Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ef ah laugh...

You know you want it too...
Two little tidbits from the world of islandista-ness that made us lol in recent days.

First, Naomi Campbell, her bajillionaire Russian boyfriend and actor Leonardo DiCaprio were dining out recently at an appropriately high-priced Italian restaurant when she commanded her bodyguard to bring what one diner thought (per the New York Post) was "her own salt and pepper shakers."

However, Naomi's rep clarified that it was actually Naomi's "Jamaican hot sauce."

As dodgy as it is to bring your own condiments to a restaurant, we totally get this one don't we islandistas?

And I can't stop laughing at this recurring vision of Naomi travelling the world for the last 25 years with Grace pepper sauce stashed in her purse for any eventuality. Ef a laugh ah dead...

And speaking of chicks who seek out comfort food from home, island girl Rihanna has taken over her tweeting - at last.

With the declaration: "No more corny label tweets", Ri-ri got to tweeting over the weekend and started out with a twitpic at her own expense.

The pic shows off her new, longer red hair and with it, a fresh new curling iron burn on her ahem... famous forehead.
Photo credit: Twitpic

“New hair….new curling iron BURN……damn 5head always in the way,” she tweeted.

Ri-ri, de worst thing is to know girl.

At least she can laugh at it ... and wear bangs.

Darren Sammy to tie the knot!

Photo credit: St. Lucia Star
From the St. Lucia Star, comes this tidbit that cricketer Darren Sammy is engaged to his girlfriend, fellow Lucian Cathy Daniel, a model and former Carnival queen.

The two are set to get married this weekend coming - but not in bel Sent Lisi!

The location is being kept a secret for now but the Star says Sammy and Daniel are expected to "wed in a lush Caribbean island straight out of heaven next weekend."

And clearly, even after years of of the relationship, Darren is still thoroughly in love with his bride to be. Just yesterday he tweeted:

"I'm enjoying a beautiful sunset with my miss universe"

Say it all together now ... awwwwwwww!

Congrats to the happy couple!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ivy Leaguer wins Miss Jamaica World ... and the chatter begins

Photo credit: Jamaica Gleaner

Jamaica, Jamaica ah tell yu! Only in JA would a beautiful Ivy League grad not be good enough for some folks as Miss World.

Let us explain.

The Miss Jamaica World contest went down last weekend in Jamaica. That has always been the 'big one' of the two pageants for Jamaicans, simply because three Jamaicans have copped the Miss World title - Carole Joan Crawford in 1963, Marley mistress Cindy Breakespeare in 1976 and Lisa Hanna in1993.

Harvard law grad Chantal Raymond won the competition and will go on to represent Jamaica in Sanya, China later on this year. Raymond seems like an impressive kind of chick.

Photo credit: Livestush.com
This was her second go-round in the competition, after having entered in 2008 and she was in it to win it this time because clearly she is one of those Type-A personalies that has to excel at everything.

But from the comments on the Observer's story on the coronation, not everyone thinks she fits the 'beauty queen' mould with folks debating her shape, looks and of course, complexion.

Islandista triple-whammy in September Vogue!

Photo credit: Steven Meisel for Vogue. (Source: models.com)

This month's September Vogue (the one featuring Halle on the cover) features an islandista triple-whammy - three islandistas across three different editorials.
Behind the scenes is mega makeup star Pat McGrath, who is the makeup artist on two editorials - We Are the World and On the Town.
In front of the camera, our favourite model, the Jamaican-Brit Jourdan Dunn and Puerto Rican Joan Smalls are featured in three editorials - We Are the World, On the Town and the 'Oh What A Night' spread promoting the upcoming Fashion's Night Out event.
Check out more of the pix under the cut.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Miss Haiti Universe's past reflects Haiti's troubles

Photo credit: http://www.missuniverse.com/
Miss Haiti Universe, Sarodj Bertin will be going for the title in Las Vegas on Monday along with 82 other contestants from around the world.

Sarodj is Haiti's first representative in the contest since 1989 and like her country, has a tragic and troubled past.

Her mother Mireille Durocher Bertin, a lawyer and opposition party leader was murdered in 1995 when Sarodj was nine years old, prompting the family to move to the Dominican Republic.

But of course, as is often the case with Haiti, it's by no means straightforward and there are deeper layers of tragedy and intrigue and figuring out the bad guys and good guys in this depends on which side you're looking from.

Even now, the assassination of her mother remains unsolved and with her daughter in the spotlight now, controversial as ever and debate is raging in the Haitian diaspora about both mother and daughter.

