Viewpoint: Caribbean & Central American Cultures & Costume Design

 

Prominent in Pink

The Art of Customs

Breathtaking are the costumes of Mardigras.  Especially those held in the Caribbean, Central and South America or put on in honour of those cultures.

Inspired by the Rendille and Dinka tribes of Africa, mainly the Dinka, I was going for a look for royalty or an oracle. I still think this concept could work in many ways.

Wakyambi

Yes, some of the costumes are quite risquee; that’s the biggest concern or admiration of many onlookers, but you ought to consider the different cultures and subcultures that are deeply rooted behind all that.  For me, as a visual artist, I see tremendous inspiration.

Seremonial garb designed for a warrior monarch or oracle. Aztec dance costumes were the prime inspiration behind this. I also tried to incorporate Samurai, Zulu, Indebele and Xhosa elements.

Those who know me from at least my early adolescence know that I have designed costumes for comic book, fantasy and sci-fi art characters with similar considerations my entire life.  Sure, you see modern concepts that come from Las Vegas showgirl costumes, and vice versa as well as concepts inspired by Native American ceremonial dress.  There are also; nevertheless, many elements of various traditional West African, Aztec, Inca, Arawakan and Taino tribal attire.  These are costume elements from ancient and virtually forgotten cultures that contribute greatly to the contemporary Caribbean cultures.  They are all here, very much alive and colourfully celebrated, in the costumes.

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