Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 13th 2013 Contents KHARA PERSAD
Are the days of boy shorts and beaded bras
for Monday mas over? Designers have been
buying in more and more to "Monday Wear"
as a viable option for dressing up for the
road on Carnival Monday. But a few hardcore
masqueraders are not quite convinced.
The main problem, unsurprisingly, is money.
After spending thousands of dollars for that
beaded or faux-feathered bikini with a head
piece and various accoutrements, along with
the separate cost for boots, jewellery and make-
up, should you also make room in your budget
for a whole separate outfit for Monday?
A few ladies gave their two cents.
Anisha, 23, rejected the streamlining of spe-
cial and separate costumes for Monday mas.
"I won t spend extra money on that. I will
make my own. I did it this year."
Anisha said she bought beads and other
decorations from Samaroo s Limited and dec-
orated a bra, saving money and getting creative.
"I would do my own thing at a cheaper
She said the masquerading experience was
not cheap, as it included the cost of the cos-
tume, as well as the other items needed to
put the outfit together---including stockings,
jewellery and boots.
"It adds up," said Anisha, who said next
year will be her third time playing mas for
Monday Wear is hardly a new trend. Leg-
endary band leader Peter Minshall, who first
started back in 1979, requested his masquer-
aders wear white on a Monday to differentiate
from their Tuesday costume. Even earlier in
the 70s, steelbands like Starlift also came out
with different outfits on a Monday. Brian Mac-
Farlane has also given his masqueraders cloth
to use on Monday and the cloth was also avail-
able for purchase if people just wanted to jump
with the band on a Monday.
Nowadays many big bands provide a sep-
arate outfit for their masqueraders, usually
consisting of boy shorts and a top. The evo-
lution continues, as designers are creating
special costumes for those masqueraders seek-
ing an individualised piece.
Still, it may not be worth it to masqueraders
like Amy, who understood why girls would
want to go all out, but said it was a complete
waste of money.
"I don t see the big deal with Monday Wear,"
she said over the telephone.
She noted however, if she ever chose to buy
such a specially made outfit, it would have
be something she could wear again.
And that versatility could be found in designs
by designer Keishel Williams. She has created
a new Monday Wear line for 2014 called Won-
derland, and said her designs can be worn
"You can wear the designs to parties,"
Williams said via telephone.
She agreed female masqueraders should not
have to shell out more money for a unique
outfit, and has described her line as "afford-
"I don t think you should spend thousands
on Monday Wear. I try to make sure my prices
are within a certain range."
Her cheapest and simplest outfit ran
between $350 and $400, she said.
For Melanie Young Sing, it wasn t so much
about the money than it was enjoying the
costume to the fullest. She wears her frontline
design on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
She said there was no way she would wear
anything but the official costume she paid for.
"I wouldn t pay for that, it s a waste. The
outfits (for Monday Wear) are nice but I mean,
you already pay for your costume. It s just
two days you get to wear it. It seems like a
waste to wear something else on a Monday.
Wear your costume!" the 17-year-old mas-
However, one seasoned masquerader, Alicia,
said not only does she indulge in Monday
Wear for herself, she advocates for it.
"What you wear on Monday sets a precedent
for Tuesday mas," the 32-year-old, self-pro-
claimed biggest lover of Carnival said via tele-
Alicia said she never wore what was provided
by her band of choice, and has always made
her own costume.
"When it comes to my Monday Wear, it
isn t about money, it s about how I look."
Alicia revealed she once took out a small
loan to be able to get all her costume prepa-
rations done, which included sourcing a
designer to mak her a unique ensemble.
She acknowledged it was a sacrifice, but
one worth making for the joy she feels with
showing off in the streets of Port-of-Spain.
"It s the dressing up, I love the pageantry.
It s how I get to express myself. I can t do this
any other time of the year. It s my day."
Aniesa, 28, who recently moved to New
York, and plans to come down to play mas
(no matter what) said she would not pay the
money for a separate outfit, but confessed if
she fell in love with something, she might be
"I will suck it up like every other Trini and
pay for it and complain after," she joked in a
Monday Wear clearly isn t for everyone. As
Williams put it, some people would go to a
designer with an idea for themselves, while
others would do their own thing. And it s all
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
A Philadelphia museum has the per-
fect holiday gift idea for the person who
has everything, including a love of sci-
ence and a dark sense of humour.
A US$200 donation buys the preser-
vation of one of 139 skulls dating back
to the 19th century in a collection at the
Mütter Museum of the College of Physi-
cians of Philadelphia.
Subtle vibrations from footsteps of
museum patrons have caused the skulls,
which have been on continuous display
for more than 100 years, to lose or crack
their teeth, said curator Anna Dhody.
Money raised through the Save Our
Skulls campaign will be used to build
The skulls were amassed by 19th-cen-
tury Viennese scientist Josef Hyrtl to
debunk the study of phrenology, the
belief that the shape of a skull determines
a person s moral caliber and that different
races are actually different species.
Gruesome gift that keeps on giving: $200 to sponsor museum skulls
Elaborate embellishments like this earpiece, are part of Ela Designs Monday Wear collection for
2014. PHOTO: GARY JORDAN PHOTOGRAPHY
A piece from Wonderland, a Monday Wear
line for 2014 by designer Keishel Williams.
PHOTO: JEROME MCCLEAN PHOTOGRAPHY
not quite convinced
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