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Summer 2014

Issue 5

Tamu McPherson Why we

female friends

Celebrating Summer!


Our readers are

...Smart ...Sophisticated ...Discerning

ADVERTISE WITH US Contact our Advertising Team at islandistaadvertising@gmail.com Patricia Delgado 823-6400 | Paula Jackman 232-0291


EDITOR’S note

F

estivals, food and feting – no wonder we love summer in the Caribbean! Between Crop-Over, Dream Weekend, Vincy Mas, St. Lucia Carnival, Spice Mas, Antigua Carnival, CPL cricket and much more, it is a time for full-scale enjoyment in our islands. But besides the obvious and the large-scale, there are many simpler, smaller pleasures to be derived from the summer months in the region where it’s always summer. One such simple pleasure is that of friendship and how the many festivals bring friends together to celebrate and share good times. For me, Crop-Over has always been about camaraderie with dear friends – both those who fly in to enjoy the festivities and the joy of liming with my long-time friend and road partner. Musings on friendship and particularly the sometimes fraught nature of female friendship led me to pen the piece

on celebrating sisterhood and why we as women should embrace female friends wholeheartedly. There is a lot to celebrate in this issue such as the bold Editor-in-chief and beautiful fashion trends of Amanda Lynch-Foster summer, rediscovering Barbadiana and the success of fellow islandistas. Take your time and savour these articles as you would some of the other delights of summer in the Caribbean - like the juicy joy of a ripe mango or the colourful spectacle of flamboyant trees in full bloom. Just like Islandista, they are all accessible and exquisite pleasures that make summer in the Caribbean great.

Note: In our Holiday 2013 edition, there was an error in our feature on the Charity Chicks, entitled ‘Charity Chicks Spread the Joy of Giving Back’. The charity started by the late Gail Skeete was incorrectly referred to as The Little Pink Gift Foundation. The correct name is The Gift Foundation. The two are separate and distinct charities which do great but different work. We apologise for the error.

Contents Celebs

04 | Islandistas Featured in Balmain Campaign

Entertainment

05 | Reintroducing ‘Barbadian’ 06 | Security Tips for Crop-Over

Beauty

08 | Colours of the Caribbean

Play Mas

09 | The Future of Foreday – Muddy or Pretty? 10 | Lauren Austin Celebrating Success

Fashion

12 | Work of Art 15 | Summer Trend Report

Islandistas We Love 17 | Tamu McPherson

I am an Islandista 18 | Jeunanne Alkins

Fly Life

19 | An African Adventure

Money Matters

Mandy xxx

Contributors Editor-in-chief Amanda Lynch-Foster Design Director Mialisa Fenty Photographers Khalil Goodman Amleya Clarke Shane Leacock (LeeKee Photography) Writers Georgina Callender Michelle Bridgeman Designer S. Cumberbatch

20 | Interlace Makes Small Businesses Soar

Editorial Assistant Danielle Brathwaite-Lynch

Relationships & Family

Advertising Executives Patricia Delgado Paula Jackman

21 | Celebrating Sisterhood

Last Look

23 | Islandista Behind the Scenes

pinterest.com/islandista

www.islandistas.com

Instagram.com/islandistabarbados

www.twitter.com/islandista

ON THE

COVERS

Front Cover Photographer: Amleya Clarke, Model: Chae Cadogan, Makeup: I Heart Makeup. Back Cover Photographer Amleya Clarke, models Ashley Roberts Ashlee Haynes and Nadia Holmes, MUA: Lauren Austin.

Makeup Kamilah Codrington (I Heart Makeup) Shanelle Estwick (I Heart Makeup) Michelle Bridgeman (Pout by Michelle) Lauren Austin (Enchanted Beauty by Lauren Austin) www.facebook.com/islandistas

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ISLANDISTA CELEBS

Controversy stirred back up over Nicki Minaj’s BET Awards remarks Shade or no shade? Last month at the BET Awards, islandista rapper Nicki Minaj caused a stir during her acceptance speech for Best Female Hip Hop Artist when she said: “What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it.” The comment was widely thought to be a dig at Australian rapper Iggy Azalea who uses ghostwriters but Minaj denied it, saying “the media puts words in my mouth all the time and this is no different.” However, Azalea’s boyfriend, NBA basketballer Nick Young stirred back up the controversy in recent days by intimating that he didn’t believe the Trinidad-born Minaj’s denial. “Iggy is doing big things and that is what is scaring people. She is going to brush it off. She won’t let it get to her. She is number one — what can you do? She’s at the top right now, so of course they are going to come at you,” said the Lakers player.

