New Crop-Over band Krave launches – did they live up to the hype?

It’s always tricky launching a Crop-Over/Carnival band especially in this day and age when we can see hundreds of costumes from bands across the whole Caribbean and its diaspora.

On the surface, it seems easy enough to tick off all of the boxes for ‘what makes a sexy costume’. So feathered back-pack – check, tiara – check, spider bikini bottom or monokini – check, check.

But it takes more than that to get jaded carnival divas to look twice. A beautiful costume is easy to put together but without some kind of inventive twist, they can give a “seen it all before” vibe. This is especially so because – let’s be honest – a lot of the most popular bands are not really trying to depict a theme anymore because it’s all about sex appeal and glamour. We’ve blogged about this dilemma for years here on Islandista.

It’s not like we don’t understand the temptation to stay safe because sometimes bands have tried to step out of the box on their costumes with less than stellar results. Top of mind would be Island People’s notorious 2012 presentation, Heroes ¬†or Island Fusion’s 2012 Foreday presentation – both of which were so badly received that they had to scrap the original presentations and wheel and come again.

So with that said, that brings us to Barbados’ newest Crop-Over band, Krave. Krave is a spin-off from Zulu International with the organisers getting their start last year as the popular and super-sexy Fireball section in the band. (Of course Zulu came out of Fantasy Barbados so starting with a section is clearly the way to go.)

Krave’s launch last night was hotly anticipated, having been been hyped up for days on social media. And with their presentation of ‘The Big Bang’ last night, they delivered. Kind of.

The band is sexy and beautiful, without a doubt. The organisers ticked every box for sexy and trendy from chunky gems to wire bras to tiaras and of course, lots of feathers. See for yourself.

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Rude Boy section front line

Rude Boy section front line

Le Freak backline

Le Freak backline

That said in a world where we see all of the costumes from every Carnival, these felt like anything we could have seen anywhere.

To my mind, part of the issue was that they made no sort of attempt to actually stick to their theme (which I think forces a true designer to be creative in their depiction). If the theme is Big Bang, what on earth do rude boys and le freaks have to do with it? There was so much that could have been done with this theme by depicting the planets, famous star constellations, the sun, the moon – they had the whole galaxy at their disposal with this theme!

Hence it’s not surprising that only one of the costumes really blew us away with the execution and that was the Glitz & Glamour section which eschewed feathers for an intricately curled, shining wire backpack that looked like lace. The front line was even more stunning with a really unique, almost spider-web looking feel.

Glitz & Glamour midline

Glitz & Glamour midline

Glitz & Glamour frontline

Glitz & Glamour frontline

Really, really fabulous and we love the long, boot-like leg pieces.We feel like leg-pieces have been sorely and woefully neglected in recent years so kudos to Krave for putting some shine on them – literally! Plus, we’re always a fan of a cape.

So what do you think of Krave, islandistas? Are you feeling it? Do you even care if a band sticks to its theme?

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