On Saturday evening, Carnival Nationz launched their 2013 presentation of The Reef. Arriving at the venue at around 10:30, my friends and I were among many others who arrived early to secure a spot close to the stage.The early bird catches the worm! One of the first things I noticed was half of the venue was blocked off with black curtain. My guess is this was done to create a backstage area for the models and the costumes. Despite the partition, the venue was spacious and able to accommodate the growing number of people making their way in.
I think Carnival Nationz was successful in creating an atmosphere that had both a band launch and party feel. With respect to branding for the band launch, the staging included a large banner display of The Reef positioned across the back portion of the stage. On the left side of venue, a monitor was displaying video footage of Toronto Carnival from Carnival Chaser Magazine, and included Carnival Nationz masqueraders in addition to masqueraders from other bands.
The dj booth was positioned at the center front of the stage. At first I thought the positioning of the dj booth was a bit out of place with respect to how the models would be walking out, however prior to the start of the show the dj table was moved to the left side of the stage. Resulting in plenty of room and space for the models to walk and be seen. The launch location being at Kool Haus definitely contributed to adding a party vibe, however hands down the dj line up took the cake of bringing the vibe to another level.
Shiv Soundcrew set things off, playing nice a mix of current soca. De Jump Up Kings (JUK) followed with their set, and got the crowd turnt up. Oshawn from Juk did a great job as the hype man; from his dancing and skills on the mic, he was extremely entertaining to watch. If what JUK did at the launch is any indication of what they will be like on the road, I think CNz made a good choice including them within their dj lineup. Dj Private Ryan and Soca Sweetness, followed with their set and it was phenomenal. The mixing of the tunes, from classics to the latest hits got the crowd ready!! Let’s just say djs helped to make the wait for the 2:00 am start time enjoyable. Though the start time was late (imo), I can’t lie I was rocking and doing a little wine while waiting.
From the presentation of The Reef we saw costumes of an array of colors, with detailed beadwork. The sections reflected aquatic species and objects. This year Nationz section leaders showcased their craftsmanship with sections that had elaborate headpieces donned with long feathers. Flasher Wrasse, Seahorse, Mandarin Fish and Emperor Angelfish are prime examples.
Several of the designers used elements that reflected their section well, such as the use of pearl and trim, in the section Pearls.
I also think the detail and use of spikes, diamond like jewels and pop of colors were nice touches in Sea Urchin.
Intricate bead work was visible on the body wear of Fan Coral and Hawk Fish.
Elaborate backpacks were used on the frontlines for Scorpaenidae Fish, Sea Urchin, Hawk Fish and collar in Pearl.
A few new elements that were visible with respect to the bikini base for the costumes were the use of patterned bikinis as opposed to solid in sections such as Seahorse and Scorpaenidae Fish. The use of cloth in Angel Fish backline and monokini frontline were also nice touches.
Having seen all of the launches so far, Nationz costumes compared to the others are a bit more on the skimpy side yet very pretty. Jeweled wire bras were showcased in several sections such as Temminckii Fish, D’Zebra and Mandarin Fish.
Though the belts on some sections do not provide much backside coverage, Yellow Nudi Branch has full coverage with the added boa and D'Zebra with partial coverage from a feathered bum piece.
The male costumes were good, with various options to choose from.
Apart from the band, I definitely want to give props to the models! It was great to see the models cover the entire stage and stopped at various points on the runway. I had a few friends modeling so it was nice to see them strut their stuff on the runway (Bee, Mish, and Joe). In thinking about what it must take to walk confidently, while showcasing a costume, I definitely think a few models deserve recognition for always killing it on the runway. In seeing them in several launches this season, in whatever costume they wear they always seem to bring their A game. I don’t know all their names, but they definitely deserve their props! (Who know just like there is Band of the Year, I have been thinking of doing a fun post and poll for Caribana’s model of the year).
Overall, good job to carnival nationz on The Reef. What are your thoughts on the presentation?