10 top looks from Toronto's Caribana 2019
A look at the artistry of our favourite Carnival costumes and the familiar faces who wore them
The 52nd annual Toronto Caribbean Carnival wrapped up in style with the grand parade this past weekend. 9 competing Mas Bands and 4 guest bands took to Lakeshore Boulevard for a show of colour, creativity and most of all culture.
As the daughter of a veteran mas man (costume maker/designer) I regularly play mas and I'm a huge fan of the artistry and painstaking work that goes into building these costumes. Along this year's 7k route I saw so many gorgeous costumes. Here are just a few of my favourites and why they stood out to me.
(Author, Nneka Elliott, section "Pterois" from the band Venom Carnival.)
Sexologist and fellow CBC contributor Shannon Boodram showed up and showed out in cornflower blue two piece costume with a feathered collar piece. Her costume is from the section "Fantasy" from first time Toronto carnival band Dream Carnival. I particularly loved the prismatic half circle detail on her bikini top and Shan's simplistic eye makeup with gold gems.
Cynthia Bailey, Porsha Wiiliams, Kandi Burruss, Tanya Sam and Kenya Moore
Bloop! The real housewives of Atlanta were in town to celebrate Caribana. The peaches were spotted at various Caribana events and appeared to be filming for the new season of their reality show. Tanya Sam is a regular on the show and is from Toronto. Some of the wives actually donned costumes and hit the Lakeshore to jump up. They wore costumes from the band Carnival Nationz. The silver and grey costume was called "Come Gyal". I loved the matching detailing on their monokinis and tiaras and the pops of teal and coral in their backpieces.
Meghan Yuri Young
Silver seemed to be a popular colour on "de road" this year. I also spotted influencer and media personality Meghan Yuri Young looking hot in silver high cut high waisted bikini bottoms and a matching wire bra top speckled with orange, blue and red gems. The costume was called "Mauna Lao" from Jamal Magloire's band Toronto Revellers. I thought the colour combination and the various base options were super unique. I also appreciated that everyone in that section got matching Nikes!
Joella Crichton holds the record for the most queen of the band titles in Toronto carnival history. For the first time in 10 years she sported a "section mas" and not her usual monstrosity on wheels. Her costume was called "Radar" and is from the band Carnival Nationz. The iridescent gun-metal costume really stood out to me, especially the shoulder/collar unit. It was unlike any costume I had ever seen before.
Culture writer and carnival aficionado Wanna, wowed in a royal blue costume from band of the year Saldenah Mas. I first spotted this costume on a visit to Saldenah's mas camp. The vivid blue and pops of neon caught my eye right away. This section is led by Dr.Jay and is called Tabanca. Wanna's feathered back piece, bejewelled tiara and neck piece were a few of my favourite touches. I also loved that she paired it with rhinestone fishnets.
Model French Ting was pink and lilac perfection. She participated with Venom Carnival and her opalescent costume was called "Syrena". How could you not love those massive wings, icy crown and super sexy cut-out monokini?!
Lifestyle YouTuber Linda Elaine stunned in a pretty pink costume from the band Tribal Carnival. Linda's costume was called "Mesmerize". I really like the criss crossed detail at the centre of her one piece and her oval back piece. Plus I love pink and orange in a carnival costume. Her faux locs and diamond drop earrings topped off the look nicely.
I can't forget the guys. I feel like the Mas Bands stepped up the designs for male costumes this year. I saw some really different looks. Like this one from Carnival Nationz. Canadian Trainer Corey Kashif rocked a front line costume from the section "Soca For Love". We can't get enough of his red, gold and green wings! Plus the sheer red bottoms and the crown is everything.
YouTuber and Carnivalista Azalea Hart wore a light violet and white creation from Saldenah Mas. The costume was called "First Crush". The diamante encrusted touches connecting her belt piece and bra top is what I loved most. Not to mention the delicate wings!
Til next year!
Nneka Elliott (@nnekaelliott) is a lifestyle blogger, host and actor. She shares her adventures with hair, skincare and makeup in her pursuit of a gutsy life. nnekaelliott.com