Sunday, July 26, 2009


Ah yes, I guess the 'off season' is officially over. Although Spice beat everyone to the punch by an early launch , I was still in hibernation so more on that another time. With a frenzied attendance the Tribe launch was definitely one of teh most anticipated for the season. If you were unfortunate enough not to have a ticket on the day then you could have bought one from anywhere from $320 to $900. This is unheard of especially considering the brochure 'leaked' last week and half of Trinidad saw the costumes in adavance. I have yet to understand why people rush the event since the only thing worth seeing is the costumes. I think the party itself usually leaves something to be desired. I for one had no intention of sitting in 2 hours of traffic and made my way to the venue to open the gates.

As usual, Tribe starts their presentation at the entrance. I think the decor was a bit on a smaller scale and less elaborate than previous years but it was still well done in line with the theme . After all, we in recession right? Well you would never have thought so with the amount of people lined up to get inside from early o'clock. It looked like they were herding cattle. We were entertained throughout the night by the Shiv Shakti Digicel girls. Ok they weren't really Shiv Shakti but they dance like they was from Thailand whole night. I doh want that wuk at all!

I know no one really cares about my review of the party itself so I will just make a few comments. One, the change of the stage orientation allowed for more of the crowd to see the presentation. However the stage was so high that unless you were over 6 feet tall getting a decent pic was impossible. Yet again the models ran through their paces, as in literally ran. Fortunately their routine allowed for stationary shots. Many of the costumes found themselves in the dark which made also made it impossible to get a shot even if you had a professional grade camera with zoom lens. It was a great improvenet that they actually said the names of the sections as they were on stage.Also they actually got the HD camp to perform after the presentation!! No Machel but hey, at least they had performances!

Ok costume time.CHECK HERE for my pics from the night.


Well the drama definitely started with a bang!Everyone has been eagerly awaiting the sophomore presentation of designer Solange Shaw-Gopaul. We were instantly wowed with an over the top headpiece for the Premium and Super options. This costume is absolutely gorgeous. It has an interesting colour combination of nude, gold and blue which I cannot recall being done in recent times or ever for that matter. The design of the strapless bra and waist band for the Premium option is also gorgeous and appears even more revealing with its muted bas colours. To ocmplement it you have a fanatastic pop of blue gems. I just love how she went with the chunkier gems in the design for all costume options. The waistband is as skimpy as could be (not as though that is a problem for me) and very well done. If head pieces could kill, their would be blood on the dance floor (R.I.P MJ *sniff*). The Premium head piece could also be a weapon of mass destruction.Floor length feathers???!!! It is huge and completely stunning. You will be walking in the shade all day!I have no idea how people managing with that on the road but watch out and get the F out the way!! There is nothing I can find wrong with this costume. Nothing!Super sexy, super skimpy!!I LOOOVE IT!


This costume designed by Peter Elias was very predictable in my opinion. When I heard the theme, I just knew that he would come with a red indian themed costume. with cloth hanging between the legs. Compared to his popular and gorgeous presentation last year, this is definitely a downgrade.While I like the simplicty of it , at the same time it has very little wow factor for a carnival costume. For those who dont lik eto weighed down on the road, it is a good option and dont expect to get any coverage out of those cloth panels as it is still very skimpy. The sides are just ties. I realy don't like that the same material is used for the bra, waistband and one of the head piece options. With all those bells hanging from everywhere you will be jingling all day.The design itself is also very reminiscent of some of Sonia Macks past costumes. However if you were a guy, you got one of the better costumes in terms of its relation to the theme. Its a typical ethnic Indian attire but I don't know how many dudes really want to wear a turban and a long dhoti pants on the road. Those pants look like they will be a furnace!


It is indeed 'Eri' how much this costume seems like the way Silver Mist (Tribe '07) should have been. I still have nightmares about that costume.The colours are the same however the design is clearly superior. I am not a big fan of silver decoration on a silver base but and I don't really like the actual choice of beading used.Maybe I am just still traumatised by Silver Mist and am having trouble looking past that .However the costume does have the saving grace of a fabulous head piece and back pack. You spend most of your time staring at that anyway. It interesting that the coth used is a dip dyed piece of fabric, I liked that touch.


