Saturday, July 30, 2011

BLISS 2K12:FIRST LOOK

So the intimate experience had their launch last Thursday. It seems that they are trying to maintain a sort of separation of identity by having a separate launch. That concept would probably have gone over much better if they did not basically have the same theme.Its not like they really follow the themes anyway so I'm kinda confused by that logic. I was not too impressed with the last minute decision to charge people to come to their launch. There were many people who attended Tribe's launch expecting to see Bliss' costumes. Some of those people were not even interested in Tribe at all and they were rather peeved at having to fork out a next set of money. I am sure there are still a lot of people who are weighing the pros and cons between Bliss and Tribe. It comes down to two things I believe, crowd size and costumes. Some are willing to give up their fave costume in Tribe to get ease up on the jam session while others just going where they best costumes are. I think there will be an increased demand for Bliss spots just because they have gotten past their first year and many people were able to get their groups into the same section. Well don't hold your breath, if Bliss is to maintain their product, the numbers will not be increasing.

My take on the costumes in general is that they are all nice. That's it. Just nice. There is not really anything that wowed me that said that I should abandon all others just to have that costume. It is still a hard follow when Tribe showed all their individuals and Bliss had to show frontlines. Again, Bliss has stuck to their tried and tested bikini mas formula and produced simple costumes in nice colours which will move (out the showroom). Having the shoot on boats just reinforced the bikini mas image. One or two have a little flair to them but its what we have seen before. So much so, that I am starting to wonder if Tribe doesn't have a warehouse somewhere with all the excess materials and they just trying to use up leftover gems/notions. There are many examples of reused items in both productions. I did my review primarily using the booklet and referring to some pics from launch. As always , final comment is reserved for when I see them in real. So, here is my take:

MONACO
I think this is one of the few which I thought the design was really creative. It can be difficult to create a costume using more material than gems but it was successful here. Albeit the colours are most associated with Caged Canary and the group produced two fringed costumes last year.Ok wait, lets make that I really liked the bra top. I am sure it will be a fav for all those who seek to hide some flaws. I would have still preferred to see something on the bottom than just a plain panty. I used to wear a plain panty on Carnival Monday long time. I don't expect that my Tuesday costume should be the same. I guess since the fringe is wrapped around to make the bamcee piece they thought it was ok. I can understand the reasoning but still think its a bit of a short change. The necklace and the headpiece are also well put together. Those cuffs like they came from the warehouse. Is there a backline in this?

KUALA LUMPUR
Green and Peachy Pink are the two colours i think are most difficult to design with. This is one of the better green costumes I have seen. Tribe has a pretty good track record for nice green costumes with Honeycreeper and Mulberry under their belt and they are all quite different. I was suprised to see that the bra has green sequins on it. I can't remember the last time I see sequins on a Tribe costume. They have become so known for gemming out the bra and higher end materials. I guess in this recession they have to reduce costs but fortunately it was done well and mixed with gems so I am not going to fault them for it. I just hope the cost of the costume is reflected in that savings. I am liking the ring detailing in the bar and waistband as well. as well as the backline headpiece. I am getting tired seeing that backpack so many times in one year but hey its one of the better backpack styles.

BALI
Its interesting to see how different this costume looks in different lighting. In the book its a deep purple/burgundy and in pics it looks almost red. I think its pretty however this is a good example of reappearance of previously used materials. The gems, I have seen before I was too lazy to go look and to say where but thats ok cause I found an example a few pages before in the booklet. That is, Monaco has same gems as well. An increasing trend with them is hanging gems from the top edge of the bra and leaving the rest bare. To me this is what Oasis did to keep their costs down and I kinda expect more from Tribe. Its Tribe's fault for giving me that bad habit of expecting fully worked up bras.The wrought iron looking shapes are very similar to what was used in Izumi clan (Blis 2k11). I am not sure how I feel about the side wings. They look nice in pics but I think the road will be the true test. I am glad to see something innovative in this costume, don't recall seeing that before off the top my head. Nice costume overall.

BORA BORA
This costume probably peaked my interest the most with its very distinctive body wear. I do like when they incorporate patterned fabric into a costume and I am loving the chunky blue gems. I have mixed feelings about the feathered arm pieces. As a friend pointe dout to me, they look like seaweed. Maybe thats the point, I dunno but it is still one of my favs.

THAILAND
This costume is just pretty standard. Sticking to the formula. Its pretty enough, the backpack on show was really over the top. I would like to see some of the detailing close up. We could have hoped for something a bit more. When I think of Thailand I think costumes from "The King and I". Don't really see how this costume relates to Thailand.

