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Summer 2013

Trinidad’s top all inclusive

headed to Bim

Alex Jordan

the ultimate Islandista

New Crop-Over band


Zulu International

island bridal style




the editor


elcome back! It’s summer and that means it’s party time in the Caribbean. Over the next few weeks, islandistas will jump up at Vincy Mas, St. Lucia Carnival, Crop-Over, Antigua Carnival, Caribana, ATI, Dream Weekend, Spice Mas, Notting Hill Carnival and Labour Day Carnival. At Islandista, we are fully in the celebratory mood as you can see from our gorgeous cover! We wanted to give a subtle wink to the colour and vibrancy of this season without doing the obvious – I’m sure you’ll agree that photographer Khalil Goodman succeeded. In keeping with our slogan, we are truly celebrating the “spirit and tempo of the Caribbean woman” in this edition by showcasing the designs of talented young islandistas. We’ve got spectacular bridal wear from Barbadian designer Shanika Burnett of Shakad Designerwear and Jamaican milliner Deniese Dennis’ Shev Kalekshan, gorgeous accessories by Jamaican-Brit designer Jenna Gregory and sexy Kadooment costumes by multi-talented Trinidadian Lauren Austin. And speaking of designs, wait until you see the amazing cookie artistry of Trinidad-born, Barbados-based baker Carla Maria Franco of the Daily Cookie! On a more serious note, we urge you to look out for our Power Dressing Party, a benefit in aid of the Business and Professional Women’s Club’s Safe House for domestic violence victims. You will hear more about this in the coming months but please contact us at if you wish to volunteer or support the project. We hope this summer issue of Islandista magazine makes you think, smile and most of all be amazed at the talent and beauty we have in the Caribbean!

Mandy xxx


Parties 4 The Islandista Approved Fete List

Celebs 5 New horizons for Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Sanya Richards-Ross Islandistas We Love 6 Vashtie Kola Relationships & Family 8 Should We Have More Babies? I Am An Islandista 10 Slam FM’s Alex Jordan Fashion 12 Islandistas with signature style 13 Nisse Leatherwear 14 Colourful Caribbean Bride 16 Old Time Somet’ing Come Back Again 18 Lady-like Style Play Mas 20 Makeup looks for the Last Lap 21 Beach House – the Legend Continues 22 Zulu International – Gladiators in Costumes Food & Dining 24 The Daily Cookie Musings 26 Is a Woman’s Place in the House?

CONTRIBUTORS Editor-in-chief Amanda Lynch-Foster Senior Designer Mialisa Fenty

Ad Executives Barbara Gittens Cumberbatch Paula Jackman Photographers Khalil Goodman

Insight Digital Makeup Kamilah Codrington Shanelle Estwick Lauren Austin



d e v pro


Bliss – When it comes to Bliss, we might as well go ahead and admit that we’re biased. We go every year (twice a year actually) and it’s absolutely fantastic. Bliss specialises in hitting the right notes for everything – location, food, drink, music and people. Even though it is the all-inclusive to go to it’s not just a “see and be seen” event. Bliss patrons don’t




– Islandista approved from the very first edition, the UV breakfast party has grown in popularity every year since its 2010 debut. Featuring great food from all over the Caribbean, great music and nuff vibes, its placement on the penultimate weekend of the Crop-Over festival makes it the kickoff for a week of non-stop partying.


UV breakfast party


s i te l

watch face, they watch waist!

Beach House –This

party is new to Barbados but discerning Carnival goers know it well as it is the leading all-inclusive for Trinidad Carnival. It was even name-checked in our previous edition in ‘The Islandistas’ Guide to Carnival’! Beach House brings a big reputation with

it and party-goers are anxious to see if the first edition outside of Trinidad can live up to the ultra-premium standards it has established there.

Island Fusion – This

Foreday Morning band started out epic in 2010 with a frenetic jump in torrential rains that did nothing to cool down the wining waistlines. The legend of their first outing has secured its place and it has grown larger than even some of the biggest Kadooment bands. This year, Island Fusion is introducing Intimate by Island Fusion for those who want a more exclusive experience.

Soca Titans – What

a fete! Soca Titans brings together the best of CropOver and Carnival with last year’s line-up starring Lil Rick and Machel Montano plus a backing cast heavy with soca talent.


Booze cruise – Beyond exclusive, Booze cruise is definitely an “in the know” party experience. It’s kept super quiet and tickets are rarer than gold dust but tales abound of drunken, hands-flat-on-the-deck revelry on the high seas.

Aurora – Even though this is a new party for CropOver 2013, we’re making the bold step of giving this breakfast event the Islandista approved stamp of approval. The promoters have a stellar track record, having been behind other popular Crop-Over events. Plus we got a sneak peek of the venue some time back and it is stunning! We could definitely envision seeing the sun rise at this spot. 4


CELEB NEWS Nicki Minaj departing American Idol

Rihanna Sizzles in “Right Now” Single Cover Art

Well, it was fun while it lasted – which wasn’t very long. After just one anticfilled season of constant feuding with Mariah Carey, our favourite Trini rapstress Nicki Minaj will no longer be on the judging table when American Idol returns next season. It had been rumoured for weeks that Fox would wipe the slate clean after ratings dropped to their lowest ever last season. The fact that original judge Randy Jackson was also leaving made it all the more likely. Nicki announced her departure on Twitter, tweeting: “Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn’t trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!!” Carey also announced

Sanya RichardsRoss to star in new reality show

Olympic 400m gold medallist Sanya RichardsRoss will be on our TV screens this summer and not just at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

that she will be leaving the show which is set for yet another new judging panel with reports that Idol alums Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson will be judges.