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Islandistas featured in new Balmain Campaign From one islandista to more islandistas! Last season, the French fashion house memorably featured Barbadian superstar singer Rihanna in their campaign and once again this season, that is the route that the house of Balmain has taken. Its fall advertising campaign features the Jamaican-descended Jourdan Dunn and the Dominican Republic’s new face Ysaunny Brito. It’s a perhaps not surprising move, considering that Balmain’s head designer Olivier Rousteing is himself part black and has become ever bolder about championing a vision of diversity in fashion. “I’m French, I’m black, and I’m proud to be at Balmain, but this is a message of freedom and globalism. We need to show how diversity is important. I think it’s showing a new reality—the Balmain reality,” Rousteing has said.


ISLANDISTA ENTERTAINMENT

Locals and tourist alike have been enjoying the “Edutainment”.

A blast from the past might just be the key to a stronger future.

Reintroducing “Barbadian” Miss Caroline Lee, dubbed the Venus of the Antilles for her beauty.

Credits Costuming and Styling: D.L Smith Productions Team Character Styling: Georgina Callender Photography: Michael Trotman Photography Characters: Zalika King, The Real Rachel Pringle, Calista, Gibling, Lady GilbertCarter, Theodora Hinds, Caroline Lee

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ith so some much changing in the world and globalization taking over it’s easy for a sense of identity to become lost amidst all the noise. That’s where we come in; welcome to Pop Up Barbados and The Pop Up Page. We see it as our duty and pleasure to promote Barbadian culture and heritage in all its various forms to a modern generation. The village has now gone global but the sense of family and history remains, which always creates the strongest foundation for any new journey so that’s exactly where we’ll begin! If you’ve been roaming Bridgetown any given Wednesday or Thursday recently you might have noticed something different - characters, in period costumes literally decorating the sidewalk, bringing a taste of living history to our very historic city, which just happens to be a UNESCO world heritage site. Now this is where family comes in as “The Characters of Town” is a project presented by two sisters with a passion for preserving and promoting Barbadian history and culture. It is the brain child of Dawn-Lisa Callender-Smith of D.L Smith Productions, quite literally our sister company. What started out as entertainment with a twist for visitors has transformed into “edutainment” for both visitors and locals alike. D.L Smith Productions has expertly and quite beautifully reintroduced forgotten Bajan personalities, like Miss Caroline Lee and Lady Gilbert-Carter, or reinvented how we see the ones we thought we knew, like The Real Rachel

Curious passers-by get a brief education on Lady Gilbert-Carter the designer of Ilaro Court and Queens Park and the American wife of former colonial Governor Sir Gilbert-Carter. Pringle. “The Characters of Town” is only the beginning of a much larger heritage project which promises to rebuild a sense of national pride, helping us to see “us” again amongst the noise. So remember, if you’re in Bridgetown any Wednesday or Thursday you can keep an eye out for our Characters, you never know who you might run into. Learning a little more about the past is a good foundation for a strong future. – Georgina Callender, Pop Up Barbados

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ISLANDISTA entertainment

G4S Summer

security tips

for the Islandista • Keep these items close at hand. If you have to walk to your car in a dark lot, keep your keys in your hand at the ready.

• Use exterior lighting and motion detectors to minimize burglar concealment, especially when you are going out in the evening into the night. • If you have a car and you have any valuables, such as an iPod, smart phone or purse, store it under the seat or in the glove compartment. Most of the time, thieves are just looking for a quick grab and if they see something they like, they’ll smash and grab. You’ll also want to put anything that looks like it could contain something valuable, such as a box or briefcase, in the trunk to prevent car break-ins.

• If you are parking somewhere at night, park your vehicle near a light. Criminals want quick and easy jobs, so they don’t want a lot of publicity or visibility.

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• When you have just left an event. Do not stay in your car and ‘dally’ with checking Whatsapp, BBM or voice mail or, playing with the radio etc. Survey the scene before you get into the car, look around you and in the cars near you, get in your car, put the keys in right away and go!!!

• Create the illusion that someone is at your house if you’re away for an extended period of time. Leave a TV or stereo on in a room where a burglar would most likely break in.

• When you go out to take in the Crop Over events carry a small bright flashlight, a cellphone, and a loud whistle.

• Adjust your land line telephone ring to its lowest volume setting, if you are going to be away from home for a few days. An unanswered phone may tip off a burglar that no one is home.

• Keep drapes and curtains shut – especially in rooms where there is expensive equipment. Don’t advertise the items in your home. By investing in a G4S home security system and following home safety tips like this, you can help protect your investments, even when you are not there.


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ISLANDISTA BEAUTY play mas The eyes definitely have it! With red, blue, yellow, black and white, Antigua and Barbuda’s flag is one of the most colourful in a region of bright flags. Getting all of that on an eyelid could have been chaotic but this look is simply captivating instead.

Colours of the

A cool blue lip is a striking and unusual choice that works well with the hot eye colour.

