Every year , the month of April transforms our little 37 square miles of paradise into a memorable experience for both tourists and locals alike. However, some would say that it is even extreme that we can put so much emphasis during the entire year for a 3 weeks event. I am still in "Carnival recovery mode"...hence the late blog post!
The truth is, that music has always been the catalyst that would connect people beyond culture and ethnicity. St.Maarten is host to hundreds of cultures and nationalities, but specially during the month of April, the only thing that matters island wide is to celebrate carnival. St.Maarten's Carnival has become one of the biggest celebration in the region. This year as we had a commemorative moment, we celebrated our 50th Carnival, we saw the island become even more alive with people from all over the world that wanted to be part of this major event.
As a reveler, and someone that has enjoyed Carnival from a child straight up to adulthood, I can truly say that the evolution has been palpable and of great significance to our tourism and hospitality industry. Over all it is the season for great food, creative drinks, friends, music and FASHION. Yes I said it: fashion: for months leading up to this cultural event, women plot and get very creative about the perfect and trendy wardrobe for 3 weeks long. And where would you ask does this display takes place? Everything happens in our Festival Village. The Festival Village is the central place for the concerts, the great food and drinks and ultimately for the fashion exchange for both men and women....Guys been making sure that they do their own forms of "Slayage" as well.
Parade Day: Colors...Fun...Glam...Lashes...Airbrush:This is Carnival!! Shout Out To Elvis Harrigan For This Awesome Shot!
For me the excitement, into assembling and coordinating my looks for 3 weeks could be overwhelming, especially if I happen to start late with my selection process: this consist of reviewing everything that I have not worn (with tags) and identifying in what ways I can make it a trendy piece if need to be or even revamp it. This of course involves your accessories, shoes, hair & makeup look for the infamous "Carnival Season". An enormous time is put into the planning of your various looks, every night serves a different purpose and therefore you need to ensure that you are dress to fit the part. We go from pageantry night to a wet fete, where you will be dancing to Soca beats under the pressure of water.In Pic: Pageantry Night, where you are expected to share a bit more glam
One of my strengths, is that I have a great seamstress, and she can create almost anything that I throw at her, I love to maintain my own style and sometimes, that goes beyond what you can find in a store or via your favorite on line retailer. This is also a tip that I offer to many people that ask me how do I come up with concepts to enhance my figure / curves, while still remaining very current within the fashion trends. In addition to having a seamstress that understands your vision, being able to take risks and simply wear what you want without waiting on approval from society, has certainly helped me through my journey of developing my own unique style. I can assure you that every year I become more daring...and without one single drop of regret.
Jouvert Morning Ensemble: Gold Fringe Belt & Matching High Waist Panty / Customized T-shirt. Paired with fishnet stockings! Created by my Seamstress of over 20 years!
My biggest challenge every year, has got to be getting my bathing suit to fit me "right". I think as a plus size reveler (or any reveler for that matter), you do want to be able to enjoy yourself during parade days while not only looking, but also feeling your best! I put a lot of emphasis into ensuring that it is the right fit and that I have the necessary support in all the key areas of my body. I personally think that this is a discussion that you need t have as soon as you know that you will be joining the parade. do not wait last minute for alterations and have an open communication with your troupe leader, do not be afraid to let them know that you are unhappy or that you need your piece to be altered to your liking. You spend a substantial amount of money, and it goes without saying that it is imperative for you to get your money's worth.
This right here, is for me the CORE of our Carnival Celebrations!
Carnival for me is about creating memories with friends both locally and those that join us from the various parts of the world to come experience a one of a kind Carnival...while doing this, there is no harm in looking EXTRA cute ;)!