What did I do on Saturday 29th June? Did I go to the Hunslet Gala? no. Did I go to see the bands in Cross Flats Park? no. Did I go to Belle Isle Gala? no. Did I go to Miggy Park? no. Did I go to the South Leeds Music Centre coffee morning? no. Did I go to see the Beeston Dog Show? wuff wuff no, the Middleton Model railway exhibition? no, or the Leeds Waterfront Festival? No No No. All in all it was a pretty quiet in south Leeds over the weekend. Not.
Now our team of dedicated Community Reporters where out there capturing the life and times of South Leeds, covering as many of the community events as we can get to.
But on Saturday 29th June I was at the Deighton Carnival in Huddersfield. This was its 12th anniversary and I was there because I’d been commissioned to make a carnival costume for the Fantasy of Deighton Troupe. One of my hobbies is making and designing carnival costumes I have been doing this for over 16 years now, I mainly make costumes for the Leeds Caribbean Carnival held on August Bank Holiday Monday in the Chapeltown.
The costume I made for Deighton Carnival was based on a fairy concept, I used a cross between butterfly wings and a fairy to come up with the costume. I worked with a team of children and their leader Carol – ‘Godmother of the Fairies’ – as the Huddersfield Examiner reporter nicknamed her. It took me about two months to sketch the designs, looked at colours to match those of the troupe, which included the colours of the rainbow. So finally, I settled on white wings spanning 3 meters with indigo and black trimmings. But the most important thing about a costume is the harness that goes over the back which supports the whole costume. The design has to be light, strong and balanced, to allow the carrier to dance and move with ease without noticing that they are carrying an extra 10-15 kg of weight on their backs. The costume can also be affected by the wind, so the design is important.
My love of carnival has led me to develop some projects in South Leeds, in 2011, a young girl from Holbeck Octavia Webster took part in designing a carnival costume competition and her design was chosen and made up into a costume by one of the north’s top designers Hughbon Condor. This was featured at the Beeston Festival, Hunslet Play Day, Cottingley Fair and was as highlighted in the Yorkshire Evening Post. She was planning to go to Art College as a result of her experience – Damian Hirst watch out.
This article was written by St Clair Brown using our Community Reporters website