TWO BAND LAUNCHES IN ONE NIGHT

Elements and Reign – Reign had the biggest crowd, Elements won the WOW factor
By Stephen Weir with Craigg Slowly and Don Moreland - Caribbean Camera
Don’t try this after a couple of drinks: checking out two
costume launches on the same night half a city apart. A few die-hard revellers with fast cars and spotters at both events, managed the impossible seeing both the Fantazia Carnival’s Elements and Sunlime Canada’s Reign costume launches.
It is risky business having two events on the same evening, but, the increased interest in this year’s launch shows, meant that neither mas camp was handed their hats, albeit, both have softer attendance numbers than predicted.
The launches showcase the costumes that will be worn this year at the August 4th Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade. Long time costume designer Will Mortimer used the Elements – Earth, Wind and Fire -as the theme of his Fantazia Carnival launch which was held this year at the York Mills Gallery in North Toronto.
Elements was chosen as something like that has never been done,” said Will Morton. “When you think of Elements the first thing that comes to mind is the four main elements but it so much bigger than that. We always try to do things outside the box and have people thinking what are they coming with.”
“ The thing about Fantazia is always their costumes,”said Carnival North photographer Don Moreland. “They call Will Morton the Designer Extraordinaire, and on Saturday night he once again earned that title. Will has an incredible eye for style  - on a few of the costumes I noted there were actual moving parts!”
The Leslie Avenue York Mills Gallery  holds 500 comfortably. Ball park estimates put the Fantazia crowd at 250 to 350 people.
There were a lot of first time revellers at this fete and that made make-up artist Nikki Doorbal happy to be working at Fantazia launch.  “there were nine sections showing on Saturday night and my team and I compiled over 25 models.  The best thing about working with high count fashion shows is that you get to meet a lot of great new and enthused people.”
Sunlime’s  Reign launch was held in the large Warehouse Event Venue at Downsview Park.  This was the first Mas Band launch for the new hall. It is a 16,000 square foot open space with 30 foot ceilings.  With an attached bar, the hall can accommodate up to 1,000 people. Sunlime organizers estimate that 600 people came out on Saturday. Others estimate that 450 people attended the midnight fashion show and music performance.
There were 10 sections presenting costumes on the Warehouse stage and a total of 61 models came out on the catwalk. Sunlime brought in Trinidad’s JW of JW and Blaze (Palance) as the evening host.  Erphaan Alves and Preedy performed after the costume show ended.
“What I liked about Saturday,” reported Craigg Slowly, “was that the performers Erphaan Alves and Preedy stuck around after the show to lime with the audience.” 
“It wasn’t all about pushing costumes” he continued. “It was a fun event and people didn’t feel that they had to rush off home after it was all over (at 2am).

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