In a move that doesn’t surprise us at all, the Jamaican born American sprinter will be starring in a reality show on WeTV called Glam and Gold. The show will cover Sanya’s life with her Super Bowlwinning, American football player husband Aaron Ross. We’ll get to see how she balances her track career

The 25-yearold singer revealed the cover art for her single “Right Now” (featuring David Guetta) reecently. The single is from her seventh studio album Unapologetic (2012) and credits French diskjockey Guetta, who also co-wrote the track with Rihanna. It was sent to contemporary hit and rhythmic radios in the United States as the fourth single from the album on May 28, 2013. Musically, “Right Now” draws influence fromelectronic and dance music. The lyrical content features Rihanna chanting to live life in the current moment. The song garnered a mostly positive response from music critics, many of whom deemed it as one of the highlights of Unapologetic. Upon the release of Unapologetic, “Right Now” charted on many charts worldwide, including the top ten of the UK Dance Chart. Turner Sports used the song as the promotional musical backdrop for its coverage of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.

with her entirely familyrun empire. We’ll also get to meet the various family members whom we’ve often seen her shout out on Twitter- especially hairstylist sis Shari who co-owns a salon with Sanya and usually keeps her hair looking on point! Anyone who has followed

Sanya knows this is a logical next step as she has always shown a love for the limelight and particularly since her wedding was featured on WeTV’s Platinum Weddings back in 2010. We’re looking forward to seeing her showcase her islandista heritage in the show!



Amidst worries about our aging population, we ask:


we have more babies?

Rof the Barbados

ecently, president

Association of Medical Practitioners Dr. Carlos Chase made a call for maternity leave in Barbados to be extended from the current 12 weeks to one year. He also bashed the “barbaric” practice of some employers compelling female employees to return to work six weeks after having given birth. These employers stick rigidly to the NIS-suggested six weeks before-six weeks after pregnancy timetable. As Dr. Chase pointed out, this often forces parents to put their baby into day care before they have even had their first set of shots at eight weeks old, leaving them extremely vulnerable to the germs present at nurseries. Very few local commentators took up the baton of debate which Dr. Chase extended, with the general consensus being that the country cannot afford more than 12 weeks of maternity leave. And that was that. But is it? Our question is – can Barbados afford not to extend maternity leave?


For the flip side of a discussion about how to treat Barbadians at the start of their lives is the discussion about Barbados’ rapidly aging population.

A few weeks before Dr. Chase made his call, Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) rep for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Dr Merle Lewis highlighted that new births in the region are not keeping pace with the number of deaths. Barbados is at the forefront of this trend, with one of the lowest fertility rates in the region at just 1.5 children per woman*. In fact, this is one of the lowest fertility rates in the world – one which has caused other countries with similar or even higher rates to panic. Canada, Australia, Japan, Russia, Singapore and South Korea have all fretted about the economic and social implications of population collapse. In 2011, Kim Moon-Soo, governor of South Korea’s largest province warned that the rapidly aging population was the country’s biggest economic obstacle and urged government to be “more active” in providing child

care and lowering families’ education costs. He is not alone. Questions about who will take care of the giant baby boom population, how will national pension schemes survive and whether the future workforce will be large enough to maintain the country’s growth have concerned policy makers in other parts of the world. It has concerned them enough to take aggressive action to encourage their people to have more children. Russia, Australia, Japan, Canada and Singapore have all introduced “baby bonuses”. They range from a US$4500 incentive paid out to new parents in Australia to a US$7600 bonus in Russia for women who have a second child to a whopping US$131,000 package of cash gifts, child care subsidies, tax rebates and savings accounts in Singapore. These countries also all offer lengthier and more flexible periods of maternity leave (and in many cases paternity leave!) than Barbados as part of their incentives.

By contrast, there is no comparable sense of worry or action in Barbados – it is as if we do not realise the implications of our sharply declining birth rate which has gone from 4.33 per woman in 1960 to our current 1.5. Even with the NIS extending the retirement age, we don’t seem to connect one issue to the other. So let us put the question out there – how does Barbados take care of all those people born in the days when women had 4 or 5 children each? Because they are approaching (or already in) retirement and they’re not getting any younger. In fact, they’re getting older! Since 1960, our life expectancy has increased by 12 years – from 64.4 years to 76.7 years. That is over a decade more of drawing NIS pensions with less people to pay in to the scheme. Meanwhile, the retirement age has only been increased by two years. We can only hope that our policy makers will address this issue before it reaches a crisis point.

* According to United Nations and World Bank statistics.


