Fashion
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fashion police

Who & Where From?: One doesn't need a giant garden to create a work of art. Marie Dominique Thomas, an energetic woman with a piercing look, has turned an old West End banana plantation into a thing of beauty. Inspiration is key in creating a garden, and Thomas is not short on inspiration. Coming from cold Quebec town on Victoriaville, Thomas won several prizes for her gardens--a passion she has brought from Canada.
What & Why: Thomas' garden sits in the back of "Cinco Continents" Bed and Breakfast, located at the entrance to West End. There are signs of the garden's connection with other cultures and traditions: One corner of her garden is dedicated to the Garifuna with yucca, sugar cane, plantains, beans and chillies. Stones and stone piles have been placed "in remembrance" of Canada's Inuit in the north. She cultivates herbs and medicinal plants as well, which help with detoxing and energizing. As she walks around the garden and explains its secrets, Thomas gathers lemon grass into a bundle that she says when boiled will help with sleeping. "I have a large library about the plants can be used," explains Thomas.
In Conclusion: Compost heaps in the corners include fermented leaves and fruit skins that slowly enrich the soil. "The soil here is sandy, salty, with a lot of insects," says Thomas. The garden is also full of ducks and yellow napped parrots. "This garden has been made from a real desire to express myself," says Thomas.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Sang Nguyen, 28, comes from the Bay Area of California. She spent three weeks as a volunteer health educator at Clinica Esperanza. We caught up with her at an Aquarius birthday party at Lawson Rock. Sang confesses to attending three to four parties a week, her favorite to date being the party at Erick Anderson's house. Sang works full time as a hair stylist in Palo Alto but was drawn to Roatan after she met Clinica Esperanza's founder Nurse Peggy Stranges on a mission trip to Vietnam, where Sang worked as a translator. Vietnam is Sang's birthplace, a country she left when she was ten-years-old.
What & Why: Her summer dress was a cool $32 at "Forever 21" store in San Francisco. Of the purple leopard pattern, Sang says, "The purple matches my hair." Her black, suede-like flip flops she picked up in San Francisco for $18. Regarding the white gold cross pendant she wore, Sang explained, "I'm not religious, but I bought that for my graduation. My mother is happy when I wear it." With three piercing on each ear, Sang has room for plenty of earrings. This evening she wore two pair: diamond studs for $350 and plain gold earrings for $200, which she purchased at her local jewelry store. "I am allergic, so I have to wear precious metals," says Sang. Her Movado ($420) watch was a gift from ex-boyfriend Mike.
In Conclusion: A graduate of Biology of San Jose State University, Sang has cut hair for the movers and shakers of Silicon Valley. "I'm low maintenance," she says about her fashion, "It's universally acknowledged by all my friends." Edgy, funky, conservative all describe Sang's fashion tastes. Sang believes that place dictates fashion: "When I work as a volunteer I dress down, when I am in Japan I dress differently," says Sang, who is already planning a volunteer mission trip to her homeland this year.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: 1950s were back is stile at Club San Simon on the evening of December 4 when DJs were playing Elvis, men wore white tee-shirts and slim jeans, and women impressed with "puddle dresses" and knee-high socks. One of the 50s dressed ladies was Peggy Orange, a full time Roatan resident since 2008. "I am not retired. I'm doing consulting work for Keyhole Bay and have a private concierge business. "I enjoy the island, I exercise, I run, I snorkel," says Peggy about her lifestyle by the sea.
What & Why: Peggy's "hot pink" cotton camisole, was a purchase at Target in Charleston, South Carolina for "no more then ten dollars" and a nice fitting top to wear out or exercise in. Her black shrug, "a little half sweater" was another find in Charleston, South Carolina at TJ Max: "I don't think it even has a tag, but everything I buy for here in the States has to be cotton." Her black neck scarf was a local purchase: "Diana's" party supplies and costumes at Coconut Plaza in Coxen Hole. The scarf was Lps. 200 and purchased especially for the occasion. The grey puddle skirt was another find at "Diana's. "I don't cook, I don't sew, I run, I exercise… I did not get the domestic gene," says Peggy. Still, armed only with a glue gun, duck tape and lace she has transformed the "puddle dress" into a "designer, pink puddle dress." The black leather belt matched her black patent leather shoes- a purchase from Charleston's Glenn's Specialty store. "I paid too much for them, but they are wonderful shoes," says Peggy about her Italian BCBG shoes. Her fossil watch was a gift from her daughter Allison: "Just a daughter to mother gift."
In Conclusion: The West Bay event not only recalled the 1950s, it also raised money for the Christmas food drive for the poor. "It was 'puddle skirts' and Elvis and Marilyn Monroe- 1950s was a good time in the States. Even thou I don't remember. I was born in the 60s," says Peggy wearing a pink bow in her hair. "Time of transition and very good music."

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Sonia Dionne, 43, from Montreal was a Registered Nurse in Quebec and Florida. Sonia works as a guest relations manager for French Canadians staying at HM resorts on the island. "I am here telling them everything they need to know." We caught up with Sonia at a pot-luck Thanksgiving celebrations for West Bay's R Church. The November 24 event took place poolside at Keyhole Bay.
What & Why: Sonia's knee-long, free flowing dress with a large print of a butterfly was dazzling. "It's like a bowl of life, like freedom. I like to fly and be in my own world," is how Sonia described her elegant dress. The polyester and cotton dress was purchased at Ogilvi store in Montreal for 200 Canadian dollars. Her white leather high-heel flip-flops with metal clamps were another find at a Montreal store for 50 Canadian dollars. Her coconut watch purchased for 25 Canadian dollars, looks like it has been made on Roatan, but in fact it came from a store in Montreal. While the coconuts might have come from the Caribbean, Montreal seems to be just the right place to find a Caribbean ensemble. Sonia's seashell ankle bracelet was a purchase from Cayos Cochinos, only $7, if you go all the way to Cayo Chachawate that is. "It goes well with my palm tree tattoo," says Sonia. Her gold bracelet on her right ankle was a gift from a friend Martina. Not very many women wear toe rings, but Sonia does. "Toe rings are very feminine for me," says Sonia looking over her gold toe ring that was a Christmas gift from her husband Bob "a gift from myself to myself," was a diamond studded ring purchased at Penelope's Jewelry store in West Bay for $100 completed Sonia's Caribbean look.
In Conclusion: She has lived on Roatan for 11 years now. "I go with a flow, depending how I feel. I live in a Caribbean, so no jeans for me," describes her fashion style Sonia. "I like 'chic' and all the accessories that go with it."

fashion police

Who & Where From?: We ran into Oliver Walgenbach in front of the Woods Clinic on Coxen Hole's Main street. Tall, with long blonde hair, Oliver appeared to be just a typical Saxon yuppy from Greven, a small German town of about 30,000. He was taking a stroll away from his temporary home, for 12 days, on the Norwegian Dawn that docked in Coxen Hole harbor.
What & Why: Oliver wore an internationally bought outfit. His pink Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt, a color he wears often, was purchased in Aruba for $55 dollars. This high necked T-shirt was made of 100% cotton, a vintage design with contrast piping and a printed Malibu logo. He regularly pays 70 or 80 Euros for T- shirts, so he considered this purchase a "bargain buy." Oliver's white multi-pocketed Cargo style Bermuda shorts were perfect for travelling in the Caribbean with all the pocket space a tourist could need. They were purchased in Germany at Peek & Cloppenburg store for 40 Euros. His shoes, leather Adidas soccer style shoes were bought at Ventura Mall in Miami for $60. Oliver said that he "loooved" them for their style and comfort. His black Prada sunglasses help block out the Caribbean sun and give him his privacy. He bought them in Paris for 200 Euros.
In Conclusion: Oliver defined his style as casual. He enjoys wearing comfortable clothes, preferring T-shirts, Polos and Diesel jeans to the suits he wears for work. And he doesn't mind spending a lot of money on his look. Still, Oliver isn't just another Roatan cruise ship tourist with too much money to throw on clothes. He is generous enough to sponsor a child in Bolivia which he plans to visit next year.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: We caught up with Christine Etches at the Roatan Hospital fundraiser gala. Born in Laguna Beach, California, Christine graduated from UCA, Santa Barbara with a degree in Art History and followed up with a Masters in Teaching. Christine, mother and a yoga teacher, came to Roatan in 2001 to teach at Children's Palace and met her husband Aaron Etches here. They have three children
What & Why: Her black "Old Navy" unitard was found in a California Target store. Despite a mysterious list of composites the dress was made of 47% rayon, 47% polyester, 6% spandex. With useful pockets and a thick, elastic belt, it was purchased for $30, "more or less." "Very comfortable and I sometimes end up falling asleep in it," says Christine. Christine was comfortable enough to wear a pair of borrowed shoes, from her mother-in-law no less. The pair of black leather shoes by "Life Stride" gave Christine a nice, extra inch of lift. While most people can assure that the mother-in-law Dainie Etches is very forgiving, few daughters-in-law can without a hesitation, nor fear of repercussions, borrow their mother-in-laws shoes… while she is away in another country. "I am very fortunate to live on the same property and get along with her," says the size seven Christine. Her sparkly onyx necklace, was a gift from her husband Aaron. "Sparking" earrings, were a gift from aunt Darlene. A white gold wedding band was Christine's one ring. Her eye-catching black scarf with hearts and peace signs was a gift from a best friend Kelly.
In Conclusion: "Most of my scarves were gifts," says about her over a hundred scarves collection Christine. "It's a way of expression for me, wearing scarves and bandanas. Because who I am… now," says Christine. A few years ago Christine lost her hair, and gained an appreciation for life's more important things. "I used to be a more 'blend-in character,' but now that I wear scarves and bandanas I stand out more. And I like my name being remembered… doesn't everyone?"

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Lynn Dee, the island's potter-in-residence, lives in a beautiful house in Lawson Rock overlooking Roatan's north shore. Her pottery studio and teaching space are in a bungalow compound and it has slowly overtaken the garage space. We caught up with Lynn at the Clinica Esperanza's fundraiser, Sunday-by-the-sea. This is the third time Lynn has donated her pottery work to benefit the clinic. This year it was one of her famous "shoe" collection originals and a "hollow woman" vase.
What & Why: Lynn's white light-cotton blouse was an Old Navy purchase, perfect for the Caribbean summer. Her high-heel flip flops with a bead décor were also an Old Navy purchase, $20.
Lynn wore a glass bead bracelet she picked up in Florence, on her way to Venice. "I should have bought three, four. I get so many complements on it," says Lynn of the dozen colorful glass beads tied together with metal wire. Lynn's one "high ticket item" is her Tag Heuer watch, she bought for herself during good old times of working as a journalist and an advertising executive in Delaware. Still, Lynn's watch is barely visible as it is almost completely obscured by two colorful bracelets. One of them, assembled from glass beads, was a gift from her daughter. Her green plastic purse with an alligator pattern was big enough to hold all her island necessities... It was a nifty purchase at a TJ Max store for a mere 22 bucks. "I only buy purses that are plastic, or canvas," says Lynn. "They just last longer."
In Conclusion: "I try to wear things that are functional, light and not expensive," says about her fashion philosophy Lynn, whose clay interpretations of reality often look better then the real items: shoes, houses, "hollow women." Oh, and Lynn is the artist behind the Clinica Esperanza's new front sign… a place where healing and art unite.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Janakie Stanley, 27, was born in Oak Ridge, Roatan, and has lived in Sandy Bay for 10 years. Her first premier as a model was in the Roatan map, produced by the Bay Islands Voice. This experience gave her a taste for the world of modeling, and an opportunity to follow that passion in Guatemala. She was recruited by a scout at her job at Anthony's Key Resort to attend school at Guate's Fashion Top Models. Following her education, she was taken to another contractor to demonstrate her skills on the runway. She was offered a year contract and subsequently showcased on the runway and in Amiga and Style magazines.
What & Why: Presenting herself in fashion for "an afternoon dining with a friend," Janackie donned loose-fitting 100% cotton pants, purchased in Zara Store for $100 in Guatemala City. Her blue tank was a gift from friend, accented with a white top underneath, which she bought in Malibu in French Harbour for Lps. 100. "I love tank tops. They are my favorite. They are comfortable and you can mix and match them." Her shoes were a scoop heel of tan rope weave, with black strap and gold buckle, purchased in Marshall's in Miami on sale for $10. Her faux black leather bag was also bought at Marshall's for $25. She accented her outfit with a gold bracelet with dangling gemstones, a gift from a friend. Janakie had her hair prepared in a wave braid of tight plaits leading to the end of her hair so that she can tie it back easily.
In Conclusion: Janakie's aspirations for the future are to stay with modeling or interior design. She feels she has a natural feel for fashion, organizing, and combining fashionable elements, not only with clothing, but with furniture. "I like to present a cultural style, and appropriate to the situation," she said. "If I'm going clubbing, I would dress completely different." Comfortable, elegant, and fashionable, Janackie would turn heads at any event.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Jack Presly Everett, 23, was born in La Ceiba, and, like many Roatan natives, began his life growing up on Roatan the very next day. He has worked at AKR as an accountant since 2005. A young man with an independent and responsible spirit, he lives on his own in La Punta. He is the last of three brothers that lives on the islands as the others have moved to the states. With a 16 month old daughter, Kaley Elena Everett Salgado, Jack's first priority is settling down to raise her in the best way he can. He works hard with the goal of giving her the best education she can have, "much how my mother raised me," said Jack.
What & Why: While Jack may have traditional values and stable goals, his fashion choices reflect a bit more of his independent side. His style is modeled after rappers such as 50 Cent and JC. "This is how I dress all the time, well, except for when I go to church," he said. "I have a different style than the typical Spanish style. Those clothes may fit, but they don't fit 'right.'" Most of his wardrobe comes from the US. Dressed completely in white, Jack's Air Force 1 sneakers, $80, were ordered from Miami. His Dickies long shorts were also purchased in the states for $60. Even his white T-shirt, $8, came from the states. Jack's watch is practical and stylish, Lps. 1,000, complete with compass and calendar. Jack's hair is an important part of his outfit as he visits the barber every two weeks, Lps. 70, for a fade, line up, and shape up. His black shades were a gift from a friend, worth $40.
In Conclusion: Jack describes himself as an "honest man, who would like to leave my footprint in this world." Between his job at AKR, his dedication to his daughter, his sportsmanship - Jack plays football, basketball, and plays right and left field with the Sandy Bay Pirates - and his fashion sense, he will definitely leave a footprint and a define a fashion statement worth notice.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Maricella Welcome, 21, was born and raised in West End. The oldest of four sisters, five in the household including her mother, Maricella had a lot of "girl time." She trained her younger siblings in the ways of beauty and fashion. A perfect combination of brains, beauty and dedication, Maricella is an enthusiastic student of International Business Management at UTH. She has been attending classes for 1.5 years on weekends and weeknights and absolutely loves her classes, all this on top of a full work schedule as General Supervisor at the Silver Sun in the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center. As busy as she is, Maricella could not be happier. Silver is a personal passion. "Working in a silver store is like working in a candy store," she remarked.
What & Why: We met up with Maricella in her place of work and the conversation about her fashion sense began with, of course, her jewelry. Her ring came from Silver Sun, $116, and is a combination of enamel, sterling, and zirconia in a thick heart mold. Her earrings are a gift for her birthday and are rectangular cut zirconia set in sterling silver and placed in a diamond pattern of four. Her square faced Fossil watch with silver band was purchased at Eldon's Duty Free, $89. Maricella's exquisite jewelry accented a casual outfit, for the perfect definition of classy. Her green cotton shirt was purchased at Malibu in the French Harbour Mall MegaPlaza for Lps. 100. Her Angel Premium jeans came from the MegaPlaza in La Ceiba for Lps. 750. Her plaited silver and grey strap sandals came from The Bless, Lps. 450. Her hair and nails are always a part of her outfits and she maintains herself in simple, classy straightened hair, practical clear fingernails, and dressy toenails.
In Conclusion: Maricella's fashion sense is a "soft island style," tasteful and elegant. Her style is as completely well-rounded and balanced as her life, her confidence, her endeavors, and her enthusiasm for everything that she does.