Mireille Durocher Bertin was shot to death in broad daylight while being driven through the streets of Port-au-Prince in March 1995 - months before the scheduled June general elections.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Islandistas Rihanna and Nicki Minaj making history!

Chart toppers!
Big t'ings a gwan for our islandistas!
Barbados stand up!
Trinidad, stand up!

bupbupbupbup! raaaeeeeee!

... And all that ... because we are all kinds of proud of our islandistas Rihanna and Nicki Minaj these days who have been scaling the Billboard charts and making history in their own ways.

Rihanna's collaboration with Eminem - the gritty and painfully close-to-home Love The Way You Lie hit number one on the Billboard pop chart (i.e. the big one this week). While that is great, the real accomplishment is that this is her sixth number one - meaning that she is tied with Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Lady Gaga for most number ones in the Soundscan era.

Now just to explain that since by now you might be saying "but wait, isn't it the Beatles that have the most number ones ever?" - music chart ranking is basically divided into the pre and post-Soundscan era.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wyclef for President?

That was the big talk yesterday as mega music star Wyclef Jean announced his candidacy for president of Haiti.

Wyclef has filed the necessary paperwork to run in Haiti's November 28 election. The New York Times reports:
"You can either live trying to do something or die having done nothing,” he said, adding that he did not want history to remember him as “somebody who, after the devastation of the country that he claimed he loved so much, just kept singing more songs.”
So what do you think of this, islandistas? 'Clef for president? Is it too far-fetched, the hubris of a superstar or is it a clever way to shine a light on Haiti and galvanise the force of its huge diaspora?
Time Magazine, which broke the story on their site (the full interview is coming in their print edition) made some compelling arguments for the 'Clef candidacy.

(Photo credit: Peter Hepak for TIME)

And in Haiti, where half the population of about 9 million is under age 25, it's an asset as golden as a rapper's chains. Amid Haiti's gray postquake rubble, Jean is far more popular with that young cohort than their chronically corrupt and inept mainstream politicians are, and he'll likely galvanize youth participation in the election.

More important, Jean stands to prove that fame can do more than lift voter turnout — or raise millions of dollars for earthquake victims, as his YĆ©le Haiti (Haiti Freedom Cry) foundation has this year. His presidential run, win or lose, could build a long-awaited bridge between Haiti and its diaspora: a legion of expatriates and their progeny, many of them successful in pursuits spanning every field, who number 800,000 in the U.S. alone. International aid managers agree that Haiti really can't recover from the quake unless it taps into the education, capital, entrepreneurial drive and love for mother country that Jean epitomizes.
Of course there are a ton of arguments against - just check the comments sections of both the NYT and Time pieces.

And it sure seems sort of surreal - can you imagine Wyclef at a CARICOM Heads of Government meeting?

But on the other hand - if not him, who? Lord knows Haiti has plenty of divisive forces and Lord knows they need a uniting one. And Wyclef is that. And if not now, then when?

This will certainly be interesting to see.

Renee Ratcliffe takes the big one!

Photo credit: Nationnews.com

A huge, huge congratulations to a truly inspiring islandista Renee Ratcliffe on taking the biggest prizes for mas in this year's Crop-Over festival.

After years of knocking at the door, Renee bested the veterans queens of the mas - Gwyneth Squires and Betty West, coming out on top to win the prestigious Festival Designer of the Year and Large Band of the Year for her Jump Promotions' presentation Spirit of the Gap.

Truly, Renee deserved to win and as a still young designer, her victory augurs well for the future of the festival. I got a look at Jump before they moved off from Warrens and the presentation had just that right balance of artistry and sexy we have debated times before here on Islandista.

Not to mention that Renee is someone with a fantastic spirit. As a cub reporter I interviewed her some years back after she had suffered two debilitating heart attacks and a stroke when she was just 28 years old and contrary to the expression "serious as a heart attack" she was bussing big jokes about it all!

Congrats again - it's your time Renee!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alicia Keys ties the knot with Swizz Beatz!

A very preggers Alicia Keys got married to mega producer/sometime rapper Swizz Beats this weekend in the Mediterranean island of Corsica.
Her mom and her Jamaican dad (with whom she reconciled a few years back) walked her down the aisle. She wore a grecian-style Vera Wang that did wonders with her baby bump.

To be honest, it is hard to muster up as much enthusiasm for this one as other recent islandista celeb weddings - I'm sure islandistas know the full story behind their relationship... and the pic below with his eldest son Prince Nasir tells a thousand words ...

But what's done is done and she got him to tie the knot so there's no need to re-hash at the time of this happy occasion. And though people talk about karma (or in Alicia's case, sing about it), what goes around does not always come back around - sometimes the right woman or man can do wonders.

Best of luck to them.