ISLANDISTAS WE LOVE he’s a modern triple

Islandista Vashtie Kola is an entertainment juggernaut whose unerring sense of hipster style has won her kudos from the likes of the New York Times, Vibe Magazine, Essence Magazine and NBC. She’s a respected music video director who has helmed videos for Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Solange and Gym Class Heroes, among others. She’s a designer with her own line of clothing Violette, which is influenced by her distinctive, sexy tomboy dress code. And she’s a legendary party promoter whose events 1992 and Open regularly pull stars such as Jay-Z, Diddy and Mick Jagger. Speaking to Islandista in an exclusive interview, Vashtie reminisced about 1992, which she started with best friend and break dancer Oscar Sanchez, telling us: “It was organic and it grew huge. We got crazy press from the New York Times, Page 6... We actually have a huge international following that plan their trips around when we have 1992. It’s been really great. It’s funny because in the beginning we were just inviting people that we knew. We didn’t print flyers, we didn’t email blast and they knew.” That’s because Vashtie Kola is that cool girl – the one who isn’t even trying to be cool but just is. Born and raised in upstate New York, this daughter of Trinidadian immigrants is the darling of New York City’s influential downtown entertainment and arts scene, where many global trends are birthed. Her place at the centre of this scene means that many of the trends we see today have her mark on them. Noticing the revival of


of the iconic sneaker,. She was the first female designer ever for the shoe and she called the opportunity a “complete dream come true.”

1990s style? (And if you haven’t, check our ‘Old Time Somet’ing Come Back Again’ editorial on page 16). Vashtie was on the cusp of 90s nostalgia as far back as 2006 which was when she and Oscar started 1992.

Target also drew her in last year as an online guest editor to curate their clothing collections.

In that 90s vein, girls have been appropriating some of the masculine looks from that era and giving them a feminine twist such as sporting classic sneakers with mini-dresses. Oh, but Vashtie’s already been doing that for years. In fact, she’s been doing it all her life which is what pushed her to design Violette.

Vashtie Kola “I’ve been a tomboy my whole life,” she confessed. “The majority of my life I’ve been wearing men’s clothes, jeans, t-shirts. I never found a female brand that incorporated my style for a girl – a kind of masculine and tomboyish style. I definitely wanted to have clothes that I can wear. I realised that other people may want to have that option too.”

A good idea considering that she has been influencing fashion for a while now. A 2011 New York Times profile noted: “Not long ago, Vashtie Kola …started wearing a chambray shirt, which she would pair with cut-off denim jean shorts and tights. She didn’t think much of the outfit — in fact, she called the top her “stanky chambray” — until she noticed that young girls at her parties were working the same look, including wearing their hair flipped over one shoulder, just like hers… It’s not the first time that

Being an entertainment multihyphenate wasn’t necessarily the plan – she admitted that like many West Indian migrants, her parents “were very much ‘go to school, get a good job’” and she “played by the rules” at first. But on the other hand, maybe her varied career was inevitable for Vashtie has always moved between several worlds. “My parents are and were very Trinidadian and very traditional in that manner. We ate traditional food. My mum would show me Trinidadian music. Once I walked in my door it seemed like Trinidad,” she said, describing her childhood in Albany. That Trinidadian heritage also opened her up to several different worlds as she is a typical Trini melange, something she says she struggled to explain to her American friends when she was younger.

Ms. Kola started a trend. A kind of renaissance woman who moves easily among fashion, film and music, she has emerged as a role model for young tastemakers.” Chambray and cut-off denims? Fast forward two years later and the whole world has caught up. It is small wonder then that big brands have reached out, seeking her imprint. Nike tapped her to design a pair of limited-edition Air Jordans to mark the 25th anniversary

“It was a little confusing for them and it was confusing to me as well. I looked Indian but I wasn’t Indian. Trying to explain the culture – you know, ‘I eat curry chicken, my mum is Hindu but my dad is Christian’… trying to explain all those different elements. I tried to get away from it when I was younger. When I was a kid I definitely tried to be more American – I didn’t want to be Trinidadian. As I got older and started to understand my culture and my heritage, I grew to appreciate it more.”

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‘A Lover of the

“I would like to be remembered as someone who lifted the mood.”

Whole Region’ Featuring Alex Jordan of Slam FM RAlex Jordan is the adio personality

ultimate islandista – smart, worldly and given to random outbursts of wukking up as was seen in her Youtube video tribute to Blaxx’s Leggo! The avid squash player and linguist worked as a broadcaster with the BBC for several years, presenting The Soca Show on BBC’s popular 1Xtra radio station. During her time in the United Kingdom, Alex was a veritable soca ambassador of sorts, fronting BBC and MTV Base’s coverage of several of Europe’s Caribbean carnivals. Since her return to the rock in 2009 she has become one of the island’s most popular broadcasters, presenting the eponymous Alex Jordan Morning Show on SLAM 101.1 FM where her vibesy and down-to-earth style has drawn the loyalty of thousands of listeners. We’re proud and pleased to feature her in I Am An Islandista. WHO Islandista: Is Alex Jordan? Alex Jordan: I’m many people in one. I’m a Jordan - very much a part of my


family. I’m an athlete, committed to my sport. I’m a linguist obsessed by language and accents. I’m a broadcaster and communicator - perhaps at my core. I’m a lover definitely not a fighter. (laughs) Islandista: Has most influenced what you’re doing now? Alex Jordan: I would have to go with my parents Oscar and Marsha. They have been the ultimate influence in my tastes, my attitudes, my ambitions for myself. They really make me want to be better every day. And Andrew Pilgrim Q.C would have to be one of the biggest influences in my life. He is a good friend and I admire so much how bravely and honestly he lives his life. WHAT Islandista: Is an islandista to you? Alex Jordan: I would say first and foremost a woman of the region. I think a real Caribbean person is a lover of the [whole] region not just the island they happen to be born in. Islandista: Do you love most about Barbados? Alex Jordan: I love that