This costume is very simple. Not a whole lot going on . This is another example where this seems to be a downgrade by the designer. There costume last year puts this one in the shade. I like the colour combination and the bra appears to be worked up nicely. I dont really like the beading at the underwire of the bra as it seem sto be throwing off the whole thing a bit. It was very difficult to get pics of this section at the launch. The belt is also nicely beaded but I don't particularly like the circular hoops hanging from the belt. It reminds me very much of a pair of earrings that I have so I keep thinking there are earrings hanging from the belt.You can get away with it on the bra but I think on the waistband its a bit of an overkill. Maybe if they had tiered the rings on the waistband instead of having them in a staright line I may have liked it more. Oh wait, the model is wearing the hoops as earrings lololol. Ok there you go..earrings on the waistband.


I think the bra on this costume is fantastic, both the working and the cut of the bra is attractive. I would have like to see a bit more on the waistband but it is still very attractive and oh so skimpy.The one piece of cloth hanging down the front seems to be an afterthought. I think it could do with some beading hanging down on either. If i was in this section I would either do that and leave the clothe or remove the cloth completely and fill it in withthe chain.side as well, just to fill in the front a bit. The bustle and headpiece on this frontline is also fantastic. I love the colour combination of the deep purple and blues. This is one of the best designs that Gail has produced .


So the Thai inspired headpiece is nice......Seriously I can't find many positive things to say about this costumes. Its defintely towards the bottom of my list. The other floor headpiece is probably the only one in the band I think is just plain ugly. The bra and waistband have this working on it that is just plain confused. I am all for contrast , but I doh know how the white tie in with the whole thing. I guess cause they going for the Greco-Roman theme so they literally had white plus red. The white and gold cord on the waistband cheapens the costume and it looks off.The beads and cord hang straight down in the front in a way that is not even graded and I don't know why they decided to make the waistband asymmetric by adding more cord over one thigh. And then we have the white cape.....I doh mind that it have a cape but the white just looks out of place. This section also does not seem to have a frontline option , I thought I may hav emissed it but the brochure also just has two headpiece options.If that is the frontline then its surely not worth the extra expense.

I always say that designing a green costume is usually very difficult. Super Mo Mo made this look easy with this costume. I was iffy about it when I saw it in the leaked brochure even though the frontline was fabulous but was sold on it when I saw it in reality.She kept it simple and used the fabric as the costume focal point. The fabric covered bra was simply highlighted with complemenatry cololours and just a small dash of fuschia for contrast.The frontline accessories seem very functional and will stay out of your way, although you may still poke someone's eye out.The caged bra for the premium option is also gorgeous but seems I don't think it fit very well on the model.It seemed that her boobs were squished and ready to lap out at any moment . That may be a hit or miss depending on your measurements.Its not a risk I am willing to take on the road.


The photos in this brochure can be very deceiving for this costume. The bikini is actually purple not blue and the gems are shades of blue. The headpieces are nice but I don't like the bra design. I think the colours and the materials chosen were very pretty but I don't like how it was used in the design of the bra pattern. I don't like the vertical line of the silver beading and would have prefered to see it angled a bit more in contour with the shape of the boobies. The waistband itself is nice but the beading hanging down is very short. Even though there is a lot of working on it that I am sure was costly, the lack of length in the beading and the lack of additions to the anything hanging from the bra makes it appear to be average and boring when viewed from a distance. The cape does give it a bit of a kick.


Welcome back Lana!! I am so glad she is back in the game cause she always brings something worth looking at to the table. Now I love the colour, the beading on the bra and waistband is simple but nice. A lot of diamante in this costume and you just look blinged out! Then again, she let the fabric do some of the work. I also like the blinged out head piece which frames your face. This is not for everyone and I am sure leaves a horrendous tan line but it is looks gorgeous in pics if you wnat to be on the cover of the Daily Express.The only thing I don't get is the black tassles. I don't mind the black but why it has to be tassles??? I would take every one off. The backpack for the frontline is also over the top and stunning. I think the chop sticks are a bit questionable but hey, it is an asian inspired costume. The bustier individual for this costume with the wide brimmed hat was definitely very different .I am not sure how i feel about the floopy hat but its stillall very couture. With this option you dont seem to get a waistband.

