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By Jeané Neal

Time really flies! Wasn’t it just Band Launching season? Now, Trinidad Carnival is here, which means a lot of whining and wotless-ness, but all in good fun. Typically your carnival experience is filled with a lot of food, drinks and laughter; but what about the feathers, beads and glitter?

Playing Mas is one the biggest variables in Carnival. It is something most people look forward to every year, sometimes more than once a year if yuh pocket nice and thick.

Yes, they are absolutely breathtaking; but have you ever taken the time to think about all the hard work that goes into making a costume?

I call it Caribbean Fashion, simply because every mas band is like an everyday designer. After all the madness is done, the band leaders are back at it again. It’s a year-round business as they are always preparing for the next carnival season.

Primarily, they have to sketch and come up with a theme; and finding quality materials to give the best type of product is key.

(Pet Peeve: Bands on di road with busted costumes; especially when road march just start! Costumes that aren’t properly made don’t stand a chance with a serious wuk up!)

After they come up with a design and perfect the floor model, alas Band Launching season is here. It is almost like a fashion show but with Caribbean beauties and lots of whining. Soon after, Mas camp is open for business and that’s where the magic happens.

When the time gets closer to your local carnival season, take some time and go to your band’s Mas camp and volunteer. You’ll appreciate your costume more after the experience.

(Warning: When you walk in it may look like a war zone, but it’s a great way to lime and get to know the people you’ll be jumping up with in a few weeks time.)

Just think about it. It is in fact fashion. It is passion. It is culture. It is style. It is part of history.

It’s Mas.

Joie De Vivre <3

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