Dream Entertainment and YUMA served up a slice of heaven during Saturday’s Xodus band launch at 36 Hope Road, St Andrew, unveiling their costumes under the theme ‘League of Angels’.
Kamal Bankay, chairman of the National Carnival Committee, told The Gleaner: “Jamaica has its own style of carnival and the execution as well as costumes will develop organically to match the celebrations of neighbouring islands as the years go by.”
The Xodus launch trailed Xaymaca International, who were the first to unveil costumes ahead of the 2018 carnival season. But Bankay, who is also a director of Xodus and Dream Entertainment, assured that it was not part of a strategy to undercut the competition’s designs or prices.
“One could say the person that launches first will have the audience’s attention first, or one could say it is a waiting game. It is really about the product you put together for the people, whether it is Xodus or any other team. The ultimate joy is for all bands to grow in size,” Bankay said.
A one-hour delay made patrons all the more eager to see what the designers had put together to wow them. By the time Bankay welcomed the audience and announced showtime some, persons were almost on stage, begging him to move along with the presentation.
Creating a dramatic entrance, the lights were cut to allow the first of seven sections to enter the stage. When the spotlight hit the shimmery blend of blue and gold-feathered backpack of the Laylah section, the crowd went wild. With each section, the audience moved closer to the stage.
Three of the band’s seven sections – Scarlett, Viktoria and Laylah – received the strongest applause and loudest shrieks of approval. This could possibly have been owed to the models’ verve, as well as the extravagant designs.
Before persons could finalise which of the costumes fit their personalities (and bodies) best, Bankay interrupted the showcase to extend gratitude to sponsors on behalf of the team, almost leaving the audience to wonder if that was all. But to the patrons’ jubilation, four bonus sections were introduced, namely Unleashed by Bonnie Lee, Leilani by miSim and Seraphina by Epiphany Foster – all local fashionistas – and the standout costume, Noir, by international female designer, Jin Forde.
The only thing missing from the presentation was the costume offerings for males.
The first bands had the otherworldly appearance attached to the angelic theme. However, the colours may not have provided the greatest contrast, until the final four which included more neon and black. Xodus promised that all information relating to registration and other details would be available on their website within 24 hours of the launch.
The night ended with a little teaser of what the entertainment package will include, as Tosh Alexander, ambassador of Xodus Carnival, as well as Bang Bang Boomdancehall artiste Aidonia performed. Disc jockeys from Chromatic and Coppershot maintained the energy for persons who came to party, while others moved to the registration tent.