EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Shontelle Layne!

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Known for her smash debut R&B hit, T-Shirt, the Obama Campaign song, Battle Cry and the soundtrack of  Confessions of a Shopaholic, Stuck With Each Other, Shontelle just keeps rising and proving to the world that she’s got it!!

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Shontelle took some time out of her ridiculous schedule to answer a few of my questions on fashion,the up-coming album No Gravity and her newest single Impossible!!

1. How would you describe your personal style?
It really varies depending on my mood but I’d say a combo or surfer chick/skater girl/rock&roll/high fashion. Sometimes I’ll even go hobo! LOL!


2. Who is your favorite fashion designer?

At the moment I love Marc Jacobs. He never fails me. Plus he designs for Louis Vuitton, a staple in my everyday wardrobe.


3. When it comes to fashion, would you say you’re a minimalist or do you like to go all out?

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Once again it depends. Sometimes naked/bare chic is right for the occasion. Tends to be softer and more romantic & natural. I prefer that for dinners/red carpet etc. But for stage or videos, I go ALL OUT! Some days I just feel like being crazy & I do something obnoxious like wear sunglasses or shoes that clearly have no right anywhere except a W or Harper’s Bazaar fashion spread or on a catwalk!


4. Are you a practical girl or do you have a liking for high fashion?

I like comfort first & foremost usually, especially since I travel alot. But I do have an obsession with high fashion and I can’t help myself at times. You’ll never know how much pain I’m in ;)


5. Jimmy Choos or Christian Louboutins?

Haha! YSL or Giuseppe Zinnotti? :p


6. How do you put together your daily outfits? Do you have a stylist?

I have about 3 different favorite main stylists. 1 who just shops with me and helps me create my everyday looks (which I then put together myself day to day) and 2 others which I interchange for videos, performances etc. Often they collaborate with choreographers, set designers, management, PR, Marketing and each other. Styling is a very delicate process and can be very frustrating & complicated. It’s fun when you get it right. Not so fun when you don’t. But I have worked with so many stylists worldwide for different events & photo shoots etc.


7. Are you a fashion week regular? Or do you not like social events?

Shontelle posing with Vanessa Williams at the Ugly Betty Gala

Haha! I NEVER miss fashion week! I usually get invited to alot of designers shows & parties. Sometimes I even walk/model! This year I made my usual rounds at New York Fashion and I’ll also be doing LA Fashion Week events. I can’t wait to go to the international ones like London, Paris & Milan! Don’t even get me started on Asian fashion!


8. What was your most memorable fashion moment? (positive or negative)

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OMG! Best fashion moment? Well apart from my features & spreads in Vogue, Elle & In Style, I’d say, shooting the Licky music video. I have never been surrounded by & adorned with more fierceness & fabulosity in my life!


9. Now, let’s talk about the up-coming album. What inspired you for this album?

All my experiences from Shontelligence. I traveled so many places and experienced so many things. So many new cultures, new art, new food, new music. No Gravity is a blend of all that!


10. The first single Licky, a provocative club banger, is not what you’re really known for. What made you come out of your comfort zone?

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My “comfort zone” huh? Well I’m not quite sure what that is but I just put it this way. For me, music is much like film & tv are for actors. It’s fun to pretend to be someone else. I enjoy playing many different roles because I know somewhere, someone can relate. I like to make music for everyone. And some people are kinda licky! LOL!


11. Your more recent track, Impossible, is being VERY well received by your fans. Another ballad like T Shirt, which showcases your amazing vocals and really pulls at the heart strings. What was the inspiration for this one?

Impossible is truly perhaps one of my best vocal performances ever! It’s such a beautiful song and I love it so much. I gave my everything on that track. If you’re asking if it’s inspired by a real life experience….YES!


12. Did you write the song as well?

Actually I didn’t add much to Impossible except for my vocals and my emotion. They let me produce my own adlibs and stuff. Great producer, Arnthor Birgisson of the Aristotracks! The Swedish have taken over the pop game!


13. When will the album be dropping?

Probably closure to Summer 2010


14. Any collaborations?

Some freakin amazing collabs! I’m so hyped! Wish I could spill the beans but if I do now, Sylvia Rhone will kill me!


15. Anymore endorsements or any fashion lines we should be looking out for?

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I’m actually working on some very cool stuff this year. Stay tuned… ;)


16. Finally, what is your advice for the aspiring artistes out there that look up to you, especially those from Barbados?

