When I think of an Island Mas Band, three things come to mind; Jab, home of Grenadians and complete and utter abandonment in having fun. This Island mas band launch did not disappoint!
Island Mas Band was formed in 2014 by a ‘group of passionate individuals that desire to bring back the true sentiments of Island Carnival and introduce it to parts of Notting Hill Carnival’ as stated on their website. The band consists predominantly of Grenadians but I am told there are other islanders such as St. Lucians. Island Mas had an amazingly successful Carnival Sunday last year. Their numbers doubled if not tripled from the previous year and I had an incredible fantastic fun time playing Jab with them! But to matters at hand, this year’s band launch for Notting Hill Carnival.
The band launch for Island Mas was held at VUK Club in Chiswick where they held it last year. Security was tight but polite at the door. It’s a good space; lighting (which changed various colours depending on the costume and theme), sound and bar. There was even a smoke machine. This year was different in that there was a catwalk giving more height for the costumes to be seen. Pretty Mas was present on the side showcasing their footwear for carnival season. This was a late launch, 2am in the morning but the audience seemed to be having a great time enjoying the music.
The overall theme for Island Mas’ costumes this year is ‘Infusion’ which is based after inquiry on the idea of a mix of cocktails.
However first up was the Fun Mas section which consisted of a leotard and a t-shirt.
Next was Premium Monday wear designed by Flora Nabena and DJ Bones bringing their own sexy flair and something different for Island Mas. The models were super confident in their costumes.
Next up, a stand alone costume called Tequilla Sunrise. The orange and red colour combo worked.
A private section by Diamond Martini called Diamantee followed. This was also different for Island Mas and the idea of diamantee was most definitely apparent with loads of bling on the head piece and top part of the costumes. Combined with the use of florescent orange for the bottom pieces, this section will without a doubt get attention on the road. The back pack was also different. There was a male costume in this section and the model had fun! The model for frontline also worked her costume on the catwalk! I was very curious though about what the costume would look like without the white wig of frontline and the white glittered lips for the ladies. I am looking forward to the official photos.
The Tropical Mist section by House of Zsa (Kaz Clement) was next. This was dominated by flourescent green with blue gems. The bikini and one piece costumes looked comfortable and will also be eye catching on the road. Kimhia Toussaint rocked the frontline with the lovely mohawk headpiece as she does. And it maybe because it was Kimhia in this costume, she seriously threw me back to Flora’s blue MWD costume last year.
Purple Rain by Shauna Caeser came up next. There were three different styles of costumes for women and one male costume. The star of this section was the frontline costume worn by Delphie who did her thing as usual.
And of course in my mind as said earlier, an Island Mas band launch will not be a launch without a jab component! Complete with coffin, horns, blackened skin, unplugged telephones and push chair, in came the jab crew taking this launch up another level. There were options offered of a t-shirt, leotard and a premium Jab costume (which was a surprise for me). Jab took over full effect!
And that was the launch done! The costumes seemed well received and there were various options. There were elements of difference there for Island Mas such as Monday wear and Premium Jab to cater for everyone’s costume needs. And of course there is ever Jab!
For more information about this band, please go to www.islandmas.co.uk. For more pictures of the costume and night, visit trinisinlondon and Vkams photography. For Video footage of the launch, please go to ilovecarnivall FB or instagram page or Worlmag.