CAPRI
Well the good thing about this costume is that you could probably wear it again after to a DDI party. Although the ruffles are cute, it just does not say costume to me.I am not too pleased by how the ruffles seem to fall on the bra. Would have to se it up close. It's a really blinged out swimsuit basically. The backline looks like you would have to tell people is mas you going to play. The collar seems like it may have an issue sitting up as well. Not sure what the intent was there. I also have mixed feelings about the blue tinged feathers, they just seem kinda random and not tied into the rest of the costume. If you want something shiny and light, I guess this is you here.

TAHITI
Ok firstly, FYI, Bora Bora and Tahiti are part of the same country. Might want to rethink that section name. I like the colours and I really like how the regular bra was decorated.I would prefer if both sides were decorated the same way even if they insisted on putting the feather accent. This bra style looks good on just about everybody. The wire bra is one that is a hit or miss depending on who wears it and how much nip action is revealed. I don't particularly like the stuff hanging from the boobs either.The paillettes on the side of the waistband and on necklace kinda concern me, I always feel like I am going to get sliced and diced by a handful of paillettes but they might be ok.

WAIKIKI
Ok,sorry for this again but Waikiki is a neighbourhood on one of the Hawaiian islands. I don't think people go to Hawaii just to visit a neighbourhood. I not really sure about their theme if they going to name sections after some countries, mixed in with cities, mixed in with neighbourhoods. #imjussayin. Overall the costume looks ok but personally it's probably my least fav. I just don't like the daisy looking appliques.I guess its arguable that its supposed to be hawaiian flowers but I just don't like appliques generally. I do like the grass skirt look of the gold fringe and the cord detail on the side of the waistband. The headpiece and leg pieces of the frontline are really nice but I am a bit confused by the arm pieces which I will have to see up close.

Ok so it have a million pics online and again I am too lazy to insert them here.As with Tribe I think the majority of costumes are on even footing. Maybe that's intentional so people don't all rush one section. My favs in Bliss get their edge because of their innovative design. My least fav just has the misfortune to have a design element I don't like in any costume.

My top picks (in no order) : Bora Bora, Monaco
Least fav: Waikiki

Monday, July 25, 2011

TRIBE 2K12:TAKE ME TO... REVIEW FIRST LOOK

As luck (or life) would have it I did not make it to the launch. I was not too torn up about it because I did not really expect to be in the country anywho and had actually left my costume downpayment with a (trusted) friend. When I do attend, I usually don't stay too much past the costume viewing because I don't think the party has been my speed in quite a while. Fortunately Triniscene made it easy by bringing their live stream. Not only did I save money and an outfit but I did not have to deal with looking for a park or feeling obligated to hang out longer than I wanted to because of friends. Their live stream is really as good as you can get if you cant be there in person. I got pretty much the same view as I would if I was in front the stage elbowing people to get pics (avoiding that another perk). I even got to hear Saucy's running commentary which kept me well entertained.I also like to reserve final comments for after I see the costumes in person. The following is very preliminary:

If nothing else, TRIBE is very consistent. Overall, pretty bikini mas with attractive colours. I don't understand why they seemed to have used such a small spectrum of the colour wheel. There were times when I was not sure if I was looking at another version of the same costume or a different costume. Design wise occasionally seemed that they took a little from here and there from recent costumes and made a new version. I think showing only frontlines was a bad idea. I understand that it may have been either to keep the showtime to a minimum (albeit it is a launch) or maybe to create a bigger impact. However, the frontlines and individuals won't be available to the majority of the masqueraders. These are the people who are making and breaking the band and I for one would be very annoyed and disappointed if I came to see which costume I wanted and left with very little but maybe a preferred colour option. If you are a FL H.O. then you were in your glee! I was glad to see that most of the wire bras were in the style of Amazon/nia which to me is the only wire bra that I have seen that I would consider wearing. Sexy and it's the only one I have seen that seems to work on almost every boob (i.e without exposing nipples). What I did not like was that across the board the waistbands seems to be minimal. Its to a point where it no longer seems that they trying to be sexy , its like they running short on materials. I like skimpy costumes as much as the next carnival skettel but I am starting to feel a bit shortchanged. So...section wise:

SOUTH BEACH
Absolutely gorgeous. I love this one! Love the style of the style of the bra. The gems on the bra look just wow. Yes it may be Charmeuse 2.0 + Amazon/nia backpack in terms of colouring and style but its definitely a great upgrade. One of my top 3 for sure.