One of my least favourites. This pretty close to a red and silver version of Silver Mist with a poonky feather in the front. Again, maybe thats why I don't like it. Its not an ugly costume although the poonky feather needs to go but its just not doing anything for me. The floor headpiece is tame compared to the other sections. The Thai looking back pack for teh frontline nad it head piece is a big improvement although I think they could have given the frontline a different bra. The accessories for both frontline and floor for this costume also just look cheap. Compared to the other costumes it is just blah.


Welcome back Lana!! Wait, did I say that already? I LOOOVE IT! The colour combination is so pretty and using teh circles to make the belt is fabulous. Yeah it may be reminiscent of Macchu Picchu (Tribe Year1) but who cares!! Cause Macchu Picchu is still my pick for best costume ever. Its super skimpy, super sexy and yet it has the cloth pieces hanging as an elegant touch. Only thing I would be worried about is that torso connection which are notoriously problematic but it seems an easy fix. The headpieces are also gorgeous and the frontline back pack.The Individual back pack is out of this world.


I don't think there was a person who did not say "WOW!" when they opened that brochure and saw this on the first page. This is hands down the best costume Gail has blessed us with.The most unique part of this costume is the 3-d orange gems used on the bra and waistband. Everyone knows I am not a fan of appliques but it actually works fabulously in this case. I would not change a thing.Even the leg accessories are cute. Just fabulous all round. AH-PLAUSE.

The brochure has most people wondering for a costume that seems this nice, what could be wrong with the bra that they had to hide it? But no fear, the bra is heavily beaded and edged in big gems. It makes it look plain from a distance but close up its more appealing. I am on the fence about the bra for myself personally but its still beautiful. If Macchu Picchu and Isis A has a child it would be this costume. I now knocking them for it because they were both gorgeous costumes and has produced a gorgeous child. It did however take a bit to grow on me.I was not sure of the beading hanging from the waistband but when i saw how it was used on the front line bra and headpiece I really like it.The frontline is just hot for days. My congratulations to all who have the confidence to wear that bra whichis little more than a pastie with a curtain of beads. The accordian material gold capes is ole school but works well with the costume. The headpiece is also very over the top.

Ok, Ok, it is a gorgeous costume. The colour combination just jumps out at you. The frontline option is just dripping with diamante from every crevice. Floor length feathers in two tones. Its one and only downfall is that it looks like a remix of Spangled Cotinga. So much so , that is has been given the nickname Spangled Canary.(I eh make that up eh!!) As pretty as it is , I just can't seem to overlook that it seemed to use some of the leftover material from last year.I am all for saving the planet but I think it came too close on the heels of Cotinga. For someone who actually played in Cotinga it got crossed of my list immediately. For those who did not get into the overcrowded Cotinga section ...Yay! Now you have a second shot.Gorgeous all the same though!

I don't know what to say about a few costums that seemed to be just thrown in as an afterthought and could not be connected to any section. In particular the green and pink that was seen after Silk of Rajasthan. The poor girl spent the whole time on stage holding up the headpiece. The costume itself was Fugly.It looked cheap and tacky. Then they had the butterflies which look like they went in Island People storage warehouse and sneaked out a few.I stood up there trying to figure out how the wings were attached and it just had a rod stuck into the side of the waistband. Really? But them all in the garbage.

In summary:
MY Top 5 : Loulan, Charmeuse,Osage,Threads of Morocco,Xi Ling Shi.
MY Bottom 3:Fire Silk, Silk of Rajasthan,Serica

Check Saucy for her two cents.


shells said...

Great review. Thank you and I think we have a couple similar top picks: Loulan, Osage and Xi Ling Shi are my favs.

Amina said...

Thank you for this insightful review!

Jennifer said...

Tribe has done it again for me this year I am on the road with tribe for carnival 2K10, I think all the designers did a fantastic job...sorry saucy I have to wonder what all the fuss is about re Mystery of Loulan..sounds like a paid adverstisement...Dean and Monique excellent work..

HeatherAnne said...

Always love your feisty reviews lady!!

ps. it's worth repeating: WELCOME BACK LANA!!!!!

Kevianne said...

hey girl so which one did u decided to go with?

mjsbunny said...

Brilliant review CJ. You're as funny as ever!