[private] Who & Where From?: Michelle Akel, 44 and owner of Chilies’ Hotel, came to Roatan to learn to dive. She fell in love with her instructor and hasn’t left the island since. A partner to Alvin Jackson, she has two children who live with them in West End.
What & Why: As a majority of Michelle’s fashion ensemble comes from the south of France, you can hardly tell that she lives or shops in the Bay Islands. That is clearly evident in the “town visit” ensemble the resolute Brit has during her Coxen Hole appearance. “I dress a bit scruffy sometimes and this is my ‘respectable’ look,” says Michelle. Her red dress with sepia pattern border was bought in Saint Tropez for a cool 25 Euros. The Bali rayon attire can keep you cool and in style. Her decorated with seashells and beads ‘no name’ flip flops were a happy flip of a 5 Euro coin. Her brown, coconut and wood detailed handbag was a steal at a Saint Tropez market. They put Michelle back a mere 15 Euros. The straw exterior lining and a rope handle make this a winning trend setting accessory. A brass and metal chain was a gift from Michelle’s mom living in the south of France, who wore the accessory in the hippie 60s. Three decades later, Michelle shortened the back strap, looped it with a carabineer clip and now wears it tri-weekly swims. The salt water patina has followed in step. Another vintage look are Michelle’s colored glass earrings purchased at Diddily’s in West End for a nifty $10. Her cool Casio looked super cool with its white bracelet, on the internet. “But,” explained Michelle, “The numbers are impossible to read.” Her three rings complete Michelle’s look: a Lps. 500 impulse buy at a Coxen Hole store of 7 bands that form a thumb ring. A more analyzed $80 purchase of a metal lizard shaped ring (the crystal fell out) took place in Ecuador 15 years prior. Finally another southern France steal: a 10 Euro ring, with a giant red glass inset.
In Conclusion: Honesty in fashion is not always the best thing. Most people would agree to that as many cheat on their labels, sizes of clothes and preciousness of their stones. Michelle is not one of them. She proudly and elegantly talks and wears metal jewelry, XL batik dresses and no-name flip-flops. More power to the fashion with integrity. [/private]