fashion police

Who & Where From?:Devin Mclaughlin, 18, was raised in Coxen Hole. He currently works as personal assistant to Sonja Dangler, manager of the Crooked Palms in West End. His friendly and winning personally won him his esteemed management position as, after meeting Devon at his previous job at Banco Lafisse, Sonja asked him to come work for her personally. Devin's happy-go-lucky attitude shows: "I'm enjoying every single minute of my job. In life, it's the same. I like everything to be chill." Devin's favorite pastimes are dancing, partying, and shopping - on the mainland or the Megaplaza in French Harbour.
What & Why: When we caught up with Devin outside his place of work in West End, he was sporting Prada glasses, black with red accents, were purchased at Continental in the Coxen Hole cruise ship dock for $135. His American Eagle T-shirt with white print logo accents was a gift from a friend. His relaxed fit Old Vintage jeans were purchased at Malibu in the MegaPlaza for $80, held up by a classic black leather belt from La Ceiba, $40. Devin's outfit is completed by his faded black Converse All Stars, $80, from the Serenity boutique in French Harbour.
Devin's accessories fit perfect with his relaxed, yet classy, personality. His stainless steel rimmed Fossil watch with a black leather band was purchased at Sun Duty Free for $145. Devin wears two distinct silver rings with aquamarine stones, his birthstone, that he bought from a visiting artist from Barbados for $100 each. He also wears a spinning titanium ring from the Mayan Princess, $50.
In Conclusion: Devin's outgoing personality keeps him always on the go, and everyone knows him. While his style suggests a shower & go, "chill," look, his dedication to quality of life friendship and fashion shows through.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Connie Webster will be 25 years old in April. Born in La Ceiba but "brought right back (to Roatan) the next day," she is pure islander. The oldest of five, she was raised in Sandy Bay, and has always stayed on Roatan. She has worked the front desk at Anthony's Key Resort Institute of Marine Science for four years and loves it because she "gets to meet new people every day."
What & Why: We caught up with Connie on the beach near her home in Sandy Bay. She was wearing a burgundy plaid dress, purchased at Sabrina's Store in Coxen Hole for Lps. 750. Her white, short sleeved over shirt brought out the white accents in her dress, and was a gift from a friend. Her white fashion strap sandals held three ornate cut leather accents on the top and also came from Sabrina's, Lps. 500. Connie's mother did her hair with twists turning to Rasta braids. The whole process took no more than 30 minutes. Connie said she usually wears her hair in a similar style, or straight back. "I like a natural, simple style," said Connie, as she does not often wear jewelry. Her elegance warrants no need for flashy embellishments.
In Conclusion: Connie's fashion style of simple elegance reflects her personality as a "quiet person who does not like to argue." She has always liked to listen and to help people, prides herself on her Christian values, and thinks she would enjoy doing future work in psychology. She has always held the role of a good listener, particularly with helping to raise her younger siblings. As for birthday plans, she is looking forward to a quiet celebration with her family. Happy Birthday, Connie!

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Susan Christine McLaughlin Cooper, 18, is the picture of urban and rural Bay Islands all rolled into one. She was born in Coxen Hole on Roatan, but moved to Pigeon Cay, in the Utila Cays when she was one year old. She attended the school there until sixth grade, which was as high as the Cay school went. To finish her schooling, she moved back to Roatan. A practical and intelligent head on her shoulders, she is now attending Santos Guardiola in her second batch of bookkeeping studies. "I like this type of business," she said. "I've always been good at it, but it's still challenging. I like trying harder things even if I'm not good at them."
What & Why: From a family of all girls, she is the youngest of five sisters, and now has two nieces. She enjoys cooking, going to the beach, and playing volleyball. On the island, she shops at places such as Gemini in Los Fuertes and Tanya's in French Harbour, but most of her clothes are ordered through the internet. Her outfit is an example of her online shopping skills. We caught up with Christine at her Coxen Hole home, where she does most of her shopping form her laptop on the couch. Her shirt is a turquoise soft cotton tank with bunched seams down the body line and bead and sequin embellishments around the neckline. The shirt was purchased online from Old Navy, $30. Her cream low-rider baggy skirt with seamed bottom edge was purchased online from Tommy, $60. Her silver strap Old Navy fashion sandals were a gift. She keeps her hair neatly pinned back and her toenails manicured in a pleasing pink. She never does her fingernails or wears any jewelry as she likes to dress in a simple and not too flashy style. She was also raised with Adventist influences, so she never wore jewelry growing up.
In Conclusion: Christine's sensible nature keeps her successful in her studies and looking good while doing it. "I have simple tastes, but prefer quality." She represents Roatan and Utila Cays with style.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: We caught up with Esly Bonilla Palacios, 22, on Cayo Mayor, where she lived the last ten years of her life. She was attending a workshop with her mother and father to develop a clean water project for the community. Originally a mainlander (born in Rio Esteban) she is passionate about Cayos Cochinos. She currently lives in La Ceiba with her sister, studying law at UTH (Universidad Tecnológica de Honduras), with a dream of helping people. "But what I really love," she says, "is tourism, particularly for Cayos." She caught the tourism bug by helping her brother, who works as a tour operator there. Professionally, Esly means business with a passion for both law and tourism. Combined with her sprightly yet bold personality, reflected by her colorful fashion sense, it's a winning combination.
What & Why: Esly's perfectly braided hair with deep purple extensions was done entirely by herself. It took two full days to complete the task. Esly loves to express herself through color and doesn't mind the work. Sometimes she braids in yellow extensions. Over the holidays this year, the popular fashion color amongst the girls was purple. The colors for today to complement her hair are the bright colors of Mardi Gras. Elsy accessorizes with jewelry sets made for her by a friend who customizes Esly's looks with whatever colors she requests. Today, her purple streaks are beautifully accented by the vivid green bead necklace, three strands of large and small beads, and matching earrings. The set cost Esly Lps. 120 for the custom art. Esly's bright green tank top with yellow accents was purchased in the La Ceiba store Panayoti for Lps. 420. Her cut-off jeans skirt embellished with sequin designs was a present from her sister who is doing medical work in Cuba. Her uncle gave her the practical purple flip flops that complete the outfit.
In Conclusion: Esly's bright personality is further accented by her love of color. Yellow is her favorite "because it's a color that goes great with my skin," she said. Green is her second favorite. Sometimes she wears red because it is the color of passion. "I wear whatever color I feel." Whatever the mood, you can guarantee Elsy wears it well.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Jessie and Jenny Bodden, 18, are fraternal twins. They were born in New Orleans to Roatanian Emily Flowers in 1991, and moved with their mother to Roatan when they were 10 years old. They have spent the past 8 years in Sandy Bay, attending school, graduating from ESBIR in June of 2009. Both are off to the University of Houston to begin classes in January. In university, Jessie would like to pursue a degree in marketing for her interest in business and finance. She would like to return to Roatan to run her mother's businesses - a shop and real estate office. Jenny would like to pursue a career in dentistry, inspired by her cousin, who is also a dentist, and by the fact that dentistry has a shorter study term than other fields in medicine.
What & Why: The girls dressed for the glamour shoot in grey soft cotton off the shoulder shirts with gold chain straps, purchased in Tegucigalpa on a school trip from Glamour, Lps. 580. Their jeans shorts were also purchased in Tegus at the mall's Old Navy store, Lps. 450 and 480. The girls wore similar strap sandals. Jenny's silver pair was purchased at the Unlimited in La Ceiba, while Jessie's black pair came from Dillard's in New Orleans, both gifts. Although twins, the two could not be more different. Jessie, who was born 24 minutes before Jenny, is into doing her hair and nails, while Jenny is into sports, particularly football. Jessie's hair is colored a deep chestnut, while Jenny maintains her natural black. Jewelry for the girls consisted of valued gifts. Jessie wore a gold ring that was a gift from her boyfriend, and silver hoops from the West End twins, Anna and Pilar. Jenny sported diamond studs and a gold bracelet from her mother.
In Conclusion: The twins, though very different in personality and goals, maintain a relationship where they can rely on one another. When asked how they would fare attending the same university, Jessie responded, "Jenny's going to help me with my homework!" Case in point, the different faces of the Bodden twins both look fantastic in a great outfit.

fashion police

Who & Where From?:Monty Graham, 32, grew up in Moss Bank, Saskatchewan, Canada. He holds certifications in Commercial Diving and Professional Diver Training. He worked for three years as a commercial deep sea diver in Malaysia for Kasel Salvage and 1.5 years as a parasail captain, on Coco Key, Bahamas, and Labadi, Haiti, for Royal Caribbean cruise lines. On his second day visiting Roatan, he was hired by Coconut Tree Divers, first as a freelancer, then fulltime. Since, he has been working with Will Welbourn to develop the Roatan TEC Team, one of the only schools certified to teach TEC diving in the Bay Islands.
What & Why: Monty's kit begins with two 80 cubic ft. Catalina tanks on a 200bar manifold, a Dive Rite double redundant BCD wing attached to a back plate and harness, two 1st stage DINs, two 2nd stages, two low pressure inflator hoses, one high pressure hose and SPG, 50lb lift bag, and 100ft reel. The whole setup would cost $1500 new, but through savvy shopping, he paid about $800, closer to wholesale. Each of his two decompression cylinders (one high O2, one low O2), contains a DIN valve, one 1st stage, one 2nd stage, SPG, and tank strap, $350 for each stage. His dive "clothing" consists of a 5mm Pinnacle wet suit with thigh pocket, $300, and IST ProLine 5mm gloves (with the fingers cut out), $20. Mares fins were purchased from the West End Mares shop, $40. Accessories include a Citizen Cyber Aqualung NX dive computer, $400; VR3 Multigas Decompression Computer, $800 (from eBay); wrist slate, $15; Riffe mask, $80 (ordered through the website), and multiple carabineers and clips, $30. His Calgary Flames board shorts are "priceless," as well as his thrift shop glasses, and Coconut Tree Divers TEC shirt.
In Conclusion: Monty knows his gear and is dressed for action. His fashion and technical sensibilities will most likely help to take him far professionally. "Two months into being here," said Monty, "I knew I would help to make TEC diving what it is today in the Bay Islands."

fashion police

Who & Where From?:Sharon Thomas, 25, is an artist. Born and raised in Coxen Hole, Sharon is self-taught, her favorite mediums involving conch shells carvings, acrylic paintings, and jewelry. Her work focuses on local scenery such as landscapes, flowers and boats. You can see her work in several gift shops on the island, particularly in West End. Partnering with her boyfriend, jewelry-maker Dennis Meza, on several projects, you can often see their work displayed together. "I've always been artistic," says Sharon, and her love for the aesthetic shows in her playful taste in fashion. At times she supplements her income with restaurant or hotel work, so that she can maintain her regular trips to Guanaja to visit family and friends, or to La Ceiba to shop.
What & Why: Sharon dons a dark blue nylon weave short brimmed hat. "My friend bought this hat for me," says Sharon. "She knew it was just my style." The staple and core of her outfit is a practical blue bikini bathing suit, as we met Sharon on an evening boat cruise in West End. The suit was purchased in a centrally located West End shop for $28. Her white with pink stripes spider dress sported several loosely woven back straps and was also purchased in a West End boutique for $25. Her gold fashion sandals, $5, came from the same shop. An old faithful grey speckled blanket was fashionably draped over her shoulders to keep off the chill. Ornamenting the outfit, Sharon proudly wore a queen helmet conch camion necklace on a silver chain that was made for her by her boyfriend. Her earrings of light green jade on silver handiwork, $16, were purchased in the mall in West Bay
In Conclusion: Sharon's artistic nature is expressed through her funky, yet glamorous style. Though on an artist's budget, Sharon manages to create a unique look for only about $75. "I love to wear jewelry," says Sharon. "I sometimes don't want to sell my own work. But I have to make it and sell it to live. And I can always make more."

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Nelly España de Flynn, 39, is originally from La Ceiba. Graduating college in 1987, she had a chance to visit Utila for the first time. "I loved the island from the start," said Nelly. On her next trip to the island Nelly met her husband, Patrick: "We fell in love from the first time we saw each other." They were married two years later and the couple moved to the US. Five years ago the couple returned to Utila to manage the La Pirata bar and now also manage Munchies and hotel La Pirata. In 2008, Nelly helped in organizing Utila's Carnival and Patrick acted as the event's president. Nelly is certainly no novice to fashion, she modeled for Carrion stores and won fashion shows in La Ceiba. She even won Miss Hawaiian Tropic contest in Florida and Hawaii in 1997. She has been asked to coach models in Honduras on how to dress, walk, and prepare for contests.
What & Why: Her silk button down top with golden dots was purchased for $50 at the Bebe store in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Nelly and Patrick previously lived. Beige cotton Banana Republic pants came from the Banana Republic store, $80. Nelly's wore fashionable 9 West sandals with dark and light brown leather straps, with a practical heel for comfort, embellished with a silver buckle, $70. Nelly's good taste in jewelry centers around her rings, all of which have sentimental value. One is her wedding ring, another was a gift from her mother when Nelly was eight years old. The two other rings were gifts to herself. "I don't wear a lot of jewelry, so I don't spend a lot on it," Nelly admits. "When I do, I like to buy something that will last me forever." While Nelly likes sapphires and diamonds, she rarely wears expensive jewelry on the island. Nelly is carrying a 9 West purse from the mall in La Ceiba - Lps. 2,300. "I didn't even look at the name of the shop," laughs Nelly. "I just saw the purse and I liked it."
In Conclusion: Nelly's smart fashion sense is not just an expression of self, but an expression of her life and her work. She not only wears fashion, she lives it. "I can't dress up all the time in Utila, but when I do, it makes me feel good," said Nelly. "People come to La Pirata to see how she's dressed," adds Patrick to the conversation. "Yes, but it's not a competition and it inspired other people to work out and be healthy," says Nelly.

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Who & Where From?: Susan was born in South Africa, she has lived on Cayos Cochinos (1 year), on Utila (8 years), in La Ceiba (1 year), and on Roatan (9 years). "We were very casual, casual, casual," says abaut her years on Utila Susan. Today, the self described CEO of the "Jensen Corporation," a mom of four and wife to Henrik, manages the Yubu Garifuna Experience theme park and is the current president of Roatan's Women Club. If her presidency is at any risk, it is not because she is considering affiliation with ALBA, but because even if Susan isn't trying to be the best dressed woman anywhere she goes, she often is. "Shopping isn't the easiest around here, but when I get a chance - I'll shop," says Susan.
What & Why: A blue color top came from one of Susan's favorite stores- Hollister. Around $45 at a Miami Hollister store. "Its cool and casual, nice quality" says Susan who's "the favorite store" is actually Guess. Her blue-jeans miniskirt and 'wedge' black and white shoes, $140, came from that design store. "If I come back [from a shopping trip] with two-three pairs of shoes, I'm doing good. My girlfriends come back with eight-twelve pairs," says Susan. Her black leather bag with metal zippers is Benetton purchased in Tegucigalpa mall - $50. Her black, Coach sunglasses, were purchased at a Coach store in Miami, are one of two pairs that Susan owns. "I'm quite good. I don't go over the top." The 'surfer girl' look is topped with several tasteful accessories. Her Cartier watch, bought in Cayman Islands, was a gift from Susan's husband Henrik. "Its beautiful. I love it," says Susan about her stainless steel timepiece. "I've lost a couple of wedding rings," says Susan looking at her three replacement white gold rings. While many women have a problem of marrying and not getting a ring, sometime several times over, Susan has a different issue: she has celebrated her one marriage with additional wedding rings, all courtesy of Henrik.
In Conclusion: Our experience with most 'fashion police" subjects, is that they overplay their clothes: for them… gold plated is 24 carat, glass is diamonds. Not so with Susan who keeps her profile low. She has learned where to shop and when to dress up. "I don't like to dress-up too much because its just too much for here."