Caribbean S

ummer means celebration in the Caribbean, especially in the lovely, liberating first week of August! Barbados’ Crop-Over shares August’ first week with two other massive island celebrations in Antigua and Jamaica respectively. On the first Monday in August, just as Bajans are filling the streets for Kadooment Day, Antiguans will be jamming through St. John’s for the

two-day finale of their own Carnival. Further north, Jamaicans will be halfway through the non-stop, ten-party experience known as Dream Weekend which heralds their Independence Day on August 6th. Here at Islandista, we’ve gotten into the spirit of the season with the help of I Heart Makeup and are celebrating the epic partying of our island neighbours with beauty looks that pay tribute to the flags of both Antigua and Jamaica.

Look-at-me lashes and a strong brow anchor dramatic green and gold eye makeup. Try it this Crop-Over with costumes such as Baje’s Epic or Zulu’s Agrabah. CREDITS Photography: Amleya Clarke Models: Shanice Austin, Chae Cadogan Make-up artist: Shanelle Estwick, Kamilah Codrington (I Heart Makeup) Photo assistant: Danielle Brathwaite-Lynch

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A dark lip doesn’t always have to mean goth. A brush of gold on the cheeks makes the look as much of a winner as Jamaica’s athletes.


ISLANDISTA PLAY MAS

Team Muddy or Team Pretty?

C

ome Foreday Morning, some 54 bands will hit the road in the wee hours of the morning for what has officially become Crop-Over’s biggest event. The costumes in which thousands upon thousands of revellers will be ‘doing bad’ will not be much different to what they wore last year or the year before. However, with their shiny fabrics, sequins, trim and even small headpieces, these costumes are very different to what is usually seen at night-time mas in the Caribbean. This shift has exposed a schism between mas stakeholders in Barbados, with a fight for what the future of Foreday will look like at the heart of the divide. Questions of tradition, evolution and innovation have been swirling around Foreday Morning even as the event has exploded in popularity in the last five years. In 2012, then-Foreday Morning coordinator Fran WickhamJacobs, herself a bandleader, sounded a warning, saying: “Some persons are trying to bring back Kadooment into Foreday Morning. There is no place for that, so there will be very strict rules and regulations.” Some Kadooment bandleaders voiced fears over the direction of Foreday, speculating that its growth was coming at Kadooment’s expense. Award-winning Kadooment bandleader Betty West told press: “I’m kind of concerned about that being a threat to the actual Kadooment because now they have more Foreday Morning bands than Kadooment bands and what is really strange is they have little costumes now coming. They should let that strictly remain a tee-shirt [event] because it is going to do damage eventually.” Yet Foreday revellers’ thirst for stylish costumes could not be quenched and year upon year, the outfits have become

even more elaborate. Then in April the NCF sent out a masmoderating missive that got younger Foreday bandleaders in particular riled up. The letter stated that “Foreday Morning is NOT intended to become Kadooment at night” and warned “it is expected that the costumes being supplied to band members DO NOT include elements that typify Kadooment costumes.” Just to be clear, the Foundation explained that these elements included but were not limited to feathers, beads, trim on costumes or swimwear, ornate headwear i.e. tiaras, decorative headpieces etc. The letter and the reaction to it showed how the NCF as the organiser of the festival, often ends up caught in the middle of tradition and change. It is an indisputable fact that Foreday Morning’s increased popularity came when bands started leaning more towards pretty and less towards ‘dutty’. The costumes attracted a stylish younger set that were happy to parade in the cool night air for a cheaper price but did not want paint or mud in their hair. Even Barbados’ mega star Rihanna joined the Foreday festivities last year, shining the light of the international press on the event. However, the NCF is clearly under pressure from more established Crop-Over interests to maintain the tradition of the Foreday jump. And therein lies the rub. Can an event that is less than 20 years old really be said to have an established ‘tradition’? Older stakeholders have openly and without apparent irony asserted that Foreday Morning in its true form is intended to be in the tradition of Trinidad J’ouvert’s old mas and mud mas. Younger stakeholders have challenged this assertion with the directors of Island Fusion arguing that what some called Foreday’s tradition was really just “pay[ing] homage to foreign culture while effectively preventing the development of a local identity to the night celebration.” By the looks of costumes this year, the debate is certain to get even hotter as the more youthful bands have given the people what they wanted and that is pretty, shiny, sexy costumes. Rounds 1 and 2 in the fight for Foreday may be over but more are surely still to come. At the end of the (Fore)day, every islandista has to make a choice. #TeamMuddy or #TeamPretty?

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ISLANDISTA PLAYMAS

Celebrating

Success Zulu International Bandleader Lauren Austin

T

o the average observer it may seem like Zulu International designer and bandleader Lauren Austin’s success came suddenly. After all, CropOver 2013 was her first year bringing out a band of her own but in her rookie year she scored a major coup when Barbadian super star Rihanna jumped with Zulu. It immediately put a spotlight on the band as photos of Rihanna in her fabulous all-white Zulu costume went all over the world. Now everyone knew their name and for Crop-Over 2014, they were now the band to watch, as evidenced by the hundreds that thronged to the Concorde Experience in May for their launch. Within three days, the band was sold out. Such was the demand that Lauren and her team were compelled to go above the cap they had set for themselves and eventually closed off registration at 850, 100 more than they had originally planned for.

