_1353" align="aligncenter" width="407" caption="Photo credit: Rotello/Rex Features"]Photo credit: Rotello/Rex Features[/caption]


Alex had a dinner party with friends and family at the exclusive Nobu Berkeley in London's ritzy Mayfair district before moving the party on to Shoreditch House.

And she looked fabulous while doing so, starting out in a black satin tunic dress and pleather leggings for the dinner and changing into a sexy black satin minidress with ruffled cap sleeves for the partying.

[caption id="attachment_1358" align="aligncenter" width="358" caption="Photo credits: & Splash News"]Photo credits: & Splash News[/caption]



She accessorised it all with plenty of birthday prezzies - a quilted Chanel handbag that was a gift from Simon Cowell and a hot pair of wine-coloured Christian Louboutin Décolleté 100 Jazz pumps that she bought with birthday money.

Other birthday treats were a grey Tabitha bag from Dannii Minogue, a Tiffany ring, Louis Vuitton bag, Stella McCartney clothing and best of all a £5,000 luxury holiday to the Constance Lemuria resort in the Seychelles - the last gift compliments her X-Factor mentor, Cheryl Cole!

With all of that, plus a million-pound record contract, we know it had be a happy birthday for you Miss Alex!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Michael Jackson death ruled a homicide

Oh sheeeeet. Dr. Conrad Murray is now really in potta/shit street/up a creek without a paddle. You pick the metaphor.

The Los Angeles County Coroner has ruled that the King of Pop's death was a homicide and the likely cause was a lethal combination of drugs.

Every news outlet and their mother is running with the AP report where a law enforcement official confirmed that the death is being treated as a homicide.

FYI - dat is murder hear?

Apparently, the forensic exams found that high levels of the anesthetic propofol along with two other sedatives was what caused Jackson's death.

Of course, this has has been widely speculated on for weeks, ever since Jackson's nutritionist Cherilyn Lee revealed that he had begged her to get the anesthetic Dipravan (another name for propofol) for him, in the weeks before his death.

Dr. Murray, who has been the target of a manslaughter investigation for weeks now apparently told investigators that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for nearly six weeks with 50 milligrams of propofol every night. Via an IV drip.

Celebs really are not like you and me.

Murray told the investigators he worried that Jackson was forming an addiction to the propofol (no shit - anyone taking a powerful drug only used in hospitals and using it every night just to drop a sleep is obviously addicted. Why would Murray as a doctor give it to him in the first place?).

Anyhow, so he was trying to wean Jackson off the propofol by lowering the dosage and mixing it in with other sedatives.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Yet, it must have seemed to be working because two days before Jackson died, he managed to fall asleep with 'just' the two other sedatives.

But then in the wee hours of of June 25th, Murray reportedly tried all kinds of non-propofol alternatives to get Jackson to sleep, including regular old Valium.

None worked and Jackson demanded the propofol so finally Murray gave in around 10:40 a.m.

And the rest... well, we know it from there.

Awful and sad.

Islandista who keeps rising - Soledad O'Brien

Photo credit:
Everyone wants a piece of Soledad O'Brien.


The famous CNN journalist and Special Investigations host was born in the United States to a black Cuban mother and white Australian father of Irish descent.

Looks simple written there but when you hear that she is a member of both the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and that she has been awarded by the NAACP once,  named as one of 100 Top Irish Americans twice and awarded a prize as Groundbreaking Latina of the Year, you see what we mean.

Everyone - black people, Hispanics, Irish folk, Aussies and yes, now islandistas - proudly stake their bit of a claim to this fabulous islandista by descent.

Yes, we're claiming Soledad too - as a Cubana doing well in the world, she makes us proud to claim her.

Her documentaries are smashes. Both Black in America and Black in America 2 were the most-watched documentaries of the year on CNN in 2008 and in 2009 (so far).

The follow up will be (of course) Latino in America, set to air in October this year.

Could 'Irish in America' and 'Australian in America' be far behind? We kid, we kid...

The story of Soledad's unique, multi-cultural ancestry goes back to John Hopkins University in Maryland in 1958 where interracial marriage was still against the law. That didn't stop Soledad's father Edward, from pestering Estella, the alluring Cubana he saw every day at Mass (both were Catholic).

Solead told Irish Central (of course!):
"As students at John Hopkins in Maryland they used to both go to daily Mass. My father would ask her every day if she would like a ride home, and every day my mother would refuse – you didn’t take a ride from a man you don’t know. But one day she eventually said yes, and that’s how they started dating."

Of course, their dating was severely hampered by segregation - they couldn't go out to most restaurants, bars or even the movies, so Estella cooked for Edward at home. One year later, in 1959, they got married - going to neighbouring Washington D.C. since they could not legally marry in Maryland.

Soledad is well aware that everyone sees a little bit of their culture in her and want to claim her and she's cool with that.

