Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jourdan Dunn's boyfriend jailed


Why couldn't he just be a nice young man?

The news broke this weekend that Jourdan Dunn's boyfriend (and the father of her two month old son) has been jailed for three years for selling coke.

Weirdly enough his name is Jordan too - Jordan Cummings a 20 year old from  North London.

British tabloid The Sun broke the story, with one unnamed source saying of Cummings:

The police kicked down his front door when they arrested him.
He's well-known on the streets as a dealer. He's been dealing since he was a teenager, and makes about £1,000 a week. He and Jourdan are always out and have been together about five years - though I've never heard marriage mentioned.


Islandistas on red carpets across the globe

Islandistas (and an islandisto) hit red carpets from London to Los Angeles last week. Fashion, film and music all collided as island folk graced red carpets for the Elle Style Awards in London, the NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles and further down the fame totem pole, BET's Rip the Runway fashion show in New York City.

The Elle Style awards kicked things off with Naomi Campbell, Corinne Bailey Rae and Leona Lewis all attending. Check these and other pics.

[caption id="attachment_2134" align="aligncenter" width="239" caption="Photo credit:"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2119" align="aligncenter" width="239" caption="Leona was demure yet hot in Alexander McQueen. (Photo credit:"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2120" align="aligncenter" width="239" caption="Photo credit:"][/caption]

Check out photos from the NAACP Image Awards and Rip The Runway after the cut.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Amber Rose: Islandista swagger jacker?

Hip-hop's enfant terrible (which is saying a lot when you think about it) Kanye West launched a new, very minimalist photo blog yesterday.

And of course he had to give his arm-candy Amber Rose some shine. With this photo.

[caption id="attachment_2111" align="aligncenter" width="405" caption="Photo credit:"][/caption]

Look familiar? Of course it does to you islandistas. It is a (weak) re-creation of islandista Grace Jones' iconic photo on the cover of her Island Life album, shot by her lover/collaborator Jean-Paul Goude.

[caption id="attachment_2112" align="aligncenter" width="405" caption="Photo credit: Jean-Paul Goude"][/caption]

Of course, as we have mentioned, this is not the first time Amber and her handlers have tried to re-create (I would have to say re-create rather than pay homage because there is no reference to Grace in any of the editorial for either of her attempts) iconic Grace Jones images.

And of course, there is a long-established tradition of obscuring the accomplishments and reputations of black women and black people in general by putting a white or light face on or above them.

And we have seen plenty comments thus far in the blogosphere about how hot the pic is and even some saying it is better than the original - that Amber Rose's pose is more "feminine"and "sexy" than Grace Jones.

We're just saying...

But what do you say? When does imitation cross the line from being the sincerest form of flattery to being a rip-off?

Our take on it?

Grace was the best to ever do it. *Kanye shrug*

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kamla Persad-Bissessar takes over as Opposition Leader

[caption id="attachment_2108" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo credit: Trinidad Express"][/caption]

She finally did it - Kamla Persad-Bissessar will take her seat today in the Red House in Port-of-Spain as Trinidad & Tobago's first female Oppostion Leader.

On Wednesday, after weeks of public bad john talk from Basdeo Panday and quiet negotiation behind the scenes by Kamla, she finally got enough support from the parliamentary group to become the Opposition Leader. Notable exceptions were Subhas Panday and Mickela Panday, Basdeo's brother and daughter.

Bas in response, picked his battle with the UNC's new chief whip, his frenemy-turned-enemy-again Jack Warner, saying that while he supported Kamla, he would retire to the UNC's back bench as he would not serve under him.

From the Trinidad Guardian:
“Notwithstanding my reservations on the integrity of the recent internal elections of the UNC, I am, in the interest of unity within the party and my desire to see the UNC grow from strength to strength, willing to work with Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the new Leader of the Opposition. I am, however, not prepared to serve under Jack Warner as chief whip in the Parliament until such time as he renders an account for the millions of dollars received by him on behalf of the party.”

Never a dull moment with Bas, eh?


UPDATED:Islandista on the rise: Nicki Minaj

Guess who's an islandista?

That's right, Young Money's sole femcee, the Barbie-fied Nicki Minaj - known in her former life as Onika Maraj, a dougla and the daughter of two Trinis from Queens. Onika Maraj... it sound like a Trini gyul yuh know ent? Something very familiar and Trini-ish about the name.

