Monday, August 15, 2011

Dear Island People......

So apparently due to the whole uproar from the general public (and I imagine a bit from the bloggers) about the quality (i.e. they oogly) of Island People's Heroes presentation, they posted on their facebook page that they would eat some humble pie and rework some (i.e all) of the costumes. I must say that is a FABULOUS idea but I dunno why some people singing sound praises for Island People's customer service for doing so.

It is definitely not an unheard of practice, lest we forget that Bliss reworked all their costumes last year after similar grumblings of the masses (and bloggers). In the past few years at least one costume has died a quiet death annually at Tribe's hands. They are shown at the launch and maybe even at the mascamp, never to be seen again. (R.I.P Flamingo, Trakson Warriors, Cyclon). I actually kinda liked Cyclon, dunno how that got the guillotine. The justification is usually that the drop one section to open up a more popular one.*whispers* Sometimes they just plain oogly. Listening to your market and responding accordingly is crucial to having a successful band with such fierce competition out there. I dunno if IP does this or not but I know for a fact that other bands have focus groups before the final crop of costumes are selected to say 'yay or nay'. Based on that, costumes can be reworked or scrapped. Given that even with this procedure , whack costumes still make it to the final presentations but its a good precaution.

Anywho, with the notice of Island People's revamp they requested that people go and 'Like' the costumes that they prefer in order to assess which ones will get the revamp or the axe I suppose. Since everybody and their tante is now a costume critic ,many people have since taken the opportunity to lambasse some of the costumes outright. I myself stumbled across Nocturnal and commented that "A costume with zero likes....nuff said". Strangely enough, my comment was deleted. Now considering that they have asked for 'constructive criticism' and yet people with comments such as 'Hell to the muhfuggin,No!" and "My eyes burn me..get rid of this crap" still remain, I am perplexed to think how my comment could have been construed as offensive or unconstructive and hence required deletion considering that it was stating facts at the time. Regular readers would know that when I do a review, I tend to be quite detailed and when it's something I don't like, I often recommend tweaks. This is primarily because I (and others) have been accused of just being 'haters' or 'bad mind' to certain bands or designers for personal reasons. To me, If I tell you exactly why I don't like/like something it cannot be said that I have any sort of bias. No critique is is unsupported by evidence and where personal taste prevails it is clearly indicated.

I am such a fan of irony and I had a good laugh when I recalled that around this same time last year I visited the IP Mascamp to get better close of pics (was also invited to the media launch last year, like meh pass get lost in the mail this year). While browsing, I was approached by one of the IP band leaders and asked my opinion quite randomnly (I assume) about one of the costumes. I proceeded to give my honest critique and I suppose he was impressed enough with my comments to say that I should join their team the next year. I jokingly replied that I am extremely good at criticising but have never really designed a costume from head to toe. He responded that he was serious. Now I never pursued the matter although it was something I would have loved to do, I had too much going on personally at the time, but I'm kinda sorry I didn't with the end result. I don't proclaim to know everything about costumes or costume design, but I do believe that I have a pretty good eye necessary for the field I work in.I am sure that if I were to design a costume that it would be so outrageously expensive to produce that it would get trashed same way. However, if I was to get the 'wuk', these are some of the changes I would make, of course sent formally:

Dear Island People,
Allyuh need to fix some of dem costumes. Hear what to do eh...

TO BE CONT'D

YUMA:PRESS PLAY Review

Well I don't really have to tell anybody that YUMA pulled out all the stops for their band launch. Enormous stage, free drinks and hot costumes! The one thing I really love about Yuma is the way,from day one, they pay attention to the consumer and address every grievance that people may have had with other bands. You want nice male costumes, look nice male costumes. You want to know why we not playing soca, we just giving a tease of carnival (LOL). They had a justification and an explaination for everything they did. When you think about it,If Yuma can manage to right all the wrongs of other bands they will be the perfect band. However getting past registration may put a spanner in that dream, there is just no easy way to do it without pissing off some people. This band had lots of 'wow' moments during the presentation. I almost fell off my chair at one point.Ok well this should be pretty quick, here is my take on the costumes:

SPAWN
Nice standard costume. I liked how they covered the backline bra with the sequins in a diagonal pattern as opposed to the typical straight across. The little details like the skull and the brooched straps cute.

