If you follow us on social media, you would have seen that the Islandista team was live at the launch of Baje International’s Crop-Over 2014 presentation on Friday night at the Hilton’s Charles Fort.
Baje along with Power X Four, is one of the established Crop-Over kingpins and is actually celebrating its 15th anniversary as a Kadooment band this year. Along with Px4, they pioneered the ‘bikini band’ concept in Barbados, bringing glamour, more revelers and generally taking Crop-Over to another level.
So they know what they’re doing and this showed in their presentation on Friday night. Even with hot new bands like Zulu International and Krave nipping at their heels and chipping away at their numbers, Baje still held their own with their Mega Monday presentation.
Mega Monday was a solid and well-executed effort. The colour combos for nearly every section were appealing with the only exception to our mind being Badso (below) which
unsurprisingly is one of the slower sellers thus far on Baje’s website. Yellow and pink can be a good colour combination but something about this one just feels a bit underwhelming. Maybe a hotter pink or maybe using some colour other than mint green as the tertiary colour in the costume would have made it more striking. Or maybe the colours would have popped more on a darker model? It doesn’t have the wow factor.
However every other costume had nice colour combinations. There was ample use of turquoise which seems to be the hot mas colour du jour – it showed up in three out of the six backline costumes!
There were lavishly feathered headpieces, pretty waistbands and all the fixings you’d expect.
But… (you knew there was a but!) the thing is, if we’re being perfectly honest, the proliferation of popular bikini bands has wrought a lot of similarity in bands from Brazil to Boston, from Trinidad to Toronto. You can expect a feathered headpiece, a nicely bejewelled bikini top, a feathered backpack of some sort and a shrinking waistband of beads and gems.
To stand out now to the discerning mas diva, you need a little something extra. The interest now is in the finer details – a cute tiara instead of the usual big feathered headpiece or even dispensing with it altogether, a sexy spider monokini, unusual fringing or a twist on the usual backpack.We’re not expecting K2K levels of creativity and ingenuity from the big, commercial bands because they are trying to please a mass audience. That can be a tricky tightrope to walk and as a result, they tend to err on the side of what has been proven and safe.
However, with the exception of the Epic frontline, we feel like Baje has been a bit too safe with their presentation this year. It’s everything you would expect and done really well, but there is not much that is unexpected or different.
Which is why the Epic frontline gets our vote as the best costume in Mega Monday. The spider monokini is cut differently to many other monokinis, with a sexy V formation and the silver, black and neon yellow colour combination is an interesting choice that could have gone wrong but looks so right.
All in all, a solid effort from Baje as usual and based on how quickly costumes have been selling in the first day or so, they have undoubtedly pleased their regular members.