So Saturday, my friend co-jumbie and I ventured into our glorious city of Port of Spain to find Carnival gear. First thing, it still have no park in P.O.S doh mind the big car park open on Richmond Street. Anyway, she was looking for material/accessories for her Monday wear and I was just maccoing for maccoing sake seeing that I have my gear locked.
So we hit almost all the fabric stores which seemed to be lacking in silver spandex. Jimmy Aboud had what lookedlike it but it was all wrapped up under a bench. We did not even bother to investiquire as we were heading by Samaroos. The only thing worse than being in town on a Saturday is being in town on a Saturday when its raining. We barely made it into Samaroos before the rain and I was very content to wonder there until it stopped. It was interesting to note (seeing that I was maccoing) that there were several people in there looking like they were still selecting materials to design costumes. They were matching up different sequins to beads and even getting accesories like the man who wanted the roman shield in black and gold. By the way, sequins on sale. Samaroos also have different spandex materials available for those who choose to make their monday wear from scratch. Thye seem to be running low on carnival tights since they did not have my colour. Mind you they are still $35, get them before they turn to $45. They also have a wide variety of feathers that can be added onto your costume, none that really went with mine though other than the white. I entertained them momentarily when I asked the price of the diamante strip....$115 per yard......ok then!! We left there with nothing in our hands as good shoppers always 'shop around',this is aside from teh fact that after 20mins of standing behind the bead counter no one asked us if we needed help.Our next stop was Tulips on Ariapita Ave..
Now this is a fairly new Carnival store. I had never been inside and was very suprised to see that it was as small as it was. However they generally the same type of stuff that Samaroos has in terms of beads/ sequins but minus the bolts of cloth. A quick look and their selection of beads indicated that they stock some very good quality stuff for reasonable prices. I think they may be a bit limited in terms of variety of selection although they have nice stuff.Plus side is they will save me a trip all the way into P.O.S.After a cursory inspection we made our way to Vamp to meet Natalie about the Carnival boots.
So Natalie has a little side business operating out of her Boutique "Vamp" on Mucurapo Rd and it is the business of mas boots making. Now all who stick last year (including myself) will be sad to hear that her prices which were approximately $300 to $450 last year are now $600. Le Sigh! Although this $600 will get you a custom made boot that is fully decorated to match your costume, it may go upwards of this price if you want something more elaborate. From talking with her I realise that she was pretty much screwed last year from all the bastards who placed internet orders and DID NOT follow instructions on how to measure their feet and demanded refunds when they reach Trini and it did not fit. As she put it, if you go into a shoe store and you are a size nine, you are not going to ask for a nine and a half "for comfort". So was it with people who measured their feet and decided to add on inch or two here and there. I have no doubt in my mind that these boots take a great deal of time to complete and thats not counting the materials run and the glue gun bun you sure to get. She indicated that she only made $2 per pair and was just doing it for the love of it. Now I eh give her wrong for coming this year and saying, "To ass with that , ppl will pay for the service". Now she did NOT say that but I think that it is no longer worth her while unless he is making a profit and as they say, cheap tingt no good and good ting no cheap. So I told her what I wanted and she is going to give me a price. I definitely want to wear a boots since I am in the frontline. I kinda want to decorate it myself but I am a bit chicken. As I told her, me and my friend are designers but we cant make shit ourselves. Not entirely true...for some mysterious reason I can do embroidery really well. So I guess if i am sewing teh whole boot by hand I will do ok. The good thing about Natalie is that it is really custom made to your feet and calf so you can get it as snug or as loose as you would like. I would go with your bigger foot though just for safety. So I am still up in the air with what I am doing with that cause I may be looking at at least $700 bucks. Now she did say that she can redecorate the boots once you have them for another year and you can also bring in your own boots to decorate...all at a cost of course. I should add that she is limiting her orders to about 40 this year and she is at about 20 as of Saturday. Also she will be out of the country for about a month so you may need to check her out before she leaves Monday.
Funnily enough I got a really nice silver Nike shox that has a silver mesh finish that would go great with my costume if I decide to write off the boots completely. And seeing that they were a gift for that specific reason..the buyer may not bee too amused if I don't wear them for Carnival. Anyhow you take it I was not finding my size in the Nike boots that I was thinking about getting online. Well i guess I have a bit of time.