Saturday, August 21, 2010

ISLAND PEOPLE 2K11:Shades of the Universe Review

Band Launch season continued with Island People's Presentation of 'Shades of the Universe". As per usual I was running a bit late for the media launch and was filled with dread at the thought of traffic to get to Pier 1. Fortunately there was none and I was able to make it with time to spare for the launch. The red carpet runway was laid out and it was with much anticipation that we awaited the start of show. I was quite delighted to get a look at at least one version of all the sections prior to the band launch . As is always the case, the models ran back and forth from the stage giving very little time for us to get good pics and note the credits. Fortunately this was later remedied by a photo session for the media which allowed me to get some close up detail shots. I was a bit surprised to hear that one of Tribe's 'exclusive' designers was contributing to Island People's line up. Interesting..... Anywho we were well fed and the bar was well kept while we waited for the band launch to begin.

It was alleged early on that the show was to start at 11pm. One look at the crowd (and the still lack of traffic coming in to Chaguaramas) and I knew that was not going to happen. We saw 12am with a bit of crowd improvement and I was hoping for the go ahead by 12:30am. We were not so lucky . A tortuous hour later trying to fight the night dew and the show finally began .None of us were shocked that they started the show by spraying for mosquitos. I will never quite get how bands don't understand that we can't see costumes through smoke! Island People however had the perfect solution by having a long drawn out presentation with models trying to move in slow motion with a few alien dance intermissions every so often. I was able to get some pretty good shots while they did their pause towards the back of the stage but they still sped along through their robot motions closer to the front of the stage. The odd positions did not do well for detailed pics but I can appreciate the effort to stick to a theme. The show ended off with Swappy decked off in his own 'out there' outfit. I could not help but think back to one of my first ever band launches for Poison where we had Machel perform with his live band. Times have certainly changed as the focus is completely on the costumes.

Ok so lets talk costumes......I will applaud Island People for taking some risks in their designs to draw people in and try and keep with their far out theme. Overall I will say they had a good presentation and as with all large bands I have my favs and my not so much.It comes as no surprise now that the costumes are super skimpy. Maybe I have seen too many costumes this season but I am a bit weary of nekkid costumes. So here is my personal take :

TWILIGHT PHENOM

I think it is marketing genius to have a section specifically geared to the 16-20 age group that is alcohol free. Cost wise this is also proposed to be within the 'youth budget' which is the justification for a simpler costume made with economical materials. Kudos to them because I know to ask mom and dad for money to pay for a carnival costume is a hard sell for some young people. They have a good case now! That is maybe until mom/dad actually sees the costume.For the age group it is a bit on the sexy side. To be sure, I asked my mom who did allow me to play mas with them in costume when I was 16 (and 15 if i wanted to). She also did not like the idea of a sixteen year old in that outfit with the very narrow and low belt and a cutout bra. I did not even bother to show her the back which has very little coverage. In this case, a standard boy short or monokini would have given the youth an open and shut case when they made that pitch. I could probably live with the collar but I am really not feeling the headpiece. They both look a bit 'school carnival' for me. It would have been cuter if they just used the purple spheres or better yet give them a cute head band.Maybe it just needs some more colour contrast or a few gems in the circles to make it a bit more eye catching. My first one feather Poison headpiece was far more nostalgic. Its odd that those crescent shapes on the male costume seems to be popular in several bands this year.


FOREVER ORBIT

Yeah, I don't really get this one as a costume. The monokiniversion kinda looks like one of those 'one size fits all' lingerie numbers that come in a box , not on a hanger. The slashed tube is also not something that seems very practical, I was able to check if there is some sort of lining. It is really a matter of personal taste if you like or hate this costume. I personally have yet to find the appeal of large amounts of lace in a carnival costume. It is also a bit questionable about how much 'design' really went into this one when it all seems pre packaged. If I pretend for a second that it is a costume and not night wear with a back pack then I would have to ask if different torso lengths will be accommodated in connection to different boy short sizes. There is also no waistband on the frontline whatsoever. From the back it looks boring. The head band makes for a bad tan line. Thebackline two piece is actually an improvement! On the plus side , I can see people saying "That one covered, I wearing dat!" but sheer lace is not very forgiving. I wonder if they are going to market that monokini as a frontline without backpack as seen on stage cause I think its a waste of money to buy that monokini by itself without the backpack option.Not even an extra arm accessory between the two versions plus a downgrade in headpiece with the monokini?? What is also completely perplexing to me is why do a black on black costume? Completely dead! Space is full of colour , just ask the Hubble people. This needed to be black and purple or black and orange or something. I think my money would be better spent on another section that is a lot more interesting. Yeah this one could really stay in orbit...forever.