HEAVENLY SWORD
Of course the stand out point of this design is the halter fabric bra on the backline. I prefer a halter bra generally because its flattering on any body type. The top has a little sparkle to it and although we (the bloggerati) generally frown on under decorated bras, they just get away with it with the heavy working in the bra band. I would like a closer look at the waistband for sure. The Fl bra looks gorgeous with the gems. Although I did not notice it at the show , the top and bottom seem to be a bit off in colour when viewed in the pics. Will have to take another look at that.

CALL OF DUTY
I am genuinely amazed that this costume worked out so well.Like this could have gone so wrong but it was done so right. This is 'thinking out the box' in the right way.It's different but still cute and attractive.I personally would have preferred fabric instead of feathers on the bra but its covered in a way where it looks solid at a distance so I would still go with it.Love the touches with the cord, love the waistband with the brass buttons. The beret is a nice touch but my hair doesn't work well with hats.I would definitely rock a Rambo headband though. Well the frontline has some fantastic bodywear. Design wise, its on point.Love the brass notions. Like really, I don't mean to gush, its not even really my style but respect! The shade of green in the backpack was throwing me off a bit but everything else is so on point , I'll live with it.

AZTECA
WOW.I love everything about this costume. On point with theme.Well you know I get chain up with the colours one time. Love the use of the turquoise stones, especially in a shape/way I have not seen before. The FL is to die for! That top design. *faint* The bra is still decorated underneath it! PLEASE SEND ONE c/o Carnival Jumbie.

GOLDEN EYE
To be honest, it's not one of my favs but its a pretty costume. It's very simple and if you don't want too much frou frou , it works for you. I personally don't like that fringe used on the headpieces especially the long one on the FL. It's Carnival and as I have said before, you can get away with it. I guess with my hair again, it will never work for me. The chain making the the V on the waistband is a cute touch.

APACHE
LIKE WOW. My favourite part is the overlay on the bra for the frontline. There is nothing I would change. Absolutely gorgeous. Notice the bras are decorated even with the fringe at the top!

ANGRY BIRDS
I like the FL, but with best sales person working that costume , how could you not. The bra and belt are super bling and its super skimpy. You see the back?? wayyyy Love the movement in the backpack. The individual.....ummmm I dunno why the talked up the fact that they used that black leatherette on the bustier, not only does it look off but it looks like it will be hot as hell. I don't really like the stiffness of the wings and I would love to see how they making out on the road in crowds with that. I hate those gloves.

FINAL FANTASY
I had high hopes for this costume,being a Final fantasy peong. Not quite sure how it tied in with the game but the giant individual wings made is what almost made me fall off my chair. It's too much for me but Wow. I love the bodywear for the frontlines. I'm a bit on the fence about the backline bra design, I need to see it up close. It sucks to be them standing next to the FLs lol.

TYRIS
Well ,if you have beenn reading along you know I am campaigning to ban salmon/flamingo pink from Carnival. Ok maybe next year cause this costume is very nice. Solid backline, love the FL.
The FL bra and backpack are awesome. Great movement in that backpack.

TRANSFORMERS
This would be my least fav of the band. It's not a bad costume for a first time but I think the designer's inexperience is clear. The design is very simplistic and with the primary colour scheme it looks even more basic. What irked me most of all is the extremely poor fit of the bra on the frontline model. All her boobs was squishing out the underneath and sides. If it doesn't fit , get another model that does!! It looked horrible!

GOD OF WAR
Love the FL wings and the use of the multiway monokini. However I am a bit on the fence about how it was decorated, the waistband especially looks a bit scanty. I need to see that backline up close. I'm either going to love it or hate it.

LUXOR
WOWSERS. Love the FL.Absolutely love the collar with the monokini. Love the waistband side pieces.The Fl is really over the top, can't wait to see that pricing. The backline is decorated really well but not sure about the BL headpiece. I doh know how much more they could have squeeze onto that individual, it's huge.Gorgeous.

