Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s largest street carnival and West London came alive over the Bank holiday weekend to the sights and sounds of the colourful festivities.
Joanna Brownlow, who’s family live in Ballymoney, got into the carnival spirit earlier in the year when she found herself modelling in a photo shoot for some of the amazing costumes which were worn by a group of revellers.
Joanna explained: “I met Vanesta Fraser on a promotion course back in March. She is from St.Vincent and the Grenadines and had been chatting to me about carnivals and how she always took part in them back home and that was something I was really interested in, especially the Nottinghill Carnival although I had never been myself.
“Vanesta said that since she joined the army she had attended it but only as a member of other groups and floats. She decided this year to set up her own group with friends and family and she also decided to design and make the costumes herselfand when she knew how interested I was in it she asked me to model some of the costumes for a photo shoot which was then used to promote the float in the build up to carnival weekend.”
Joanna is no stranger to performing having been a member of the Coleraine Twirl Stars, however, she certainly didn’t perform in costumes quite like these.
“The costumes were just stunning,” added Joanna, a Corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps based in Colchester.
“The ones for the front row of the float are much more extravagant with elaborate head pieces and arm and leg pieces and then they become slightly less flamboyant the further back the people who wear them are on the float or within the group. However, they are all very beautiful and I think Vanesta did an amazing job of designing and making them.
“I was more than happy to be asked to model them and it was great fun being part of a shoot and getting the opportunity to wear the costumes. Unfortunately I didn’t get to the carnival due to work commitments. I was disappointed as it’s something I have wanted to go to for ages. I would have loved to have seen the float and all the costumes as I’ve always enjoyed learning about new things, people and different cultures but sadly work comes first. I will definitely be doing my best to get along to NottingHill next year, however, that all depends on what is happening with work, so you never know.”