ORIONS STARBIRTH
This is a one of my top picks for Island People. Loved the headpieces and the collars as well as the colour combination. The bra is decorated simply but nicely. I really like how the wire bra is done on the frontline and connected to the neckpiece. I do have to wonder if the waistband got lost in space cause it is almost non existent. It is actually more a decorated panty than a waistband in truth. Sexy is sexy but this looks more scanty like they ran out of material because the four strands of gems used on each side of the front are so tiny themselves!! Is that another built in T-string? The gems in the back just disappear at a distance as they are so fine. Value for your money? Jury is still out on that one. A pity cause I do love it from the waist up. I think it will be one of the first to sell off as there is a demand for super skimpy.








METEOR BURST

Well if you are planning to do this front line I sure hope your body and your boobs look just like the model. The pattern from a distance looks interesting almost like a dress mannequin with body lines. The shoulder pieces are not going to help with your modesty that's for sure. Very bondage like and NEKKID not naked. I am a bit concerned with all these connected parts..how does one adjust that?Note that the panty is not connected to the 'cage' of the costume. It is a bit more obvious on the backline where you can tell that the 'waistband' is actually connected to the bra by the vertical gems.I wonder how do they ensure the torso lengths and that the 'waistband' horizontal piece falls at the right spot on the body. If it comes up short you will see the waistband and then a gap of skin and then the bottom piece.Ok ,I have a habit of ranting about torso lengths cause it is always a problem area for me, I don't fit in many standardmonokinis or all in one jumpsuits. Besides being tall overall, I also have a long boob to waist torso length. That would be my greatest reservation about this section but I do think its interesting and I like the headpiece.


GALACTIC DUST
I am a bit on the fence about this one.I like the colour and the general design especially the fabric tendrils.Its a bit reminiscent of Natural Mystic in that sense. The flower applique is just not working for me. In general, I personally hate generic appliques on any costume , I think its a cop out to actually designing something especially when its just used in a row on the waistband and then one on each boob. Fortunately in this case , that was not done with the bra but it was done on the waistband and the headpiece. I would have liked it a lot better if they had used the applique in a similar fashion to the bra in the waistband. I think because it is so obviously a flower is what really throws it off as I don't see how that is space related. The landing strip of flowers in the head piece is also completely unnecessary. However the flower in the headband is kinda cute as that where flowers should be, in your hair. The frontline is done much more attractively and is very nice. Love the backpack. Yet another one of the ever popular bejewelled panty. I would love to see how this is priced with very few feathers.



ZUNE
When I first saw this costume I said wow thats hot! I love the colour combo with the chains of different sizes and colours. Very punk rock meets outer space. Absolutely love the arm piece and the leg piece. Paired with a wicked backpack and hot wire bra. Interesting head piece comprised of large gems.The model was channeling Nikki Minaj. Yeah, I would rock it. It was not until I saw the backline on stage I said "Wait a minute!" And then I got very annoyed. The similarities between this costume and Persian Gold(Tribe 2k11) is just too much to overlook. Funnily enough before the launch I had a convo with a friend in regards to Orions'Starburst's bra which she insisted was a carbon copy of Amazon (Tribe). I disagreed and without debating 'who copy who' I actually made a case that its only so many ways you can decorate a bra and it is perfectly reasonable for two designers to come up with a similar pattern independantly. This costume just shot my theory to hell. I had to wonder if this was some sensational episode of Project Runway. Designs are typically done way in advance ,but we have certainly seen first hand what can happen overnight e.g Bliss costume revamp. By reason of being first out the gate it would suggest that Tribe had first dibs on the design and it would also suggest that if they wanted to, IP had more than enough time to mod their own version. I am not accusing anybody of wrong doing but this costume is like Persian gold's evil twin. Like in the movie's (or Heroes) when people look in the mirror. I may be taking this personally as Persian Gold is one of my top picks but the similarity in even the details is disturbing. Similar colouring,similar feathers in the backpack, similar style of backpack, similar arm accessory and it seems like the arm was translated to the leg complete with feathers coming off the top (like Persian armpiece).The frontline panty even has the same detail whereby the chains are attached to the rings. But wait, weren't those chains done in Caged Canary and weren't those gems used in Loulan? Wow.Just wow. Hold up!The backlinebra is fully embellished and I almost went home when I saw the hood. No, seriously? The more i look at it the more aggravated I get. The back view of the panty is just poor though.Good job on the glove though, that's different. I do believe that in the booklet that the exact same pose was done with Touch.


LUNAR CYCLE
Good going on this one. I especially like the monokiniversion as it look like quite a bit of detail was done in decorating the monokini itself. The waistbands are barely there in both versions! The backline waistband style does look very familiar hmmm. Love the back pack and headpieces. I think the individual costume just looks like it would be fun to wear and be a Lady Gaga for a day. Very interested in seeing the price of that costume.One of my top picks.