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Who & Where From?:Nidia Hernandez, 34, was born at home, delivered by midwife Mirtle Bodden. The oldest girl, she was one of 12 brothers and sisters. "If they can't make a decision they come to me," said Nidia. Today Nidia is a business woman and a community organizer. "Anywhere I am needed, I am there," says Nidia, owner of a party shop in Coxen Hole, "Nidia's Party Shop." We caught up with her on her acting stint, right after she performed at Mayoca Lodge, in the second season's showing of "Vagina Monologues."
What & Why: Wearing a deep red color dress, by Janice, with black trim purchased at Tañas Boutique for Lps.750. "The Vagina Monologues," required all the actresses to wear black dresses with a red accent. Her shoes, with red bling-bling décor of the leather straps were purchased at Tienda Mariela in Coxen Hole for Lps. 500. With a cork heel they are "cheap and comfortable," says Nidia. "I like simple rings. I don't like anything fancy." In August 1994, Nidia made a $5 tip as West End first-day-on the job as a front desk person at Ocean Divers, and invested it in piece of silver shaped as a ring. "I still have that ring from that day till today. Wow," says Nidia, looking at a worn down, seen-it-all accessory. "That was the first piece of jewelry I ever bought in my life. I love it." Nidia's more modern jewelry comes from a West End jewelry maker, Noelle Gatti, who custom makes the pieces for her clients according to their favorite color. Her necklace, earring and bracelet pieces were made with crystal with silver inserts… $100 for the set. Her SOHO leather purse was purchased from a street vendor in Coxen Hole. The black and red theme in Nidia's appearance went all the way through a dress. Her sister Rosemary did Nidia's hair braiding, in six hours. How did Nidia spend the hours? "I watch movies, I text, I make phone calls… It's a sacrifice," says Nidia who still will have to sit through two hours of unbraiding.
In Conclusion:Nidia dressed for her acting part, and dressed well. When Ms. Bederah Prieskop put on the "Vagina Monologues" production she invited Nidia to participate. Nidia decided to do it and her acting début came at Illusions Disco stage at Plaza Mar. Nidia's 'Darfur woman's monologue was a tribute to recently passed Kelly Watkins who originally intended to deliver the monologue. "I had a few experiences myself so I connect," said Nidia about her monologue of a Darfurian woman.

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Who & Where From?: Keena Haylock, 33, is an island girl. A single mom to a three-year-old daughter Erin she has a degree in real estate and commercial law from UNAH and is the first ever born-on-the-Islands Notary Public. "I believe in making a difference. Many island people believe too often that they get their education and stay abroad," said Keena. Keena's aunt was the mayor of Guanaja and Keena, now member of Central Committee of the National Party, has a hand on the pulse of the Bay Islands. We caught-up with Keena at a 1950s Cuban themed fundraising event at Henry Morgan. Medicines for Roatan brought out the 'fashion demon' in over a hundred people
What & Why: Keena's one button black jacket (purchased at a 20% sale at Tegucigalpa's United Colors of Benneton) along with matching pants and white cotton shirt were found at Tegucigalpa's Multiplaza (around $1,000). The jacket was originally purchased for taking the Notary Public exam in front of the 15 supreme court justices in 2005. "It shows respect to the judge and the entire process," explains Keena. Keena is an expert at intimidating any opponents, in or out of court, that she runs into. "This is how I would dress for court appearances, minus the hat and the big earrings," said Keena. Appearances do matter, so use every advantage you have against your opponent. Black leather stiletto shoes with 5" heels by Nine West were also found at a Mall in Tegucigalpa for $70. "It puts me at 6'-2"," admits Keena. Stilettos are not part of Keena's courthouse look, because in Honduras wearing stilettos in court can get you charged in contempt. Keena saves the shoes for less official occasions. A black Fredericks of Hollywood hat, $24, was purchased on-line. It has a black band and a bow. Black stone, metal and black feather earring were purchased in Miami at New York and Company accessories - $30. A silver ring with a stone detail, $100, was a purchase from a Tegucigalpa mall. A chain mail Fossil watch, $120, purchased at Eldon's Duty Free at the Airport. Completing the look was a red silk flower in her hair - a gift from her Tegucigalpa assistant.
In Conclusion:"Most people don't know me enough to get me a gift. And it is difficult to get to know me. I am very guarded," says Keena. "I live silver and I love eccentric… feather, strange," says Keena to those brave enough to master a gift for her.

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Who & Where From?: Damaris Hernandez, 31, hails from Sonaguera, but has been living on Roatan since she was a four-year-old. She is a no-nonsense hard working island woman who has to combine time for work, responsibilities and fun in her life. That is not always easy. The Sandy Bay resident has two daughters: Kendy, 11, and Jaire, 8 and for the past two years has been working as a salesperson at the Waves of Art Gallery in West End. We caught up with Damaris during painter Cynthia Parchment's showing on April 30. Along with Michelle, Jackie and Lidia, Damaris is one of the four women running the gallery.
What & Why: A brown and white dress with leaf and nature pattern was a gift from Damaris' friend Norma. Damaris' favorite color is brown and there wasn't a single piece she wore that wasn't at least in part that color. Her boyfriend Abram who lives in the US sent Damaris the pair of leather, brown flip-flops, by Montego Bay. By far the most expensive piece worn by Damaris is a necklace of ruby, amethyst and citron stones on a silver and gold frame - $480 by Boston Jewelers. Her silver earrings with ambers inserts are designed and made by Oscar and Cristian - $34. Her earrings were also on loan from the gallery: amber and agate black stone earrings - $150, are also by Oscar and Cristian.
In Conclusion:One of the benefits of working at the Waves of Art Gallery is that you can wear all the jewelry pieces displayed there. The only drawback - if someone likes to buy your earrings, you have to be prepared to give it up on the spot. Damaris has been taking full advantage of this work perk and about twice a month Damaris has to give up a jewelry piece she wears to customers who can't live without it.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Captain Ron Ryan is a classic West End character. Born in New Jersey, he studied at University of Massachusetts graduating with BS Forestry and Masters in Civil Engineering. He moved to Colorado where he lived for 20some years, and worked as an appliance repair man. But Ron's passion is caving. As a child he went with his grandfather to a commercial cave in central Pennsylvania and since then his fascination with underground never stopped. In 1992 he arrived on Roatan by accident - he got off the plane too soon, thinking he was in southern Belize. Hmmm.
What & Why: Captain Ron doesn't wear a watch, but he always wear a bandana that is now his trademark. "Bandanas catch a lot of sweat when you are caving," justifies his choice of headpiece Ron. "My head is bald so wearing a hat is way to hot." He wears a green necklace around his neck, a gift from Joy Bethany, a once first mate at the Roatan based luxury yacht Aries. "Green is a good color for me and it was a gift," says Ron who seems to be wearing exclusively green. His green and blue palm tree themed shirt was $3.25 at a Phoenix used clothes store. His green bandana was $2.50, another purchase at a Phoenix store. His only non-green clothing item are his blue shorts that have been purchased so long ago, Captain Ron doesn't remember where, or how much he paid for them. His woven glass holders were a purchase in one of the islands 'Guatemalan' stores - $1.50. While Hawaiian shirts are almost a camouflage clothing for the green island foliage of Roatan, the shirts are more conspicuous at West End drinking establishments. "I like flowered shirts in the evening," says Captain Ron whose Roatan closet has between 50 and 60 colored shirts. Captain Ron mostly picks them up at second hand stores for $2-$3 a piece. Florida, Phoenix, Houston, Vermont… are on Captain Ron's shopping trail and all seem to have Hawaiian shirt aficionados willing to part with their flowery attire. Shorts and Teva sandals complete Captain Ron's island look. "I get about two years everyday wear out of them," he says.
In Conclusion: Captain Ron had a rough winter and is focusing on positive thinking and good diet. Doctors describe him as a man with a body of a thirty-five-year-old… except for one organ. While Captain Ron is not a sailor, his nickname originates from a West End bartender naming him Captain Ron after finding some similarities to Kurt Russell, the star of the 1992 "Captain Ron" movie. While Kurt Russell went on to do other movies, Ron kept the "captain" title permanently, expanded his shirt and bandana collection and… the rest is history.

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Who & Where From?: Byron McLaughlin, 22, hails from Punta Gorda and works at the Santos Guardiola Credit Union, after coming back from a one year Miami sojourn in December. In Florida Byron was taking a paramedics course and working as a bookkeeper. "I like doing book keeping, I like numbers and I am a business man," says Byron, "and I like fashion most of all." A couple days before Semana Santa, he is starting a fashion import business.
What & Why: Byron's blue suede leather loafers, a Perry's brand, are a gift from Byron's sister Alana. Faded Glory sweater was purchased at a Ross store in Miami. "The sweaters are much in fashion right now," says Byron. While the sweater is a women's style, we say: sometimes you have to break the rules to look good. The $9 cotton-polyester blend shirt by Piattelli was alos bought at Ross in Miami. Byron didn't like the office shirt everyone was wearing and invested in his own version of the Cooperativa uniform. "I have a pink tie to go with the uniform, but it just gets too hot in the office," says Byron. His Fossil watch is a gift from his brother Lanny, who lives in Alabama. Another family gift, aviator sunglasses ($39 at Tanya's Boutique), were given by Byron by brother Shalon who works at RECO. Black cotton pants were a gift from Byron's brother Ryan.
In Conclusion: With offices in Coxen Hole, Los Fuertes and in Oak Ridge and 24 employees working at the Cooperative, the fashion competition is fierce. Byron is surely staying above the fray and ahead of the pack. "I like to be 'jokie,' like to have fun, but not rough fun. No drinking or smoking, I am a church-going guy," says Byron who attends the Church of God Universal. "Church, work, home is how I live." The key to life is balance and Byron tries to live this principle. "There is nothing better than living on this island where I belong," says the cool dressed cat.

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Who & Where From?: It's Toni Tedaldi's second day of work at the Diamonds International store at Coxen Hole's cruise ship terminal, and Toni's dressed for business. Toni lived in Florida and worked in sales and auction business for a couple decades. But the last time he worked for someone other than himself was in 2000. In 2004 he opened a jewelry and souvenir store in West End with his partner Penelope. In 2005 the couple opened another store in West Bay, but the economy made Toni look for employment at Roatan's biggest jewelry store.
What & Why: Tony wears a Peter Thomas silk tie - borrowed from Dan Taylor, Toni's tie-owning friend. Toni actually borrowed two ties from Dan, and has one more. That should last him till Thursday… then… Toni is on his own. Matching the tie, Toni wears a blue, long sleeve shirt by Perry Ellis. "It has a European collar," says Toni, who got the shirt for around $60. His grey Docker wool blend pants were bought at Atlanta Dillards for $42. To go with his shirt and tie Toni wears Bertini black leather loafer shoes, $125,… with socks. Yes… a diamond store is no place to flaunt bare ankles. "They're good shoes, they last for ever," says Toni. His job is to sell jewelry and accessories, and he wears some of his own: a tanzanite and black diamond jewelry ring, $225, and bracelet, $489, bought at Penelope's Island Emporium, and a Casio watch, $90, from Merchandise Mall in Atlanta. It's a long way from Merchandise Mall, and Toni now sells watches ranging from $150 to $23,000, the latter price tag buying a Breitling Bentley men's watch. In his pocket, Toni sports a pen emblazoned with a dollar sign logo purchased at a Florida mall, costing Toni an Alexander Hamilton bill. Last, a store supplied accessory: a Toyo lupe "for checking the quality of any stone or diamond."
In Conclusion: The question is: once you've owned a business, can you really go back to being an employee? Well, we think you can always go back - just as long as you have a tie… or can find a way to get hold of one! "I am a proof that a sixty-year-old person can still get a job," says Toni.

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Who & Where From?: Anita Lynn Tennyson, 36, hails from Oak Ridge's Laurence Hill. We caught up with Anita in West Bay where she helps her sister in running a souvenir shop. Anita also works at the Roatan Airport with Sky-Service Airlines which flies between Toronto and Roatan every Friday. Being an island girl all her life, she moved from the east end of the island to the west end, currently living in Pensacola.
What & Why: Her blue-jean jacket by Signature was a gift from David in Minnesota. Her blue jeans and white Nike running shoes-yes, you guessed it … all from Minnesota. Her black leather belt was found "at the capital city, Tegucigalpa," a gift from David, while he was visiting Honduras. Her white cotton blouse Anita purchased at the Coxen Hole Carrion for Lps. 300. Anita doesn't skimp on her jewelry. Around her neck Anita has two gold pendants: golden flakes and a heart. The heart is from David and the flakes from a Jamaican friend. "His name is not to be mentioned," says the lucky girl. Her thick, gold colored and heart themed earrings were purchased at a Coxen Hole jewelry store--Lps. 350. A silver bracelet with carved hearts adorns her right hand. On her right fingers: two silver rings, a dolphin theme ring from door-to-door jewelry vendor and waves theme ring from French Harbour's Tanya's boutique. Anita's left hand carries even more jewelry: a silver band on her thumb, a green stone silver ring, an amber ring and a diamond ring … from Minnesota. So this is how we finally found out Anita is engaged. "He is just so jealous and I am not," says Anita about her fiancé David in Minnesota.
In Conclusion: Anyway you look at it, Minnesota is a perfect place to shop for winter clothes, especially if you don't have to travel there. Anita has dressed both for the Roatan winter during which temperatures can drop to 74 degrees Fahrenheit, and for West Bay where the westerly wind can blow the chill factor to a respectable 72 degrees. Brrrr.

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Who & Where From?: Lisa Weiss, 61, describes herself as "a Swedish girl lost in the jungles of Roatan." Lisa and her husband Michael come from famous families of furriers. They met in Stockholm where Michael came do his fur-trading apprenticeship. "It was practically love at first sight. It took a week," Lisa tells of Michael. In late 1960s they moved to Vermont to begin an organic farm: Apple trees, organic horses, cows, etc. "We were completely self-sufficient," says Lisa about the 35 year-stay in Vermont. Lisa has looked for her small piece of paradise in Latin America for 12 years: in Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala. Along with Michael she has come to Roatan in 1990, built their home outside of Crawfish Rock and begun farming. After several misadventures on the island they decided to leave for Panama, but soon returned after two years.
What & Why: We caught up with Lisa at a dinner party at Palmetto Bay Plantation. Her spectacular party attire was bought on a 2005 sojourn in Hanoi, Vietnam. This dress looks stunning. The 100 percent silk, black and red dress, is a typical female attire in this South-East Asian nation. A house shaped and a star black embroidery pattern is the main decoration of the dress that goes along with red silk long pants. Both were hand tailored and custom fit. With five black buttons on each side, the dress is cut open on both sides to allow for ventilation. "It's very Vietnamese," says Lisa. "It was $18, but in Sweden it would be $200." "I am an expert at getting a very good deal for my money," says Lisa. "Most people think I pay ten times more then what I do. Anything over $10, I look twice at." Her heart shaped ametite earrings were passed on from Lisa's mom Aassy. Lisa's slippers by "Classified" were purchased in Panama for a very affordable $5. The earrings were originally purchased by Michael at a jewelry maker in Vermont in 1980 for around $30.
In Conclusion: Lisa probably has the only Vietnamese dress in the Bay Islands. "I also like my Scandinavian clothes… they just fit me better," says Lisa. Bay Islands is indeed a perfect place for a fashion fusion.

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Who & Where From?: Nicole Brady, 26, was born on Roatan and studied at Roatan Bilingual School. She received a business degree from CURLA University in La Ceiba and began working as a Roatan Municipal secretary in 2003. Her mom Irma hails from Utila, and her dad Bill from North Carolina. Nicole's sister, Jessell, is a MA candidate at University of Delaware; her brother, Mathew, lives in Austin.
What & Why: Her green button-up top was bought at a Banana Republic store at the Miami's Aventura Mall-- $39. Khaki GAP pants bought on-line, a nifty sale item at $39. Her fashionable Nine-West brown leather high-heel shoes, $29, with decorative metal buckles go perfectly with her khakis. "I got them online and on sale as well," says Nicole proudly. She receives "sales alerts" from several online stores. "You just get good deals online." Her white gold, diamonds earrings and half-moon shaped circular pendant were a gift from Nicole's mom, Irma, on a family trip to Florida. Her Coach watch was bought at a Coach store at a Miami mall--$300. "It's a nice watch," admits Nicole.
In Conclusion: While working at the Municipality, Coral Cay and ZOLITUR Nicole had to follow someone else's dress code. Now she is her own fashion captain. "You dress differently when you grow older," says Nicole. Since she has been actively involved in Liberal Party politics for five years now, maybe surprisingly to some, Nicole admits that her clothes are not full of only red colored clothing. "Blue is one of my favorite colors," says the assistant to a Liberal/Red party's Bay Islands congressman. "It's not just red polos and white khakis."

