This is Karnival Mania’s third year on the road for Notting Hill carnival. It is headed by two well known personalities of the London Soca Community. Vinny Ranks, owner of the internet based Radio station Bakahnal Radio is one. He has over 20 years experience of mas bands and it is reported has had some influence in the growth of bands such as Cocoyea and Chocolate Nation. He is the leader of the Soca Mafia team and they have played for large audiences in the UK, Europe and the Caribbean.
The other co-leader of Karnival Mania is no other than Dwayne Huggins, owner of the UK Soca Scene Enterprise which covers all topics carnival and soca related. UK Soca Scene do not only cover events in the UK. I see this company covering events in New York, in the Caribbean and Europe and having an increasingly growing international presence. Dwayne is also a partner in the UK ‘Tabanca Weekender’ and Jambolassie. And I am sure he has other things up his sleeve. Dwayne states the aim with Karnival Mania is to give their customers a new and better experience; better value for money, better customer service, better customer focused relationships. It is said this band has a great family, friendly vibe which is called ‘Mania Vibes’.
The band was held at the Club Nomad. It was a cozy space. The lighting of this club was mainly red which makes things tricky for showing the full glory of costumes. Now, I look at things which I didn’t used to in years gone by when it comes to band launches. Not being a professional photographer and not having the state of the art equipment I am always looking how to see how my little camera can capture the best images of the costumes to show my audience. Good lighting is now always at the back of my mind. But back to the launch. It was nice to see the models prior to the launch. They were relaxed putting the final touches before the reveal. In the presentation space were some familiar faces and teams; Live Love Soca, Trinis in London, Larriphotography, Martin Jay and Pauline of Funatiks. And there was a crowd waiting to see what Karnival Mania would bring.
The theme for Notting Hill Carnival 2018 is ‘Evolve’ with three designers presenting their costumes. The first was by Afiya Romain of Supernova Mars with her presentation ‘Mars’. She has produced a smaller section before but aims to have a bigger section this year.
The second designer was a first timer to the business of designing for carnival, Fabien Soazandry. He is a painter, filmaker, runs BWA Mas Band Hoppers, runs an art gallery and a creative agency ‘invincible frames’. He is also an award winning film director. So creativity is not new to him. His section was entitled ‘Transform. His models worked their costumes well. I liked the front line costumes, the chains hanging down from the bra and loads of feathers.
The third designer is no other that Machaela Huggins, wife of Dwayne Huggins and owner of the She Soca Brand. Her section was entitled ‘Chrysalis’.
I liked the belt of the male costume but was not overly fond of the chest piece. The female frontline had the three layer feathered headpiece and the hanging chain from the bra which I liked giving the costume extra movement. And the model was loving this costume. Once the pic went up of this one on the Ilovecarnivall insta page, it got immediate interest.
This launch went ahead from the outside quite smoothly and Martin Jay’s presentation gave it polish. It was nice. Purple and Pink dominated this line of costumes which I now associate with Karnival Mania. I think next year though I’d like to see Machaela experiment with other colours, see what she does with them, how she can make those come alive and up her costume game even further. The costumes got many of my audience interested and with nice vibes on the road, I am confident this band will be a success for Notting Hill Carnival 2018.
For more information on Karnival Mania, please visit www.karnivalmania.com, Karnival Mania on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All images in this article were taken by Ilovecarnivall.