MARS BLISS

Interesting colour choice for Mars considering that it is considered the red planet. I just don't really understand this one overall. Kill them with applique so it went wrong for my tastes already. The backline just looks like very little thought went into. I like the style of the frontline monokinibut I would have to agree with Saucy that the construction left a bit to be desired. Unfortunately, I think Saucy'strypophobia is contagious and it kinda freaks me out also. The frontline speaks to me more of coral with the branches and the colouring than planets for some reason.A really good sized head piece and backpack but I could have also done without the applique runway up the front of the headpiece. Good luck with that wire frame around the front of the face, the tan line will not be cute.How do you wear sunglasses with these? Overall just meh!





M51
Great colour. Yes, a bit reminiscent of Touch but again its only so many colours in the rainbow so I won't harp on that. However, is that an applique I see? This costume actually has more of a waistband than many of the other sections in the band. I was liking the monokini until I saw that the connecting part was pink lace. Huh? I really don't understand why that was neccessary. Love the large headpiece version. Overall a safe pick













VEGA
Green costumes and I generally don't get along but I think this one was done well. Definitely risky to mix the green shades but I think it works. I really did not appreciate this costume until I saw it under the lights and it is really one of the better ones in the band. Love the far out frontlineversion. I am a bit iffy about the feathered neckpiece cause I think that might drive me crazy all day but that's an easy mod. The headpieces are really pretty as well. One of my top picks. Ok but the male headpiece...does that even make sense? How you drinking with that on your head?








SATURN SANCTUARY

When I saw the frontline version of this at the media launch I was like its nice but the gradient beading is something that has been over done in recent times. I liked the colour combo and I loved the shoulder pads. I think I liked thebackline version better . I would have liked to see something a bit more fan shaped on thefrontline headpiece and the three lines coming down onto the forehead seems a bit odd.The backline headpiece is very cute and I prefer the style of the curved lines over the forehead. The individual of this section was definitely a wow moment. I absolutely love it. Those leg pieces are stunning! The body wear and the shoulder pads from the frontline and I would be on!



NEBULAR'S HYPNOSIS
I liked it for the main fact that its basic and blue. And yes that may translate as a bit boring or safe but hey you can't go wrong either. This is definitely the section for those who don't want too get to far out with the other costumes and want to stick to the bbf formula. The backline does look a bit lacking with a small headpiece and no arm accessories. Its still cute and easy to manage on the road. The frontline is very pretty and I love the bra cut. However, we did see that newer style in YUMA for the season which is fine but I would agree with Sauce that it is probably the best feature of the costume.










QUASAR

Compared to the other black costume this is definitely a winner.Its strange that they would have two black costumes in a band. Maybe the thought was space has a lot of black but as a science geek I don't subscribe to that thought. (Olber's Paradox).Its also kind weird that a quasar as the most luminous object in space would be black.Ok science lesson over. Anywho, this costume and its numerous options scream Sonia Mack. Its kinda hard to tell what is backline and what is individual.I pretty much like all the bodywear options especially the bustier. I absolutely love ,love the individual with the giant skirt The smaller version is cute too. I would have to do something about the peekabo nipple though. Lets talk about this netted panty on the 'frontlines'.....ummm does that have a lining in the front? That net body suit is for only the brave but I do like the overlay. It does remind me a bit of Oracle (Yuma). I cant stand the headpiece with the landing lights up the front. I do think the section overall is one of her better designs. Oh btw Male Quasar, Artic Warrior called, they want their wolverine claws back.

My top picks (no order): Vega, Quasar,Orion's Starbirth, Lunar Cycle
My least favourite: Mars Bliss, Forever Orbit , I want to say Galactic Dust but imma gonna let you slide.
Banned from my sight: Zune

Ok so overall a very different presentation by Island People. I think there are a lot of choices for all tastes and all levels of confidence. I would have to say that I prefer their last two years to this one. Not as many OMG moments as I as hoping for. I think there may be some issues with fit in some sections. I think all the sections need to take a second look at the rear view as they all seem to be lacking. I expect that my costume look just as good from the back as from in front. Decorating just the front of the costume is both lazy and cheap and don't use the skimpy card to justify it. The costumes are strong enough that I think they will do well and they definitely have a solid following regardless. Island People need to ensure they have a good pricepoint with all the competition out there.

2 comments:

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Hey just read your review.. thanks for the Science lesson! I was cracking up over landing lights on the headpiece, beacons for the spaceship maybe?

shells said...

Hey CJ, interesting review as always