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Who & Where From?: Jessica Vega, a La Ceiba fashion designer, introduced Roatan to her debut creations in October at a fashion launch party at the Big Bight home of Eli McNab. Around 30 styles could be found at the show.
Originally, the AIIV line was launched in La Ceiba in August. All AIIV dresses are made locally, sewn by three La Ceiba seamstresses. Laura Alvarado, Jessica's business partner, imports fabrics for the creations from the US.
The idea is to provide fashion alternatives for young women in their teens and 20s at a price they can afford. Creations in almost universal sizes, 0 through 6, should make this prêt-a-porter fashion a hit with most island women. "This is a fashion for special occasions," said Eli, who wanted the fashion show to connect people, designers and customers and who is also looking at launching her own fashion boutique.
Gladis Gonzales' chic, vibrant and glamorous designs have had the biggest impact on the two costeña designers' fashion perspective. Also another Tegucigalpa designer, Miguel Chong, has been an inspiration. The October Honduras Fashion Week was a place to check out the best of Honduras' fashion designers, most of whom stay in Tegucigalpa, maybe San Pedro Sula. Now La Ceiba has one as well.
In the photo: An AIIV fuchsia and white fur pattern blouse.

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Who & Where From?: Jessica Flowers, 20, with two sisters and three brothers, is the oldest in her family. She was born in the Thicket of Coxen Hole and has always lived there. She attended the town's public schools: first Juan Brooks Elementary School, then Instituto Santos Guardiola. Jessica is already a mom and her little baby girl, Nariah, will turn three years old in December. She has been working at Captain Van's Rental store in West Bay.
What & Why: Her cotton dress was bought at the La Ceiba "American Outfit" mall store for $150. With brown diagonal stripes and flower pattern it is perfect for an end of summer look. Jessica's leather flip-flops by "Wear-it-Declare-it," lined with golden colored beads, were purchased at So Tropic store at the West Bay Mall for $40. Her dark brown purse, decorated with a wave marine pattern, was also purchased at So Tropic. Sunglasses, $20, you guessed it--bought at So Tropic. "They have nice things there," says Jessica, who works literally next door to this West Bay fashion outlet. The ultimate in convenience shopping. Jessica's "girl on the moon" golden pendant was a gift from a friend. Her wooden-sculpted earrings, $25, were purchased at Watercay gift store in West End. The @ shaped ear decorations were again, purchased at So Tropic. Both of Jessica's ears were pierced when she was only two months old, and her mother, Glenis, decorated them with four gold studs that the young Coxen Holeian still wears today. Jessica's golden bracelets were a gift from Jessica's mother as well. So was her one ring. "It's silver and it had a lot of gold dots, but I lost them," explains Jessica.
In Conclusion: Jessica's work outfit theme is based on color-brown-which patterns on skirt, accessories, even shoes. She pulls it off easily. The difficult part is how to control your fashion spending when you work next door to your favorite fashion boutique. Jessica seems to keep her fashion in balance.

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Who & Where From?: Not often can you smile when your spouse denounces you to the police-the fashion police, that is. Hector Hernandez was doing just that when his wife Yakara contacted Bay Islands Voice to report Hector's impeccable clothing style. Hector, 37, originally from El Progreso, Cortez, came to Roatan via the US and Costa Rica. At 14 Hector came to United States, got married, started a Tampa painting business and 21 years later came back to Honduras. Hector, in the process of applying for his US residency, decided to settle on Roatan and start an industrial painting business. "I picked the island, because you can work without putting yourself in danger. It's a great place to live, work," says Hector, who admits Roatan is as far from El Progreso as you can get without leaving Honduras. "What I learned in the States, I brought to Honduras."
What & Why: Hector's white pants by "Producer" were bought by Yakara. "My wife buys my clothes, but I tell her what I want," says Hector. His Kenneth Cole black leather loafers, $75, came from a store in Tampa. His light cotton, semi-transparent tee-shirt was another Kenneth Cole purchase. "I don't know how much she [Yakara] paid for them, but I know they are expensive," says Hector. His gray-silver Gucci sunglasses Hector found at an accessories store at West End Mall, $170. Five years before he purchased his impressive, eye-catching white-gold bracelet, $1,000. His Gucci watch, another $1,000. A wedding band, one of three he owns, matches Hector's summer look.
In Conclusion: Hector made a transition from baggy jeans outfits to Kenneth Cole as his painting business required a more presentable look. "I was looking for respect. And you also need to wear clothes that show respect to the builders," says Hector. It is important to evolve in your style. Many men dress the same at 35 as they did when they were 15. The idea is to develop and know your identity as a person, not to stagnate and hold on the youthful images.

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Who & Where From?: Born in the Lake District, England, Jackie Fornum- Heijting, 47, a classy and stylish Dutch lady is a ray of sunshine in West End. We caught up with her at the Waves of Art Gallery. Jackie has finished a hostess school, worked on a tour bus, secretary, au-pair, temping and a Toyota dealer. After landing a "prefect job", Jackie left Holland when it became a position with lots of benefits but little responsibility. "Sorry, but this is not my life," she told herself and left for Central America. Jackie landed on Roatan in 1997 to learn how to dive. "There was nothing to do here so we just played cards," says Jackie, who eventually opened a small, street side restaurant in West End- "Keifito's Breakfast Hang-out."
What & Why: Gaynore from Coconut Tree Divers gave Jackie her linen khaki pants and a cotton-rayon sleeveless "Next" blouse. "I had it stored for special occasions- like traveling, but then I thought this is just to nice. So I wear it day-to-day," explains Jackie. Her colorful, flower themed beach flip-flops, were a gift from her sister Muriel. Ellen and Puck Van der Weg gave Jackie a "happy sea-shell" necklace with blue stones. Jackie wears two hearts around her neck. Fernando, a five-year-old co-worker's son, gave Jackie a gorgeous gold and silver heart pendant- fantastic. A nephew's celebration was an occasion for a another gift of a heart- this time a ruby Svarovsky crystal colored one. Yet another affectionate gift from sister Muriel. A Moonstone with a silver band ring was a gift from her neighbor Sarah. . Her black cow horn earrings were made by Xenon, a la Ceiba cow-horn-jewelry maker. They are a loan from the Waves of Art Gallery. A Timex Expedition timepiece was a gift from her husband. "He likes for us to have the same watches," says Jackie. A gold wedding band was a purchased by Jeff at a Coxen Hole jewelry shop. "They could only do letters, no numbers. We wanted to put our wedding date in there," says Jackie showing her "J & J" engraving.
In Conclusion: Jackie believes that in fashion, quality transcends time. "I still have things from 20 years ago. A beautiful black dress with red roses for example," says Jackie. It is the first time in the history of the Fashion Police column we have found someone who has not purchased a single item of clothing or accessories they wore. Jackie's benefactors come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and age groups. Not only do they have good taste, but they appear not to do the "hand me down fait-pas" - re-giving.

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Who & Where From?: Ollie Thompson-Thomas has brought a bit of Texas to Roatan. Born and raised on Utila, Ollie became the first girl from Bay Islands to represent the island department in the Miss. Honduras competition. "They [contest organizers] told me: 'You can't do this unless you speak Spanish,'" said Ollie. So for nine months Ollie studied Spanish on the Honduran mainland and prepared for the competition. In 1983 she not only participated in Miss. Honduras, but won it and represented Honduras in the Miss. Universe pageant in Springfield, Missouri. In May 2006 Ollie moved back to the Bay Islands, settling this time on Roatan.
What & Why: Ollie's cowboy hat was purchased in Phoenix, Arizona. Her custom-made boots by Tony Lama, $1,800, have kept her two-steppin' for the past 15 years. Dyed red snake skin, hand stitched with studded rhinestones, the boots were tailored and purchased at a "little boutique on Elm Street [Dallas]." If you can't dance in them, you can just admire the craftsmanship. Her black blouse and skirt ensemble was another Dallas purchase--$800 for the complete outfit. Ollie's black leather with silver Kippie design belt, $395, is adorned by Swarovski crystals, "very popular in Dallas," and bought at the big D's Nordstrom. Ollie sported several accessories, a watch, a bracelet and a wedding band. But the most prominent accessories were two necklaces: John Hadry silver chain necklace, $800, and David Nierman silver necklace with a hammered pendant, a more affordable $125. Ollie's diamond three-carat stud earrings were a 10th wedding anniversary gift from Ollie's husband Gary.
In Conclusion: A mom to five children, Ollie owns Get Fit Roatan of French Harbour. We caught up with Ollie at Suyapa Edward's birthday party on June 21, which Ollie organized. Ollie, Miss. Honduras 1983, has a lot to teach and show girls who participate in Honduras' beauty pageants: sense of style, spirit of adventure and confidence. EEEhaa.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: When Elyn rode into the Gravels Bay baseball stadium everyone forgot about the game and focused on Elyn. Two dozen people, both spectators and players, began cheering, shouting and clapping--all that for Elyn wearing all green and riding a green motor-bicycle. "I am a barber and I cut hair," says Elyn Woods, 33, who lives in the Coxen Hole barrio of Willie Warren. We guess some people might have been applauding Elyn's abilities with scissors.
Elyn is not only a stylish eye turner, but also environmentally friendly. Her son saw the eco-friendly, green 'Fusin' motor-bicycle at a store in French Cay. Every day Elyn rides. Sometime she pedals, but sometimes she lets a small engine kick in and propel the vehicle … up to 130 miles, powered by a gasoline mixed with a two-cycle oil.
What & Why: Coordinating to match her bike, Elyn wore all green. "My favorite color is sky blue," says Ely, "But since the bike is green I decided to wear green." Her green tee-shirt was purchased at a Roatan "agachon," a secondhand clothes store. "I bought it by my brother-in-law's place - Rosa's," says Elyn. American Eagle gym pants were purchased in La Ceiba. To cover all bases and be ready for any color environment, Elyn bought the pants in seven different colors. Her colorful, pattern hat completed the look. "Its Jamaican tribe," says Elyn, whose family traces their roots to the island. Elyn found the Guatemalan hat at her father's store close to the cruise ship dock: James Carter souvenir store. "I think I stole it," admitted Elyn. Despite some interesting fashion items, the James Carter souvenir store might not be doing as well as could be expected. To complete her sporty look Elyn put on a pair of running sneakers Lps. 500 in Coxen Hole. Steve, a friend, gave Elyn a pair of stylish shades by Diesel. A leaf shaped gold pendant, $200, was bought at a Coxen Hole store. "I love gold," says Elyn, with a golden smile.
In Conclusion: Working as an independent tour guide and volunteering at the "Boys and Girls' Club," Elyn is all about helping and playing her role in providing solutions.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Carmen Jeslin Collins, a bilingual secretary and independent tour guide, was born in Coxen Hole. We ran into Carmen, a mom to three children, as she for the first time in her life observed the April 12 memorial celebrations of the Garifuna arrival on Roatan.
What & Why: Carmen wore a bone-colored embroidered shirt with embroidered flower pattern by Alfred Dunner. The shirt is made of polyester and cotton blend, bought all the way in Belize City- $10. With her shirt Carmen wears a golden Bible-inspired pin. It was given to Carmen for volunteering at the senior citizen day. Her blue stretch jeans were found at a Carrion store - Lps. 230. Solid, straight, flat heel shoes with woven brown fabric - also a Belize City purchase - $5. Carmen's black leather purse by Nine West was a gift from Carmen's school time friend Jean living in America. Her imitation Diesel, brown, stylish sunglasses were bought in Belize City - $12. "I like the shape of the shades like this," says Carmen, sporting them on her head. Her white bead earrings with white metal hooks were a gift from friend Janette McBride. Carmen's SK watch/bracelet, a very, very decorative watch, was also a gift from Janette. "She is kind of my best friend. She gives me all my gifts," Carmen says about Janette. The watch doesn't even look like a watch at all. It's metal with screens and blue stones meant to resemble an insect-like bracelet.
In Conclusion: "Presentable dressing up. Enjoyable time," Carmen said, describing her attire. "I like to dress modest." Carmen, like many separated and divorced people, has a dilemma over what to do with her wedding ring: take it off, keep it on. Carmen, separated for three years, decided to switch the location of her wedding band and now wears it on her right hand. Carmen's marriage lasted for 29.5 years. "He told me I was in church too much," says Carmen. "But he found me in church." A gold ring with a Leo's birth stone, amethyst, Carmen wears on her right hand. This is the break-down according to Carmen: engagement is the second finger, marriage is middle finger, with some variations.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Utila is a place where most people wear as little as possible: no shirts, no shoes … One of the people who goes against that trend to follow her own drummer is Linda Halverston. A Utila native, Linda, 40, went from Utila to Berlin just in time to see the wall come down. She modeled for United Colors of Benetton, worked at a catering service and as a translator. In 1999, after 12 years in Germany, Linda came back to Utila and purchased the property where she was born. The property included an almond tree where her father buried Linda's navel string (i.e. umbilical cord, placenta). Linda married Dr. Kurt Halverston with whom she has a son Haden, whose navel string is also buried under a tree. "That's why we are so attached to the island," Linda says about the island tradition. Wow … it looks like Bay Islands are littered with people's navel strings.
What & Why: We caught up with Linda during Semana Santa as she checked on her employees working at Munchie's Restaurant. "Everybody is going to the beach. It's very peppy and it's very, very hot," says Linda. Illegal in Florida (but perfectly legal on Utila), the fire red "Brazilian low cut bikini" was purchased in Brazil by Linda's little nephew Johnny Allen. Her black, transparent and see-through top, or "vestido playero," was purchased in a La Ceiba Carrion--Lps. 990. Her charcoal Old Navy flip-flops were sent down from Napa Valley, California, by Linda's sister. "This outfit has a touch of sexiness and a touch of elegance to it," says Linda. "Show a little bit, but don't show everything." Her silver, round, four-inch diameter earrings were a gift from an employee. Yes, the employee still works at Munchies. A steering-wheel shaped pendant, studded with zirconias, was another gift from employee Gabbie. Linda's coordinating watch was a Hawaii Walmart purchase, $25 and it works. Another accessory: Nine West black leather purse was purchased in Hawaii, on sale for $60. "I like to mix, unite things. You do it with people, you do it with clothes. It has a certain touch to it," said Linda. Her golden nose stud with an inset diamond was a gift from Ingrid Mall, Linda's ex-mother-in-law, about whom Linda says, "She always wanted to do it, but never built-up the nerve." The nose stud has been with/on Linda 24/7/365 since 1990. "This is a very special thing," says Linda of her wedding ring. "I like silver and my husband likes gold," says Linda. So the couple compromised, and Linda wears three rings on her wedding finger: an engagement ring with a diamond and two wedding bands--one silver and one gold. "It was worth it." Her fourth ring, a platted silver ring, was also a gift from a Sudanese friend in Berlin.
In Conclusion: Regarding her perception on Utila, "I stand out on the island as 'She knows about fashion,'" says Linda, who organized the 2007 Utila's Miss Playa contest. "To look all the same, all the time is boring. I like to change my look," says Linda. "What you wear should depend on where you are going and whom are you going with." For us Semana Santa would not be quite the same without Linda.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: We caught up with Myrt Tugwell, 70, a Golden Gloves Louisiana champion boxer in 1962, 63 and 64, as he was about to hit the dancing floor of the Parrott Tree grand quinceañera party. Myrt came to Roatan in 1999 to do some diving. He liked the people, built a house and after three weeks decided he was way overstressed in the US. "Shoot. I quit," told himself Myrt, then sold his car parts business, a factory in Mexico, and a distribution center. "I was a nervous wreck before I came here and I am not going back." Myrt has been happily married to a successful Tegucigalpa attorney - Edith Diaz, for five years.
What & Why: "I like to wear new shirts," says Myrt… and doesn't like that fresh, out of the wrapping feel of a new shirt?. Myrt however has circumvented the entire "wait till your old shirt gets torn or yellowish" phenomena and every times he wears a tuxedo shirt - it is new. "Tux shirts don't cost that much. I will stock up on them once and again," says Myrt. He gets the "disposable" tuxedo shirts for 14-$15 a pop at a Tegucigalpa Carrion. Black Golden button jacket was purchased at Cohn Turner in Button Rouge, Louisiana. The New Castle & New York jacket is a cotton blend, looks great and can be had, if you know Myrt's haberdasher salesperson for $250. His black neck-tie, while finishing the upscale look, set him only $5 back. Black, leather sandals, they seem like a perfect cross between casual island and formal. Myrt used them to their limits rocking and rolling on the dance floor at the quinceañera party at Parrott Tree. This pair of Tomy Bahamas was picked up at a Dallas shoe whole-sale store for $250. "They look kind of beach-e." Completing the look are white, linen trousers. "I wear them one time then I have them sent to Tegucigalpa to a laundry," says Myrt.
In Conclusion: Dapper and very much James Bond Like, Myrt goes for the working look: it is either tuxedo and black tie, or shorts and a tee-shirt. You are just as likely to see him clearing bush with his machete or mingling with Tegucigalpa's financial elite. "If you don't look like you wear expensive clothes they don't talk to you out there," explained the Tegucigalpa social scene Myrt. Myrt can dress as expensive as he wants or needs to, but deep down, he is a down to earth Louisiana boy.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: We caught up with Peter Silseth, manager of HRGS radio station, on the hard basketball court in Gravels Bay. Two to three days a week Peter heads out to the court located half way (50 meters) between his home and his work place. Looking like a 21st century gladiator, Peter can intimidate other players on the court not only with his basketball playing abilities, but also with his basketball apparel.
What & Why: Peter is wearing a Honduran national football jersey. The Joma shirt was bought at La Ceiba Carrion. "I waited until after the world cup of 2002 because the prices were slashed … half price … less than $20. "I'm a cheapskate," says Peter jokingly. In fact, you can see Peter playing hoops in any of several soccer jerseys he owns: United States, Honduras, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid. At a Minnesota "Steve & Barry's" Peter picked out his pair of black and white athletic Steve & Barry's brand shorts. "They specialize at having nothing more than $10. This was probably $6," says Peter. For about a year now Peter has been wearing a knee brace: His black strap-in knee brace, by McDavid, $35 at Sports Authority. His "Walmart Special" sports socks can be had for around $5 for a pack of six. Normally a Nike shoe wearer, Peter sported a blue and white pair of Air basketball shoes bought in La Ceiba for Lps. 400. The shoes seemed to have a spring, rocket-type device in the heel. Peter doesn't mind a bit of help when going post to post with players half his age. Peter does wear his wedding ring while playing hoops. "Probably this is not legal in a league game, but this is no league," says Peter. "The ring is not as round as it used to be. It got bashed somewhere … but it works." In fact it has worked for 27-and-a-half years. This is how long Peter has been married to his wife Sandi.
In Conclusion: Peter comes out to play basketball for three reasons. One: his love for basketball; two: hanging around young guys who keep him young; and three: to have a chance of telling people about Jesus. Peter's position on a basketball team is "whatever." "There are no positions out here," explains Peter. "I like to use cunning and guile because I am too slow now." While he plays fair, he does have one home-player advantage: when someone fouls Peter, they are actually fouling with HRGS. That doesn't happen too often as no one wants to hear their name mentioned on the radio the next day.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Rosemarie Dalton, 68, showed at the Roatan Christmas Gala wearing an eye-turning ensemble… not an easy feat when 100 island women compete for the same eyes. Rosemarie is not a fashion trend conformist but rather blazes away at her own fashion trail.
Born in Iowa, Rosemarie grew up in Chicago, worked as an ATT long distance telephone operator, moved to northern California and became a dental assistant. Her last 10 years finds her living on Roatan.
What & Why: Her roughly 30 liter painted-in-marine-theme beach bag, could be an outfit in itself. At the Christmas concert it served as decoration and as storage for some extra shoes, camera, purse, flashlight, cell phone and umbrella, etc. The bag was purchased on sale for $40 at McCaulou's boutique in Sonoma's, Rosemarie's ground zero for shopping. "When I come into the store they just get big smiles. I hardly ever buy full price." Rosemarie's black ruffled top by Milano, $25 was also purchased at McCaulou's. Her black Alfani skirt was purchased during a cruise ship stop in Miami. Her Lioni Payless shoes, $29, have turquoise beads to match the necklace. "I am into shoes, a bit like Imelda Marcos," says Rosemarie. While a shoe fetish is a punishable offence in the Philippines, on Roatan it helps to make it through the rainy season. "The shoes just fall apart. Here on Roatan, they just rot away," says Rosemarie. Rosemarie doesn't stop for anything for niche opportunities at getting a stylish bargain. White lace bolero jacket was a gift… found at the "lost and found" box at the Sonoma catholic church. With the blessing of the Saint Francis Solano Church staff, the bolero was released into good hands of Rosemarie. "It adds elegance to the outfit," says Rosemarie while playing with her hair.
In Conclusion: A mom to seven children and a grandmother to 13, Rosemarie thinks of herself as "Second hand Rose." "In my mind I will always be a 'poor' little girl from Chicago," she says. It's not always easy being that girl, while Rosemarie sports a $1,300 cameo and $300 pair of earrings. Her turquoise and cameo necklace and also earrings came from Stone Castle Cameos in Gravel Bay.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Selvin Foster, 23, a hairdresser, is not your typical Los Fuertan. Originally from French Harbour, Selvin studied cosmetology for a year and a half at Tegucigalpa's La Creacion. Eight years ago Selvin came back to the island and worked at several local beauty parlors: Nina, Jessica's and Fran's. We caught up with Selvin working as a hairdresser at the Fran's Beauty Parlor.
What & Why: It was a black and white type of a work day for Selvin, who needs to look stylish and efficient for all-day hair appointments. Selvin wears a GAP black, ribbed, stretch tank top--a slimming and elegant choice. It can be found at Taña's Boutique for Lps. 495. Selvin's white with black vertical stripes Stone linen and spandex slacks are also slimming, to the figure and wallet: Lps 1,950 at Sue Boutique. In fact, the majority of Selvin's clothes are purchased at only two boutiques: Sue Boutique in Los Fuertes and Tañas Boutique in French Harbour. Keeping Selvin off the ground is a pair of black Old Navy flip-flops bought at Sue Boutique--Lps. 345 for the pair. In the US Old Navy store the Chinese made flip-flops can be had for $5, while south of the border they receive a hefty 300% mark-up. "I don't like watches," says Selvin. Accessories, including bracelets and rings, sometimes catch hair and are inconvenient to wear at work. Selvin's glass earrings were purchased at Luna y Mar Boutique for $60, again tasteful and not inexpensive. Selvin's only accessory was sunglasses--$350. Wow! Well, this is what you pay for Dolce & Gabbana. "On the island they think they are expensive and most people go somewhere else to get them cheaper," says Selvin. Dark plastic, striped frames curve and shape themselves around the face. "Yes, I love spending money on myself," says Selvin.
In Conclusion: A simple, minimalist, but not inexpensive look takes Selvin to work and places to party: H2O, Foster's and Mitch's in Punta Gorda. Selvin likes fashion and doesn't hesitate to spend money to look good. Selvin is generally loved at Sue and Taña's. And who wouldn't love a big spender and good customer like Selvin?