Check the vid with her repping T&T below. (NSFW)

Following in the footsteps (well, hopefully aside from the beating Korean nail technicians t'ing) of fellow Trini-descended NY femcee Foxy Brown, Nicki is very serious about bringing the glory days of femcees back, telling MTV:
"With the album, I think it's more important that people get accustomed to seeing a female rapper again. Before I drop an album, people need to come out and see. People don't even know what a female rapper does. We're so not used to seeing it. It's nonexistent in categories. We don't get nominated. I need to work [the people] up to accepting a female rapper again and accepting my style and all of that — then the album will come."

While speaking about her song 'Envy' to MTV's Mixtape Daily, Nicki also declared:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Islandista anthem! Shema McGregor's 'Independent (Ladies Anthem)'

This song has been on REPEAT - on our computer, our iPods and in our heads, from the first time we heard it.

We don't do much in the way of endorsing around here but we haffi endorse Shema McGregor's hot new tune Independent (Ladies Anthem), featuring the one and only 'fluffy diva' Miss Kitty.

It is like Shema sit down and decide to make a song just for islandistas - a education, independence and classiness she a defend in the song and we are feeling it, particularly the lines in the chorus which go:
I will never pose like some gal weh a depend pon man no

A no mi dat

Couldn't mi dat

Dem a eediat

I'm an independent first lady,

That's how my momma raised me

Yes a mi dat

Yu fi pree dat

Cas a mi dat...

Dat we seh! Love. it.

It of course helps that it is produced by her super-producer brother, Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor so the beat is as tight as the lyrics and vocals.

Big Ship a go hard... they need to move like the Marleys and put out an album of just them. They have the talent to do it.

Sedene's time to shine

19 year old Jamaican model Sedene Blake is continuing the dream start to her international modelling career, if her record so far at London Fashion Week is any indicator.

 Since LFW started officially on Friday, Sedene has walked in no less than seven shows so far - an impressive run for a newcomer.  Her walks have included some big names like Vivienne Westwood's Red Label and fashion favourites Nicole Farhi and House of Holland. 

 Take a look at some of her catwalk appearances so far.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jeneil Williams exposed

[caption id="attachment_2071" align="alignleft" width="228" caption="Photo credit: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for LOVE Magazine"][/caption]

Jamaican model Jeneil Williams let it all out in both LOVE magazine and the Pony Ryder blog recently - in two very different ways.

The LOVE exposure was of course, part of the editorial she shot for the magazine as one of the eight cover models they chose for the issue.

And in Pony Ryder's interview, we got a glimpse into Jeneil's life and personality.

We've got both for you.

Jeneil on her childhood in Jamaica:
"It was hard; I was forced to grow up really fast."

Jeneil on living in the Big Apple:
"When I first got here it was really amazing because it was my dream to get an agency in New York City. My mother agent took me around to meet with all of the agencies in New York and I ended up signing with New York Models – who I had met with in Jamaica during the model contest. I love my agency and New York. I have met incredible people and love this city!"

[caption id="attachment_2072" align="alignright" width="226" caption="Photo credit: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for LOVE Magazine"][/caption]

Jeneil on her body and beauty rituals:

No I owe most of it [my body]  to track and field; I used to do track back in high school.... I do pilates now to tone up at least twice a week.

I cleanse and exfoliate everynight and I use a facial mask every now and again. I love Jergen’s lotion with a mix of Johnson’s baby gel.

There is lot more of that over at Pony Ryder where you can find the full interview.

[caption id="attachment_2073" align="aligncenter" width="217" caption="Photo credit: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for LOVE Magazine"][/caption]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Islandistas unite for Gotham magazine cover

It was an islandista affair recently when Antiguan-born stylist June Ambrose connected with the half-Jamaican singer Alicia Keys for a gorgeous photo shoot for the Gotham magazine cover, below.

Ambrose also tweeted pics giving followers a behind the scenes glimpse at the shoot which she styled. Check them below.

First look @ Jourdan Dunn's return

[caption id="attachment_2068" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Hat tip to blogger Beauty is Diverse for the tip and pic!"][/caption]

Ok, so the wait is over!

Jourdan Dunn's first show post-pregnancy was the Aquascutum show today at London Fashion Week ... and here she is!

They covered up her body a bit - not sure if that is deliberate or not since looking at her face, it is evident she does still have a bit of the baby weight.

