Notting Hill Carnival Is Coming
Notting Hill Carnival always provides a bit of fashion celebration - whether you're in the paradise itself or just enjoying the last of summer, it's that time of year again, so bring out your vibrant and ostentatious costumes, the sun will be out and so will your street style!
Words by Kirsty Lee
As the roots of the Notting Hill Carnival are Caribbean from the early 19th century, embrace the mood and dress the part with a fun and fanciful outfit. And if you're not heading down, then plan your own party all the same and still dress up! Aside from Halloween, there aren't many opportunities to dress up so when you can, embrace it. Come rain or shine, each year for the bank holiday weekend at the end of August, everyone abandons their gruff attitudes and embraces an uplifting, united London community spirit. All hail Notting Hill Carnival, the two day street party where people forget their day jobs and enjoy some classic Caribbean rum. If you've never been to Carnival, then the first thing you need to know is to never, ever call it by its full name: "The Notting Hill Carnival" (I've only done so in the title for something we call "search engine optimisation"). For if you call it that, you will no doubt be mistaken for an undercover police officer or an American, and you won't get let in to any of the good afterparties.
It's a time to get dirty, adventurous or just to dress in a carnivalesque outfit. The music has shifted from steel bands to all-day electronic raves. In 1973, Lesley Palmer - the man who started the first recognised carnival committee, introduced sound systems and live bands to the street party. Now we're looking at 38 sound systems located around the borough blasting reggae dancehall and garage. After a summer spent beneath the blue skies basking in the achievements of Olympians, the locals lock down on the chaos unfolding below them. It wasn't the movie that made the area, it's Carnival. It was the bohemian characters and rebels of the community who created the identity that everybody wants to buy into. Carnival dressing is about costume; it's individualism at its most theatrical, and encourages the creation of a character through dress. This is the best thing about fashion; the psychological affect it has on the wearer. For what is an actor without his dress? Its part and parcel of establishing a character; for those of us who don't spend our waking hours on a stage, events like the Carnival offer an opportunity to find your inner thespian and play out your own story. Here at Rokit we're all for dressing up, so take a look at our show-stopping pieces and head down to Notting Hill on the 28th or 29th August for some guiltless fun and frolics to send off the summer.
Get The Look
Don't drink too much of the Carnival Kool aid - this is London town, not Bridgetown. And whilst Carnival is all about parading around in your #NSFW get ups, it is also a liberating opportunity to express yourself with a Mount Gay Rum in hand or a banks beer! Let's just get cultural appropriation out of the way. I hope we don't need to raise any red flags about Native American headdresses, bindi's and Rasta hats with pre-attached dreads. Were better than this guys! Check out our selection below.
As a rule of thumb when accessorising for carnival, more is good. Statement chains, bold sunglasses, caps, whistles - go for it! Also a big yes to bum bags, hands free should be your priority, all the better to wine with no? Prints, primary colours and sparkle are what carnival is made of, plus a bold outfit will lessen your chances of getting lost in the sea of people and increase your chances of being pulled up onto a float.