BEJEWLED BLITZ
And that it is! The splash of colour in the headpiece is what makes this costume. I love that although its a largely monochrome body wear, some of the gems pick up the rainbows of colour in the light. Interesting collar on the FL and the pants on the individual are hot! It has not escaped me that since the launch photos of a similar costume from Rio's Carnival have surfaced. It's no secret that many of the designers in all bands use Rio costumes for inspiration, and many individuals bring Rio costumes as what they are going for in the design of their costume. Well at least they did not reproduce something oogly. I am quite sure nobody is going to say "Oh my gawd, it's looks just like that costume,I'm not buying it". Let's not forget that whole Zune affair with IP and Tribe's Persian Gold. That was in the same country the same year. It happens.

Ok so My top picks (no order): Luxor,Apache, Azteca
Least fav picks : Transformers, Golden Eye

Good luck getting in!smh

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ISLAND PEOPLE 2K12:Heroes Review

I was really in two minds about whether or not to do a review on Island People .This is primarily because I did not go to the launch and I know I would not be playing with them. When I saw the costumes ,I was so disappointed that I also felt reluctant to even bother. Then I found myself looking at the pics repeatedly and I realised I just needed to get it off my chest.

I must commend Island People for trying to be as creative as possible and they always seem to try to relate their costumes directly to the theme.With that said, I think generally the costumes were just poorly executed. Here we have their teaser with cartoon stylised versions of their sections which all look kinda cute. As others have pointed out , they would have done better if they just had them all look exactly like that. What bewilders me is how a design team could have collectively looked at their production and thought 'We looking Bessssss'. I am not even going to hate on the excessive use of spandex because in context it is understandable in relation to the theme and I also happen to love the 80s (spandex ruled then). What super hero doesn't like spandex? I don't know why Island People likes to make 5 versions of every section. Is it that they are not sure which one people will like or is it to give people so many options they must find one they like to play wit them? To me it just confuses the look of the band.

KAIMANA
If I'm not mistaken this is Sonia Mack's section. After what she produced last year, this costume is a poor follow up. I just don't understand it. It has too many different design elements going on, I dunno how the petals ,the beading, the architectural headpiece, the appliques and gems were supposed to look cohesive. The bra option on the individual that seems to have a white base is just awful. The beading hanging from it and the corresponding waistband is also a bit tooo 80s. It seems to come from a time when costume design was not very mature. We have come so far since then, this is one design that needed to stay in the 80s. She did a big skirt last year, it worked then, this petal framed skirt does not. But hey , it's blue. People like blue. Right?

NOCTURNAL
Sigh *bbm hand over face* . If I could save this costume, I probably wouldn't. The only thing I like is the bra on the backline version. Maybe I will let the cape slide in the spirit of heroism. I will even peg the colour combo as 'interesting'. I do not like the bird looking cutout used in the backline waistband . The headpiece is just a bit two out there for me,, it looks like it would have been more suited amongst the aliens in last year's presentation. I would love to see what superhero can manage with all that goings on. The other two versions with the wire bra are just plain scary. The bras are a weird shape, the fabric hanging from them is silly.The circles make me trypophobic and the waistbands just look cheap. I really want to like the spandex leggings but they look a bit out of place on the costume. They need to start over with this one.#fail

SOLAR FLARE
The backline is a very standard bikini mas costume and I guess its wearable however I would love to know how the 'V' s tie into anything. I don't particularly like the two types of feathers on the BL backpack, I think they look odd together. I guess its supposed to look like flames coming out her back. Cute headband though. The cuffs look like they belong to a flamenco costume and why everything have to have V's all over it so? The FL monokini looks like it could do with some more gems, I find they are depending on that spandex to do all the work in 'making' the costume. Having that much of the spandex exposed cheapens it. I could not help but wonder if it was lined. Worse yet, I hope they make brazilian waxes compulsory for all who sign up. The spandex arm pieces really should fit snug, having them look like arms warmers is not flattering.Judging from the placement, maybe V is for vajayjay? Wait, no, the male has a V as well. Well what's left is a individual or another FL? I only like the backpack but I could envision the cape soaking up all the drain water in P.O.S. The bra is reminiscent of 'flame boob' and the little ruffle on the waistband is odd.

