Once again designingDARYL has wowed us with brilliant show stopping costumes that seem to make fans of his work become even more committed to his signature style. Rhinestones galore, nakedness, feathers all seem to be in abundance in every one of his Goddess of the Road pieces. Trinidad Carnivals caught up with him backstage amid tons of ostrich plumes, large pheasant feathers some of the longest I have ever seen and so many glittering rhinestones that we seriously had to adjust the flash on our camera to capture the excellent craftsmanship. This year, designingDARYL was responsible for creating two sections for section leaders Kolin “SocaVibez” Alexander and Aaron Saldenah. The two sections were called “Solstice” and “Ancient Goddess” and they graced the stage in second and seventh position respectively. Check out our videos and pics for more details. We will give you a moment to recover... Backstage, Daryl was busy and with one look, he gave us a smile and mentioned “Are you ready for me to make you vomit?” – the phrase caught me by surprise because I really didn’t know what It meant but overall, I guess it was a good thing (or at least one would hope) .. “This is the Goddess of the Road,” he said. A Goddess of the Road? Who wouldn’t want to be “one”? DesigningDARYL took some time amid finishing his creations to explain that “Goddess of the Road” or #GOTR was not his phrase “per se” but was borrowed (with permission) from Saucy of Trinidad Carnival Diary and used ONLY on his designs in particular sections that he worked with. He went on to explain that in this business, where most people do not credit their source of inspiration for almost anything and just blatantly copy, he wanted to be sure that credit was placed where it is due. We at Trinidad Carnivals can certainly identify because we constantly struggle with the photo watermarking issue. He went on to add that the term “Ultra Frontline,” which basically germinated through his collaboration with Saldenah Mas Camp and Curtis Eustace in the “Portraits” presentation almost 5 years ago is now over-used and in some cases “ill-used”. To quote him directly, “They can have Ultra Frontline – the term began and has ended with me, I now focus primarily on the Goddesses among us.” The Goddess costumes for both Aaron Saldenah and Socavibez were not seen at the photo shoot and the only time that folks saw the costumes was at the launch. A true treat for those in attendance. I can tell you that all the rave was about the signature pieces from designingDARYL and we were extremely pleased that he was able to keep the standard high this year. When asked what else we can look forward to from Daryl in Toronto, he mentioned that his focus has shifted to the Cayman Islands where he just executed a launch for Swanky International, swelling their mas playing population by over 125%. To put things in numbers, the band has registered over 600 people and usually bands in Cayman Islands peak at about 200 at most. He did however hint that if we ever go to Cuba, we must try the Cohiba – but encouraged that smoking is not really good for the lungs. As expected, we did not have much time with designingDARYL backstage because Trinidad Carnivals does cover every section and we try to do so equally but we were pleased to have had the chance to briefly speak with him and we appreciate that! Look out for designingDARYL at a carnival near you. Like us here at TrinidadCarnivals, we are sure you would have no problem spotting his signature style. His work will be featured in Swanky International (Cayman Islands), Ramajay Mas (New York), Sesame Flyers (New York), Soca Mas (Boston), One Island (Miami) and these were just the ones we could confirm. Stay tuned or as Daryl would say “Stay Beautiful”.