Street Style: Trinidad & Tobago Carnival

Street Style: Trinidad & Tobago Carnival
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 01, 2012

1 of 35 Leslie Grannum

The Yellow Sea costume represents the path of enlightenment. The vibrant color, along with fringe and ruffles, certainly brought the look to life.

2 of 35 Leslie Grannum

The buckles placed throughout the body were another amazing detail in the Yellow Sea costume. “All of the leggings were made very wide to create a modern-day version of the sailor pants or bell-bottom pants,” Kathy Norman tells ESSENCE. “The oversized bell bottom was intentionally done to create movement through out the band.”

3 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“The Red Sea costumes represent rage and fury,” says Karen Norman.

4 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“This peek-a-boo of beading on mesh was used to create a sexy yet sophisticated look.”

5 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“We incorporated the velvet flowers with the coque feathers to add more texture to the design,” says Karen Norman. “The coque feathers were intentionally placed into the velvet flowers to make the costume look more fierce and threatening.”

6 of 35 Leslie Grannum

Masqueraders who selected wings with their costumes made a grand appearance.

7 of 35 Leslie Grannum

The costume’s headdress was beautifully bedazzled with feathers, crystals and beads.

8 of 35 Leslie Grannum

Three is not a crowd when you’re playing “mas.” These lovely ladies work their looks together.

9 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“In Indian belief, Saraswati is the Goddess of learning, knowledge and wisdom.”

10 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“The caged backpack represents the bandaging of self,” reveals Karen Norman. “It is almost a structure that is holding the individual together.”

11 of 35

“Saraswati is usually depicted as sitting on a Lotus flower. The ruffles on the skirt are meant to give the feel of a flower, and the feathers and flowers on the top of the skirt was used to create a sort of floral bed.”

12 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“The beaded body suit was introduced to pull the entire band together. Purple usually represents good judgment, or happiness.”

13 of 35

“The Dead Sea represents ruin.”

14 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“This design is filled with black flowers along with black and green feathers to demonstrate that the individual is going through hard times.”

15 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“The green is used to add more depth and dimension to the costume,” says Kathy Norman. “It also represents that ruin is a new beginning.”

16 of 35 Leslie Grannum

Variations of the same design were used throughout for individuality.

17 of 35 Leslie Grannum

Masqueraders personalized their costumes with accessories of their choice. Here, this young lady opts for black fur-trimmed boots.

18 of 35 Leslie Grannum

A close-up of the costume shows the feathers cascading asymmetrically.

19 of 35 Leslie Grannum

The ladies hit the stage for the costume judging.

20 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“This group represents growth,” says Karen Norman. “The green was used as a means of representing life.”

21 of 35 Leslie Grannum

A look at the costume complete with peacock feather wings.

22 of 35 Leslie Grannum

A couple stops for a photo op in a matching look.

23 of 35 Leslie Grannum

This rich vibrant green popped amongst a sea of costumes in the street.

24 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“The movement of the costume should give you the feel of a tree reaching towards the sun.”

25 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“This costume represents birth or unconsciousness of the social environment.”

26 of 35

“We used white to represent purity and newness,” says Karen Norman.

27 of 35 Leslie Grannum

In a parade of color, stark white was a refreshing shade to see.

28 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“From a Biblical perspective, when Jesus was baptized it was said that ‘God appeared as a Spirit dove,’” says Kathy Norman, “so for the white section used a sprout of feathers to give you the feeling of an image of the ‘Spirit Dove’ or a more angelic feel to the costume.”

29 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“On Carnival Monday, masqueraders wore a sheer blue style that represented ‘the rising of the waters,’” said Kathy Norman. “The convertible wrap dress was chosen so the women could make the dress their own.”

30 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“Monday wear is meant to be a keepsake. Something that the masqueraders could potentially use after Carnival, more specifically as a beach cover-up.”

31 of 35 Leslie Grannum

Ladies personalize “Monday wear” with pieces from their Carnival costume like the head piece shown here.

32 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“The intention was to make the band look like moving water,” says Karen Norman, “a flood of blue through the street of Port-of-Spain.”

33 of 35 Leslie Grannum

“Monday wear is meant to be a keepsake. Something that the masqueraders could potentially used after carnival, more specifically as a beach cover up.”

34 of 35 Leslie Grannum

Variations of the same design were used throughout for individuality.

35 of 35