Chocolate Nation band launch did not disappoint. I always look forward to this one. You get to see several bands at once with good UK costumes. The band launch was held at 229, Great Portland Street in London. We could almost call it the base for chocolate nation launches now. What was different this year was the extended stage which I felt was a good move. As usual, Chocolate Nation pulls a crowd. The DJs had the crowd warmed up whilst they waited. One thing about Chocolate Band Launches, they almost always run to time. Mike Forbes the band leader ensures that the band launch starts around midnight. Backstage, the various bands were rushing to make sure they did not miss their cue on stage. The various media houses were in attendance as this band launch will draw most carnival media companies out.
The overall theme for the collection of costumes was Chocolate Nation X, marking ten years of the band’s existence. There were seven bands/designers showcasing their costumes on the night.
Infinite Mas costumes continue to improve over the years. Miss Desire’s Section ‘Mi Amor’ in pink and yellow will certainly be noticed on the Notting Carnival Route.
Caribbean Sessions ‘Passion’ stuck to the palette of fuschia pink, orange and berry which will also be noticed on the road.
Trinity Design Collective’s ‘Mantra’ gave us yellow as the dominant colour theme. I liked the monokini option and the energy of the soca loco guys on stage. The backpacks looked light and fluid.
Wassiville’s ‘Ahosi’s colours were also pretty and light with the hints of purple. I really liked the backpack of the frontline.
The ‘Eldorado’ section, a collaboration between Alfredo & EXVII was one of my personal favourites. It’s all in the details. First, I liked the colour selection and the design. It felt rich and seemed to match the theme of Eldorado. Second, I liked the body wear options. I liked the stand up collar detail on one of the frontline costumes. I don’t see that particular collar detail often in costumes. For me, the frontline design modelled by Dujonna really stood out.
The ‘Kyoto’ section by Flora from Mas With A Difference was pretty, ultra feminine with flowers, bling and drop down trims. It felt like a floral garden. I think it is a definite step up from last year from Flora.
Vanisha’s ‘Calypso’ was nice, sexy and bold with nice details. The models showed it off really well.
Overall, the launch was a good one. Lighting was a bit of an issue. There were a couple of dark spots on the stage for videography and photography so you had to pic your moments I guess.
For me, the two sections which really stood out this year was Flora’s ‘Kyoto’ and Alfredo’s ‘Eldorado’. It feels that the unspoken theme for costumes this year and the ones women masqueraders gravitate to is the feminine, pretty ones. And again some models just know how to sell costumes. Dujuonna, Kimhia and Kamika know how to sell costumes. I have no doubt chocolate nation will have a great 10 year anniversary on the road.
Pictures are a combination of those taken by Ilovecarnivall and those from the instgram pages of the various bands.