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While her rise might seem stratospheric, at Islandista we know that it’s been some time in the making. Lauren has been an Islandista collaborator from our very first edition with a connection that goes back even to our online-only days on islandistas.com. We managed to pin her down for a few minutes during this hectic Crop-Over season to find out more about her journey and how she’s enjoying it. Islandista: First, tell me a bit about your background – who is Lauren Austin? Lauren Austin: I grew up in St. Joseph, Trinidad with my entire family. I have a younger brother, Adrian who is 16 years old and my only sibling. Growing up I didn’t have the easiest childhood and stemming from that I am often misunderstood. This may be because of the way I speak and based on first impressions but truthfully I am a very kind-hearted person with good


ISLANDISTA PLAY MAS

“I love that I am able to be myself and showcase my talents. Seeing my Zulu International revellers free, smiling and enjoying themselves on Kadooment day also gives me a really good and accomplished feeling.” intentions. Loyalty is one of the major characteristics that I value both in friendships and business. [If] you’ve got my back, I’ve got yours! Anyone who knows me knows that I am very sociable and love partying. I’m always the life of the party! Some of my friends even think I have a few loose screws but I always say that good ideas come from the craziest people! “Crazy” entirely sums my personality and sets me apart - without that I might just be an average Joe. How did you get into being a band designer and bandleader? For as long as I could remember I have always been a fan of art. Anything to do with my hands whether it was hair, makeup, nails, drawing or painting has always been my passion. All of my skills were predominantly self-taught. Anything I see, even if it’s just once, when I put my mind to it, I will get it done. Designing became my main passion when I first moved to Barbados and had the opportunity to have my own section with a Crop-Over band. It was my first time at designing and creating a costume. The response was fantastic as never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the costume I designed would sell out in a matter of days. From that experience and with the support and encouragement from my husband Ryan Austin, we made the brave step of having our own band. It was in 2013 when I officially became a band leader. Is being a bandleader something that you always wanted to do? Yes but it’s something I had planned for the future after owning my own clothing and swimsuit line but the opportunity of having one of my biggest dreams presented itself and there was no way I was going to let it slip away. Owning Zulu International is indeed one of my greatest accomplishments. Your costumes are definitely dramatic and different – how do you come up with the concepts and designs? I let the designs come naturally to me during the course of the day and when ideas jump out at me, I save them in a little note pad that I always carry around. When transferring my ideas into a costume, that also comes naturally as I don’t sketch my designs. I just go into a store with my theme in mind and look for materials that would execute my vision. Then I just sit in my work room with my glue gun listening to music and start designing and creating costumes. I try not to over think as I believe when something is forced it is never executed as well as something that comes naturally. How long in advance do you start working on the concept for your band? Many months in advance. Once our costumes are launched for the present year, I’m already thinking ahead to the next year. In addition, ideas come all year round so I whip out my note

pad and start writing. For example, all of my 2014 costume prototypes were completed by the first week in February and I have already conceptualized my 2015 theme and designs. Is there any person or people who have inspired or motivated you along the way? My mother, Juliet Narine, and my little brother Adrian always supported my endeavours and believed in me. Also from the day I met my husband Ryan, he was my biggest fan, my main source of support and my driving force as he believed in every vision and idea that I had. Finally, Darryl Koon How who is one of our Zulu International directors and a true friend, supported my dreams and always believed they would become a reality. It is worth mentioning that Zulu International is comprised of a big management team and they all believed in my dreams and ambitions hence Zulu is thus far a success. Not many people believed that I possessed the capabilities to have a successful band mainly because of my ‘over the top’ personality hence my family and Zulu team are so important to me. What has been your most remarkable moment thus far in your career? There are many but to name just one, it would have to be designing an individual costume for Rihanna in Zulu International’s first year. She is an amazing individual with a fun personality and from all reported feedback from her team, she was very pleased with my design for her. I felt as though I was living a dream for the entire 2013 Crop Over season but reality soon set in as it was time to get cranking for 2014. What do you love most about what you do? I love that I am able to be myself and showcase my talents. Seeing my Zulu International revellers free, smiling and enjoying themselves on Kadooment day also gives me a really good and accomplished feeling. What do you find most challenging about what you do? Obviously you have the normal challenges with a costume band - mass production on time, planning, costume distribution. Being in the public’s eye and under the microscope is something I haven’t completely adjusted to and that’s a major challenge for me. What are your dreams and goals for Zulu International? To completely revolutionize and create the most premium concept for a Crop-Over band in Barbados. To take Zulu International regional and global holding events throughout the Caribbean and even having a section in carnival bands in other islands. What is your next step for Zulu International? If I told you the next step then I’d be ruining the surprise!