Well every person’s entry into this industry is very unique & there is no particular strategy or formula except to have a team (note that word!) that you can trust and who are savvy and work hard! If you don’t you WILL fail! Believe in yourself, your talent and your ability to succeed. Go hard! Many people expected me to fail and even wanted that. The odds that I would were far greater than those of me making it. But talent only goes so far. You have to be smart! If music is what you love, then study your craft. Don’t just study the music, study the music business. It ain’t no sweet bread! You might not like the taste. But dessert is ALWAYS great!

FENDI Spring/Summer 2010

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This season’s Spring/Summer Fendi collection was amazing in my opinion. I loved it, despite the negative reviews circulating the fashion web!

The pieces were to die for!
This season’s Fendi look is wispy fabric, black, ivory and ecru, off-pastels, and fraying edges with a Parisian lingerie twist! And The Fendi Spring/Summer 2010 shoes were hooooottttt!! Yes, they weren’t anything special saying that they were just simple sandals covered with lightweight mesh material that wraps around the ankle, with lots of extra material for an extra bulky bow.

Fendi-Spring/Summer-2010-shoes

Fendi-Spring/Summer-2010-shoes

Fendi-Spring/Summer-2010-shoes

The interesting aspect of the shoe, is the transparent platform, of course. It gives the shoe a futuristic, utilitarian look.

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Go Mr. Lagerfeld! You have never disappointed (me)!! ;)

Less Or More? The Extremes Of Fashion

Minimalism vs Opulence

There’s always been a somewhat silent battle between the minimalists and the “maximists” (opulence) of fashion. Allow me to share some fashion wisdom – their definitions and a synopsis of how they can be worn and my own take on it.

First off, being that opulence is the more popular of the two, I’ll start with that!
Known for over the over the top, glitzy, glamorous, diva-esque trends, – just to name a few adjectives – opulence is the choice for all the Haute Couture aficionados. Fur, patent leather, sequins, edgy cuts & bright colours are some of the trends that have made high fashion lovers all over the world fall ridiculously in love with it.

For the opulence lovers, animal prints and fur were popular in Milan, Italy, during the Women’s Fall 2010 fashion show. Salvatore Ferragamo designed a memorable belted leopard coat.

Salvatore's memorable fur coat Alexander McQueen

Salvatore Ferragamo’s leopard coat.          Alexander McQueen – the master of opulence.

For Fall 2010, fur hats, fur scarves, fur vests, fur jackets, fur dresses, fur skirts, fur blouses, fur pants, fur coats, fur gloves, leather gloves with fur fingertips, fur leggings, fur boots, fur booties and fur shoes starred on runways all over Paris!!

Dries Van Noten’s ocelot vest and ocelot scarves both made a statement. There’s even faux fur at Chanel, where the first Eskimos to slosh around the melting “265-ton, 28-foot tall” iceberg set wore yeti boots and enough “fantasy” fur (as Karl Lagerfeld’s named it) to warm an igloo. PETA will love this Chanel collection because all the fur looks are “fantasy”. But according to fashion writer Marylou Luther, “They look so convincingly real, the fur protesters won’t know whom to pelt and whom to leave alone. Ditto for the look-alike furs at Nina Ricci.”

From the lush opulence of fur, fall fashion in Europe also includes metallized fabrics, feather frenzies and razzle-dazzle jeweling. In this glitz-is-good arena, Christophe Decarnin’s sequined, glam-rock wonders for Balmain have a kind of 1970s-meets-’80s sensibility with Michael Jackson overtones. At the opposite extreme is minimalism, now referred to as “pared down”.

Louis Vuitton worn by famous model Jourdan.

Louis Vuitton’s space age metallics, from Autumn 2008, is a perfect example of how minimalism and opulence can combine into a unified look.

QUITE a few fashion designers have everything it takes, and more, to be minimalists. They have an excess of talent to make clean lines out of ornamental ones, yet they lack the will or the stamina to hold unpopular views, and minimalism has been out of vogue for a good 10 years.
Even its greatest practitioner, Giorgio Armani, adds more than he subtracts. But in the past few years, so many designers have been doing something out of character and at the same time commercially sensible.

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney’s Fall 2010 line was heavily influenced by the minimalist outlook.

What is fashion minimalism?
Clean lines, simple silhouettes, neutral, monochromatic palettes, usually known as the more conservative side of fashion.

Less is more when it comes to minimalist fashion – streamlined silhouettes and tailoring, solid, monochromatic shades of white, grey, and especially black, and a generally pared-down look. Some designers go with a contrasting movement of simplicity of a stark, covered-up, carved-out silhouette and a starkly monochromatic palette. So, is this nod to simplicity boring? I would say so, just because I’m a fan of the opulence, or, if anything, a nice blend between the opposites. However, some believe that the pared-down – even austere – neutrals are quietly fabulous and oh-so high on style.