RIO
I'm kinda 'meh' about this one right now. The colours on video and in pics makes it seem very monotone. There is very little contrast between the bra decoration and the base /feather colour. I am hoping and am pretty sure in reality the working on the bra will be more pronounced but it looks pretty flat right now. I would have liked to see a bit more bling on the backpack for the individual in particular as well. Seems like a very safe choice to me.As i said before I prefer the other style of wire bra. Again, i did not see it in person and I think its well worth a closer look.

ST.TROPEZ
The inidvidual was very over the top and definitely peaked my interest. I like how it looks like fireworks going off around you. I guess its appropriate to be paired with a wire bra and a standard waistband. I wondered if the silver starbursts were similar to the material used on the first version of the Bliss' Ice Warrior (which was revamped, sorry 'poofed'). That foil material looked kinda cheap to me then so I hope that is not the case here. The frontline is nicely done. I would have to agree with Saucy about the asymmetry of the backpack. I dunno, when I first saw it I wondered if something was missing and then I was like Ohhhhh, it's supposed to be a style. It looks alright either way I guess but I would have liked it more if it was evened out.

JOHANNESBURG
Very happy to see something as interesting as an animal print monokini. I love animal prints. That was after I thought,"Didn't we already go to Africa with Peter?". I think it looks lovely as it is but I'm a bit worried about how it will look on the road. I fear that it will be a bit muddy looking in a group. Maybe the collar needs a bit of contrast, some lighter tones or a bright red. Just some thoughts....but I do like it.

VEGAS
The colour peach scares me in Carnival.I am quite sure that I have proposed it be banned from Carnival permanently at sometime in the past. It was a bit difficult to get the true colour of the costume from video and pics but my first impression is that this might be the first peachy pinky costume I actually like.(R.I.P Flamingo).I say LIKE eh. Absolutely love the individual bra by itself but not too sure what to make of the waistband. The bra did not look like it fit the model very well but hopefully thats just a sizing problem. For the frontline, although I notoriously hate standard appliques, I will let it slide this once cause it does appear well done. The bra could do with a bit more gems just to fill in the flat space but it could also ruin it if its not done in a strategic way.So I will leave it alone. The colour may not compliment all skin tones but the fact that its not a oogly peach costume is a plus.

FIJI
I must admit I am totally biased when I see these colours. That is half the sell with me there. I also like the detail that this designer puts into her costumes which is why I have played in her section several times. With that said, I love the string bikini bra. I think that style enhances those who aren't working with much on top and for me its more comfortable. The rest of the costume is itty bitty (like we carnival skettels like it) and I love the mohawk head piece with the gradient colours. I am hoping that even with its size its as light as the Loulan headpiece and its much more crowd friendly. I prefer to have the extra beading on the bodywear as in the individual than to have a bigger headpiece. I hope those wings are going to be an add on option also. I will take wings and leave the headpiece yes. (Yay wings!). OMMMGGGG now noticed wings are attached to headpiece. That is fantastic! Backpacks are just more than I want to deal with on the road so I am very glad to have this option in a frontline. I can't wait to see this up close! #winning

DUBAI
The colours are lovely. Oh wait, I said that already.Oh wait, its a different costume. My bad. I honestly didn't notice until I saw pics after the fact. Between the two, I prefer South Beach. Mainly because it has more beading than Dubai. Would still like to see it up close but I am already worried about the bra being a bit bare in the cup area. Personally I like to see heavy beading or gemming on a frontline. I think that's part of what you pay for.

CYPRUS
Humph! Papa Yo! Like Tribe having a float next year to put all them girls in FL Cyprus. I eh sure if that costume legal nah. This section should have been called Rio cause that is as close as you gonna get nekkid. Everytime I think they can't get more nekkid they prove me wrong! Now I can appreciate its creativity. I think the design of the bra is different and I do like it. I personally may shy away from the cutouts in the bra but its cute. I could even rock the bottom piece when viewed from in front if I was in top form. However ,although I don't particularly mind my ass hanging out , I think having it outside like if I never put on a draws at all is a bit much. I absolutely hate those 'headpieces' but its Carnival and no one will judge you for wearing it. I also have mixed feelings about the monokini version. I like the style of the monokini but the feathers on the crotch somehow make me thing of "lucky poonky" and the feathers edging the plunge make me think of "flame boob" both unfortunate costumes from "the band that shall not be named". I will reserve my final opinion for when I see it in reality as it does have other good features like the gems.Cyprus redeems itself fully as from what I see the backline may be one of the best in the band. The next question is, If you don't look like the model how you wearing that frontline?(Edited to add:Wait, i think I answered my own question: you don't! Maybe that's the intent hmmmm.)