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ISLANDISTA fashion

WORK of ART

I

f living well is an art then so is dressing well. Fashion and art have always had a close relationship and in fact, many would argue that there is little to separate the two besides the medium. Some work on canvas or with clay, others with cloth. And it is a truth that many of the great art museums of the world also hold some of the most magnificent clothing collections. The newly renamed Anna Wintour Costume Center at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum springs to mind, as does the fashion collection at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

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So it should come as no surprise then that in recent seasons, fashion has once again paid tribute to art with an explosion of painter prints all over the runways. From gentle, Impressionist-influenced prints to bolder, Expressionism-inspired prints and even tongue-in-cheek pop art – they have all been making their way over to fashion. Islandista has been inspired and so we took to the lovely Gallery of Caribbean Art with some carefully curated pieces from Life & Style Boutique and Attitude Boutique. We think you’ll agree that whether on the human frame or framed on a wall, great fashion like great art is timeless.

ABOVE: What better way to evoke sophistication this summer than in a gorgeous, painter print maxi dress in sea foam blues and greens? (Sculptures by Margaret Bell, Paintings by Neville Legall)


ISLANDISTA FASHION Painter prints bring a joyful pop of colour. Clean lines, bodycon cut-outs and a hint of cubism make this outfit a modern fashion hit. (Painting by Tracey Williams)

With its bold abstract print in slashes of graphic black and white, this linen dress is an art piece perfect for a summer all inclusive. (Paintings in background by Neville Legall)

Last summer’s lady-like florals get a bold update with a painterly take on posies and summer 2014’s must-have hue, orange. (Paintings by Raphael Sagage)

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ISLANDISTA fashion

A casual jumpsuit is glammed up with echoes of impressionism and sexy-butsweet midriff cut out. (Paintings by Heidi Berger)

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A little bit baroque, a little modern graphic design and a lot of interesting. This mini dress with its sheer overlay is a for the islandista who wants to grab attention when she’s out this summer. (Paintings by Raphael Sagage)

CREDITS Photography: Khalil Goodman Photo assistant: Amleya Clarke Clothing and accessories: Life & Style Boutique, Attitude Boutique Model: Shahaida Lynch )Make-up artist: Michelle Bridgeman (Pout by Michelle Shoot assistant: Danielle Brathwaite-Lynch


ISLANDISTA FASHION

Pic o de Crop Tops

When you think about summer there are a couple of things that come to mind – like shorts, swimsuits and crop tops. The latter is making waves this summer and is the perfect addition to any outfit. Originally crop tops were seen as being for those with taut, flat stomachs who would rock them to show off their toned mid-riffs. That is far from the truth now. Styled correctly any woman with a plus size figure can rock a crop top - that’s what high-waisted jeans or skirts are for! If you are wearing a floral crop top you will want to stay away from jewellery that hangs too long or a necklace that is too busy. If you are wearing a plain top, go wild, but within reason. Remember, less is more. Are crop tops only casual wear? I say no. These cute tops can be casual, elegantly casual or even formal. The key is knowing how to switch it up for the occasion. When heading to the beach shorts and some flip flops are the perfect crop top companions. If the dress code is elegantly casual, then a form-fitting skirt, heels and elegant accessories will become your best friend.

Summer TRENDS Flower Power for the Summer

You wear ribbons and bows, so why not resemble a garden right on the best feature of your entire body? Your head and face. Flower headbands or flower heads are the new summer trend and just in time for summer, Jazz Apple Designs has brought out a collection of floral headbands that are sure to please every flower-loving female. Designer and ownerJazz Applewaithe describes her summer collection, Radiant Orchid as “very summer, very chic, very happy!” The collection of headbands is whimsical, classic yet different. The differences come in the peek-a-boo rhinestones tucked amidst the flowers. Some look like you just went into your mom’s garden and picked a few flowers while others look like a bouquet on your head. So why then have these flower heads become such a huge trend? The answer is simple. Fashion is ever revolving and while you may think you brought sexy back with these head bands, the trend goes back to the Flower Power movement of anti-war protests in the 60s and 70s when hippies made it both a fashion and political statement. These head bands are easy to dress up or down and can be worn to the beach, on a cruise, a breakfast party or even a wedding. My main tip for rocking them – either go small or go over-the-top. If you have a small face, you should stay away from headbands with large flowers as they can overwhelm your face and make it look even smaller. The flipside is that those with larger faces should leave smaller headbands alone as they can get lost and look disproportioned on a broad face. – by Michelle Bridgeman

CREDITS )Photographer: Shane Leacock (Leekee Photography )MUA: Michelle Bridgeman (Pout by Michelle Models: Jazz Applewaithe, Alana Herbert, Latoya Daniel

Dare to be risqué. That is Latoya Daniel in a nutshell and it inspired the name of her swimsuit collection Daresqué. Daniel is a free spirit whose attitude and persona is brought out through her work. Daniel is fully aware that her look can and has been described as being “too extra” but she notes that Daresqué is not meant to be contained in Barbados. The young entrepreneur has big plans to launch outside of the island and has already shipped orders to countries like Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago and even the United States since launching earlier this year.