We hope this is the first of several shows we will see her in this season!

Sanya prepares for wedding day

[caption id="attachment_2063" align="alignleft" width="286" caption="Photo credit: Sanya Richards/"][/caption]

Jamaican-American track diva Sanya Richards is making the final preparations for her big day this Friday - which is both her 25th birthday and wedding day to New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross.

On Friday just gone, Sanya tweeted this pic from Bridal Reflections on New York City's exclusive Fifth Avenue, where she was getting her final dress fitting.

She also tweeted another pic from her bachelorette weekend, specifically her spa day with the girls - nice!

[caption id="attachment_2064" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Photo credit: Sanya Richards/"][/caption]

The whole thing is being taped by WeTv's Platinum Weddings and indeed the nuptials for the Olympic gold medallist and World 400m Champion seem set to be platinum!

According to the New York Post, the wedding ceremony is going to be followed up by a dinner for 300 and then an after-party for 700!

Some of the guests include NY Giants past and present like Eli Manning and Michael Strahan, basketballer Dikembe Mutumbo and rappers Cam'Ron and The Game.

We here at Islandista wish the Jamaican golden girl all the best on her big day - enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Can you tell we're excited?!

One of our favourite islandistas walking the fashion runways, Jourdan Dunn is set to be back in action for London Fashion Week, after being out for a good part of last year when she was pregnant.

Jourdan delivered her first child, a baby boy in December and now she is set to make her return in her home city.

The showcard above surfaced a few days ago on, sending the fashion pack into a frenzy of anticipation for the return of the islandista who was Britain's model of the year in 2008.

And then the story broke in the mainstream press with New York Magazine and British Vogue reporting her imminent return.

According to the gossip on fashion forum The Fashion Spot, she was sighted at a Russell Marsh casting and folks have been speculating about which of the shows he casts will she appear in - guesses right now are on Richard Nicoll, Chris Kane, Jaeger and Jonny Saunders and Prada.

Yay! Welcome back Jourdan! We sure missed you!

Islandista music notes - new Livvi Franc vid & Shontelle's princely pay-day

We've got news for you on two of the Barbadian islandista singers who have followed in Rihanna's wake over the last two years - Livvi Franc and Shontelle.

First let's start with Livvi Franc who brought out the video for her new single Automatik, just last week. Check it out below and then our take on it...

For some reason, we were shocked to realise that this is just Livvi's second single of her still upcoming debut album. It just feels like she has been around for a while - she was signed to Jive Records as far back as October 2007, after all.

But it may well be a good thing that Jive is taking their time to cultivate her sound and it shows in the song which is really nice and catchy. The chorus in particular is sticking in our heads and it has a dance-pop beat to it that should do especially well in Europe and maybe even farther afield. The video is nothing to shout about conceptually - it's clubbish - beautiful people dancing in a club. More could probably have been done with it especially since the theme Automatik allows one to play around with all kinds of fun and futuristic concepts like machines and robots. Oh well ...

Now in some serious money-making news, Shontelle is in for a very big pay day as young Prince Azim of Brunei is flying her in to perform at a private party for him this weekend self for US$ 200, 000!

Get. In. DEY Shon! Get yuh money girl!

Even Shontelle herself seemed a little bit bemused by it all, telling Women's Wear Daily at a NYFW show on Monday:
"They’re paying us $200,000 just to be there. It’s a pretty major situation. I think it’s all oil money."

Naomi brings out the stars for Fashion Relief for Haiti

[caption id="attachment_2030" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Photo credit: Daily Mail"][/caption]

London Fashion Week just started yesterday and supermodel islandista Naomi Campbell started it off with her Fashion Relief for Haiti show.

Just like she did at the start of NYFW last week, she brought out all the stars for the show, including her fellow super and good mate Kate Moss, British Prime Minister's wife Sarah Brown and a ton of musical stars, including islandistas Alexandra Burke, Jamelia and soul queen Beverley Knight.

[caption id="attachment_2039" align="aligncenter" width="315" caption="Alexandra Burke danced and mugged with diminutive British comedian Ronnie Corbitt on the catwalk. (Photo credit: Daily Mail)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2031" align="aligncenter" width="214" caption="Jamelia walked with her two daughters."][/caption]

She even brought out her mum Valerie on the catwalk and we can see now where Naomi gets her genes! I could not believe that was the mother of a 30-something year old woman - she looked a-maaaz-ing! Naomi wasn't lying when she said her black don't crack! Check the photos of mum and more stars after the jump.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Islandistas around the tents at NYFW

Islandistas were not just on the catwalks (in abundance!) during the recently ended New York Fashion Week - plenty of them were also in the front rows at shows as well and at the hot parties and after-parties during the week.

