Costume designer Kenneth Antoine will return mas to its glory days where revelers will wear more than just beads and feathers, and nakedness, as he readies Antoine International to celebrate 25 years on Eastern Parkway, this Labor Day.
“The true art and culture of mas is dying. It is not being showcased as it should,” contended the artisan who plans to design pieces that will show the beauty of carnival with creations that are designed to cover-up revelers.
His portrayal of “Mama This Is Mas” will place emphasis on his junior Mas band this year, with a themed Aztec nation of revelers dressed as goddesses, farmers, nature, warriors, Mongolians and Africans.
Antoine’s lower-level mas camp at 245 East 34th St., between Church and Snyder avenues in Brooklyn, showcases costumes which tell the story of the colorful culture, that the designer wants to pass down to future generations of designers and revelers.
His passion runs deep for designing, and it shows in the tireless work that he puts into wire bending, creasing, and etching, to ensure each costume is complete to perfection, as seen on the walls, and on models at his mas camp who dressed up to be photographed by Caribbean Life.
Antoine said he has won titles in every completion, except for the Junior Large band crown, which he aims to capture at the 49th West Indian American Day Carnival in Brooklyn.
“It I win in this category, I would have won in every category on the Parkway,” said the master costume designer, whose rich colorful costumes are accessorize with wide headpieces.
To celebrate his 25th anniversary, kiddies will receive free costumes to mass in certain sections of the band, expected to attract some 200 masqueraders.
A $25.00 fee will go towards snacks for the kids on the Parkway.
The adult band this year will be toned down but will showcase elements of his theme, he said, with just five sections. All costumes cost $200.
Antoine International Mas camp is opened from Monday to Friday, 5 pm to 11 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to midnight, and could be reached by calling 347-303-7857.