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ISLANDISTA fashion

From the

Motherland

via the Netherlands to our Islands

Look at you girl, talking about wax cloth!” exclaimed my Malian friend with surprised approval. We were discussing outfits for her pending nuptials in Dakar, Senegal (and the reason for my Trip of a Lifetime on page 19) and I was Whatsapp-ing her images of some of the cloth I was thinking about buying. Flattered as I was, the truth is I’m not alone. Fact is the whole fashion world is talking about wax cloth right now. The fabric comes with a whole heap of history – though not necessarily the history most people think of when they see the fabrics or buy them by the bolt for Black History Month. The convoluted, complex lineage of what many now see as ‘African print cloth’ starts in Indonesia and made its way to the Motherland via the Netherlands. The world’s premier manufacturer of wax cloth is actually still the Dutch company Vlisco but its style and usage has been

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dictated by West African tastes and demands since the 19th century. Whether you call it Ankara fabric or wax cloth, right now the brightly coloured, boldly printed fabrics are making huge statements in the world of fashion. Witness ItalianHaitian design sensation Stella Jean whose signature “Wax and Stripes” aesthetic mixes brightly coloured, ethically sourced African wax print fabrics mixed with stripes inspired by the menswear of the Italian dandy. Jean’s blending of the traditionally West African-associated fabrics with modern, Western cuts is emblematic of the ways in which wax cloth is being discovered by designers. Even more excitingly it is being rediscovered by a new generation of fashionistas throughout the African diaspora who are now using wax cloth for cool jumpsuits, hip midi skirts, crisp blazers and even high heels and other accessories. Everything old is truly new again.


ISLANDISTAS we love

Tamu McPherson

The Fashionista Photographer

E

qual parts style star and style spotter, photographer Tamu McPherson is a fashion favourite whose influential street style blog All the Pretty Birds is cited by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and beloved by celebrities such as Tracee Ellis Ross. The Jamaican-born, New York-raised fashion blogger moved to Milan in 2005 with her Italian husband and their son, a move that allowed the former attorney and finance professional to explore her heart’s true desire–fashion. An introduction to a senior editor at Glamour.it in 2006 got her a commission to do street style photography. While the concept was still fairly new at the time and Tamu was not a professional or even amateur photographer, she took on the challenge and thrived. She started All the Pretty Birds in November 2008 and it has brought her acclaim and opportunities since then, such as her two-year stint as the editor-in-chief of Grazia.it. She now focuses solely on her blog and travels the world covering

street style in the fashion capitals - New York, London, Paris and her own hometown of Milan. Despite her corporate career origins, Tamu had a longtime love for fashion which was nurtured as a child by her Jamaican mother and aunt who taught her the magic of playing dress up. “I was the only child in my family so my mother and my aunt basically just dressed me up all day. They played like I was a doll and they would change my outfit and my hair for multiple snapshots, ”she told Vogue Italia. Her sense of style has won her as many kudos as her photography. It shows off her skilful mixing of bright colours and prints, and clearly shows the influence of her vibrant native island. “I was born in Kingston, where everything is bursting with colour. I can still clearly see the vibrant flowers, peach houses and tropical prints,” Tamu told Lucky Magazine, where she is now a contributing editor.

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I AM AN ISLANDISTA

“I haven’t been really unwinding, however my first love (Carnival) is coming so ask me again in a couple months!”

All That’s Cool and Caribbean:

Jeunanne Alkins

J

eunanne Alkins describes her design studio Everything Slight Pepper (ESP) as being “rooted in the Caribbean” but that description could just as easily apply to Alkins herself. The award-winning Trinidadian designer and businesswoman is everything we think of when we think of an islandista. She’s a carnival-loving, island-hopping kind of woman and her love for the region shows through in her distinctively Caribbean design aesthetic. It comes out in her work for Machel Montano’s 3ZERO Rum which won her the prestigious gold Addy Award from the American Advertising Federation. It can also be seen in her ESP jr line of baby clothing and merchandise which feature adorable, distinctively Caribbean characters like turtles, dancing sno-cones, chilled-out coconuts and playful pierrot grenades. So in spirit of celebrating all that’s cool and Caribbean in this, our summer edition, we bring to you the ultimate cool Caribbean islandista, Jeunanne Alkins. WHO Islandista: is Jeunanne Alkins? Jeunanne Alkins: A design entrepreneur and artist. I run a Caribbean design studio called Everything Slight Pepper (ESP) specialising in publication design and branding. I also have a division called ESP Jr, which is devoted to the creation of indigenous content for young audiences. Has most influenced what you’re doing now? My parents WHAT Is an islandista to you? A secure, authentic, confident Caribbean woman Do you love most about your island? Trinidad’s ethnic diversity it allows for a unique melting pot culture. Our people, food, music, art and landscape are a very interesting hybrid that I haven’t