we have still have a sense of community. I love our natural landscape. I love Bajan dialect. The accent is so definitive, so identifiable – you can spot it anywhere. Islandista: Did you miss most about Barbados when you were not living here? Alex Jordan: Living in a big city like London you were simply a number or digit fitting into an organism massively bigger than yourself. There was a sense every time that I came back to Barbados that I was connected to my own power. There’s a total empowerment about living in a small place that you know well. WHERE Islandista: Do you see yourself in five years? In ten years? Alex Jordan: In five years I hope to see myself settled with a family and some children. In terms of my career, moving from in front of the camera and going into production. In 10 years, I hope I will be in a space to have a real impact on my family, my community, my country and therefore the world. I work with Be The Change Barbados where we are focused on promoting

social justice, sustainability of the environment and spiritual fulfilment. If I can influence a few people then I will feel very satisfied with that. Islandista: Is your ‘happy place’? Alex Jordan: My parents’ home. Even now I have my own home, I just love the energy of the place, the wonderful memories, the total relaxation I feel when I walk through the front door. Islandista: Do you call home? Alex Jordan: I enjoy travelling so much but

there’s never a sense that home is anywhere other than these 166 square miles. WHEN Islandista: You worry, what do you worry about? Alex Jordan: Unfortunately often about things I cannot control. I have a job where we discuss community and national issues [so] I worry on behalf of my nation, I worry about our sustainability. I worry about the environment a lot. I worry about finding a partner – ‘what if I don’t find the match for me?’ I worry about my nephews [which happens when] you have people in your life to whom you are so attached. Islandista: Are you happiest? Alex Jordan: I’m extremely happy in a good party. I’m extraordinarily happy on a golf course and on a squash court and on a yoga mat. I’m happy when I’m coming into Grantley Adams International. I’m happy outside which is why I lime on blocks because they’re usually under a nice tree. I’m really happy playing backgammon, dominoes. Oh and playing with my nephews! They’re extraordinary.

WHY Islandista: Do you love what you do? Alex Jordan: Music is an emotional and mood shifter and it is a real privilege to get to work in a space with that every day. At secondary school when we would get heated up about something – me and my friend Varia, we would say “I would write a letter to the paper!” Because pre-internet, you know that was the way to reach the most people. Well, I have a letter to the paper every day now – I get to speak on things of interest and value every day. HOW Islandista: Would you like to be remembered? Alex Jordan: I would like to be remembered as someone who lifted the mood. Islandista: Do you unwind? Alex Jordan: Reading a book is very relaxing. Drinking, eating with friends, hanging out.


Islandistas with ISLANDISTA fashion

signature style Anya Ayoung-Chee

This former beauty queen turned fashion designer has made it in the world by dint of hard work and an indomitable spirit. Anya had the entire Caribbean cheering for her in 2011 when she won Project Runway and her stock has continued to rise ever since. The tiny Trini melange (Chinese, Indian and black) is definitely a woman with a defined personal style that shines through both in what she designs and what she wears. Flowing, printed looks – particularly dresses and jumpers are signature Anya and were what she became known for during her Project Runway run. African print is a particular favourite of hers and has been ever since she brought out her first line – Pilar back in 2009.

Monique Pean

Haitian-American jewellery designer Monique Pean is beloved by fashionistas such as U.S. First Lady Michele Obama for her eco-friendly jewellery made from unique materials like fossilised woolly mammoth tusks and stegosaurus bones (seriously!) and Guatemalan black jade. Her story is intriguing. The daughter of a Haitian UN diplomat, Pean turned to designing after personal tragedy hit in 2005 – her 16 year old sister Vanessa was killed in a car accident. In tribute to her sister, funds from her jewellery line go towards the Vanessa Pean Foundation which provides scholarships and clean water solutions for people in Haiti. Her personal style mixes the chic, elegant clothing you’d expect from an Ivy League educated former Wall Street banker (she used to be an analyst for Goldman Sachs) and her own bold, funky jewellery which takes inspiration from indigenous cultures around the globe. We can’t help but love it. Style signature: Sustainable statement jewellery in amazing and rare materials.


There is always a deliberate hint of Carnival drama as well with brilliant colour and movement showcased in her outfits - small wonder as she designs sections in some of the Caribbean’s most exclusive mas bands, including Baje International and Tribe. Style signatures: African prints, vibrant colours and flowing lines.

June Ambrose

Proudly Antiguan stylist to the stars June Ambrose has dressed Jay-Z, Zoe Saldana, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and a host of others. She runs a massive fashion empire which includes serving as the chief stylist for Simon Cowell’s X-Factor, her own VH1 reality show Styled by June and a web TV series Style Boost with June Ambrose on JayZ’s Life + Style channel. Then there is also her book Effortless Style, a shoe line on HSN, her fashion website The Juniverse and the small matter of satisfying her 559,000 loyal Twitter followers as the reigning fashion queen of the social network. Her style is colourful, changeable, whimsical and always fly. She will go from sharply tailored, menswear inspired suits to sumptuous furs to chic, red-carpet ready gowns. Oh and she is a champion of the turban! Any google search for Ambrose will bring up hundreds of photos of her rocking a plethora of brightly coloured, hand-tied turbans. Style signature: Sky-high heels and towering turbans.

