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Notting Hill Carnival 2019: Best costumes from the leading ladies


Squad goals (Picture: Faima Bakar)

Notting Hill Carnival 2019 is truly underway and even the sun has turned up.

With a million people expected to descend on the streets of West London, it’s sure to be another lit weekend for festival-goers.

We’ve appreciated all the men of Carnival as they’re often overlooked due to the flamboyance of all the women.

But we still want to see what the ladies are wearing.

Carnival is all about dressing extravagantly, after all. The bolder the better, whether you’re a first-time guest, a performer, or a Carnival veteran.

What is Notting Hill carnival?

Notting Hill Carnival is a parade where themed costumes mix with music, dance, spectators and judges. The celebration dates back to the 1800s with the emancipation of slavery in the Caribbean.

Prior to obtaining their freedom, slaves would often mimick their masters who wore elaborate costumes to balls, adding their own cultural elements.

Once the slaves were freed from the French, Spanish and English, they began to openly continue and elaborate on these foundations. So, Caribbean carnival developed as a fusion of African and other traditions and culture.

Stunning outfit (Picture: Faima Bakar)

Who started Notting Hill Carnival?

Many people from the Caribbean headed for a new life in Britain as part of the Windrush Generation.

In 1959, Trinidadian Claudia Jones, a community activist, recognised that something should be done to unite the community who migrated over in response to race relations.

That year, Claudia held the first of several indoor Caribbean Carnivals at St. Pancras Town Hall. It featured a ‘Carnival Cabaret’ which would have been the UK’s time seeing anything resembling Caribbean carnival costumes.

Since her introduction of the festival, it has now become an integral part of London life every August Bank Holiday.

What are mas bands?

At the heart of Carnival are mas bands – short for ‘masquerade’. These are organised groups made up of participants who pay for costumes fashioned by themselves/designers etc.

The costumed participants dance through the streets to the sounds of a steel band, a soca band or a d.j. – this is called ‘playing mas’.

What do Carnival performers wear?

Many bands have now outsourced their costume-making, either overseas or elsewhere in the UK, but there are still a handful of more traditional mas camps around. Each band has their own style, designers and shared history.

Some groups wear similar colours, headpieces and accessories to differentiate from others.

Here are some of the performers and masqueraders at Carnival 2019:

Some members of the Bacchanalia mas band (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Sarah came all the way from Miami for Carnival (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Wearing all the colours  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Twinning  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
One of the leading ladies of the Baccanalia mas band (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Plenty of reason to smile  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Sensible shoe choice  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
A vision in blue  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
She made the costume herself (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Even the hair is Carnival-ready  (Picture: Faima Bakar)
Massive wings coming through (Picture: Faima Bakar)
More sensible shoes, we stan (Picture: Faima Bakar)

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

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

MORE: What to wear to Notting Hill Carnival 2019





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