The annual migration for carnivals in the Caribbean and South America continues. Over here in the UK, band launches for Notting Hill Carnival 2018 in August also continue and this is Ilovecarnivall’s second so far. Not knowing much about Carnival Elegance, Ilovecarnivall made some enquiries and spoke to Nikie James the designer.
Carnival Elegance was said to start as a small band under a different name in 2016. Nikie said the idea back then was being a part of Carnival not only as a masquerader but also bringing joy to those who love costume, ‘Although the band was small it was a great vibe and we wanted to continue that’. In 2017 the name Carnival Elegance was born. The name was said to be fitting as it described Carnival Elegance’s costume design ideas perfectly, creating elegant costumes to reflect the art form that is Carnival. For 2018, the aim is to be bigger and better. Carnival Elegance will be collaborating with Lagniappe Mas Band bringing more people more vibes and Elegant Costumes for all to enjoy. I was told this soft launch was just a preview of what was to come. The theme for this year: Kiss by a Rose.
The band launch was a small intimate affair held at a small bar (some would call it cozy) called Fete Lounge in Upminster, outer London. And there was a crowd. I spotted a few people, Trinis in London, WorlMag, Carnicrazi but most of the crowd were mainly regulars of the bar I think. I wondered how on earth they were going to showcase the costumes in this small space but a space was made.
The DJs were Danny Remix and Digga D and the music was good. Gotta say this, I’ve been listening to this guy for years and Digga is probably one of the most underated DJs in terms his knowledge of soca music. On his shows, he will play tunes most don’t ever consider playing or don’t put in the work to find out about.
The showcase began with an intro with dancers. Then came fun mas. Fun Mas is £99.00.
Following this was midline, male and frontline. The male costume is £275 and frontline is £375.00. Carnival Elegance wants to cater for approximately 60 masqueraders.
The model Rochelle worked the frontline as well as the female model of fun mas. The costumes were colourful. I liked the colours. And the collars did attempt difference by being either asymmetrical (midline) or lying flat on the shoulder (frontline). However, I did think the bottom part of the costumes let them down. I would have liked a bit more work on the bikini bottom pieces. And my personal preference would not have been lace bottoms. It left me feeling that it was a bit unfinished. I am told for the Lagniappe band launch, there will be much more to the costumes. Looking forward to it!
For more information on Carnival Elegance, please visit Carnival_Elegance on Instagram and Facebook. Digga D next plays at Red Eye on March 3rd at Lightbox. His Breakway Show is on Bakahnal Radio 7-9 pm every Thursday and catch up is on Soundcloud.com/diggasoca