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – With fans ranging from Grace Jones to the man on the street, the beautifully handcrafted leather and steel accessories of Jamaicabased design house Nisse evoke the spirit of that famous island. Colourful, soft leather is juxtaposed with steel hardware such as hinges, clamps and hooks. The result, like Jamaica, is both tough

and beautiful at the same time. The creative force behind Nisse is accessories designer Jenna Gregory, who crafts every piece by hand from her base in the sleepy coastal town of Ocho Rios. Jenna is an amalgam of East and West, born to a Jamaican mother and Pakistani father in London, England. It was during what was intended to be a brief sojourn in her mother’s native island that she first started creating the pieces that would eventually form the basis of Nisse. “I started making the pieces back in 2003, when I first arrived in Jamaica from the UK. They were for friends from leather scraps I found or old leather coats I could no longer wear in the humidity of Jamaica. I made

Nisse leatherwear

them for fun and if a friend saw one they liked I would just give them away for free,” she recalled. It wasn’t until Jamaican reggae singer Tanya Stephens approached her with an order for 12 custom watches for her band members that it occurred to her that she should make a commercial venture out of it. “Naturally I was overwhelmed!” exclaimed the effusive Jenna with a laugh. She laughs often and loudly and speaks in a swift mish-mash of Jamaican patois and London slang. From there she moved to selling Nisse leatherand-steel wristbands, neckbands, belts, leg gloves and other accessories to local boutiques and then to distributing further afield to boutiques in New York City and Las Vegas. The inspiration for the design house’s name hints that this was always her destiny. Pronounced KNEE-SEA, it means elf and is rooted in Scandinavian folklore. The word immediately appealed to the whimsical Jenna as it took her back to her favourite childhood fairy tale – The Elves and the Shoemaker. “It was one of my favourite stories as a child – I loved the idea of having a secret world of design!”

Bolt of love

Free me

Limbo in

Semi nude



Colourful, Caribbean


Iof many different cultures – African, Asian,

n the Caribbean, we have taken the strands

European, Amerindian and made them into something entirely vibrant and new. From our food to our carnivals to our music, Caribbean culture has always been about putting a brand New World spin on ancient, inherited cultural traditions. At Islandista, we revel in this – after all, our slogan celebrates “the spirit and tempo of the Caribbean woman”! The bridal wear of our featured designers, Barbadian Shanika Burnett of Shakad Designs and Jamaican-born milliner Deniese Dennis of Shev Kalekshan speaks to this proudly Caribbean sensibility. Shakad’s bridal gowns feature traditional shapes such as a mermaid-style skirt, a full ball-gown style skirt, v-necklines and a corseted bodice. But they are exquisitely dyed in vivid colour combinations that evoke our Caribbean flora and fauna. Similarly, the dainty fascinators of Shev Kalekshan featured the expected feathers, flowers and lace but bring the Caribbean flavour with their eye-popping colours such as burnt orange and hot pink. Shot in quaint Speightstown, our shoot took inspiration from Shakad and Shev’s designs to create bridal looks for the boldly Caribbean bride.

Stop in the name of love. Shakad’s empire-waisted dress in tones of pink, orange and gold evokes a classic Caribbean sunset. An orange and gold flowered fascinator from Shev Kalekshan is just the right accent for this gown.


CREDITS Photography: Khalil Goodman Dresses and veils by Shakad Designs ( Fascinators by Shev Kalekshan ( Model: Kamaria Evelyn Makeup Artist: Kamilah Codrington (I Heart Makeup) Photo assistant: Danielle Brathwaite-Lynch

A custom green veil with shells and a tie-dyed flower is the perfect match for a mermaid tail skirted dress which also features a low-cut back for the body-conscious bride.

Runaway bride? A gorgeous bridal gown in a traditional shape takes on a whole new life in flamboyant yellow and pink with a complementing veil.

A match made in heaven. Go simple yet bold with a fascinator and clean-cut dress in brilliant shades of lime green and sunshine yellow.



Old Time

come back I

t was inevitable, wasn’t it?

After all, 70s style came back in the 1990s. And we saw classic 80s style come back around in the 2000s with a resurgence of some serious shoulder pads and MC Hammer pants. (Call them harem pants if you want but they will always be Hammer pants to us!) And now, the 1990s are back. For those of us who actually went through the full gamut of 90s style as teens or young adults, it’s a wee bit surreal to see door knocker earrings, damaged jeans and even Patra braids back in style again. Weren’t we just wearing those trends? Oh wait, that was 20 years ago? Give us a moment… that hit us hard. Still, the upshot of 90s style returning is that it allows us to indulge in some nostalgia and reflect on the strong female musical performers of that era. In both hip-hop and dancehall, women pushed the boundaries with a bold and sexy style sensibility. The Queen of the Pack Patra was hotter than any dancehall queen in her denim batty-riders and chunky braids while in hip-hop, acts like Salt n Pepa, TLC and Lil Kim mixed sex appeal and sneakers. Islandista pays tribute to a fabulous fashion era in our photo editorial.

If there were two things we loved in the 90s, they were sneakers and chunky, look-at-me gold jewellery. A dope four-finger ring gives just the right amount of pre-millennium attitude.


Around the way girl: In the 1990s, girls brought sex appeal to boyish style with ease. The toughness of a snap-back cap and hightops is girlied up with a rose print under the brim. Classic gold bamboo door knocker earrings (just one pair though – word to LL Cool J) make the look retro in the right way.



