Dress code? Bodysuits and short-shorts!
Music? Soca and calypso with a tups of dancehall!
Vibe? ‘Soca ’til I die’!
And the costumes? Fire!
The components were just right at the UWI carnival 2020 band launch held at the Students’ Union on the Mona campus in Kingston on Saturday night. This year’s ‘Créme de la Crème des Caraibes‘ theme was embodied in the wide array of costume and T-shirt designs by 16 bands, all on show at the event.
The carnival attire presented by halls oozed the spirit of their ancestry, eminent in bands like Mary Seacole, whose ‘Reggae Queen’ theme designs offered Rasta mesh merino crop tops, a shimmery red backline costume with feather wings, and a resilient black Mondaywear piece with red, yellow and green accents.
Irvine Hall’s ‘Emerald City’ theme served up dazzling emerald Mondaywear pieces, outfitted with feather collars, hand and headbands and purple accents. The band also displayed black T-shirt options for men and women.
Size inclusivity was a common characteristic among the bands, and some spared no effort in creating several design options for revellers. SciTech aced this profile with its ‘Pacific Waves’ presentation of black crop and tank tops, and gleaming silver and pink monokini pieces.
The band showed two frontlines, one bearing a grand black and gold feathered back piece with a gold bejewelled bikini and crown, and the other an ocean blue beaded bikini with a stunning blue and yellow feathered back piece and headband.
The fits can be complemented with gold leg bands, and there’s also two plush pink backline options, monokini and bikini style, with hand and headband options.
The Trinidad and Tobago Students Association (TTSA) teamed up with Road Empire to present its diverse ‘Rise of the Soca’ designs which kept male revellers in mind. Yellow shorts and gold chest bands or camouflaged sleeve bands, masks and black shorts are available for men.
Females have the option of rocking camouflaged-inspired bodysuits, yellow or red Mondaywear pieces or cute crop tops. Tank tops are also available for men.
‘Aura’ is Taylor Hall’s band theme, which comprises blue monokini pieces with intricate gold details, chains, head and leg bands, and also T-shirts.
The Epique group presented its ‘Havana’ designs which switched things up a bit with black tube tops with matching masks, a golden yellow frontline with a yellow and blue backpack and a sexy-stringed monokini.
While the costs for all pieces have not been finalised, the current price range starts from $1500 for T-shirts to $10,000 for frontline pieces.
“I hope to just have some fun on the road and see what UWI carnival is all about.”
Mary Seacole’s ‘Reggae Queen’ designs range from $2200 to $4500; Taylor Hall’s ‘Aura’ pieces range from $2000 to $8000 and Epique’s ‘Havana’ presentation goes from $1500 to $10,000.
Jamaican student Tonya-Kay told BUZZ that this year will mark her first UWI carnival experience, and she hopes to be ducking down Ring Road on March 14 in an Irvine Hall design.
“I’m a Chancellorite but I really loved Irvine Hall’s band collection so I definitely see myself wearing that,” she said. “I hope to just have some fun on the road and see what UWI carnival is all about.”
Bajan student Darren will be attending the carnival series for the second year, and while he missed the evening’s presentation, “I’m looking forward to the whole vibe and excitement of carnival as usual.”
Cultural and Entertainment Affairs Chairperson of the UWI Guild, Chelsea Thomas-Benoit, told BUZZ that newcomers to the UWI carnival experience “can look forward to diversity, culture and inclusivity – one big Caribbean vibe.”
The Trinidadian hopes to foster a space of integration and unity among all students at this year’s series of events.
“This is very important to me especially as a regional student who has lived here for the past four years.”
The UWI carnival series will also include five other events, detailed below.
Carnival launch party – March 12 @ the field adjacent to the Leslie Robinson hall
Jouvert – March 13 @ the UWI Sandpit
D’After Mas – March 14 @ the field adjacent to the Leslie Robinson Hall
Beach fete – March 15 @ Sugarman’s Beach
Surprise event – April 2