It was like CARICOM in de place, with fashionista islandistas from Antigua, Cayman Islands, Trinidad, Jamaica and Grenada just to name a few!

Check out the pics to see the island chicks (and man) we spotted at NYFW.

[caption id="attachment_2021" align="aligncenter" width="280" caption="Antigua-born stylist June Ambrose goofing around with Miss Jay."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2022" align="aligncenter" width="241" caption="...And with half-Grenadian singer Estelle."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2023" align="aligncenter" width="305" caption="Domincana-boricua actress Zoe Saldana taking in a show intently from the front row."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2024" align="aligncenter" width="178" caption="Cayman Islands girl and Victoria's secret model Selita Ebanks at the Rebecca Taylor show after party. She also took in Rachel Roy's show the same day."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2026" align="aligncenter" width="264" caption="Trini-American designer/video director/party promoter Vashti Kola at Rachel Roy's show."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2027" align="aligncenter" width="280" caption="Jamaican-American model Tyson Beckford taking in the G * Star show with a friend."][/caption]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rose Cordero makes French Vogue cover!

[caption id="attachment_2057" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Photo credit: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for French Vogue"][/caption]

Dominicana Rose Cordero is on the cover of the new edition of French Vogue!

Not only is this her first Vogue cover but it marks the first time since 2002 that a black model was the sole cover model for French Vogue. The last one to get that 'honour' was Liya Kebede. Noemie Lenoir also had the cover of  French Vogue in June 2008 but she was one of two covers - the other cover was a white model - Laetitia Casta.

Great company to be in and good for Rose! She looks absolutely beautiful - very vulnerable and soft, which is interesting because Rose's angular features are often played up in a very 'strong' way.

Not so great for French Vogue though - really eight years between solo black cover girls? Do better.

Islandistas at the Brit Awards

The biggest night in British music came off two nights ago and plenty islandistas were in the mix and while none of them won any awards on the night, they at least looked the part.

X-Factor divas Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis played against type in their outfits. Alexandra, who often rocks short dresses to show off her great legs, went very formal award show in a lovely long, strapless red Notte by Marchesa dress with a huge bow at the top.

[caption id="attachment_2016" align="aligncenter" width="196" caption="Photo credit: Splash News"][/caption]

Good girl Leona on the other hand, went edgy with a funky gun-metal silver William Tempest dress and bubble-gum pink Stella McCartney heels.

Love it. It looks like something Rihanna would wear and we mean that in the best way. Definitely hot.

'Strictly Come Dancing Host' Alesha Dixon and American singer Alicia Keys, who both have Jamaican fathers both went sparkly, dark and short for their dresses - but in very different ways.

[caption id="attachment_2018" align="aligncenter" width="406" caption="Photo credit: Getty Images"][/caption]

Alicia (or rather her makeup artist?) also went a biiiiit too happy with the bronzer. Not. a. good. look from the heck up. Great all the way down.

And we love the contrast of the juicy orange pumps with Alesha's sparkly dark mini.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Island duo in Olympic figure skating!

Just because it's the Winter Olympics, doesn't mean that islandistas aren't still on the scene!

Even though we're from the tropics, we still know how to work the ice and Bermudan ice skater Vanessa James did just that on Monday, "electrifying" the crowd at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum along with her figure-skating partner, Yannick Bonheur as they competed for France.

James, who also has Barbadian roots, took a circuitous route to the Winter Olympics, where she and Bonheur made history as the first black pairs figure-skaters.

She had originally competed for Britain, as she had British citizenship through her Bermudian father, Kevin James and was that country's first black skating champion in 2005. However, after looking for a suitable pairs partner for years, she linked up with Bonheur and two years ago, switched to represent France.

As it so happens, Bonheur also has island roots, as his parents are originally from Martinique.

While they didn't win, the two endeared themselves to the audience with a daring, acrobatic routine and placed 14th.

