Let me make the disclaimer from the outset that Ilovecarnivall is a sponsor of the International Vibes Machine which is the international branch of Release D Riddim. I will try to be as impartial as possible.
The Release D Riddim Team have made serious progress within these past years. They are more popular internationally and have become involved in other projects such as mentoring and giving back to the community (which I always respect). With regards to their band DRiddim Tribe and carnival costumes, those too have come a long way. For me, last year was particularly good year for their costumes. Ilovecarnivall attended their photoshoot (which is always a treat) a couple of weeks ago and was able to see first·hand some of the costumes. In all honesty, when I saw the costumes at the photoshoot, I initially thought to myself, ‘Hmmm looks like RDR may have a slow uptake this year’. However at the launch I was surprised. In a good way.
The launch was held at the O2 Academy which is good in terms of space and lighting. A good catwalk was step up. Some of the UK usual media teams were around cover the launch. There was a good crowd for this launch and there were some faces I do not usually see at band launches. The DJ team warmed up the crowd whilst we waited for the presentation. The reception (phone) in the venue was a bit dodgy though so all power to those who could do live footage.
DRiddim Tribe this year presented 13 sections to choose from and I think the designers reflected a range of experience and skills. This band gave opportunities for new designers to present their efforts. They also presented a range for masqueraders; from the masqueraders who want simpler options to those who want to go all out diva mode.
First up was the ‘School of Soca’ theme for carnival Sunday. The presentation was lively to Mr Killa’s ‘Run wid it. There was also the t-shirt section.
The Fun Mas section above was produced by By Kreative.
The section Majestic was designed by Bougainvillea Designs.
There was a section entitled Ratti designed by Nadine.
The above section entitled Pandora was designed by Sawney Styles.
This section with predominantly green as colour was entitled Ezili and designed by Reigning Mas.
Then we came to designers with who I am more familiar with.
Silk and Stones designed Zhou which was about the purple and black colour scheme.
The Silk and Stones designers also created the section Enkidu. I liked the green and cream combo and the large headpiece of the front line.
Envy Designs created the Mara section. I liked the backpack of the frontline modelled by Delphie. The models of this section showcased their costume really well.
Envy Designs private section Artemis was of pink and orange feathers and looked very pretty, feminine and fresh. This was one of my favourite sections. For me Kamika seriously killed it as a model in Envy’s Private Section. I keep saying it but she knows how to sell a costume. It doesn’t appear to be contrived or intense when she is on stage. She always looks like she is having fun displaying the costumes and is carnival ready!! The lords knows I could never do what carnival models do. She and Rhona make modelling costumes look effortless and so much fun!
One of my favourite sections includes Carmelle ‘Pfe’ Powell’s Inanna. The chosen coloursand feathers made the costumes look light and fresh. I loved the headpiece of the frontline whch extended down to the sides. Really liked the mix of pearls and gems. And I am seeing more of this particular style of bodywear (for the frontline) so she is on trend. Andrea as per usual did her thing modelling the Ultra frontline really well.
The final costume was Gaia which was a further private section by Envy Designs modelled by Rianna. This costume has loads of detail and volume.
So it was a good launch. No salient hiccups. RDR are becoming more organised and polished over time. It was not too long a wait after the scheduled time. They played the new soca for the catwalk which I was loving. And the models reflected a range of body types which I personally approve of. The stand out sections for me? PFe freedom’s Innana the frontline modelled by Dujonna and Envy Design’s Artemis modelled by Kamika. I think I like those maybe because of the colour palette chosen. For me, those costumes felt… fresh, light, had a spring feel to it. And Gaia and the Artemis costumes are sold out!!