Feathers! Gems! Trims! Oh My!
Though we had a long Carnival season this year, Carnival week still managed to sneak up on me. As I mentioned before, I I had purchased all my materials in January, but by the Sunday before Carnival I had a completely sheer monokini as my costume base and nothing attached to it.
Instead, I was busy working on a friend's Monday wear. Thank God for Featheration Motif. The new trim store opened in the middle of February on Bournes Road in St. James. It stocks a great selection of trims and a SUPER extensive variety of gems in a spectrum of colours and styles that will either render you completely inspired or completely overwhelmed. Luckily the store also boasts great organization in a clean space and helpful and friendly staff, led by proprietor Tisha Neilson, who never complain about their painstaking efforts counting out gems for you (me). They're open year round but definitely keep them in mind for Carnival 2015.
A lot of my costume work was done at the Liilah Workshop, which was bustling out Monday Wear and bathing suits throughout the Carnival season. Designer Lisa Marie Henry, sewed my monokini out of a nude sheer mesh that she hand dyed to match my skin tone. I was so impressed with Lisa this season and how she was able to not only bring together my monokini from a handful of disparate images that I gave to her, but do the same for countless other clients, and manage her time to make sure it was all complete by Carnival Sunday night. Big up to her assistants Vanessa, Ornella and Aquila who all kept me laughing throughout the entire process.
The colours of my costume were inspired by the pastel peaches, pinks and purples of the gorgeous foil fabric used in Anya Ayoung Chee's Cheyenne costume. I played off of this with peach and rose gold trims and chains and lots of fantastic gems. Lisa and Anya both helped me mastermind construction of the costume with extremely helpful hints along the way ("I need to add another ring here for support", "Sew the feathers to this seam for the angle you want" etc.) to help me bring the design ideas to life.
And all praises are due to Gem-Tac, the new glue specifically for gems that I just discovered. Basically, throughout this entire process I didn't pick up a glue gun ONCE. Gem-Tac (also available at Featheration btw), delivered the cleanest look I have ever achieved when applying gems to fabric and it lasted. I was super nervous all of Carnival Tuesday because I only used gems to cover my sheer-fabric-ed ass but literally I only lost one gem during the whole day, and honestly I don't even know from where.
And then, just like that it was Carnival Tuesday morning. As usual I commissioned my father to help with tying of straps, spraying of sunscreen, and, yes, last minute trim sewing lol. After a quick photoshoot with Kyle at the house, I was ready!
The only issue I had with the costume was that my collar trim dug into my neck leaving some great Ash Wednesday battle scars, but of course, I have noone to blame for that but myself!
I missed Carnival last year but 2014 was an amazing return to the road for me. I had literally no complaints (okay except that the big men monopolizing the bars with their height and breadth really annoy me. Next year can we have a girls only bar truck TRIBE??). I can't wait for Carnival 2015 and I hope everyone had an amazing, safe and enjoyable Carnival season as well.
Photography: Kyle Walcott
Makeup: Natalie Simone Miles of Miles of Beauty