SOUTH FLORIDA – The South Florida Caribbean News Team had the opportunity to go behind the scenes with Miami Carnival Masquerade Designer Shannon Douglas.
You can see Shannon’s work on display on Sunday, October 13th at the Miami Carnival Parade of Bands at the Miami-Dade Fair & Expo Center (10901 SW 24th St, Miami) gates open at 11am.
Section Name: VS [Vibez N’ Sexyness] Island Mas
Band Name: Party Room Squad
- Tell us your backstory.
I taught myself how to use a sewing machine when I was in the 6th grade, and I’ve been perfecting my craft ever since. I was mainly making swimsuits up until last year when I decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge.
- Why did you first get involved with costuming for Miami Carnival?
To be honest, I was over my costume never really fit the way I wanted it to & was sometimes unsatisfied with the quality and the customer service. I knew many others who felt the same. I wanted to create a section where masqueraders could feel excited, encouraged, and sure during and after their costume buying experience!
- How to keep up with the trends or set your own?
Both! I love trends! I definitely spend hours looking through past carnival sections, costumes in different parades, theme-related content…but I get the most satisfaction out of just walking up and down and up and down AND up and down my favorite fabric and craft stores day after day to come up with my own favorite looks and statements!
- What is your approach to making your costumes?
I don’t really have one. I can be sitting down watching tv or walking down the street, and some aspects of design will just come to me, and when that happens, I’ll just pull out my phone or my notebook and make a quick sketch while its fresh in my memory. Later on, I’ll look at all my sketches and piece them together to create a masterpiece of a section!
- Out of all of your designs, do you have a favorite?
This is only my 2nd year designing costumes. I’m very new to the game! This year’s pieces are definitely my favorite compared to last year.
- What happens to costumes after the carnival?
If there are a few extra, I try to sell the pieces at a discount or at least recycle the rhinestones and the trims.
- Your favorite quote mantra?
“I Made Me Do It”
- What’s next for you after Miami Carnival?
The next one! It’s hard to stay focus on this year because I’m already ready to start creating something new.
- Favorite app
Probably my Google Music App
- Where are you from?
St. Petersburg, FL but my bloodline is mixed with Jamaican and American.
- Favorite Caribbean dish?
Ackee & Saltfish
- Favorite place to go to in Miami?
As a designer, I love fabric stores! My favorite one is Carol’s in downtown Miami.