CREDITS Photography: Insight Digital Clothing and accessories: Brooklyn’s Finest, Pulze the Store Models: Lisa Maynard, Niara Lee (REI Model Academy) Makeup artist: Kamilah Codrington, Shanelle Estwick (I Heart Makeup) Stylist: Danielle Brathwaite-Lynch

Oh how we loved a flowered dress in the 1990s! The other dominant music-influenced fashion trend of the era was grunge and vintage-style floral dresses were a big part of the grunge look.

The laid-back look of the chambray denim shirt is brightened up 90s style with brightly coloured pants and the oh-so-necessary flashy wrist bling.



Dashingly pretty . When this structured jacket in vibrant yellow is paired with a free-moving A-line skirt in paler than pale green, it’s the perfect outfit for the lady on the move.

This bustier top hits several trends at once – lace, mint-green and a peplum skirt – we’re in love with it! A statement necklace with chunky green gems makes the colour of the top pop amidst the lace.

Lady like


PFashion is definitely having a feminine astels, peplums, pearls and posies!

CREDITS Photography: Khalil Goodman Clothing, shoes and accessories: The Closet, Life + Style and Metallic Model: Deanne Campbell Makeup Artist: Kamilah Codrington (I Heart Makeup) Stylist: Amanda Lynch-Foster Photo assistant: Danielle Brathwaite-Lynch Shot on location at Chatters Tea Room, Bagatelle Great House


moment right now. Defining this lady-like feel are the season’s most popular colours - genteel peach and mint-green. Prints are also playing their part, with flowers blooming on every article of clothing possible. Added to this are the super-feminine cuts currently in style as ladies of all shapes and sizes welcome the return of the ever-flattering a-line skirts and peplum skirts. Topping it all off is the reigning fabric– lace, which has been having a huge fashion moment, overlaying dresses, tops, shorts and more to add a touch of lady-like class. Chatters Tea Room at Bagatelle Great House was the perfect setting for these pretty and lady like outfits – after all, what’s more feminine than a tea party? Floral printed heels add a touch of whimsy and are an easy way to try out uber-feminine fashion without having to commit to full floral.

Anyone for tea? The bright orange roses of this dress are sweetened with the complementing baby blue in the floral print. A panel of lace at the neckline is both sexy and demure at the same time.

Slip on this white lace column dress for an instant feeling of femininity.

A cut-out back gives an edge to this classically demure A-line, floralprinted dress.


ISLANDISTA fashion Kadooment Day is the time for full on drama so go all out with hand-drawn designs and gems in the colours of your costume.

Foreday Morning is all about revelling in paint so why not get straight to the point with a makeup look that echoes the essence of foreday mas? Bright colours will make sure you stand out, even in the dark.

LOOKs for last lap S– a jam-packed long weekend

o it’s the last lap of Crop-Over

of partying filled with the hottest parties and people. Islandistas will want to make sure they’re looking their absolute best for the Crop-Over climax, especially considering the numbers of cameras that will be around to record every moment!


Islandista Magazine has you sorted for this final, frenetic weekend of partying, with an assortment of makeup looks for every occasion! Whether you’re hitting one of the all-inclusive parties or cruises or hitting the road for Foreday Morning or Kadooment, let these fantastic makeup looks from I Heart Makeup inspire you to look your best this Crop-Over.

Luminous, natural looking makeup is just the right, chic way to go for your favourite all-inclusive event. Accent it all with soaring eyelashes and a dash of colour on the eyes.


Beach House

the legend continues

Jlike water.

ohnnie Walker Blue Label flowing

Gastronomic delights from every corner of the earth. Music and vibes can’t done. Oh and don’t forget the tickets starting at US$150! For years, Trinidad’s most exclusive all-inclusive Carnival party Beach House has been the stuff of legend. Lucky Carnival-devotees who managed to get their hands on the pricey tickets would return singing tales of how it had been worth every penny. Well now, it’s Barbados’ turn to find out because Beach House is coming to Bim! Emancipation Day – Thursday August 1st will be the date. It’s a day that works well as the demise of the Bathsheba Experience has left that date fairly open in terms of major parties It also parallels their slot in the Trinidad Carnival calendar, with the original Beach House held the last Thursday before Carnival. Beach House impresarios Curtis Popplewell, Walt Lovelace and Paul Charles sat down with Islandista to discuss why they picked Crop-Over for their very first foray outside of Trinidad. Islandista: Let’s start at the beginning – how and when did Beach House get started? Curtis: A little over 10 years ago, Walt and myself - we would have a couple parties [and] club nights. We started out with a night called No VIPS. We were going towards a trend in Trinidad [where] a party would have a tiered ticket system. So we had a party where everyone is treated as a VIP. We found this location in north Trinidad, Blanchiseusse and we had our first party there – small, kind of intimate. It

was something that was lacking in the market at the time so people kind of gravitated to that and we grew from there. In 2004 we decided to enter the Carnival market because we were having our parties in June. Islandista: Why Barbados for the first expansion outside of Trinidad? What is it that drew you here? Paul: I went to (UWI) Cave Hill so I lived in Barbados for three years. We have a fairly large contingent of Bajans that come to Beach House. We get a lot of people that say why you don’t come to Jamaica and why you don’t come to Miami and why don’t you come to Barbados? Curtis: Crop-Over seemed to be good in terms of the interval [after Carnival]. It seemed to be a good time for us to pull things together and do the sort of the event that we would like. Islandista: What kinds of numbers does Beach House attract in Trinidad? Paul: It peaked at 5400 two years ago [but] we have scaled it back. It was a challenge to deliver service to 5400 people. So we think the ideal size is about 3000-3500 – kind of the service limit. Curtis: The deal is people must not have to wait. You don’t want to pay this premium price and you’re lining up for food, you’re lining up for drinks. It should be seamless from the time you enter the gate. Islandista: What can we expect for Beach House Barbados? We saw some teasers that hinted at the East Coast – will it actually be at a beach house? Walt: You will be seeing the sea. Paul: You could call it a beach house. It’s overlooking Cattlewash.

