“Carnival has always been my first love that stood the test of time, and there’s no doubt that our Trinbagonian culture has helped me to evolve into the artist and costume designer that I am today. Valmiki and our design team really understood that Sailor Mas has been such a pivotal cornerstone to our indigenous expressions, dating back to the late 1800s. When I think of modern mas pioneers such as Jason Griffith and bands like the Belmont Battalion, their different details to the unique dances that were born out of the revered King Sailor, I feel it’s important to commemorate the Golden Era of Sailor Mas portrayals: acknowledging the sophistication, vibrancy, and power of this traditional character.
As a woman in the Carnival industry, it is also my duty to always honour our divine femininity in these sacred traditions. There will always be a place and space for female representation in mas, and I am grateful that Val allowed me the creative opportunity and range to challenge my design instincts to inject this sense of femininity and grace into this design. The heavily ornate elements in this Fancy Sailor costume from the embellished hat, to the towering collar, to the classic stick, pay homage to the opulence that the Sailor Mas experience brings to the streets of Port of Spain. There is one design twist in this Fancy Sailor – the sand-coloured feathered skirt replaces the bell-bottom pants, to not only represent the first visit of British, French, and American naval ships but to also highlight where the Caribbean Sea meets the T&T shoreline. For me, it is the gentlest of reminders that through every storm, women have become ‘the glue’ to the Carnival experience. We bring these powerful elements together to define our legacy, and we will always be pivotal in pushing the winds of change forward”- Solange Govia, Designer
Performed By: Dominique Bones