fashion police

Who & Where From?:Jean De Montjou, 30, a Paris-born architect, has graduated from Paris' Ecole des Beux-Arts and UNAM in Mexico where he focused on tropical design and natural cooling environments. He first came to the island in 1999 after completing a volunteer project in southern Honduras. Jean stayed six months and designed Roatan's original sushi restaurant--Japanese Safarysea. He has been coming to the island every year since, sometimes to relax, other times to offer his design services. "Roatan will always be a part of what I do," says the young architect.
What & Why:We caught up with Jean at his office in Pineapple Villas where he has spent the last four months designing a project of condominiums in West Bay. His J&M dark blue stressed jeans were bought in Paris for a nifty 20 Euros. Holding them up was a white adjustable belt with a stainless steel buckle. The surplus Collette style accessory was purchased at Collette Paris store for another 20 Euros. "I love shopping at the Marais designer fashion stores," says Jean, who lives in Marais, one of the French capital's hippest neighborhoods. Keeping Jean flopping and flipping was a pair of Havaiana off-white flip-flops- purchased for 40 Euros at a street store in Lisbon. Jean's black knit Lacoste shirt was found at a Paris Lacoste store--90 Euros. "It's sporty, not too hot and I like black … and white," says Jean. Completing his look were a pair of Reiz frames with prescription lenses. A purchase at Oliver People store for 450 Euros.
In Conclusion: "Here I am restricting myself. The island hasn't quite [and might never] embraced the progressive fashion. I wear much simpler clothes than in Pars, but I am still comfortable," says Jean. "The one thing I haven't yet done here is wear my belt without looping them through the belt loops."

fashion police

Who & Where From?:Brennan Thompson is a architecture degree candidate at CEDAC university in Tegucigalpa. "There is one other guy from French Harbour that studies there," says the 19-year-old Jonesvillian and fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, the great American architect. We caught up with Brennan while he was taking a break after his first university semester visiting his parents back in Jonesville. Brannan with his older sister and younger brother are children of Arlie and Majelle Thompson.
What & Why: Running a few errands Brennan was dressed to impress. His gray Abercrombie and Fitch shirt with red embroidered 'NY Physical Dept' was a gift from his mom. The shirt was a purchase at Tegucigalpa store called Dorissa - Lps. 900. His Hollister dark gray cargo Bermuda pants were another Majelle purchase- $80 purchase. Brennan's gray flip-flops, also with a seagull logo, were $30 and gift from… you guessed it- mom. His dad thou showed his fashion taste and affection for Brennan thru accessories: a $200 Nautica chronographer watch and dark Prada-like shades. Brennan is not only appreciated by his parents. His Cholutecana friend Maria gave him a black armband with a metal snap clasp.
In Conclusion: Brennan is one loved son… "As long as I get good grades in return," Brannan explains his clothing policy. Its good to be in college, getting good grads and to have great, generous parents with great taste for fashion. Good luck with your studies Brennan.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Carlos Rivera, 29, hails from Sava, Colon. After moving to Roatan as a young boy, Carlos studied at Instituto Jonesville and began working with Max Tours, Hondusoft. Today Carlos is a technical chief for Navega, a new internet provider on Roatan. In his spare time Carlos is an avid footballer and loves his mechanical toys: fast cars and dirt motorcycles.
What & Why: "These are my work clothes," says Carlos about his outfit. His red knit shirt is by Abercrombie & Fitch. Red with horizontal white and blue stripes, the shirt sports a recognizable moose logo. Price- $50, bought at the Miami's Aventura Mall. Carlos' American Eagle cargo Bermuda pants, white- real white, were bought at Penbrook Pines Mall in Miami- $50. The pants have ironed pleats, courtesy of Doña Natalia, the housekeeper. "She makes pleats everywhere, except my jeans," says Carlos. His tan sandals with canvas straps were $30, and also came from American Eagle. Casio G-Shock watch, $80, was bought at Macy's in Miami. "It's just so much easier for me to buy things in Miami," says Carlos, who travels to the Florida metropolis twice a year. "I don't even know the prices in Honduras, but it's got to be cheaper there than here." His Prada sunglasses complete the look. The $243 accessory was bought at the Houston's Galleria Mall.
In Conclusion: Even though Carlos is working in a technical field, he could be head of client relations anywhere. "The clients always ask for me. They love me," says Carlos. And what's not to love about Carlos? He is one of the most up-beat, optimistic people you could find … anywhere. "I come from a very happy family. I think that helps," says Carlos. "I am the most content of all by brothers and sister." I haven't seen him in a bad mood yet. Two months ago Carlos with his wife Jessica celebrated a birth of their first son, Diego. Congratulations.

fashion police

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.

fashion police

Who & Where From?: Astrid Whittaker Smith is one of the best cashiers you'll find just about anywhere. The 20-year-old Coxen Holian has endured a boot camp of sorts working without a day off for her first month at her Plaza Mar. Now things are a bit better.
What & Why: "I try to stay up-to-date with fashion by reading magazines," says Astrid. "I check out new arrivals at stores to see what's trendy." Her colorful and floral 'maternity style' top by 'Blue Girl' was purchased at Carrion for Lps. 345. Her dark blue stretch jeans by 'Aqua' were bought at Plaza Mar women's store for Lps. 370. Her golden 'Karina' flip-flops were another Plaza Mar purchase at Lps. 250. "Sometimes I get a discount here," says Astrid. Working in 12-hour-a-day shifts, six days a week, Astrid has little time to do any shopping. She takes a few minutes off checking on new fashion arrivals before any one else does. Still Astrid's look is all about accessories: bracelets, earrings and more earrings and bracelets. Astrid buys her bracelets by the dozen, or at least half-dozen. Her six gold and silver colored bracelets were purchased at 'Gemini' for Lps. 150 a pair or Lps. 400 per six. Her 'Neri' shades were a gift from her dad living in the States. Another gift, a graduation one, are golden elephant earrings- a gift from her friend Jessica. Golden studded earrings were another Carrion purchase- Lps. 120. Finally single stud earrings from Gemini in Los Fuertes and a Tienda Mariela earrings, Lps. 70 a pair, complete Astrid's ear decorations. Her pink eye-shadow matches to the tone of her chandelier-like earrings with pink glass. "It doesn't take too much time to get ready," explains Astrid.
In Conclusion: Astrid is a living example of how to make accessories the focus of what you wear. "I spend so much time here, at least I can wear what I want," says Astrid who fortunately works in one of the few stores that doesn't have a work dress policy, at least not yet. Working 9am to 9pm day-in, day-out can wear anyone down. An individualized fashion sense can help you to stay upbeat and keep an optimistic outlook.

