Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dancehall meets Avant-Garde in Magnum Kings and Queens TV series

Since inception in 2007, the Magnum Kings and Queens (MKQ) of Dancehall talent series has incorporated a fashion element in its weekly live shows. Each Saturday night, dancehall trends take to the Magnum stage in the format of a fashion show parading the panache of local designers under a ‘Brazen’ theme.

Natalie Paraboosingh, Producer of Magnum Kings and Queens and Choreographer of the fashion segment says the style element puts an interesting spin on the live shows. “The fashion segment enhances the creativity and excitement of the show. Dancehall incorporates so much more than music, it is a culture and a part of that culture is Fashion. So music and fashion are a perfect synergy for a thrilling show! That’s what we try to bring to Jamaican audiences through Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall.”

At the third live show in the series on Saturday, March 12 Chenele Wallace’s Cochen Designs went avant-garde for the large audience at D’Entrance on Constant Spring Road in Kingston. Wallace’s captivating inventions interlaced nicely with the Magnum models. Her edgy couture was well received by the enchanted audience. Dresses with slanting hem lines with adjoining ruptures of robust flair were her distinct signature for the avant-garde female pieces. While there seemed to be a black and gold colour scheme woven through all her numbers, the Magnum male models used their austere chests and chiselled arms to accentuate Cochen Design’s regal-like knee length coats and tailored leggings.

“It is my first time working with Magnum Kings and Queens. I like fun, I like to play around. The theme given to me was avant-garde (Brazen) and I don’t usually do that. I make everyday clothing, so it was different for us and I enjoyed doing it,” says Wallace.

The previous two weeks showcased designs from Balla Shawn and Ben Posh, well respected in the dancehall and fashion fraternities.

Balla Shawn’s hardcore dancehall style has portrayed the true risqué avant-garde fashion of the genre through Magnum Kings and Queens’ Brazen theme. He has styled hosts, judges and contestants alike, maintaining the true picture of dancehall through television screens across Jamaica.

According to the designer, there is no music without fashion. “Music is something that you hear and we the designers put the visual to it. We create an image for artistes. Music and fashion go hand in hand.”

Balla Shawn has been a part of the fashion segment since season one and says his involvement with Magnum Kings and Queens has brought him a lot of business. “I am the first designer on Magnum. Advertisement pays and I can’t pay for that advertisement out of my pocket. Business is very good thanks to Magnum.”

While party goers and the local fashion industry watch MKQ for the latest high style dancehall trends; the remaining designers on season nine of the show gear up to unveil a voyage of discoveries where dancehall simply meets avant-garde.

Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall has become the most watched local programme in Jamaica. The show airs live on Saturdays at 9:30pm and repeats on Tuesdays at 11:30pm and Thursdays at 11pm on TVJ.

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