SANTORINI (with one "N" Triniscene)
Ok yes it have the same gems from Amazon, but I love the body wear. If nothing else it looks like you getting something for your money. The headpiece is sky high which is great. I like the design of the hand pieces but the quality (from pics) looks a bit like it was made out of orange bristol board. I may be wrong, would need to see it up close.

CANCUN
Teal overload, i love it lol. Loving the individual bra. I need another look at FL bra which seems to be just as lovely if it's as worked up as I think it is.The waistband is extremely tiny. Totally forgivable with the ridiculous amount of feathers. Yes its a colour variation of what we have seen before but it's a fantastic colour and a sure to be popular.

MANHATTAN
I love this frontline. Simple but very attractive. Tribe love a collar eh? The colour combo is along the lines of one of this years' Bliss costumes (substitute purple for teal) but it does work well together. It may have looked a bit dark on the night but I think it will be ok on the road as their is some colour variation (as opposed to the monotone of Johannesburg). The bodywear will dazzle so arguably the darker tones in the headpiece may balance it out. Not sure how I feel about the backline bra which seems to be sequined covered. Somehow even though I know it has something on it , it still looks plain because in pics it comes out like a solid colour.

IBIZA
Achaean Odyssesy is that you? Don't get me wrong ,Its a lovely costume but its a version 2.0 of Achaean. At least it could have been a different colour! Ok, I personally don't like red costumes so I was not a fan out the gate. I do love the design and it is definitely one of the more interesting costumes in the group. I would still put it in my top picks.Let's hope they recall the issues with the torso lengths that occured with Achaean. I'm still kinda wondering why they sending Gabrielle with that version and not the other individual version to Ms.Universe.Too much to travel with? By Trini standards the headpiece and accessories are nothing new and I am sure there will be similar ones from other countries who recently seem to be coping the carnival costume style. I doubt anyone will come with anything like the bigger individual.

I am not even going to waste my time with the male costumes. Best they just give them what they want, a short pants and a id band and done the talk. I can respect the Ibiza male for the effort, although that's may be an 'individual'.

Top picks so far (in no order): South Beach, Fiji, Ibiza, Manhattan.I would like to give an honorable mention to Cyprus as well. I would not pick it for myself but I am sure it will be a hot seller.
Least fav : The rest are on pretty even footing and I don't think any are flat out ugly so I won't single out any.

With all these '2.0' and sometimes '3.0' versions of costumes Tribe played it safe but I suppose in the end the formula works as I honestly can't trash any. If one or two get a little tweak it will be just that and not major revisions. If you need to see pics of costumes it have a million on the internet and I eh able to insert them here. Remember this is only my preliminary take, we still have backlines to macco good and to see the costumes in real. I have been known to go 180 on some of my likes and dislikes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Return

Well whole of this year Carnival my theme song was Machel's song "Coming again" cause all I coulda say was "I shall return, I must come back.". I broke my own rules and got taken out the game so unfortunately I did not make it on the road. Bad mind alone had me holding on to my costume till I could bring myself to sell it (i.e when I stopped being in denial of missing the first carnival on the road in 15+ years. Yes, 15 I said.) So sad, so sad. I had seriously considered buying it and putting it in a corner just so I could look at it. *sigh* Oh well, I survived the torture and although I may not be as free to come and go as I was before, I am determined to be on the road next year.(God's willing. Please God please.)

Anyhow you take it , I usually go on hiatus in what we refer to as the 'off season' which is the short time between Carnival and the first band launch. I am not sure how many band launches I will be able to attend this rounds. Honestly, I good to stay home from now till Carnival Monday. Just give me meh costume. I have always been more a road person than a fete person. Being a regular Triber, the anticipation of their band launch always brings me out the woodwork and gets my blog rolling again.

After that run in with my doppelganger (refer to previous post) and with my very hectic schedule, I have not quite decided what the focus of my blog this year will be. I don't know if I have either the time or the patience to run down pics at events and upload etc etc. In the earlies this blog was mostly about my own personal routine to get prepared for Carnival (hence the tag line above) and along the way the bloggerati was born. It still boggles my mind how that happened but we have lots of fun lol. I may just revert a bit to the ole school seeing that my band launches may be attended via triniscene. If nothing else , I have a challenge. How to get back in bess shape after having a baby, while taking care of a baby. Good material there , the mampee factor was never more real to me lol. So we will see how it goes, can't promise I'll be as regular with posting, after all getting back in shape is the priority!