So.........I made a visit to Elements mas camp at the corner of Ariapita Ave and Lewis St to see the costumes close up. Based in what I saw of their pics online from their website and from the launch I was not really excited about the idea but felt it was only fair to them and to myself if my previous review was to be worth the time I spent on it.
The mas camp itself is laid out well but is a bit dark. I expected the camp to have a couple ppl registering or milling about but I was only met with a few very friendly and helpful staff members. This is quite disturbing considering registration opened at lunch time today and their email alert on FB announced that we should all get there early to 'get in our section'. Maybe I was early or maybe everyone was waiting until after work. Only two frontlines were on display, Cabaret and Jubilee. When I enquired about other frontlines I was told there was not enough space in the room for them. Although beyond their control, the wow factor of frontline costumes go a long way to selling the sections even if you never sign up in the frontline. This is certainly a disadvantage to them.
I must say the ones that I do favour are growing on me (all 4 of them). The ones I dislike, I still dislike. I don't think my general opinion has been changed on any costume. All in all they are wearable just not the most attractive group that I expected from such a experienced and reputable bunch of people. My top picks (in no order) are officially Bellagio,Sahara, Jubilee and Roulette.The close up pics I took can be found here. So here are my further updates to their costumes:
I am sure you will be delighted to know that there are two colour options for this costume, a white and a champagne colour. The male costume only comes in white. I think it will be an interesting mix on the road once they are put together as long as they maintain a fixed ratio of white to champagne. However, next to a white costume, the champagne looks like its dingier version. There is very little contrast like what we would usually see with mixed colour sections. On display the bra was styled so that you could see the distinction between the two halves that cross over one shoulder. I still don't like the leaves at the bustline.The gathers at the bra create some bulkiness which would make smaller breasted ppl look bustier but its definitely not a good choice if you desired something sexier as it covers a great deal. I'm not sure it will be s is good or bad for bigger breasted ppl. The waistband is not bad at all but I still don't like how the gathered piece in the front fall. It looks a bit awkward.
JUBILEE FRONTLINE AND FLOOR
The sequined bra and gloves on the FL are a big plus. The cascade of boas are still a bit much for my personal taste but in general it is very much alike to a showgirl in Vegas so I can't give them wrong. The draped beads are a lot chunkier than what you would get in the Floor. I think the best part of this costume is the waist band with the large square gems. This similar to what was done in Nylon Pool Floor (Tribe 06). One should be aware that as pretty as it is..it wrecked havoc on tights and stockings. Looking at it more I am a bit concerned with how the hanging beads will remain in line with all the jumping and wining you will most certainly be doing. You may have to take time outs throughout the day to untangle yourself.
I was kinda disappointed not to see the frontline in house but the floor is pretty much as expected. It still think it is one of the best choices overall.
Apparently this has been one of their 'best sellers' (as overheard). I think any costume in this colour sells very well no matter what band you put it in. I am still not particularly impressed by the design. I was told that this section has a frontline in the works so you will have to look out for it.
I still don't like it.I still get the feeling that they were stretching their materials by cutting up that applique into so many pieces and placing them at different points on the costume. Something about the applique and the crochet bra overlay does not tie in for me, they seem very disjointed. The head piece also seems like it was made for another costume. I forgot to ask about the eye patch option.
QUEEN OF HEARTS
Bad news, the skirt is part of the package. Good news, its detachable along with the ruffled collar on the monokini. The collar is not wired.I am a bit biased about the appliques used on this because I did not really like it when it was used on Jamette (Tribe '07). This costume is very monochrome, red on red. Albeit for the style of the swimsuit I can't see it standing out on the road.
This section is not just all inclusive, but ULTRA all- inclusive hence the increased cost. They promise an additional surprise on the road. I like the fact that the floor costume comes with such a large collar. The collar is self balancing around the neck i.e no straps. You may have to hold on if the wind blows! I am still wondering why the beading is browns and bronzes. I would have liked it much more if it was just gold. I don't know if I could handle that heat with being in that velvet bra and gloves all day.
I think this costume will be very popular. Its a basic applique +diamante design but its done much more attractively than Lady Luck.It has both blue and clear diamantes and they were very generous with them. There are also some pearlised accent appliques that somehow work well. I noticed the bra also has some pearls strung on nylon that give whispy accents.They were kinda pointing in random directions but they are still a nice touch.
So again, this is the only non drinks inclusive section. The cropped bustier option was not on display but I was told I could get it for no additional costs. One thing that I had not noticed before is that the bustier had a fine mesh overlay.Something about the dark green appliques still bother me. The sketch of this costume showed it in a more light green colour. Although I like the colour of the bustier as it is, I think they green bustier would have been better with the dark green applique. But then the blues in the head piece would be off.They would have had to get a green bustier the same shade as the feathers which i imagine would have been difficult. The costume still seems very busy, more so the waistband. I was pained to learn that the huge bamcee flap is standard and you need to pay $150 more to switch it for beads.Not a fan of that fine beading but I liked the flap less. The frontline only comes with a full bustier. I confirmed that there is no waistband on the frontline and the fine beading is added with some length directly to the bustier. The FL headpiece was a lot larger than I thought it would be.
So i should correct my self and say that the material used is not burnt out velvet but seems more like pieces of orangey irridescent fabric cut and stuck onto a base. The side pieces are joined to the back of the waistband by velcro. The choker seems like it may be a little hot and uncomfortable to be worn all day since its tall and covers almost all your neck. I guess if you have a short neck you should try that on. Still not feeling it but I am sure it will have takers. The frontline was not on show, I hope they will revamp that somehow.
Apparently another popular number (so I maccoed) but this costume is so dead to me. Large areas of black, blank fabric just does not cut it.It is also still impratical to have a full velvet waistcoat.Apparently the hoorah of the costume is the head piece. To me it still looks like black feathers in a silver head band. Very little happening there in my opinion. The bow tie accessory did not look very well made with how the sequins were glued to it. I am perplexed as to why they used gold and silver beading for some areas on this costume when everything else is silver accents.It would have been better off without it.
I hope for their sake that everyone was deciding to come sign up after work because they do not seem to be off to a running start based on the lack of patronage that I witnessed. I am sure they had their own 'pre reg' process, so they may have quite a few in the bag. I did enquire about a few frontlines and if they were sold out and they were available including some of my front runners. It is even more disconcerting when I learned that there are Elements members signed up in other bands. It reflects quite negatively on then when some of their own people are not behind them 100%. Nonetheless, its still a long way until Carnival. They have time.....If I were them I would be more worried about Island People now since Tribe has been almost wiped out. IP costumes are hot stuff.