Islandista: How do you think you will fare against other, more locally established all-inclusives, particularly Bliss which is very close in the calendar? Paul: We’re hoping they go to both. I was in Barbados a couple weeks ago [and] part of the conversation was exactly that – ‘will people have to choose?’ Islandista: All-inclusives are not cheap. Do you think people will budget for one or the other? Or splash out on both? Paul: We’re trying to set the price point at a place that is affordable in terms of ultra-premium. We have to be sensitive [to cultural differences] because Trinidadians will just fete and on Ash Wednesday they look at the bank account and hold their heads. Bajans are different – more sensible (laughs). We’re hoping they would start looking at their bank books now and look at the Crop-Over week. We’re hoping people can do all the fetes. Islandista: Has there been interest from usual Beach House patrons and Trinidadians in particular? Do you think people will be coming over for it? Paul: Very, very much so. We’ve had requests already from people from London who come to Beach House in Trinidad, asking to book 20 tickets. If you look at the Trinidad party about 30, 35% of the people are non-Trinidadians. [We] expect a number close to that for the Barbados one. Hopefully some people will come to Barbados for Beach House.



New Crop-Over band Zulu International presents Spartacus


in costumes

FThat is the best way to iercely beautiful.

describe the debut CropOver presentation from Zulu International which will be depicting the legend of Spartacus for their first Kadooment Day on the road. This is not the first foray into


the festival for band designer and co-leader Lauren Austin as she previously designed popular sections in another Crop-Over band before stepping out on her own this year to form her own band. The Trinidad-born, Barbadosbased artist has struck a

chord with Kadooment connoisseurs who have taken to the strong, sexy designs of the band. In the weeks before Zulu’s launch, Islandista took to the hills with a team of gladiators who battled it out in spectacular style.

CREDITS Photography: Khalil Goodman Costumes by Zulu International Models: Peta, Shanna, Kenya, Anya Makeup artist: Lauren Austin (Enchanted Beauty by Lauren Austin)



The Daily

Cookie Wcookies?

ho doesn’t love

After all, cookies take us back to a simpler time and place – a point in our lives when the doughy pleasures of a chocolate chip cookie or even a classic Shirley biscuit brought such happiness. However, if you’re looking for simple cookies from Carla-Maria Franco, chief baker at the Daily Cookie, then you’re wasting your time. It’s not that she can’t do them but why would you want a regular old cookie when Franco can create delicious cookies shaped like high heels, baby rattles, Angry Birds or even Psy of Gangnam Style fame? Her witty, wonderful creations are anything but cookie cutter – in fact, she painstakingly hand-cuts about 90% of her work to create custom cookie templates for anything that any client can throw at her. The Trinidad-born, Barbadosbased baker and caterer has shipped cookies to customers in the Caribbean, the United States, Canada and even the


Philippines and the Middle East. Islandista magazine managed to get some time to chat with Carla about her cookie journey. How did you get into creating custom cookies? Out of sheer desperation! It was as simple as “I am a single mother and I have to support my daughter!” I can’t remember where I first saw decorated cookies but I do remember thinking one day “maybe I

should make a cookie for my friend’s Halloween store!” It wasn’t meant to go anywhere or bring anything my way. I guess I was bored and needed a challenge. I made him a 6-inch tall cookie haunted house, he put it on display and that’s when people started asking me to make cookies. It was a total fluke!

Your cookies are definitely not ‘cookie-cutter’ – do you hand-cut a lot or do you create cutters? I would say that about 90% of the work I do [is] hand cut. I may be a sucker for punishment but there are just some objects that there are no cookie cutters of! [When] a client tells me [what] they want, I hit the computer for an image and get to sketching. I make a master template and then a re-useable one out of repurposed food safe plastic.

What inspired you to make a business out of it? Demand I guess! Once I started producing for customers at my friend’s store, the business just took off. When I tell people what I do for a living I usually get the, glazed-over expression that reads “Cookies? You make cookies?” What they don’t know is that it can be extremely profitable if you have the patience and imagination for it! Is there anyone who has inspired or motivated you along the way? The person who inspires me most is my daughter! She is my motivation for everything! What kind of support have you received – from family, friends and others? I think any entrepreneur has the same story that I have. There are people who are going to support you [and those] who are going to support you to your face only to turn around and run your name through the mud. There are those who will tell you to your face what a huge mistake you’re making and people who will champion your business conviction. My family, friends and even strangers are a mix of all of those things. It hasn’t been easy but in the end I have learned that what may seem like criticism is only concern and that keeping an open mind and heart is essential. Do you make other baked goods besides cookies? Yes I do! I

What do you love most about what you do? Definitely client reactions! The feeling that what you do makes people happy.

actually have 13 menus of things that aren’t cookie related! I bake cakes and cupcakes and I make awesome breads. I have a bar menu, a gourmet burger menu, a tea menu, a menu of just éclairs with different fillings, French macaroons and a dairy menu that features yogurt and cheese. I love to make cheese! Which came first – the cookies or the other baked goods? The other stuff... When I was 15, I worked in a restaurant my father designed for one of his clients. My friends thought it was very lame but I loved nothing better than being in that kitchen!

that they could count me as their peer! If you were creating your ultimate dream cookie for yourself, what would it be? I have a book I carry around everywhere with me, filled with all kinds of crazy ideas I have for cookies I’d like to make in the future. My daughter is embarrassed on a regular basis because I’ll stop anywhere and anyone to take a picture of something I “must cookie!” I have had a design of an elaborate ginger bread replica of a beautiful old Victorian house around the Savannah in Trinidad in my book for years and every Christmas I tell myself “this is the year!” That’s my ultimate dream cookie.

