Costume creators set for carnival

A LEYTON (England)-BASED group is set to make a striking contribution to the color and excitement of Europe’s biggest street carnival, the Waltham Forest Guardian reports.

The Notting Hill Carnival sees the music, food and fashions of the Caribbean come to the streets of west London over the bank holiday weekend.

But elaborate costumes made in a small industrial unit by a team of just 10 people ensured east London was well represented.

Masquearade 2000 started in 1992 as a community based organisation linked to carnivals.

Now the group, which is based in Argall Avenue, Leyton, will provide costumes for up to 1000 revellers at the world-famous celebration.

Margaret Hamilton, band leader and director, said: “We are representing east London – the Notting Hill Carnival is our main event.

“One of our designer’s ideas was to make art, pop art, graffiti and optical illusions. It is a combination of art and drama. It is all different forms of art.

“We are engaging children, young people and families in this cultural and social event.

“It is a good way for people to engage an understanding of our Caribbean culture.

“And it brings people together.”

Costumes take almost a year to prepare, with the theme and costumes chosen in November and protoypes made in March.

Masquearade 2000 created costumes for five sections of the procession and 40 large individual costumes. The sections include optical illusions, pop art, futurism, carnival art and graffiti.

This year’s carnival featured costumes with pink hoods for the women with white boas.

Men’s costumes included blue hoods and jackets and short trousers in a modern hip-hop style.

The pop art costumes featured gold bra-type tops, with a gold head piece with eight feathers.

The optical art costumes consist of head pieces, silver masks, green and gold material and beads and gems on the skirts.

Blue costumes with backpacks create a futuristic style.

Mrs Hamilton added: “We have used all different methods of art. One of our lead members Vannie Shakes died this year. We have done a costume with a painting of her in tribute to her.”

The group has also designed costumes with an enchanted garden theme. These include collages of flowers and butterflies.

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