fashion police

Who:
Juan Francisco Rodriguez Matute is a landmark in downtown Coxen Hole. Most people know about him, can describe him, but know little about this man. Juan was born in Corozal, but he doesn't remember how old he is or his birth date. For many years he lived in Juticalpa with his friend Victor, and five years ago Juan moved to Coxen Hole. Since then Juan has become a point of reference, sitting in his red wheelchair in front of the entrance to HB Warren. He sometimes looks after bags and things people leave with him when they go into HB Warren. "The best days are when the ship comes to town," says Juan.
What:
When Juan was a small child he fell ill with polio. He almost died, and when the fever left, he was a quadriplegic. "My mother helped me, but not my father," Juan says with sadness. While both his father and mother have died, several of his six brothers and six sisters live in Corozal. Juan says that they don't visit. Juan's greatest sadness comes from seeing his six-year-old daughter passing on the street but not being able to talk to her. The girl lives in Spanish Town with her mother. "I don't know her name," says Juan.
Why:
Juan has never been away from Roatan and every day between 7am and 5pm he sits in downtown Coxen Hole. He has a Boston Redsox baseball cap he wears when it rains and a blue jacket he sometimes puts on. He wears a white, long sleeve shirt with blue, vertical stripes. It is not easy to live as a disabled person on Roatan. Still Juan leads his life with dignity. "I didn't go to school, but I have my head square on my shoulders," says Juan who has many friends and several people who have placed him under their care. Today Juan lives in the Punta neighborhood of Coxen Hole. "People here, they take care of me, they feed me and give me a bit of everything I need," he says. Luis Alonso, an 11-year-old boy, pushes Juan's wheelchair every day from his apartment to his station in front of HB Warren. Don Toño, changes his clothes and washes him. Doña Theresa and Xiamara cook for him two meals a day and Doña Leticia takes Juan to the Catholic Church on Sundays.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Dr. Noel Brito, 43, was born in Santa Cruz de Johoa. As a six-year-old he came to Roatan, to his mother's, Dolly Rivers, birthplace. One of ten children, Noel was adopted by Brito family and eventually went to Monte Morelos medical school in Monterrey, Mexico. A general practitioner at everything, Dr. Brito is a man of many interests and talents. He owns a car rental company, a pharmacy, practices as a doctor, and has tried, at one point or another, half a dozen business ventures. Still, he is aware of his limitations: "Sometime when you do a lot of things at the same time you do nothing well. I am trying to scale back." We caught up with Noel as he run errands in Coxen Hole with his girlfriend Amalia.
WHAT & WHY: His green, striped, cotton Tommy Hilfiger shirt, $40, was a purchase at San Pedro Mall ten years ago. "I wear it outside, because my tummy is a bit big," says Noel. His Blue Gap jeans were bought at the same place, same time, for $50. Recently Noel begun wearing clothes that he left on the shelf 10 years ago. "I started walking from French Harbour to Los Fuertes every afternoon. I lost some weight and my self esteem is high," says Dr. Brito. "Fashion is not forever, but it is a cycle. It has to do with timing and a place that you're at," says Dr. Brito who cares as much about accessories as about his clothes. His white, leather, Brazilian shoes with pointed and stitched toes were bought at San Pedro mall for $40. His Cacharelle sunglasses were a gift from a satisfied car-rental customer. In the same pocket he carries "micky mouse" reading glasses. In the other shirt pocket he holds his Mountblanc pen that was purchased two years ago at an airplane duty free for $340. "It means a lot to me. I use it to sign residencies, documents," says Dr. Brito. His watch is a $230 Nautica bought at Sun Duty Free. And for the balance, on the other wrist, he wears a $50 stainless steel bracelet with his engraved name. "I am a complete, real man," describes himself Noel. "Dress shows your personality and shows how you feel."
IN CONCLUSION: Overall Dr. Brito is one of the most visible and comfortable with himself personalities on Roatan. He is also recognizable far away from the island, especially when he volunteers as Arsenal's team physician. When Dr. Brito runs onto a fiend in Coxen Hole, or Santa Barbara the crown often erupts in a synchronized chants: "Brito! Brito!" He is one of the team's stars and tries to look the part. "If you wear things that make you feel comfortable that is the face you will show to the people," says Dr. Brito. "I feel like I'm 20, maybe 24. Its not your age. Its how you feel." Its been like that for while for Noel who has no plans to change his attitude.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Shannon Campbell, owner of Utila's Mariposa Café came from Detroit Michigan, to settle on the island in 2003. Formerly a full time mother, an Orthopedic Physician Assistant, and bed and breakfast manager Shannon reinvented her life on the Honduran island both in professional and on fashion level. Shannon built a four story, yellow building: mariposa Café, that she manages with her two children Laura and Rayan.
WHAT & WHY: Her green hound's-tooth railroad hat was a nifty Lps. 200 and found in the 15% off discount racks in a small store a kitty corner from hotel La Ceiba. "They keep the door locked and you have to knock, but they have nice things there," says Shannon about the Manhattan Hat Company accessory. "I always liked that railroad look. Don't you?" says Shannon. "I always wanted to work there." Green, khaki and beige colors have always attracted Shannon the most. "I like the safari look. It makes me feel adventurous," says Shannon. "If you wear it you are it," says the time-to-time bush and cave exploring island entrepreneur. Her deep, army green haulter top was a bought in La Ceiba's Carrion. "Before everything was sparkles and now everything is maternity," explains the Honduran main fashion trends Shannon. Her safari look is complemented by her green cut-off cargo pants with strapped, zipped and buttoned four pockets- just small enough not to allow a wallet or keys to be kept in them. Shannon loves the functionality of the backless and strapless top which saves her from running around in a "a little too out of place" bathing suit in her Café. Shannon's belt was 'borrowed' from her son Rayan. "He doesn't realize his belt is missing. I probably paid it for it to begin with." Shannon's necklace, made out of an unidentified mammal bone and wood is by Amashika -$25. And then the shoe subject… "When I first moved here I had more shoes then Imelda Marcos, but they all perished in a fire." "Now, when I buy a pair of shoes I usually wear them till they fall off my feet," says unapolozingly Shannon looking at her plastic, khaki flip-flops bought at Omar Delco's. "I look I stepped out of [an episode of] MASH," says the Utila Butterfly. MASH, in the Utila reality might mean Mariposa Army Survival Hospice. "I like buttons, zippers and do-dads,"
IN CONCLUSION: Shannon seems to follow the "If you wear it, you at it," fashion motto. If you dress like a rebel you are one. If you dress like a business person you are one, etc. While the dressing and being a railway worker might be a bit of a stretch, Shannon has exemplified and proven the general idea of this motto with ease, even using the somewhat limited resources of Utila fashion scene. "I like clothes that are not run of the mill because I am not run of the mill person," says Shannon.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: We caught-up with West Ender Harriett Bush, 25 as she was finishing her day's work at 3:45pm. After working for five years at Vegas Electric, Harriett has recently started working at Roatan Condo. The change of job brought a change in appearance for Harriett. "I put on whatever I feel like in the morning," says Harriett. "This is my not dressed-up outfit," describes her Thursday outfit Harriett..
WHAT & WHY: Black tee shirt with embroidered Eco logo was bought in a San Pedro mall. Harriett's stretch jeans, Lps. 375, were bought in La Ceiba mall. Her black 'Flats' slippers/shoes with white stripes were bought a Diva store in La Ceiba for Lps. 475. Black 'Flats' slippers with white stripes were bought in Diva store in La Ceiba for Lps. 475. Accessories anyone? White metal watch by Fossil, $75, was a purchase at Video Picks store in Coxen Hole. A silver ring portraying two dolphins was a gift from Harriett's brother Enrick. With four brothers and two sisters she has no shortage of siblings bearing gifts. A silver bracelet, $15, was purchased from Harriet's jewelry suppliers, who after checking with H also supply the island's top stores with their selection. A necklace and matching earrings with a 'black stone' was a purchase in San Pedro.
IN CONCLUSION: To keep her dresser full, Harriet goes shopping in San Pedro twice a year, and La Ceiba five times yearly. "I go there to shop, get away from the island, party," says Harriett. You can run into Harriett at La Ceiba's Cazona and when she's in town at Foster's. Receptionist, accountant, casher and a snazzy dresser… Harriett can do it all and look good doing it.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Hailing from Zonaguerra, Colon, Yessenea Rodrigues, 26, has been living on Roatan for 11 years. She is a business and accounting student at Jose Santos Guardiola. We ran into Yessenea as she fashionably braved the elements, notably the water downpours, to visit her study friends for a study session before the 'general exams.' A couple years ago she studied and worked as a stylist at a Coxen Hole beauty saloon Minely and even now Yessenea still does house calls to a few of her old, faithful clients. A few months ago, Yessenea could be seen buzzing at high speeds on her yellow Yamaha scooter. Now she is a devoted student.
WHAT & WHY: Yessenea wore a pair of blue jeans by Bluegirl bought in Carrion for Lps. 350.
Her ribbed, elastic yellow 'little buckaroos' t-shirt was a gift from Yessenea mom- Maritza. Her mom also gave her a 'chamarra' or a pink jacket by 'Most' with side pockets. In a Coxen Hole variety store Breze Yessenea found a pair silver colored running shoes by Airness-a nifty Lps. 280. A pair of pink mini socks capped things of nicely. We noticed a consistent pink theme in Yessenea's attire: socks, jacket, hair pins- pink top to bottom. The blue and yellow completed the aquarelle look for this hard studying student. Yessenea's silver ring was Lps. 400 at Jewelry Store Jenny. Her earring- two silver dolphins with a crystal pendant, are on lend from her sister Myra. Bonergel, a travelling salesman from Sandy Bay, sold Yessenea two gold and silver pendants: one with a Virgin Mary for Lps. 3,500. Colorful wood umbrella by Bicalliui was a bargain at Lps. 145 purchased at HB Warren store. Her sporty black and sliver watch was a gift from her ex-boss Ms. Nora Woods. "She would always give presents to her employees," explained Yessenea. "Perfumes, clothes, shoes, she always brings something from her trips." Sounds like a great boss.
IN CONCLUSION: "I get cold easily," said Yessenea, "I always like to dress warm." Not only warm, but with a bit of flair. Yessenea's pastel colored outfit could put a colorful rainbow in anyone's rainy day. The pony tails are not the most often seen hairstyle outside the kindergarden. It takes a bit of self confidence to sport this marginalized by "fashion conscious" grown ups hairstyle and Yessenea certainly has what it takes to pull it off: flair and style.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: It was impossible to decide who was dressed the best, but Ellen Van der Weg definitely placed in the front of the peleton. Showing her athletic shoulders in the black, strapless dress, Ellen enjoyed the spotlight at the Roatan Christmas Concert. Ellen, 40, a property manager living in West End is from Holland and has lived on Roatan for four years. Married to Robert, last year Ellen celebrated having her second baby- Vince, now 19 month by attending the first Christmas Concert.
WHAT & WHY: The gala motivated the Holland native to dress to impress. "I went for the material," says Ellen about her all 100% silk dress by Dolce Jovan. Red on the inside, black on the outside the dress was first featured at a church wedding in Tegucigalpa. "I arrived a day before a wedding and bought this at the old Tegus mall," says Ellen. The size 4 dress, purchased for Lps. 4,800 fit her like a glove. A single, tasteful accessory, black bag with a silver rectangle by… well. "Its Dior… authentic Dior," says ever optimistic Ellen about her Lps. 400 purse Ellen. A very practical, Dutch, Ellen loves the idea of finding something she likes only two flight hoops away. "The important thing is you can buy these things in Honduras," she says. Ellen high heels by Via España No. 6 were also a golden opportunity find at the Tegucigalpa mall. A black strap with a string of diamonds-like jewels. Lps. 550. A silver necklace and "at least" 20 diamonds- Lps. 300. Ellen has found the jewelry pieces at the same store as her dress. One of her two rings was a West Bay purchase- $10 three years ago and likely, like anything in West Bay, to have tripled in value. The purplish stone set in silver was purchased from one of the stands in front of Mayan Princess.
IN CONCLUSION: Living for long enough on Roatan Ellen was surprised to find something to match her taste and expectations somewhere closer by then US. "If you're living on this island and you go to Tegus to shop every shop looks wow! wonderful," says Ellen. "Many people say I look gorgeous… and are amazed that bought it in Honduras."

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?:We cought up with congresswoman Marcia Papuzet Villera as she was departing Roatan after an all night session of Congress. Marcia has bee married for 22 years to a TV producer Jose, and is a mother of four children: 21, 16, 12, 4. She studied Business Administration at Loyola College in New Orleans and has worked in politics for 16 years, before running for congress as a Liberal party candidate. On November 28 she raised her hand to make Bay Islands a free zone. "I love politics, but most of all I love to serve my people," in a society where you could do that.
"WHAT & WHY:"I love buying things made in Honduras," says Marcia, who found her unusual headwear, a red baseball hat with white daisies, at her friend Bianca's store- 'Blanche' in Tegucigalpa. While the hat is more assembled than made in Honduras, it is nevertheless a great fashion accessory at Lps. 600. "Whenever I see something different I buy it," commented Marcia. Her red flowing top, was purchased at a Zara store in Mexico, for a nifty $27. Her long white embroidered skirt, was another purchase from Mexico, at a 'Made in Mexico store,' for an affordable $12. "Sometimes I like dressing in long skirts, and other times I like to dress sexy. If I know I am going to a party I will dress really funky," explained the Francisco Morazan legislator. The flip flops studded with silver circles, were a Nine-West purchase from Marcia's trip to Spain- $25. Her purse, a brave $900 purchase, was found at a Luis Vitton store. It's a purse that can go with anything- an attribute you just can't spend enough money on. "What I like to spend money on is purses and watches," said Marcia, showing her gold and diamond studded Rolex - a gift from Marcia's mother-in-law Tina. Marcia wears a fair amount of jewelry, but two pieces stand out the most. One is a white gold bracelet studded with diamonds. Another Honduras original was Marcia's encrusted wood bracelet, with images of Virgin Mary, holy child, and several saints. It was a blessing to be found at a catholic relics store in Tegucigalpa- Lps. 40. "In this dress I am wearing I feel more romantic, so I feel free," says Marcia.
IN CONCLUSION: Fashion has become a secret weapon of choice for this Liberal legislator. Marcia stands out in a crowd of Honduran, or for that matter any, legislators. She is setting a trend that is not easy to follow. Barely ten months in office, this fresh Congress woman, is already a fashion leader for both her Liberal and National partners. "In this congress, they are making a bit more effort in how they dress. They feel there is a bit more competition," says Marcia, who believes that some congress people made some adjustments to her style of being. "I like to hug people. I am very expressive and I like to tell people how much I love them," says this feisty Tegucigalpa politician. "That is not usual in a political environment."

