The magic behind the Boston Carnival costume

The magic behind the Boston Carnival costume

Less than a month before the Caribbean Carnival, members of the Soca&Associates Masquerade are busy participating in their clothing construction. Master clothing manufacturer Ronald “Bani” Blaise is making the largest 30-foot-tall, 20-foot-wide garment for Soca&Associates Queen.

Currently, this is a large number of steel wires, fiberglass and mesh, which are being assembled in the front and back yards of the Dorchester three-story deck with a height of 1.2 million tons. Ida Rd. These decades have been the camp of Soca&Associates mas, and in the months before the Caribbean Carnival, masquerades gathered costumes.

What will it look like when it is done?

Blaize points to a brush painting of a butterfly-like wing creature. When asked if it was really a butterfly, Blaize gave the answer to the core of carnival aesthetics.

“Things are about it, it’s in your mind,” Blaise said. “This is a subliminal message. It creates interest. When you see a piece of clothing, it involves a lot of things.”

Gold, white and bronze, foil scales, feathers and sequins, this dress will be worn by the band’s queen, straps tied, and mostly carried by a set of wheels. behind. The Rorschach test should use a large number of colors, shapes and textures as the audience’s three-dimensional carnival theme, and more importantly, for the jury’s team, Blaize hopes that this will make the band the king’s first place. Race with the Queen, usually held at the Carnival before the holiday.

“This is bold and unique,” Bryce said. “It will shine in the sun.”

Carnival costume designers often rely on familiar themes – Greek and Roman designs, American themes, Egyptian and African-style costumes, and themes of the insect and animal kingdoms. For this year’s design, Soca&Associates leader Margaret Black began adopting a more abstract theme: “Hunger.”

When asked how she proposed the concept of clothing, all of this was designed by herself, and Black was straightforward.

“To tell the truth, I don’t even know,” she said. “Basically, this is anything we have come up with.”

Brian sat in a folding chair in the middle of the camp, shaking rum and coke in a plastic cup and occasionally assembling clothes for one of more than twenty volunteers. Much of the work was done in a 18-foot-high fence in the backyard, and the wooden frame and steel frame were covered with plastic sheets to prevent rain from falling.

This year, the band’s seven-part “Cravings” includes topics such as “Hidden Lust”, “Bitter Rebel”, “Burning Desire”, “Chocolate Beauty” and “Glitter Envy”. Each part has its own color: Fuschia, purple plum for “Luxurious Whine”, green for “Glitter Envy”, brown and red for “Chocolate Beauty”.

For Ashlee Perry, Boston-born rental agents live and work in Southborough, driving one hour a night to make clothes. The theme of the band is about the “craving” of the carnival itself.

“It’s about excitement, glitz and charm,” she said. “We are eager to get on the road and complain. We are eager for more social, more mas, more carnival. This is everything you do.”

Bryce added, “This is what you want to say,” Wow. ”

Perry is the ancestor of Cape Verde, who watched mas players at the Boston Carnival and started playing himself when he was a teenager. Like many other mas players, she said she did not perform well during the carnival. In addition to Boston, Soca&Associates will perform at this year’s Carnival in Worcester, New York, and will be held for the first time in Miami. For each location, the band will ship large costumes to the collection area, assemble and compete with other bands, many of which are affiliates of larger bands in Trinidad and Tobago.

Headquartered in Boston, Soca&Associates operates only on Black’s three-story deck and its basement. The basement has become an indoor mas camp, the concrete floor is painted in the bright red of the Trinidad flag, and the mannequin shapes each part. clothing.

Kwesi Matthew sat on the table behind the basement, carefully placing a row of feathers on his head. On his mobile phone, he played a recording of the band’s theme song “Craving,” which he wrote for this year’s carnival speech.

“We are waiting,” he sang while singing the social rhythm.

“We are all crazy”

“for entertaining,”

“For de rum.”

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