OYA
One of the better ones in the line up. The backline could do with some upper arm pieces cause without the cape it looks quite bare. The monokini and bustier options are cute too. i think the white cape looks like a bedsheet on both options. If they insist on having a cape then I would prefer it be a bit more translucent or a different colour than white. Sheer silver maybe? I dunno but not bedsheet. I would not wear the facemask personally but you can get away with it.

WILDHEART
The only other thing I love more than the colour teal is animal prints. I was really hoping to get both next year (hint hint it's not too late!) . I like the brown version better than the pink but its ok as well. It seems unanimous that these two backline models looked the best for the night. I might lose the silver cape, again I think a more translucent fabric would have been better. The frontlines look a bit crazy with those thigh high animal print leggings. No change that , if the bodywear was a solid pink/brown and they had the leggings it could work. I would have to agree with Saucy that it just had too much animal print for one costume. All the accessories did not need to be in print unless they went with a solid colour bodywear. And suppose I want to wear sunglasses? Like I can't with that visor.Hope its removable.

KALYPSO
Although I am not in love with the colour combo, generally all the versions are ok.There are a few tweaks here and there I would do. Mostly in terms of gem placement. I don't like how the monokini is decorated, it looks a bit juvenile. I also wonder how it would fit a bigger busted person because it seems very narrow on top. I am still a bit bothered that the monokini looks like its lacking structure (which a lining would provide). Pink spandex for guys? #uberfail

ELEMENT
This is my favourite of the lot. It's probably the only one I would actually wear. Good colour combo. I really like the design of the bustier . The boyshort version fit very poorly on the model so I hope that is just a sizing issue. I don't like that the back is just some strings on the Fl version but the monokini fits much better.

VELOCITY
The backline bodywear is ok. The Fl monokini is very risque in terms of its cut, there is very little left to even decorate. The average woman cannot wear that style and have it look flattering. The model looks like a size zero. Much more cannot be said for this costume. Oh , yeah the male costume....just with the pink spandex shorts I want to see who wearing a long pants with a spandex top that has peekabo nipple action. And why is the Eye of Thundera part of this costume?

FIYAH
When I saw this costume , the first thing I did was call my rastafarian bff and tell her she could finally play mas again. All joke aside, its hard to look at this costume and think about anything other than the combination is rastafarian colours. However, the colour blocks also makes it look very Carnival Friday primary school. The male costume being most guilty of this. I think the tri colour beading could have worked but the combo with the bra is a bit much. I can't support a completely undecorated bra. The monokini is kinda cute but don't like the backpack. Does the costume come with the big stick?

THE SCARLET I
A lot of hoorah about this costume. Out of all I think it hits the theme and is a decent costume at the same time. I am not a big fan of wings but it was well done.i.e not tacky looking. The bra is borderline flame boob but it was done much better than other incarnations as the feathers are pointing in the opposite direction, so I will give it a pass. Red is not one of my favourite colours so I may just be a bit rough on it but overall one of the better costumes.

SIREN
I like the feathered headpieces, backpack and the backline bra.The fascinator style head piece being the exception. The waistband is a bit too much like a giant applique for my taste. The slack spandex accessories just not cutting it. I don't want to feel that cape is spandex too. Good luck with that and the heat.

So very much like the other bands, out the box does not negate the fact that it also has to be attractive to the wearer. Compared to last year's presentation I am quite disappointed that the offerings weren't more appealing. Island People will have a run for their money considering some of the new bands on the market and the fact that Richard and Anthony have the place locked in terms of costume design. Would like to big up the Trinidad Carnival Costume Pics crew for making life easy for the bloggers, I don't even have to take close ups anymore lol. Good job.
Soon to come BLISS and TRIBE:Take Two and YUMA.