In the interview with Irish Central, she says:
"Every culture sees their own culture in me. I remember my uncle from Australia said, ‘You look so Australian.’ It’s the freckles.

"I look like an O'Brien. If you saw my dad you'd agree. When I was filming Latino in America and I interviewed a wife who was Dominican and her husband who was Puerto Rican and she said, 'I read your mother's Cuban, I knew you were one of us!'

I love that in the black community that people consider me to be someone who contributes on all fronts."

Her multi-culti background has also helped her very nicely as a journalist, which she owns to.
" There’s something very nice about being an insider and an outsider. As a journalist I think there’s a plus to that. “Whether it’s working moms, or Afro Caribbeans, or Latinos or Irish people or Australians, you can see the inside story and the outside one.”

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Picture of the day - Jamaica's golden girls

[caption id="attachment_1348" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="The Golden Girls (from l-r) Simone Facey, Kerron Stewart, Shelly-Ann Fraser and Aleen Bailey"]The Golden Girls (from l-r) Simone Facey, Kerron Stewart, Shelly-Ann Fraser and Aleen Bailey[/caption]


We will keep it short and simple tonight. The above pic really says it all.

As we begun at these World Championships, so did we end - with victory. Jamaica's islandistas - Simone, Kerron, Shelly-Ann and Aleen, went some way towards making up for their disqualification disappointment in the 4 x100 at last year's Olympics by winning the the title today at the World Championships in Berlin.

The team so bad that they did not even need Veronica Campbell-Brown to take the gold.

The Bahamian women also represented for the Caribbean, placing second in the 4 x 100.

And in the men's 4 x 100, it was another Caribbean 1-2 - Jamaica first (of course) and Trinidad second.

This little region has sent an emphatic message to the world at this World Championships.

World, unnu hear we?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Golden glory for the Caribbean!

Oh, what a day it has been islandistas!

We just bossed up de World Championships in Berlin today, didn't we?

Where do we start?

[caption id="attachment_1343" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Melaine Walker (centre) and teammate Kaliese Spencer react after her 400 m hurdles victory. Trinidad's bronze medallist Josanne Lucas is at right. / Photo credit: AP"]Melaine Walker (centre) and teammate Kaliese Spencer react after her 400 m hurdles victory. Trinidad's bronze medallist Josanne Lucas is at right. / Photo credit: AP[/caption]

With golden girl and defending Olympic islandista Melaine Walker's sizzling 400m hurdles victory?

[caption id="attachment_1344" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Faster than that! The eventual time was rounded down to 19.19 seconds. / Photo credit: AP"]photo credit: AP[/caption]

Or with Usain Bolt's jaw-dropping 'yo, dat yute deh nuh normal' 19.19 second world record run in the 200m finals?

[caption id="attachment_1345" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Number one! Ryan Brathwaite celebrates his victory. / Photo credit: AP"]Number one! Ryan Brathwaite celebrates his victory. / Photo credit: AP[/caption]

Or with little Barbados finally getting its first gold medal at a major international meet, with Ryan Brathwaite's 11o metres hurdle victory?

Such an abundance of riches. We feel spoiled tonight by the amount of Caribbean medals! There has been such a gold rush today, that we all win bronze in the women's 400m hurdles, in the form of Trinidadian Josanne Lucas and nuff people ent realise.

It has been a big, big day for this little region at the World Championships.

We have said it here before and we will say it again - it is not only now Caribbean athletes have been among the greatest in the world.

It is only now the world is seeing it.

For so many years, we have seen those who were born here compete under other flags - sometimes after emigrating with their families in their youth. Sometimes after going to university overseas and deciding to compete for larger, better resourced countries.

We have seen athletes from larger countries set 'amazing' times under clouds of suspicion that seemed obvious to us but not to the powerful nations that backed them.

But now... now the playing field has been leveled a bit.

And I know every Caribbean person feels the way we do.


Wonderful Zoe Saldana photo spread in Vanity Fair

Hollywood's favourite islandista, Zoe Saldana is featured in the September issue of Vanity Fair (aka the big Style Issue)in a fabulous, Harlem Renaissance-themed photo shoot.

It plays on Zoe's penchant for getting cast in movie roles as the one lady among the men (Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek and the upcoming sci-fi flick Avatar).

I love how they combined that with the Harlem renaissance looks and how dignified and sharp the brothers, both young and old, look in these pictures. Obviously, Zoe is th star, but they definitely add a finesse to the photos.

Call it the Obama effect but I am seeing us portrayed much more  and more beautifully in mainstream publications these days.

Check out some of the shots.


[caption id="attachment_1338" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Photo credit: Michael Roberts for Vanity Fair"]Photo credit: Michael Roberts for Vanity Fair[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1339" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Photo credit: Michael Roberts for Vanity Fair"]Photo credit: Michael Roberts for Vanity Fair[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1340" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="photo credit: Michael Roberts for Vanity Fair"]photo credit: Michael Roberts for Vanity Fair[/caption]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Shelly-ann does it again!