What do you find most challenging about what you do? Letting go! I have orders I dread parting with and I also have cookies that I cannot leave alone! Those take me days to make and I just can’t stop ‘fixing’ them... I have to add stuff or take stuff off or change this or that. I guess I’m a perfectionist- very annoying! What is your next step for The Daily Cookie? Taking Barbados by storm hopefully! What are your dreams and goals for The Daily Cookie? I’d love for this to be my job for decades to come. I want for this to be something I can pass on to my daughter if she’s interested. I’d love to continue to teach single mothers that desperate times call for innovation and not desperate measures. There are too many single mums out there who are struggling to get by and I wish I could tell all of them to reach for their dreams and don’t doubt themselves.

When are the best times of year for you in terms of getting orders? Halloween and Easter! I can’t get over how crazy people are for cookies at Halloween! You’d think Christmas but you’d be wrong. Cute monsters and gory stuff, that’s what the people want! What has been your most remarkable moment/ achievement thus far in your career? Being asked to guest instruct at one of the sugar arts world’s most prestigious conferences. There is some immense talent in the cookie world and it shocks me daily



A Woman’s Place is in the

With historic numbers of women as candidates in the last general elections and now in the House of Assembly, will this make a change in our politics and law-making? Islandista asks the hard questions.


fter a testy and closely contested election season in Barbados, we are now into another season of bacchanal. But we can’t help but cast our eyes back to the February 21st election which was historic in terms of female participation. Twenty per cent of the candidates of the two mainstream parties were women – the highest ever level of female representation. This carried over into the results and when the ballots were counted, we had a new record – five women in the House of Assembly. Five female senators were added to that number, bringing the numbers of female legislators to ten. In them, we see the range of Barbadian womanhood. They are single, married, divorced and widowed. They are childless, working mothers and even a grandmother. They are young and not so young. They reflect the increasingly inclusive and diverse nature of modern Barbadian society, with the Senate


House led by President Kerry-Ann Ifill who is blind. One hails from a sister CARICOM country – St. John MP Mara Thompson, who maintains her St. Lucian lilt. Senator Esther Byer-Suckoo is bi-racial, born to an Indo-Trinidadian mother and Afro-Barbadian father. Interesting details surely but what we here at Islandista are interested in is – what does this all mean? For instance, will we see more issues related to women being debated in Parliament and more pressingly, will more female-friendly legislation come to the fore as a result? Politics is a rough game, especially in the Caribbean where mud-slinging and scandal is part of the platform and sometimes even parliamentary arsenal. Despite this, will the increased success of female candidates encourage more women to get into politics? Politics is also an extremely demanding career, with politicos expected to show their face at every funeral, fair and function– demands that leave little time for family. So how do politicians manage the balance? On the face of it, it would seem that there are very different expectations for men and women. Many male politicians manage high profile careers even while having very young children. Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and current Transport and Works Minister Michael Lashley have both fathered infants while in office.



Now maybe these gentlemen have regularly done the midnight shuffle, trying to get a crying new-born back to sleep. And maybe they still managed to balance that with the demands of politics. No-one has ever asked this question of male politicians because we don’t even consider it an issue. On the other hand, we can’t help but notice that very few women enter politics when their children are under 10 years old. It is even more noticeable that many female politicians don’t even have children. Ironically, this trend has been more evident within the Barbados Labour Party, which has always prided itself on its advancement of women. And while the BLP indeed boasted seven female candidates to the DLP’s five in the last election, only two of them are mothers as compared to all of the DLP’s candidates. This raises even more questions – does the BLP demand more familial sacrifices of its candidates than the DLP? And since they ended up with four female MPs to the Dems’ one, does this mean that this formula is more successful? And since we’re speaking about the politics of exclusion, we should perhaps take a harder look at the cabinet portfolios which women have held in Barbados. While women have headed some high-profile ministries such as Health, Education and office of the Attorney General, some remain out of reach such as the prestigious and powerful Ministry of Finance. Actually, the finance ministry question may be straightforward since that is typically linked with the post of Prime Minister but that too raises disquieting questions. An obvious one is - since Dominica, Guyana, Trinidad, Bermuda and Jamaica have all gone before us with female leaders, when will Barbados follow their example? And of course, the biggest question of all is – are we ready yet?

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Islandista Magazine Summer 2013  

Islandista's Summer 2013 edition with features on Alex Jordan from Slam FM, Zulu International, Beach House, Vashtie Kola and more!

Islandista Magazine Summer 2013  

Islandista's Summer 2013 edition with features on Alex Jordan from Slam FM, Zulu International, Beach House, Vashtie Kola and more!