‘It’s is in our DNA’: These are the men of Notting Hill Carnival

Ultimate squad (Picture: Faima Bakar)

Notting Hill Carnival sees the biggest, glitteriest street party every August Bank Holiday.

And while it’s easy to get lost in all the extravagant costumes donned by all the stunning festival-goers, it’s usually the women we’re used to revering.

Of course, men are in attendance and rocking equally breathtaking outfits.

Some of the men, like other attendees, have travelled from all over the world to be here on the two-day celebration of all things Caribbean culture.

‘We’re here from Antigua, America, from all over the place, we’re friends. We wouldn’t miss it,’ one group of men tell

Similarly, Andrew Rajpaulsingh has been working with the carnival for the last 20 years with his partner Kelly, working on delivering a float with the Bacchanalia Mas Band.

Bacchanalia is one of the more established and well-known bands on the Notting Hill Carnival circuit.

One of the leading faces of the Bacchanalia Mas Band (Picture: Faima Bakar)

Co band leader Andrew, from Trinidad, started off as a masquerader then a DJ before eventually joining the band.

‘I look forward to the Carnival every year,’ he tells ‘Even though it’s a lot of work, it’s just in your blood really. We were born into it.’

They started setting up their two large vans five days prior to the main event. They’ll have to take it all down by Tuesday. All of the work is in addition to their main jobs.

Sham has also been involved with the two-day event for five years. He runs Caribbean food brand Limin’.

‘We love bringing the community together and all the generations,’ he tells us. ‘It’s for all the ages, even the older ones embrace it. We want the U.K to embrace Caribbean food.

‘Carnival is in our DNA. What’s so good about it is that we know everybody, it feels like we’re all a family. It’s all about community.’

Douglas John designs the costumes. It’s taken him and his team a year to create the costumes for all the members of their band.

A lot of the men we spotted were dressed in amazing and and many of have been styled by Douglas and his team.

Whole team winning (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Smizing (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Serving looks (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Majestic (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Any excuse to look at this one again (Picture: Faima Bakar)
The men who flew in from all over the world including the Americas (Picture: Faima Bakar)
All smiles (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Of course you need feathers on your legs (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Stopping for pics (Picture: Faima Bakar)

MORE: What time does Notting Hill Carnival finish and how many people attend?

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MORE: What to wear to Notting Hill Carnival 2019


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