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experienced anywhere else. WHERE Do you see yourself in five years? In ten years? Always creating and never becoming jaded. Is your ‘happy place’? Trinidad, Jouvert morning, 5am, alcohol soaked, covered head to toe in cocoa and dancing by myself alongside my friends and family is my perfect blissful place both mentally and physically. Do you call home? Now – Trinidad, but I’m nomadic, I could easily end up anywhere WHEN You worry, what do you worry about? Not getting to finish the gazillion ideas I have written in all my notebooks. Are you happiest? When I discover that my family and friends are proud of me through simple, understated gestures. WHY Do you love what you do? I get to play an active part in elevating the Caribbean design aesthetic. HOW Would you like to be remembered? As authentic Do you unwind? I haven’t been really unwinding, however my first love (Carnival) is coming so ask me again in a couple months!


FLY LIFE

Colourful fabric was on sale in Sandaga Market and enterprising vendors/ tailors were on hand to measure you on the spot for a bespoke outfit.

On the move – a car rapide whizzes by in Dakar.

Genuine snakeskin and alligator skin briefcases for sale in Sounbejoune Market.

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An African Adventure – Dakar is On the Move

akar, Senegal is a city on the move – in more ways than one. The capital of the West African country fairly bristles with an ambitious, upward-striving energy that is palpable and energising. Everywhere there are buildings under construction stretching skywards, evidence of the city’s massive building boom which has been fuelled by migrants from rural Senegal and neighbouring countries. Dakar’s population of 3 million is expected to reach 5 million by 2025 – just 11 years from now. A portion of this burgeoning population can be seen on evenings packed onto the city’s beaches, exercising with fervent dedication. The public enthusiasm for fitness in Senegal is on another level. The first time we passed the beach we thought there was a concert or major meeting on as the sand was coated with hundreds of people. But they were working out - running, playing football or doing aerobics. This scene repeats itself across the city in every little public space, with men in football shorts and women in track pants and hijabs jogging and jumping. Off the beaches, the brightly painted cars rapides, (literally “fast cars” - Senegal’s version of the minibus), nonchalant pedestrians, horse-drawn carts and cars all moved non-stop. Literally, no-one stopped for the other, causing my Caribbean posse to cringe in terror several times during our taxi trips, certain that collision and carnage was about to ensue. Surprisingly however, we saw just one accident during our one-week trip. However the hustle and bustle on the beaches and streets had nothing on the street-side hustle. Let’s be clear. What we call hustling here in our part of the world is nothing compared to Senegal where the spirit of capitalism is exuberantly, intensely alive. Here at home, people sell fruit at the side of the road. In Dakar, there were people selling fruit road-side too. However there were people right next to them selling pots and pans,

blenders, Monopoly and Scrabble sets, jewellery, bathroom scales, phone cards, lamps, bedsteads and boxes of tissue. Because – who knows when you’re driving The reason for the down the highway to work and African adventure – might need a blender? Editor-in-chief Amanda In Sandaga Market and and husband Jonathan Sounbejoune Market which we attending a friend’s visited, we experienced the hustle live as vendors relentlessly wedding in Dakar. tracked us down offering “un bon prix” (a good price) for wooden sculptures, vibrant paintings, wax cloth and authentic crocodile and snake skin belts. The first price offered is considered a mere starting point for negotiations and as soon as we countered in our butchered French with “pas un bon prix”, our would-be salesman or woman would laugh genially and respond – usually in English “tell me what you want to pay.” In the end, our purchase prices were usually about four times less than the original price offered. Even at the wedding which was our reason for the trip, the hustle was in full effect. On our arrival at the beach-side villa, we were surprised to see a larger-than-usual gaggle of photographers taking photos of all arriving guests. We were even more surprised when, on departing a mere two hours later, those photographers were back, with prints in hand ready for sale. We were even more surprised two days later to learn from our friend, the bride, that those photographers were not invited but just got wind of the wedding and came to hustle. It brought a whole new meaning to photo bombing. But you know what? I respected the hustle – there and everywhere in Dakar. (For more on my African adventure, check out islandistas. com in the coming weeks!)

