So it was MaKING Carnival turn to launch their mas for Notting Hill Carnival 2015.
I was really interested to see this band as their concept to launching is very different from the norm.
MaKING Carnival formerly known as Isis Mas launched a competition to give amateur designers a platform to get their designs out there. The top 3 designs (decided by a judging panel) were chosen to have their costumes taken to Notting Hill Carnival 2015.
The top 3 sections were:
1st Lisa George – Opulence
The costumes range in price from £135- £290. The backline is a pretty reasonable price but yeesssshhhh £290 is way up there especially for designs which in my opinion is quite tame for that price.
Firstly I think the idea of embracing new talent is great. There were some really great costumes on stage and you could tell that all the designers have huge potential. However I don’t really think the fluidity of the band remains.
You can tell when different people have designed different sections, it’s one of the main reasons I’m not a fan of collaboration sections within a band, as it really can disjoint the look of a whole band together.
The designers each had individual presentations for their sections. With some designers using pre-presentation music or dancers to set the scene. You could tell a lot of effort and work went into the portrayals. My favourite had to be Birds Of A Feather frontline, the beautiful colours and the feathered arm pieces mimicking beautiful exotic bird wings.
It’s obvious the theme for the band (which wasn’t presented by the way) ‘Enchanted‘ was a clear after thought. None of the sections presented were a smidgen of enchanted or related to each other in anyway shape or form. This then leads me to how the band will look on the road…
There’s a moment you take as a true designer/masquerader/band leader where you look at your band from top to bottom, the overall look is so important and personally I feel that this is effected by the difference in the designs.
As a suggestion. How about the competition being where the designers have to design the whole band based on the theme. This will keep fluidity of costumes throughout.
The competition vibe didn’t really sell the band for me, it was very lack lustre, as a consumer I never really felt excited for carnival. The presentation although unique individually wasn’t amazing overall, its definitely a case of too many cooks.
I think an evolution of this competition will definitely be a winning formula, the idea of a band with a whole new generation of designing talent is amazing so maintaining this is only going to get better for them.
My Mas Score 7/10