A report by Priya Ramjewan Nylo for Trinidad’s Newsday.
The Lost Tribe Carnival band (LTCB) will be collaborating with MAC (Makeup Arts Cosmetics) for its Carnival 2018 presentation, Seven.
Seven is representative of Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, as well as the Magnificent Seven buildings around the Queen’s Park Savannah. Its costumes are also inspired by poui trees in full bloom, and the story of seven sisters and their encounter with a wandering young man who becomes their guest.
The costumes are vibrant with a fairy-tale feel to them and are expected to come to life under the hands of MAC’s director of makeup artistry in New York, Romero Jennings.
Jennings was born in Jamaica and although he grew up in New York, he still calls himself an “island boy.” With over 30 years of experience in the field, he is accomplished in the world of makeup artistry and has done looks for three international magazine covers, including Harper’s Bazaar in Spanish and L’Officiel, Ukraine.
Working with LTCB’s theme, Jennings revealed, was “like a makeup artist’s dream come true!” “The costumes are graphic, colourful, filled with sparkle and dimension,” he said. “Creating the looks were so satisfying as an artist.
“Since I am an island boy born in Jamaica, I imagined beautiful, bright fabrics against many different skin tones! It really is a dream partnership with Lost Tribe.” Although it is his first time working with a Carnival band, Jennings is not daunted. “The partnership with Lost Tribe was perfect, I am counting on working together with the band and even using some of its costumes in upcoming photo shoots and presentations.” A photo shoot has already been done at the MAC location in Trinidad.
Having the freedom to interpret the looks since he was able to consider all aspects of island life when designing them, Jennings went on to describe the surreal process.
“As my brain was thinking, I could smell and taste the food (doubles), feel the sun and ocean air. It was so unreal, I could taste the island.
“No, I have never been to Trinidad before this trip but I knew that it would be like home. The island and people are amazing! “It was bigger and more dynamic than I thought. Trinidad has a laid-back vibe but a fast, inviting riddim.” He explained that customers will be able to recreate his looks with the aid of the face charts they have produced.
“I had Christa Wong, a NYC based makeup artist Face Chart Pro create the polished charts.
We used them for the band launch and will use them as a guide for customers to get the same looks with ease.
Face charts really are an art form,” Jennings said.
When asked about his favourite look, Jennings found it difficult to choose one because he loved so many of them.
However, he tentatively settled on Fleur, because “the colours are delicious and the engineering creates a cloud of floating fabric that looks effortless but effective.” Jennings described his work with the Lost Tribe team as “magical” and said he would not change a thing they did on launch night.
“I am so proud of the MAC Travel Retail Caribbean team.” He added, “I know as a leader that you are as good as your team and the team is talented and with a high level of artistry skills. They are the heroes and I really love and appreciate working with them.” Jennings was impacted personally by the experience.
“It reminds me of where I come from and to always remember to stop and smell the roses,” he said. “I realise how much I missed the magic of the Caribbean.
“ It is electric but calming at the same time. Island peeps, bredrin, have a drive and determination to never give up and always strive for the best but look for the beauty within.”