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?:You can run into just about any kind of attire on the streets of the Roatan capital: lawyers in business suits, municipal police with golden epaulets, baggy jeaned teenagers, and of course- flip-flopping tourists wearing tropical scene shirts, shorts, bikinis and dresses. We caught Victoria Bachlowa, a Canadian, as she was doing her Coxen Hole errands, paying Lps. 500 parking fine for parking on a sidewalk, banking, etc. Victoria was a music writer in Los Angeles where she wrote pop songs for rock music artists such as Stevie Natalie, David Prophet amongst others, and a song "A Ring On Every Finger," soon to be released.
"WHAT & WHY: Victoria admits that this was her errands attire: "Its very island." Her blue and red cotton tropical scene one piece dress, camouflages her perfectly as a tourist. It is very easy to mistake Victoria for one of the cruise ship tourists visiting Roatan. But looks can be deceiving as Victoria knows her way around the island and can spot a fashion bargain in a New York minute. "I found it in one of the stores on the side of the road," says Victoria about her beach dress. "This is my sloppy look." Her violet flip-flops were a bargain Lps. 80 at the Coxen Hole Carrion. A red purse by 'Milano' was a quick $10 at…. You guessed it… Carrion in Coxen Hole. "Look! It even matches my dress," exclaimed Victoria. In fact Victoria will go to just about any length towards finding a bargain. A couple of weeks ago an opportunity for a nifty pair of sunglasses literally walked right into Victoria's office. "I found them. Someone left them in my office," she explains her finders-keepers fashion policy. "If they see it on my face they can have it back," clarified Victoria who has to be one of the few women living on Roatan that doesn't wear any jewelry, watches… well, at least until someone would leave it at her office.
IN CONCLUSION: Victoria moved to Roatan a year ago and manages 'Sanctuary,' a property in Sandy Bay, a job that carries no dress code description, but nevertheless asks for "no sloppy attire." "I can dress whichever way I want. Sometime I wear a bathing suit all day long," says Victoria. In her spare time Victoria tackles complexities of islands energy crisis and completed a wind turbine study for RECO. Results remain are not yet released.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?:Julia Alexandra Centeno Ramon Keller, 34, was born on Utila and grew-up in La Ceiba. She owns and manages the Jade Seahorse Cabins and Restaurant. Julia is a mother of two daughters, Tempie and Juneil, and a wife to Neil Keller, a multi media artist, collector and local personality. "I have to support my husband so he can keep himself entertained," Julia describes her role. The two met when backpacker Neil hypnotized waitperson Julia during a three day restaurant sojourn. "He would just sit there for three days and sip a soda," says Julia. It all ended well.
"WHAT & WHY: Julia bought her black spandex Forever 21 pants for $10 at a Los Angeles mall. "It's the pants that I wore for every occasion. They got me out a lot of emergencies," says Julia. "I tried twice to get rid of them. But they always come back." Her orange, cotton top is also clothing from the past. Bought for $8, "they fit me differently than I'd like to," says Julia who often passes her too-big clothes to chosen friends and some family, especially her sister Leafy. Sometime Julia runs into people wearing her old clothes. "I can't believe I was that size once." From a recent visit to US, Neil brought Julia a pair of orange strap flip flops by Teva. Her multicolored scarf was bought at a Guatemalan market for 8 Quetzals. Turtle shaped black coral earrings were a steal, Lps. 30, from a jewelry store "Joyeria Maya" in La Ceiba.
IN CONCLUSION: After losing 75 pounds, she is now size 7-8, down from 16 just nine months ago. Julia has changed her looks and attitude by changing her diet: she is a vegan. Her transformation begun in October 2005, when after taking an Utila Adventist Church two-day seminar on healthy eating, Julia decided to change her life around and become a vegan. "Within five days I felt different." Her blood pressure lowered, her head cleared, skin felt and looked better, and she has more energy and even smiles more. The diet has come with a lifestyle change. Julia can seldom eat-out because most restaurants use precuts containing animal fats, processed, and cooked food. She is happy and content leading others to the diet of fruits, nuts, vegetables and grains. Julia offers to teach her diet techniques to locals and tourists. And with 0.2% of adult Americans being vegan, Julia is a part of 7,000 strong and healthy community.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?:Attitude can be all you need to succeed in business. Some people, particularly in sales, take years to realize and develop the winning attitude. Samanta Ariola, 7, was born with the winning attitude and even her business might be small, it is growing. By the time Samanta will turn 10 she might own a chain of bakeries throughout Roatan. Watch out. Samanta is from French Harbour and attends second grade at French Cay Elementary School. Her mother Jorani makes the 60 bread rolls six times a week that Samanta takes to around 50 houses and businesses throughout French Harbour. She has been selling bread for three years and most of French Harbour has seen her at one time or another. When asked what she enjoys best about her work Samanta plainly replies: "I like best when people buy my bread."
"WHAT & WHY: Her neighbor, Miss Shelby, gave her a white round brimmed hat that Samanta now wears for added support when carrying her aluminum pot filled to the brim with aromatic bread rolls. Her Scottish pattern bandana was a gift from her mom Jorani and other that just giving Samanta the pirate look, it also covers her painful ear. Her aqua shirt was bought for Lps. 50 at "un bulto" or a place selling used clothes, donated by Americans to Goodwill and such. Samanta keeps her earnings securely in her zip-up Barbie purse. The pink and blue accessory, given by cousin Kandy, nicely matches her blouse and her beach shorts. Her friend Allison, living in the US, gave Samanta the brave and colorful beach shorts. Her leather strap "faded Glory" flip-flops are pure functionality for anyone making a living treading the dusty French Harbour streets. Samanta's one jewelry piece is her one gold colored spherical earring (she lost the other one), given by her mom.
IN CONCLUSION: Working basically on a string budget and with some help of fashion conscious neighbors and friends, Samanta has assembled a functional ensemble that is not only professional, but it has just the right amount of rebellious attitude any seven-year-old could ask for.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Wendy Flores, 26, from Santa Barbara is spending a bit of time vacationing on Roatan and helping her sister at a local pharmacy. She lives in New Orleans and works as a graphic designer, but is already thinking about opening a restaurant on Roatan.
"WHAT & WHY: Wendy's 'Forever 21,' brown, embroidered blouse was bought in Tegucigalpa's La Femme store for $20. Also at the same store, Wendy bought her white, weave belt with silver lining- $30. Wendy's white cotton capri pants were bought for $30 at a US mall. Her large bag by 'So-so' was a Macy's purchase for $50. Her brown, plastic shades were bought in the US for $12. Her Tegucigalpa's 'Gold House' earrings, round and gold-plated, were $50. Her golden, heart shaped pendant was a gift from her mother Margarite on Wendy's 15th birthday. Her 4 inch heel shoes were a gift from a Tegucigalpa girlfriend, Jenny. With white rap-around lace, they serve not as much to stabilize the ankle, as to add a visual interest to the feet. "She knows I love strange shoes and for her this was a strange shoe," explains Wendy who is still breaking her shoes in, as the streets of Coxen Hole provide a perfect obstacle course for breaking in any type of shoe wear. Even though some people might consider the four inch cork heel extreme, Wendy's 5'-6" frame turns into an impressive 5'-10" model.
IN CONCLUSION: Even eight inch heels can sometime be seen on the streets of some metropolises, but require a front toe elevation of three inches. Looking tall and in style is not for the faint hearted and can end in disaster. Hospitals from Paris, Manhattan, and even Tegucigalpa treat twisted and broken ankles of women who fell from their platforms. Wendy's platforms could in fact be the highest of any shoes currently worn on Roatan streets, not because Roatan girls don't want to seem taller, or in vogue, as much as how difficult it is to walk on the potholed, uneven surfaces.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?:This free spirited 70s clean-cut hippie hails from Santa Monica, California and made her way to Roatan 20+ years ago. For Terry Anderson life is good. This owner of Yaba-Ding-Ding souvenir store Terry has brought up two children and spends her time living the good life at her Sandy Bay 'ranch.' She lives carelessly in a Baleneisian house with boyfriend Hugo, four Jack Russels, a Weimaraner and two horses.
"WHAT & WHY:Oriental design, bead decorated, flexible sole thongs were bought at Tienda Mariela for Lps. 360. The first shoes we've seen that had not only ornamental pattern on the inner, but on the outer sole. Her blue, elastic bellbottom jeans by 'Tiki and Pow' were a Carrion purchase for Lps. 400. Our personal favorite was a double buckle leather belt bought in Los Angeles for $20. Terry wears a brown, hand painted batique tank top brought in by Dianne Lynn and sold at Yaba-Ding-Ding. Her Guess shades in golden frames from Luna y Mar was worth $20, before being bitten be a Jack Russell terrier. "I don't think this affects my vision too much," says Terry. Around her neck the Californian wears a 1,000 year-old Yaba-Ding-Ding found in Trujillo by a Garifuna boy named Ivan. On a leather string the Indian faced jade artifact is complemented by two intense cobalt blue Alaskan trading beads. It's been 15years since Terry took her amulet off. Grandma's diamond ring was a "tactical gift." It's platinum with a gold shank. I like the combination of metals," says Terry. On her left hand she wears two rings: an Irish wedding ring that Terry wears with the crown up i.e. "unavailable." Her golden "Ooom" ring was her since childhood and Terry fought hard to get it back when it was stolen by a dishonest Roatan dishwashers.
IN CONCLUSION: Terry has been dressing as the hippie not grungy for a long time. You're as old as you feel and for Terry that is somewhere in her 30s. "I've got some wisdom on me," said Terry. She dresses trendy, but refuses to wear things that just don't make sense, "like long blouses with really short skirts. I wouldn't to be caught dead in something like this."

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Jurgen Schafer, 45, has become ubiquitous with his 1972 land cruiser and a wide brimmed hat. This bigger than life, German 'Indiana Jones' has been living in Honduras for the past 14 years: in Guanaja, La Ceiba and for the last four years on Roatan. "I wanted to lead a more adventurous life than the one I had in Germany," said Jurgen. He has a wife and two children and recently begun working as an internet connection salesperson for TTI.
"WHAT & WHY: Jurgen has been wearing what could be the first and only green pair of jeans on Roatan. The pair was purchased eight years ago at a Hugo Boss outlet in Germany for around $30. Jurgen's leather Wrangler boots, well, at least the upper portion, date from Jurgen's eighteenth birthday in his hometown of Stuttgart. "They're half of my life," says Jurgen. The sole has been bought and rebuilt three times by different shoemakers in Honduras. "Will at the market rebuilt it for Lps. 450 from leather I brought from Siguatepeque," said Jurgen. "You look dressed well [even] in rain. Sand flies, mosquitoes, nothing bothers me much. You can slide in and get out fast," says Jurgen. To top-off the look Jurgen sported his wide brim hat "from China, but I bought it here at the West Bay mall." The accessory set him back $5. Still Jurgen doesn't accessorize much: no watch, ring or piercings for him. His blue cotton guayabera shirt by 'Jeno' was bought at the "American Store" at the La Ceiba mall for Lps. 450. The store specializes in importing last season fashion from Europe and the US. Decorated with a flowery motif the shirt softened Jurgen's rugged look.
IN CONCLUSION: Jurgen may have left Germany, but has managed to continue to shop for clothes there. Not an easy task, requiring commitment and ingenuity. Another Jurgen's commitment: to his boots is quite exceptional. Some people grow a special sentimental attachment to the clothes they wear. The shirts and socks wear down with time and become a bit unseemly. Leather boots however, allow for opportunities to renew commitment to the item we refuse to give up.
 

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Anesika Kokui Beckley, 33, has begun her first "grown-up" tourist trip outside Canada by going to Honduras. Of Ghanaese and Jamaican descent, this Montrealese girl designs and makes jewelry, bringing her both fulfillment and money to earn a living. She has studied at four different colleges pursuing general knowledge.
WHAT & WHY: Anesika manages to trade, make, borrow, and bargain her way into wearing eclectic and hip ensembles. She has made the 'choker' necklace by herself from a memory wire and than strung it with glass and crystal Czech beads. Her shell based 'plant seed and stone' pendant was a trade with another jewelry designer. Her jewelry pieces are always one of a kind. "I don't like to make duplicates. When I make a piece, it's in the moment and spontaneous," says Anesika whose visit to Iravesia village outside of Puerto Cortez was an inspiration to make a copper based 'San Pedro's tears seed' bracelet. Anesika wears a a golden necklace given to her by her mother as a bracelet. Barely four days in Copan, Anesika has already found a job as a waitress at a local bar and found an excuse to weave a black, brown and green camouflage pattern night dress. "I nabbed it off my sister [Abui]," says Anesika, who is not like other tourists looking right at home mixing with the crowd. "I blend really well," says Anesika wearing her sister's synthetic stretch evening dress by 'Bedo.' Anesika actually spent only $5 on her entire evening attire. Her only purchased item was a 100 Lps. pair of read-brown flip-flops from the Puerto Cortez market.
IN CONCLUSION: Anesika hasn't really made any adjustments to her wardrobe. We were told she would look exactly the same on the streets of Montreal as she did on the cobblestones of Copan. "I love to be me wherever I go," says Anesika.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: With her banjo and a Balinese flute at her side, even on the open seas Alicia Bonnett, 56, is always an entertainer at heart. Born in Brooklyn, for three decades she has lived in Oregon. In January, after crewing for three years, she sailed in to Roatan. She could only bring what would fit in her sailing bag: practical, versatile and adaptable. We caught up with her as she made her way from boat to town to do a bit of shopping. This was Alicia's town outfit. "It will not offend anybody by having anything that's too short, or too much exposed," said Alicia.
WHAT & WHY:The base of her outfit is formed by comfortable, strong Chaco sandals (with arch support) that Alicia bought on web for $70. Her Hawaiian print, black cotton skirt was a steal at $3 at an Oregon thrift store. The aquamarine rayon shirt was a gift from a friend during a 'clothes exchange session.' "It's everybody's things that they don't want anymore," explains Alicia, who managed to find herself the useful and comfortable top. "Someone's throwaway is other man's treasure." Her 70% sea grass and 30% paper shoulder bag by Faded Glory was another clothing exchange find. For everything that doesn't fit in the shoulder bag Alicia uses a four-pocket, double zipper, black backpack. Alicia found it in a Mazatlan 'mercado' for $8. "I looked a long time for this," says Alicia. Alicia's wide brim, ventilated, khaki Sun Day Afternoon hat keeps the sun off her shoulders. It was a sale item at an outdoors store - $17. There is even a bit of Honduras in Alicia's fashion. Her decorative shades - prescription sunglasses, $75, were assembled by Optica Clasic in Coxen Hole. Holding them on is a beaded eyeglass holder from Guatemala's Antigua - only a buck. The seashell beaded necklace is Alicia's own creation: all from Roatan beaches and held together by a nifty magnet clasp. Gale, Alicia's daughter, gave her mom a lapis and silver bracelet. A silver ring is a memento from her grandmother. To top it all off, Alicia adventurously combined two odd-paired earrings: a dream catcher turquoise earring on her right ear and crystal earring on her left.
IN CONCLUSION: For 25 years, before heading out to sea, Alicia was very much a business person. She made money and put smiles on people's faces with an unusual business: "Bubble's Singing Telegram and Clown Shows." After raising her daughter, Alicia has entered a new stage of her life, full of traveling and adventures. She has certainly found the right clothes for the journey.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: "Living life on the front end," describing herself, Roberta Bienvenu, 53, is a licensed boat captain/dive instructor/nurse. This true Acadian works four months a year as a Louisiana nurse and then sails around the world in search of festivals, conventions and adventure in general. On Roatan, she lives on a 42' sailboat with her boyfriend Jim and works as a dive instructor with Ocean Connections.
WHAT & WHY:"Its not just any rubber jacket," says Roberta wearing her New Zealand made 'Line 7' XS sailors rain poncho with vulcanized seams. The XS Star Trek technology garment is made from one piece of PVC material with melted seams. With fluorescent hood for security and one pocket for yacht racing gloves and Bole sunglasses its pure: form follow function. "I wouldn't mind a little liner inside," said Roberta, who picked-up the poncho on the last day (sale day) at an Annapolis boat show for $125. Her Bole sunglasses Roberta found, again on the last day, of a DIMA dive convention for $42, down from $150. Underneath the poncho she wore an orange 'Camaro' dive swimsuit ($80) bought at DIMA. Her titanium Seiko dive watch as another bargain $200 (lowered from $600) picked-up there. "Part of being into fashion is getting a good deal. Anybody can go retail," said Roberta. We couldn't agree more. Her pastel, knit net pants by 'West Bound Beach' are perfect if you want to wear something that dries in two minutes flat. Roberta picked her rayon capris up at the fall sale at Dillard's. Her flip-flops were the greatest buy, $3, at a Cancun grocery store. With arch support, heel and snazzy transparent straps they could easily be mistaken for a Prada 2005 beach flops. Roberta is an accessories queen. On a right day, her pair of compass earrings could be potential lifesavers. All you need for one of the two to actually work. Roberta picked her 'Ted Aucoin' designer earrings at a Jazz fest for $80. "You want to keep quality in your jewelry. You know the other girls are checking you out," says Roberta. Her one gold earring is a souvenir from her first equator crossing on the way to the Galapagos. A silver bracelet came from Bali, her opal chain and ring are a souvenir from a friendship in Australia. On her wrist Roberta wears a friendship knot and a Santa Helena coconut bracelet she got for $3.
IN CONCLUSION: During hurricane and storm pour downs fashion has to make room for necessity, but not completely. There is now reason why one can't stay dry and look good at the same time. Wearing garbage bags should be anybody's last, and I mean last, resource. Roberta is a perfect example how to work with the weather not fight with it.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Rocio Alonzo Arana, 23, was born in Punta Gorda went to High School in La Ceiba and in 2000 she came back to live with her family. She works as the PMAIB director's secretary. We caught-up with Rocio on a typical Thursday - Thursday outfit.
WHAT & WHY:She wore blue, smooth weave Pepe jeans- a gift from Rocio's sister Sandra. Her narrow pink belt by Glamour was a Christmas gift from another family member- Kricia. Her tan leather boots with black side zipper by Highlights with two-and-a-half inch heels were picked-up at La Ceiba's Payless shoe store. In fact, Rocio could have the highest heels in Punta Gorda. We estimated the heel at three inches easily but Rocio was quick to correct us. "They're maybe two-and-a-half, but not three." Either way, wearing high heel boots on unpaved, sandy streets of Punta Gorda is no small ability in balance and a bit of determination. Rocio had a chance to take advantage of some work trips to Tegucigalpa to do shopping. Her jean jacket was picked-up at Almacenes El Rey in Tegucigalpa for $10. The 69 brand. In San Pedro on the other hand she found a pink and peach stripe mid sleeve blouse - Tiendas Panayote for $7 only. Diesel brand quartz watch as a gift from Rocio's cousin living in New York- Gina. Rocio admits that for every gift she receives five. Not a bad ratio for anyone, but how long will the gifts keep coming. One of Rocio's more personal items is her mother's engagement ring that she wears on her right hand. "Two years ago my dad died I became the 'mayor de la casa,' and I got the ring." On a lighter note, teddy bear shaped earrings and a necklace with enclosed wild flower inserts were bought from Ms. Rosa Silvestri's for $15.
IN CONCLUSION: PMAIB has no official dress code and Rocio takes full advantage of the policy by dressing every day of the week. "I'm one of the best dressed girls in Punta Gorda," says Rocio. "I'm also the best person dressed at PMAIB." Rocio certainly isn't shy and brings-up a notch the quality of the French Harbour PMAIB office- extra credit in most offices.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Corvin Reymond, 27, is certainly hard to miss. At 6'2" and around 245 pounds of pure fashion he is often the center of attention at bars all around Roatan: Twisted Toucan, Black Pearl, Pachecos. His typical night on the town begins with a bit of an energy boost: a rotisserie chicken dinner smoothed down with Redbull. "To get me energized," he explains. When we caught-up with Corvin at Twisted Toucan, he was wearing the "pimp look" one of his five patented ensembles: beach boy, muscle guy, bouncer and sporty. By day Corvin is a boat (Haydee) captain at AKR, where he has worked since he was 13.
WHAT & WHY: A long sleeved, white, semitransparent shirt ($70) is a part of an ensemble created by Corvin's Trujillo tailor- Jovanny. "He makes clothes for people who dress a little different." Jovanny comes to Roatan every two months and works on Reymond's predesigned suits. Black and white, size 13, laced gator shoes were purchased for $60 at amazing.com. A silver handle cane, with a cast head of a dragon, was also an amazing.com find - $55. "I just like the dragon. I used to watch the dragon movies, cartoons," explains Corvin. A white, brimmed hat with a white silk band put Corvin back another $45. A better bargain was a white Lps. 60 doorag found in La Ceiba's mall. Dark shade, white frame sunglasses Corvin found at Carrion for a bargain Lps. 75. Also there, he picked-up a gray and white tie tied in an unusual knot. It was his dad Astel who taught Corvin how to tie a tie, and Corvin progressed from there inventing his own "phat" knot. Three silver and stone plated tie clips, $5 each, came from Alex in Coxen Hole. Silver chain in the shape on an anchor was a gift from friend-Heather on Corvin's 25th birthday. On his wrist, over a white wrist band Corvin wore a 'bling' watch. For his night on the town Corvin brought a back-up yellow sweat towel. He wore two rings, barely big enough to fit his two pinkie fingers: a silver plated dollar sign ring and a silver band ring. "I have five more rings for each of my fingers," says Corvin. In two months "dragon head, a skeleton head, and regular ring" should complete Corvin's look. Corvin's says that 30 percent of his income goes towards clothes and fashion accessories. Fashion, especially "pimp inspired" fashion cost "mucho dinero." A smart move is using a trusted tailor and a well stocked website. Corvin gets a lot of bang for his dollar.
IN CONCLUSION: He says that he got his fashion bug from his father Astel Reymond. "I'm a fashion show person. I like to dress real good and impress people and make people happy," says Corvin, who is as much into having fun as making others have fun looking at him. "Most of the friends were impressed how I came up with this idea of [dressing] a pimp," says Corvin. With all focus on fashion and work Corvin has currently no girlfriend. A fact of life for any "aspiring pimp." "There are a few guys I respect, but they are not to the level that I dress," says about his competition Corvin.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: He is a Roatan fixture, a landmark. Everyone on the island has seen, talked to, or had their windshield washed by this six-foot-two, "mogua," grey-haired, smiling man. Still, Alfred Alexander Dale, 48, is a new transplant to Roatan. He came to the island three years ago after getting to his last $100 bill of savings. Alexander was born in Barrio Ingles in La Ceiba and at the age of five moved to US to rejoin his parents living in Manhattan. He served thee years in the US army, lived for 10 years in Europe: in Germany and Spain working as a "transporter." Luck turned on Alexander in US when he received a three year sentence for a drug offense. After getting out, a judge ordered Alexander, still a Honduran citizen, to be deported back to his country of birth. It was January 2001 and Alexander had to restart his life in a country he had little in common with. He spent a couple years in La Ceiba and in 2003 moved to Roatan. But Alexander wasn't defeated. He lives in El Centro of Coxen Hole and makes his living as a baggage handler at Galaxy's dock. "As long as I have good health, I can do something. That's most important," said Alexander who also generates some extra income washing cars.
WHAT & WHY: His XXXL Tampa Bay Devil Rays jeans shirt, Alexander picked-up for $2 around the Coxen Hole market. His loose, black shorts were another used clothes bargain- $2. In order to do his jobs Alexander needs loose clothes that are easy to clean. Alexander's prized possessions are his $250 Brahma suede boots he bought a decade ago in Manhattan. "Since 1995 I had them in a box and just opened them a couple months ago," said Alexander who needs the heavy boots for all the lifting he does at the Galaxy's dock. He usually sports a small cotton rug to clean cars. "I work for whatever I got to do. I don't steal," said Alexander.
IN CONCLUSION: "Time to me is irrelevant," said Alexander, who wears no watch, or jewelry, but always manages to arrive when Galaxy is ready to dock and someone could need his help handling baggage. "I don't like attention. I like to be low key."