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MONEY MATTERS

INTERLACE

Makes Small Businesses Soar’

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ave you heard about Interlace? If yes, do you know what it is? If you answered no to any of those questions then this is the article you want to read today. Islandista Magazine sat down with Interlace overlooking the boardwalk on Barbados’ gorgeous South Coast for a chat about exactly that – what is Interlace? Interlace is the company that exists to make your entrepreneurial journey less lonely. The umbrella body Interlace Inc oversees Interlace Showcase, Interlace Development and Interlace Networking and they cover the organization of trade expos, website hosting and networking events. Most people would be familiar with Interlace Development which handles the provision of graphic design expertise, social media management, start-up counseling, website development and maintenance, marketing and legal advice for new businesses. Interlace ensures the faster turnaround of registration and easier incorporation of businesses and even selection and recruitment. Lucinda Robinson, Renato Sealy and Karla Austin, along with a number of consultants in areas such as legal and marketing, comprise the team. Any small to medium business can call on their services to start-up or rebrand. One notable customer was Chef Dane Saddler who rebranded his mediumsized business a few years ago and has been thriving ever since. “Most people would say their key issue is funding but planning and focus are the two major issues for small to medium businesses in Barbados”, says the candid Lucinda Robinson from the Interlace team. Looking deeper into the cost factor and thinking things through from beginning to end are some of her recommendations. “This is why the first consult is free. To see if the relationship is beneficial”, she added. A key part of consulting is lending a hand with promotions

and assisting new businesses with that “extra hand” that they cannot pay to receive. When asked about plans for the future she stated the focus would remain on small companies and assisting them with the start-up process. Interlace is also intent upon improving the expo experience. “In Barbados booth spaces at expos are too expensive and there is a vacuum for smaller expos.” When asked about what advice she would give to a budding entrepreneur she laughs and exclaims “RUN!” However she added, “the number one thing everyone needs to do is follow through. Our number one failing as a small business is not following through. What everyone who is thinking about starting a business needs to do is complete what he or she started. Be passionate or do not bother. Focus on your passion and follow through.”

Individual cluster and single lashes in Black and Candy colors Sold at NDM Flowers, Nelia Mai-Lan (Claudia) Mall89 and Envy Boutique, Certified Lash Extensionist / Medical Aesthetician City Mall Roebuck Street 246-264-9816 Top Of De Line Boutique lashesxnelia@gmail.com Moon Diamond Mall, High Street Lashes by Nelia Mai-Lan 20


RELATIONSHIPS & FAMILY

Celebrating

Sisterhood

My $i$tren!!! My hitta!!! I know I tell you thi$ all the time, but Money cud neva buy what you give me!! Our friend$hip will alway$ be family!” Thus read part of the raunchy, riotous and deeply heartfelt birthday message which Barbadian superstar Rihanna posted on Instagram in tribute to her long-time best friend Melissa Forde. The post celebrated a friendship that stretches back over a decade to their days at Combermere and has stood the test of time and mindboggling, world-wide fame. The two women’s enduring bond illustrates the power of female friendship, a point Rihanna referred to in her Instagram tribute when she expressed her gratitude, saying: “I will never take for granted the

day you packed … and left BIM to come hold me down, cuz God know$ I would never be able to $urvive thi$ and remain my$elf through it all!”! Yet not every islandista feels the same as Rihanna when it comes to female friends. In fact, the interwebs abound with memes about untrustworthiness, drama and rivalry between female friends. Much of this sentiment is fuelled by women themselves with some going even further to defiantly proclaim they don’t have/trust female friends. But we have to wonder - what does it say about a woman who doesn’t trust female friends when she herself is a female friend to someone out there?

Continued on next page

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RELATIONSHIPS & FAMILY

Celebrating

Sisterhood

Continued from Page 21

Whatever happened to sisterhood? Because speaking from my own experience, female friends are incredible. When I was in the deepest throes of teenaged tabanca, female friends let me bawl in their lap while they patted my head. And when I have been so low that I couldn’t even eat, it was a female friend who snapped “enough of this” and literally dragged me from my bed, cooked me a meal, sat in front of me and made me eat it. When I was far from home and lost in a strange city, I called on my childhood female friend and just like that, I had somewhere warm and friendly to stay. It wasn’t even a question. And my girls aren’t just foul weather friends. Female friends have helped me plan my wedding and came together to meticulously plan my bridal shower and baby shower. We have watched scintillating cricket matches together, partied like lunatics and have jammed down the road together in rain or sun every year for Kadooment. We have shared joy.

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My female friends have been my greatest cheerleaders, encouraging me to run for (student) office, move to new countries, apply for jobs and start businesses. They have made me strong when I doubted myself. As I’ve grown older, a circle of female friends has helped me to grapple with the hard bits and revel in the joyous parts of being a mother, offering advice, support and listening ears. And we laugh- how we have laughed! We have shared the best jokes - things that still make me burst out laughing even 10, 15 and 20 years later. All that is needed is for one of my friends to say a single-word punchline like “Bourne” or “Amandaaaaaaa” and we’re giggling hysterically like it’s 2003 in Kingston or 1993 at Girl Guides camp. (Long stories - you would have had to have been there!) Our bond is enduring and while I have some great male friends, there are many situations where nothing can beat the bond of female friendship. So let’s hear it for the girls! Because female friendship is a wonderful thing indeed.


LAST LOOK

BEHIND

the scenes

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g n i t a r b e l e C UMMER S


Islandista Summer 2014