In my opinion, it’s perfect for the more mature fashion exec (i.e. Fashion Editor, Creative Director etc.). Whereas opulence goes hand in hand with the fun, young magazine intern, or make-up apprentice, even the competent overlooked personal assistant who is willing to make a statement and finally be noticed by the boss.

Grunge Jeans Are Back

Ripped denim hasn’t really been big since the grunge days of the 90s… so it may come as a surprise that it is back as a fashion trend for women in Spring-Summer 2010. We did see Kate Moss wearing ripped denim shorts in a shoot for April 2008′s Vogue Paris, and then we spotted these shots of Gisele Bundchen on set with Mario Testino in a rather revealing torn denim outfit.

On the runways, Christopher Kane’s Spring/Summer 2008 collection brought faded and torn skinny jeans back onto the agenda. Maison Martin Margiela’s collection (see below) was also littered with shredded up denim pieces that took ripped denim to the extreme.

Torn denim trend on the runways

From jeans to skirts to shorts, torn denim is also being embraced by certain members of the celebrity world, including Lily Allen and Lindsay Lohan.

Lily Allen and Lindsay Lohan in the ripped denim trend

As well as Rihanna…

Rihanna rocks ripped jeans.

What does a fashioniser do to keep up with denim trends given that ripped jeans might not be practical until Spring 2010? Simple. Patch them. Or, even simpler, follow the lead of the fashion forwards and invest in a pair of pre-patched jeans!

Yes, they’re back too! Definitely a trend that is still in the phase of being a ‘micro-trend’. I expect that the popularity of patched denim will grow on the streets long before it becomes a commonality in retail stores. Indeed, the look was in sparse supply on the Spring 2010 catwalks though, courtesy of Karl Largerfeld, Chanel patched jeans were to be seen.

Chanel patched jeans
Chanel patched jeans from Chanel Spring 2010

And what do you pair with grungy jeans? Anything goes with those pants! (Except frilly tops but that should be obvious.)

Dre DeCarlo on TWITTER!!!

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Get a little insight on Dre’s day to day activities, daily entertainment updates and personal thoughts!!!

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winner of Cycle 11 America's Next Too Model, McKey Sullivan and Dre

winner of Cycle 11 America’s Next Too Model, McKey Sullivan and Dre

Canada-based supermodel Stacey McKenzie and Dre

Canada-based supermodel Stacey McKenzie and Dre

Dre DeCarlo and SRP/Universal Motown recording artiste Vita Chambers.

Dre DeCarlo and SRP/Universal Motown recording artiste Vita Chambers.

dre on shoot with photographer Logan Thomas

dre on shoot with photographer Logan Thomas.

Rihanna- Rude Boy Update!!

Rude Boy is up from #8 to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100! This is Rihanna’s 9th top 5 single and 14th top 10 single in the United States!

Hard is out of the top 50, falling from #34 to #51.

Rated R has fallen from #14 to #18 on the Billboard 200, selling almost 24,000 copies in the US this week.

Rihanna Doing Damage With RUDE BOY!!

UK Charts: Rude Boy has jumped from #3 to #2 on the UK Singles Chart.

UK fans, keep requesting and buying the song, it must be #1 next week!
Rated R is up 7 places to #9 on the Albums Chart. This is her 3rd consecutive top 10 album.

Australian Charts: Rude Boy is #1 in Australia! Good job, Australian fans! RiRi is now the black female artist with the most number ones in Australia (SOS, Umbrella, Don’t Stop The Music and Rude Boy). Rated R remains at #12 on the albums chart.

European Charts: Rude Boy is up from #19 to #7 and Russian Roulette is down from #9 to #14 on the European Hot 100 Singles.

Congratulations, Rihanna!!!

(Thanks to RihannaDaily.com)

Vita Chambers: SUPERSTAR!!

Well, of course you should be familiar with this powerful bajan songtress by now.

 Reminiscent of the likes of Miley Cyrus and a young Britney Spears, this up and coming pop/punk rock teen star is making waves in the music industry with the digital release of her single ‘Young Money‘ and debut album, ‘The Get Go! (<— click for the album)

Her single ‘ Young Money’ has sold 132, 000 units IN THE FIRST DAY of release!!!!!

And her debut album, ‘The Get Go’ was #28 on iTunes Pop Chart, ON THE 1st DAY!!!!!!!!

Keep giving your support to this rising bajan star.

Vita’s debut album: The Get Go, is available on amazon!!!!!!! GET IT NOW!!!! (for all non-US residents who are not able to purchase on iTunes)