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Islandistas at the Inaugural balls and more…

Associated Press
Photo credit: Associated Press

Washington D.C. is only just coming down from a crazy, once in a lifetime weekend of parties and celebrations to  herald the inauguration of the first black president of the United States.

One of my favourite sights of the night (and I say one of because it happened ten times and YES I watched all ten goopy-eyed and sentimental) was seeing President Obama and his First Lady Michelle dancing. Absolutely beautiful. It was like there was a force field of love and ‘I got your back’ sentiment around them. We could all see it and not a soul wanted to break it – we were just honoured to watch. Celebs and ordinary folk at the balls were crying their eyes out at the sight – check Kerry Washington in our video below.

It’s ok, you can still cry even thought it was yesterday.

Of course, islandistas were in attendance at several of the events. Alicia Keys was one of the performers at the first ball of the night, the Neighbourhood Ball and belted out Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ along with the man himself and other stars.

Reuters via the Daily Mail
Photo credit: Reuters via the Daily Mail

Read more to see pics of all the fab islandistas and islandistos who celebrated this fabulous night in fabulous style.

Rihanna was at the Recording Industry Association of America’s Feeding America ball at the Ibiza in D.C. to perform. This was not one of the ten balls that President Obama and the First Lady attended but a good look nonetheless.
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She’s back to the Halle Berry bowl cut we see. Mmm… not my favourite of her short dos. Love the colour of the dress and the puffball skirt but NOT all that braiding running hither, dither and yon on the dress.

Jenny from the block (are we still allowed to call her that now she is a respectably married woman – for real this time?) attended at least two balls – the Western Regional ball and the Latino Inaugural Ball and wore two different outfits for the two events – one a white chiffon number and the other a royal blue outfit with a dramatic large bow. Mind you, the First Lady wore the same outfit to ten balls but Jenny is Jenny – she’s a quintessential ’nuff’ Leo and we love her for it.
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The mix of Puerto-Rican, Cuban and many others that is actress Rosario Dawson also took part in inauguration festivities, attending the MTV ball in a figure hugging black satin dress.

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One of my other favourite images of the night was Colin Powell and Wyclef Jean feteing HARD at the BET Ball and clearly having an uproarious time. Both share an immigrant background with Barack Obama – imagine how they feel!

Johnny Nunez/WireImage
Photo credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Man, buss a wine, General – you know you want to!

Speaking of the immigrant experience, we have to carry a little more on the designers who did Michelle’s Inauguration outfits – especially since both are from islands – woohoo! Ok, Jason Wu is from Taiwan (aka Chinese Taipei) but it’s still an island and Isabel Toledo is from a rock in the sea that is much closer to home – Cuba!

Both designers are highly regarded but don’t have the clout of the major labels like Armani, Ralph Lauren etc that have usually gotten play from First Ladies in the past. Michelle is doing great things for these designers’ careers.

Both were interviewed on the Today Show this morning which is great, since neither has the capacity to have a marketing department – their work isn’t even advertised and is only carried in a handful of boutiques.

They had no idea that their designs had been the ones chosen until they saw it on TV along with the rest of the world.

“I’m a part of history, and that’s amazing… Words can’t describe how I felt. It was awesome,” said Wu.

Toledo’s reaction?

“I would probably say tears… I was so happy. I was so impressed with her choice. I was so happy that she looked so beautiful and content.”

Both immigrants, they spoke of how Mrs. Obama’s decision to go with them makes them feel.

“That’s so magical. … As an immigrant, that’s such an important thing to me. I’m living a dream that so many people have.”

Toledo echoed his sentiments, saying:

“I’m an example of [how] with hard work you can do anything. I am the American dream. Many of us start with nothing and achieve a lot.” 

Big up to them. For the first time in a long time, the American Dream does not sound corny, cliched or flat. I’m looking forward to a new, more hopeful era – how about you?

By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

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