[caption id="attachment_1326" align="alignleft" width="257" caption="photo credit: AP"]photo credit: AP[/caption]

Islandistas and islandistos are again doing it like only we  do (*coff - bussing up records drug-free*) in the World Championships in Berlin!

Of course, everyone in the world saw or watched the Youtube clips of Usain Bolt MASHING UP his own men's 100m world record last night in a sizzling time of 9.58 - the first man to delve into 9.5 territory - a place many thought they would never see.

And then today, Shelly-Ann Fraser did the double as well, adding the women's 100m World Championship title to her Olympic gold medal in the event.

She led a Jamaica 1-2 of the event, with Kerron Stewart (a lot of people's favourite) coming second.

Just like the men's final which was a Caribbean pepperpot with two Jamaicans, two Trinis and an Antiguan in de mix (yes, that is five out of eight finalists), the women's final had a strong Caribbean flavour.

There were four Jamaicans - Fraser and Stewart were joined by fellow yaadies Veronica Campbell-Brown and Aleen Bailey and the two Bahamian veterans - Chandra Sturrup and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie.

De world finally seeing that it is really de Caribbean that run t'ings pun de track! What Americans, what?!

Even more significant is that Shelly-Ann's time was 10.73 which is not only the fastest time this year, but the joint third-fastest time ever for a woman.

Let me repeat that for you again, in case you don't get the significance. She ran the joint third-fastest time ever
(Christine Arron also ran 10.73. Of course, Arron is also an islandista, born in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe)

The only two women to run faster than her are Marion Jones (10.70) and Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49).

And well... de two a dem... EH! is all I have to say.

As far as I am concerned, Shelly wid har cute likkle self is the world record holder.

Yeh, Islandista say dat. Who ent like mih could bite mih, in the words of Queen Fay-Ann. Is real bad-gal talk I putting down here.

Shelly is my world record holder.

Because, see it...

Even Marion Jones with all the illegal juice she eventually confessed to taking, could not match the insane times that Flo-Jo ran. And we all know the suspicions around Flo-Jo. But dead women tell no tales, oui?

So congratulations to Shelly-Ann Fraser - the world's fastest woman!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Even more political relationship commess

Kerrie SymmondsWow... and here we thought all the political relationship commess was in Turks and Caicos and Guyana.

Turns out it ent done - Barbados has gotten in on the act too!

It's not quite as spicy because unlike TCI and GT, it does not involve the head of the country, just an Opposition senator and his estranged wife, but...! He was a Government Minister in the last administration and the details that have come out thus far are pretty damn spicy.

Apparently, Kerrie Symmonds, who used to be the Minister of State within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade when his party was in power in Barbados, is taking out his anger with his estranged wife on her car.

According to the Barbados Nation, he is supposed to appear in court today for allegedly slashing his wife's Toyota Prado last week and allegedly assaulting her back in June.

This was all laid out as his wife took out a protection order against him.

From the Nation:
Symmonds, of Wilcox House, Christ Church, is scheduled to go before the District "A" Magistrates Court in connection with two incidents. On June 13, 2009, he allegedly assaulted his estranged wife Andrea Symmonds, of Rock Hall, St Thomas.

Last week Thursday he is alleged to have used a spare key to enter her Toyota Prado and slash the car seats.

[caption id="attachment_1323" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="So...the Prado does not look like this anymore. (Photo credit: Aussie Motoring)"]So...the Prado does not look like this anymore. (Photo credit: Aussie Motoring)[/caption]

Wuhloss.... pepper sauce!

Of course, it is one thing for politicos to do wrong t'ings to their partners in private - we have all heard of the various scandals of politicians and their partners all up and down this island chain.

It is another thing when it leaks out in public and Symmonds promptly resigned from his post as Opposition Senator.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley said in a statement:
"Earlier today, I received a request from Senator Kerrie Symmonds, who is out of the country, to be relieved of his Senate appointment with immediate effect, citing personal reasons."

Of course, Prime Minister David Thompson could not resist getting a dig in, since Symmonds actually used to run with his side but skipped out on the DLP to join the party in power in the late 90s. He said to reporters yesterday:
"I once thought that Kerrie Symmonds was a rising political star.

He even did his in-service [training] with me and I thought I had imparted [some knowledge and advice]. (But) look at what has happened today . . . . "I wish him all the very best and God's blessings. That's all I can do, truthfully."

Ouch. He has a point, though. Symmonds is a smart guy that had been seen as a rising star, both with the Dees and the Bees and it is kind of surprising that he let things get to this point. I mean... damn man! Scratching up the car? What the hell is this... Waiting to Exhale?