Miami Broward Carnival masqueraders to shine in elaborate costumes

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Masqueraders are ready to take the road Sunday for Miami Broward Carnival 2018. But before the costumes dazzle in the sunlight on beautiful bodies moving to the beat, costume designer Natalie Fonrose works day and night to make them.

"It's time-consuming. People underestimate how much work goes into costumes, but just to execute clean, neat work, it takes a lot of time," Fonrose said.

A year ago, the Trinidadian-born designer was an engineer, but now she uses her deep love of her culture and her knack for detail to fulfill her dream of designing carnival costumes. Today, she has clients all over the world and is working around the clock to get her South Florida carnival costumes just right. 

She took us through her process.

"The main base of our costumes is spandex and this allows for stretching," Fonrose said. "For decoration, we use plastic gems and glittery gems to make costumes elaborate and to be embellished."

It takes about a month of 12-to-20-hours days for Fonrose and her crew of seamstresses and wire benders to get all the beautiful costumes together. 

It is a mission of love, sweat, tears and scars from that a hot glue gun. In the end, though, those who carnival know it's all worth it.

"Just to see your work on the road in action and everyone is smiling and enjoying it is actually fulfilling. It makes me feel like I am serving a purpose," Fonrose said.

The Miami Broward Carnival will be held Sunday at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, 10901 SW 24th Street in southwest Miami-Dade County.