Of their history-making turn on the ice, Bonheur said that they didn't set out to make history.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New islandistas @ New York Fashion Week

[caption id="attachment_2001" align="aligncenter" width="395" caption="New islandistas on the catwalk (from left) Sedene Blake, Reina Montero and Chrishell Stubbs"][/caption]

 New York Fashion Week (Fall/Winter '10) started on Thursday and so far it's been pretty good, islandista-wise. 

For the last NYFW (SS '10) we counted 10 islandista models (and one islandisto in the form of yaadie Tyson Beckford) walking the runways for 22 different designers. 

Thus far, the count is at the same 11 (including those new faces we're going to tell you about) for 19 designers so far.  

The expected names have been out there - Jamaica Jeneil Williams walked for Costello Tagliapietra, Dominican Arlenis Sosa walked for Nicole Miller and fellow Dominican Rose Cordero walked for ... everyone - we've counted six shows so far, including Doo.Ri, Jason Wu and Ruffian. 

Alongside new Sudanese-Australian wunderkid Ajak Deng, Rose has been the busiest black or brown model out there. 

However, one islandista newcomer is matching Rose so far, show for show. Read on for more.

Palancing to de crown!

Well that was easy to predict - JW and Blaze's huuugely popular Palance secured the Power Soca Monarch title last night in Trinidad. Click here for the video of the winning performance.

The smart money is on them to take Road March as well since they not only won, but won convincingly - by a full 17 points over defending monarch Fay-Ann Lyons'  True Lies - 81 to her 64.

It was much, much tighter in the Groovy Soca Monarch contest, with Shurwayne Winchester's Murdah prevailing over defending monarch Fay-Ann's Start Wining by just one point - 58 to 57. In fact, the whole top four was tight as Rikki Jai's Barman placed third with 56 points and Patrice Roberts Wuk It (she like de wukking ting yes?)  placed fourth with 55 points.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rihanna's new video - Rude Boy

Rihanna's new video for her song Rude Boy dropped this week and it's a hot one!

The video is full of Caribbean flavour - nuff wukking up and some Jamaican dancehall moves too - including some classic, back in the day stuff like bogling and go-go wining.

So what are your thoughts islandistas? You like?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jackson doctor CHARGED!

Well, I think we all knew it was just a matter of time.

Dr. Conrad Murray, the Grenadian/Trini former doctor to King of Pop Michael Jackson, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

It all went down a while ago in Los Angeles.

Murray's lawer says his will plead not guilty and "fight like hell" to defend himself on the charge.

Several members of the Jackson fam were present for the arraignment including father Joe and mother Katherine and siblings Jermain and Latoya.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Farewell Rex

No, he's not an islandista but every islandista worth her salt should know of Professor Rex Nettleford - since islandistas are after all, cultured Caribbean women and Rex was a cultural icon in this region.

And now he's gone.

Nettleford died yesterday in the U.S. at the age of 76 after having a massive heart attack  a week ago when he was up there for a UWI fund-raising gala.

There are so many worlds in which Rex will be missed - from dance to academia to the seemingly ever smaller world of committed Caribbean regionalists. He truly was a giant and it says a lot for the power of his personality that someone born with nearly every disadvantage you could have in Jamaican society - from being poor to being from the country to his sexuality to complexion - could still rise to iconic status.

We have nothing but admiration for him. Walk good Professor.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fabulous at the Grammys - island folk

Island folk were fabulous at the Grammy Awards last night.

Bajan islandista Rihanna put the awfulness of last year's Grammy experience behind her, winning her second Grammy for rap-sung collaboration for Run This Town with Jay-Z and Kanye West. She kept it succint on the mic, saying thanks and giving a 'lift-up' to Solange's son/ Beyonce's nephew, the too-cute Juelz.

And of course her dress... was... stunning. Definitely going to be making lots of best dressed lists in her pale pink Elie Saab.

[caption id="attachment_1978" align="aligncenter" width="296" caption="Photo credit:Cohan/Granitz via"][/caption]

Too gorgeous. And the simple understated makeup with it is on point.

Melanie Fiona also looked beautiful in a black gown - she went for a very natural makeup look but she was glowing so much with happiness at being there that it just made us smile - like our fave lil cousin had finally got near her dream. Too sweet.

[caption id="attachment_1979" align="aligncenter" width="270" caption="Photo credit: Cohan/Granitz via"][/caption]

For more pics of Caribbean folk at the Grammys, read on.