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?:Miss Jane Webster, 88, lives at her home in the middle of Coxen Hole. Corner of Main and Thicket in fact. She is an eternal bachelorette and takes pride at her many household skills: she cooks, cleans and gardens for herself and her older sister Marilee Rose Webster, 92. Miss Jane spent time in New York and Philadelphia and lived in Tela, but is a native Coxen Holian. We run into her at a local pharmacy, just a few steps away from her home.
WHAT & WHY: Her wide brim straw hat adorned with a cotton scarf, gives an impression of almost an angelical halo. It was a gift, five years ago, from Miss Jane's niece from New York. Miss Jane educated herself as a seamstress and has made her own clothes for many years. The light green, almost yellow dress is one example of her talent. Her dresses' design was inspired by different catalogues she has for reference at her home. The dress is simple but features a white embroidery lace around the neck and material covered buttons add another element of softness to it. Her comfortable black velvet slippers bought locally didn't quite match the elegance of her ensemble. "Oooh. I just put them on because I was going across the road," said Miss Jane. Who could hold this fashion impropriety? Miss Jane does deserve to feel comfortable anytime she wishes to. Miss Jane didn't wear, but one accessory. She leaves her jewelry, chain and earrings, only to her Sunday Methodist Church service and other special occasions. Her one accessory, a very functional and simple synthetic weave handbag was given by a Telaña niece, Ella Ray. "Its kind-of old," admitted Miss Jane. The design looks quite hip and urban actually.
IN CONCLUSION: Miss Jane has been dressing like that for quite some time. And dressing with style isn't easy. She has more fashion wisdom than three young Coxen Holians combined and she knows that comfort, simplicity and consistency is important, especially when you are 88 years old. "Some people don't believe it [that I am 88]. They say I don't look it," said Miss Jane. "God has blessed me and I am grateful."

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: "People here [on Utila] wear what they like. What they feel comfortable in," said Ms. Glenda Fernandez-Sanders. Still Glenda, from Sandy Bay, makes most people on Utila feel underdressed. This 42-year-old "domestic engineer" or "ama de casa" came to the island 26 years ago from Corozal, Atlantida. We caught-up with her at an open public event held under scorching Utila sun. She dressed to match the event with functionality and a bit of style.
WHAT & WHY: White, sleeveless shirt is a gift from her cousin living in Miami. The shape of the shirt is achieved by a corset-like string in the front of the garment. The semi-transparent blouse is perfect for any hot event. The sister-in-law presented Glenda with a pair of white pants ornate with navy blue floral patterns. The cool garment arrived from New York just in time for Christmas. The pants are made of stretch material, something Glenda finds practical, if not convenient. "If I get a bit fatter, I will stay looking the same," said Glenda. White, wood soled flip-plops with a heel matched her clothes. The "Plywood Fashion" shoes were bought by Glenda for Lps. 340 in a little store "somewhere in the center of La Ceiba." Glenda's white nail polish on her toe-nails gracefully matched the "white khaki" overall look of her ensemble. The plastic "Ray-Ban" sunglasses were bought for Lps. 170 from "Ms. Ana at her store in front of the Casino." Glenda loves to accessorize with gold. Still she likes to stay modest. "I don't like to wear five, seven golden chains," she explained. Curiously, Glenda wears two-and-a-half pairs of gold earrings. Two golden bands, and three studs. "Everyone asks me 'what happened to the other earring.' Well, I lost one piece three months ago and I still can't find it," said Glenda. Her husband bought her one of her earrings… five year ago. The other one was purchased by Glenda from Ms. Ana for Lps. 360. Golden Bulova watch was another gift from her husband. Her golden, marine theme pendants are a gift from her son Hoyt and her daughter Ivanna. Glenda also wears a gold ring with a red stone, bought in La Ceiba for Lps. 550.
IN CONCLUSION: Her husband, a sailor, decided to stay home, while Glenda and her daughter Ivanna represented the family at the Utila Health Center opening. "Ooooh. We exchange between ourselves a lot of things," she said about her 11-year-old daughter.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Tenisha Jeffries, 9, from Sandy Bay, attends third grade at Juan Brooks School. Her favorite subject is mathematics, particularly "adding." We caught-up with Tenisha at a birthday party for her cousins Brandon and Jasmine.
WHAT & WHY: Juan Brooks School enforces a uniform code, so Tenisha doesn't often have a chance to show her true colors. For this July afternoon it was definitely pink. The only day that students are allowed to wear non-uniform clothes is Children's Day. There's no doubt Tenisha took full advantage of this opportunity. Her cousin Igma gave Tenisha her pink "Little Babe" lace-up shirt for birthday number nine. Her mom gave Tenisha a denim mini skirt and pink belt ensemble. The belt was quite striking, with double rows of oversized holes. The hip skirt could work well at a Sandy bay party or school dance. Cousin Leilani got Tenisha her pink bow. Tenisha has no problem satisfying her fashion needs with a good supply of cousins, especially that at this stage of her life almost Tenisha's entire wardrobe is dependent on the good fashion will of grown-ups. "When I was first born [I got my two ears pierced]," said Tenisha who wore a pair of golden-like dolphin and ring earrings, a gift from her mom. The black, faux leather knee-high boots… "They were great… but they got a bit torn," said Tenisha. Wearing things a little bit worn, torn, or destroyed is always a dilemma. Especially when we have an emotional attachment, or nothing else that will do type of situation. Tenisha bravely decided to go out there with the imperfect, yet still stylish pair of heels. It's all about attitude and Tenisha certainly has enough of it to spare.
IN CONCLUSION: Despite having to choose out of "30 purses," choosing a purse for a party was a "no brainer." Tenisha went pink again. If you are thinking of giving anything to Tenisha, cousin or not, pink is a safe bet. When asked about her allowance and spending, Tenisha replied, "Sometimes I buy skirts, bags, shoes and socks, (…) I get a lot of money… a hundred dollars." Money can't buy you style, but it certainly helps.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Eduardo Zablah, 51, is the disputably the fashion guru of Honduras. He was one of the first Honduran models to make it big in the US and he came back to his country to spread the fashion revolution among the Ceibeños through his own clothing line: Eduardo's. We caught-up with him at Roatan Shrimp Festival where he helped to judge the kids fashion contest.
WHAT & WHY: His most visible wardrobe element was an "Eduardo's" long sleeved, white cotton shirt decorated with embroidered a green and yellow flower motif. The perforations allow for improved respiration, needed on this hot summer day. "Only three of the seven front shirt buttons were pined down, giving Eduardo a relaxed, almost dramatic look. Eduardo described his guayavera type shirt, "It's all hand stitched and detailed work. It's four hours of work when everything is ready for tailoring." The shirt will be available for sale at La Ceiba's, Gallo de Oro in December. His black, silk pants symbolize the pain Eduardo is feeling after the death of his mother, who passed away only a few weeks before. They are also part of his Eduardo's couture line. His slip-on, black leather shoes were bought in Italy for $75, discounted from $250. "Surprise! I can't tell you what brand they are," said Eduardo. Eduardo's accessories are a story in themselves. "This is original Pierre Cardin watch I bought on one of my trips to Miami," he said of his golden time piece of 22 years. Eduardo wears two gold chains around his neck. The thinner chain with a crucifix and face of suffering Jesus was a gift from his mother, who brought the medallions from Zablah's ancestral home of Jerusalem. The other, thicker chain holds a half-ounce of 'Credit Suisse Fine Gold.' You never know when you are going to need a half ounce of gold. The golden bracelet is of special importance to Eduardo. "This is a gift from my best friend [Rolando Puerto] who was killed four years ago," said Eduardo. His only ring is a gold band with seven diamonds he was given by Jean-Pierre, a jewelry designer he met on a trip to Italy.
IN CONCLUSION: "It's my design. It's very personal," said Ricardo. Combining his own creations with emotional, important symbols of his loved ones, Ricardo is certainly not afraid to walk and pave his own fashion path. Unless you are wearing no clothes at all, you can't get any more "fashion independent" than that.

fashion police

WHO & WHERE FROM?: Most people agree Utilans are relaxed dressers. These 8,000 or so nonconformist freethinkers are no slaves to fashion. A perfect example would be their island doctor, three year Utila resident Dr. John McVay, 51, It is hard to miss Dr. John walking down the street. He is the wild-haired, barefoot, rainbow of colors wearing man usually in the company of his dachshund.
WHAT & WHY: Dr. John studied at a University level for 11 years: U. of Akron, U. of Toledo, Auburn University and at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City where he received his Dr. of Osteopathy title in 1983. He has worked as the primary physician at Utila's Community Clinic for the last three years. The fashion transformation from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde didn't happen overnight. "At first I would wear lab shirts," said Dr. John about his first months on Utila. Now he is one of the more adventurous dressers the island has ever seen. And it has seen a few. "My basic attire is that of a cheap Hawaiian pimp," said Dr. John. "Mis-matched colors, bright shirts, bright shorts. Tacky, tacky stuff. I don't have to buy shirts or shorts anymore. They all give them to me," said Dr. John. Leaving the responsibility for dressing to a community is a recipe for fashion disaster. Two lower buttons of his maroon and white flowery shirt are actually buttoned. "The only reason I button these two buttons is to cover-up my belly," said Dr. John. No shoes. Dr. John takes full advantage of Utila town's short distances. Dr. John draws his fashion line at his shorts: "I only wear Quicksilver [brand]. They've got better Velcro packets, better patch pockets and they hang better." His generic plastic sunglasses are actually industry safety glasses. His black, plastic Casio watch was another gift. His black leather medical bag, decorated with four tourniquets, is hardly large enough to carry all his medical paraphernalia and two packs of Royal "donkey killer" cigarettes. "I bought this bag in 1982. They made every medical student buy one," said Dr. John. The bag and a golden signet is one of the only memories of back home. "Everything else I left in the United States. I only brought this because I couldn't get it off my finger." A final accessory in high contrast to Dr. John is a very stylish and well accessorized Dutch hound. "Blood licking" Sue, named after an old girlfriend, wears a Harley Davidson black leather collar with steel studs and a brown plastic tick collar.
IN CONCLUSION: Clown pattern scrubs is as exciting as it gets in the American medical system. Even on Honduran mainland, even on Roatan, "Dr. John's look" would be a no-no as well. But Dr. John doesn't lack respect from the island's community. "Either take me the way I am, or don't call on me. I've already got too many patients." He pushes the envelope of medical fashion… perhaps on a world scale.

As the Doctor Sees it: “Dr. Von” at mayan@caribe.hn

THE PROBLEM
Doc, what would happen if all of the Gringos were to pull out and go back to where they came from like a few of the locals would like? I say "a few" of the locals, and I mean less than that. Maybe one or two people who sold their property for twenty times what it was worth, then heard it resold for twice what they were paid for it. Sour grapes, I think you Americans call it.

MY SOLUTION
Did those sour grape locals notice that the ones who paid twice what they sold it for are now what we Americans call, "UNDER WATER"? Meaning, they owe more than the property is worth, so perhaps, just perhaps, the locals did well after all?

Now for that question, what if they all split? I assume this means the cruise ship passengers would go bye-bye, too? Truthfully, I believe the island economy would crash immediately, leaving an over-built situation which would never ever fix itself unless a way could be found to get the Gringos to come back.

So long TV, vacations to Disneyland, brand new SUVs every year, take-out dining. Hello beans and rice with an occasional piece of chicken every other Sunday. Not to say that doesn't sound kind of inviting: A laid-back tropical island with sun and sand and clean vacant beaches. Streets empty of traffic and going out of business sales in every store window including the new grocery stores.

No, the dye is cast. We are committed to this tourist type life, and hopefully it will never go away. Better and easier if those who want the Gringos to leave go away themselves and find a new deserted island to call home. Eat coconuts off the trees and eat fish from the sea. Back to nature and the simple life. If that sounds good, there is a boat leaving for Cayos Cochinos every third Tuesday.

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