Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Island People Band Launch 2009 - The Aftermath

Date: Sunday 17th August 2008
Place: Queen's Park Oval

Price: $150 and $200 Two for one drinks

What a Trini like MORE than freeness? Freeness and VIP treatment of course!

I had gone ahead to secure my tickets for IP's launch earlier in the week, only to be told on Sunday afternoon that there was a complimentary (WHO SAY COMPS?!) waiting for me to pick up. So on my way down to IP's launch just after 7:00pm I stopped to pick up my comp, which wasn't a comp at all, but an invite for Mr.& Guest with a private viewing of the costumes between 6 and 7.

Well I was happy and vex at the same time. Happy that I was getting in free but vex I had missed that private viewing. Anyhoo...

So the hubby and I got there, scalped...errr...re-sold our two tickets and proceed to the Heavenly entrance. I was excited to see the decor having passed by earlier in the day cause hello!, we know IP does bring it!

We walked up the stairs into "Heaven" after getting our VIP bands, and descended into "Cotton Hell?" I guess the angels in heaven have dirty ears or something.

After settling in (having my first drink of Coke on the rocks) I walked around looking for my peeps who were supposed to be there and to start scoping out the best spot to take my pics.

Is now self I got confused. There was the bed of a trailer on wheels (herein after called the T.O.W) outfitted in cotton (and plywood covered with a red carpet) set up kinda in the middle of the venue, but then there was also another stage set against the IP Heaven on Earth backdrop. I decided to wait until all was revealed and then take up a position.

The T.O.W.

Found my peeps, sneaked some drinks back and forth a couple of times for them from VIP and then went backstage to explore. Got a good couple of shots backstage while waiting on the presentation to start.

Bounced up Saucy a little while later who was looking a bit rushed and carried her backstage to a spot where she could set up and I took a few more pics as the models were getting into full costume.
Saucy blogging "live"

Costume presentation was carded for half 9, so closer to that time I made my way to the front. An announcement was made over the PA system that we were to keep a 5 foot (eh?!) distance from the trailer in the middle of the venue.

Just after half 9 the presentation began.

The crowd turned their eyes toward heaven (the night sky) and we were greeted by costumed models in white boxes (some say white coffins) attached to a crane gently coming down to "earth".

The models landed safely and we saw the first section Heavenly Skies.

Now in case you were under a rock the past week, the costumes were "leaked" (WINK! WINK!) and mass emailed to every Tom, Dick and Chin Lee, and everybody liked what they saw. It was just to see the fabulousness up close and personal now.

The models came on to a soundtrack that was out of this world!
As it had to be THE MOST ANNOYING soundtrack ever, with the person singing "Heaven on Earth" and then injecting the names of the different sections as they came on like "HEEEAAAVVEEENNLLLYYY SKKIIIEEESSSS"
This gave me a headache that I still had when I woke up the next day I swear! As a matter of fact just thinking about it now giving me a headache!

I think it was some new ground breaking brainwashing technique they was trying out. Appealing to your subconscious to visit their mas camp and register.

The models came out of their coffins..oops..heavenly boxes and descended onto the first stationary part of the stage then made their way to the T.O.W which then moved them from the front of the stage towards the middle of the venue in the SLOWEST manner possible. And then brought them all the way back to the front where they made their way off the stage.

This was done 13 times for the 13 sections (not sure if it's chapters this year) and stretched a presentation that could have been half hour into over an hour. It was absolutely mind numbing.

Now the costumes.
*click to make pics larger*

My absolute favorite costume is Aaaaafffroooooo Diiiiiissssiiiiaacccck!!!!!

Not because IP dedicated the section after me, but because it is simply gorgeous. I dunno how people could find this costume wasn't nice when they saw the sneak peek.
I love love love, LOVE the headpiece and the detail on the bra is fantastic and the accessories to die for.
Do not like the frontline at all though.
And let us not even talk about the male model *dribble*...ah mean..male costume that had the audience oohing and gaping.

First runner up is Raaaayyysss offf Liiiigghhttttt!!!

Gorgeous with a capital G.
The detail is amazing. The frontline is a fully beaded panty and the bra and accessories FAB!

Second runner up is Paaaarrraaaadddiiisssuuussss!!!

The backline is nice, I am loving the frontline, even with the bustle on the bumsee. The colours looked good and blended well together.
BUT (and this is a big BUT eh)
How in Heaven's name IP could allow Sonia Mack to produce a costume which is a shamelss remake/remix/rewind of a National Costume that Danielle Jones went to Miss Universe with? I hope is only one of that costume going to be "made".
Shame on Island People and shame on Sonia Mack. I expected better from both of you!

So that's my top three.

As for the other costumes (I eh singing again, meh throat hoarse and rain falling)

Carnival - I like but not in love with it. I like the colours in the costume and the pan detail in the frontline backpack.

Ocean Whispers - SKIMPAYY with a captial S.

Angel Falls - Is it just me or does that frontline look like Rain? (IP circa their first year) And the men look like Egret rejects from this year.

Heavenly Sky - I like the frontline option with the big wings and feather skirt. Not feeling the backline at all. I like the Individual monokini and feathered skirt, I'm not feeling the wings though.

Natural Mystic - Island People needs to retire this colour.
We've seen it in Sicorro Winds, Sacred Sand etc etc. That notwithstanding, I am liking the fabric headpiece on the backline. Can anyone tell me why the frontline bikini bottom for this was black?

Chocolate & Caramel - I still don't see why people were loving this costume. It's neither here nor there with me.

Touch - Love the colour of it for the ladies, but it takes a brave man to rock pink, wuss yet that particular shade of pink. Go brave fellas.

Midnight Bloom - Not as awful as it looked in the calendar, but I can't see that tutu waistband working on the bigger ladies. Very "teenybopper" to me. This is probably the 'nicest' male costume which ain't saying much.

Dream - This shade of purple is nice. A pretty costume but no WOW factor here.

I think that's al lthe costumes. No wait...how could I forget?


What could be cornier than a section named "Love" where the entire costume if made up of hearts shaped gems? I dunno. Talk about taking it literally!
At least they got rid of the Jordi la Forge Star Trek shades that we saw in the calendar.

And that's all the costumes.

After the costumes I was expecting of course to see Machel (a standard in IP launches) coming down from the cranes swinging and singing YAYY!!HAA!!! and putting the crowd in a frenzy. Alas, there was no Machel to even salvage this launch.
Instead we were treated to the latest reggae and dnacehall sprinkled with a dash of soca.

Close to midnight the hubby and I left the launch and headed to the exit. I bounced up one of my peeps who was looking to get a calendar only to be told that there were no more calendars. HUH? I guess they figure we done have it on we email, why bother to give us one when we leaving? I ended up with none cause out of the goodness of my heart, I gave my two to my peeps.

I don't know if it was the calendar "leak", the long drawn out presentation, the boxes in the air or the exhaust from the T.O.W, but I just found IP to be lacking overall.
The "leaked" calendar had me looking forward to the seeing the costumes live but I left feeling disappointed. I expected big things from IP and they simply did not deliver for me.
IP is known for handling their men but this year is more like the men get man handled!

Island People had sent out an email promising a " launch like no other in Trinidad & Tobago. " And that it was. I will not forget this launch for a long time.

Overall I give Island People's 2009 Band Launch 5 wings out of 10.


Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Great review!! You were nice lol, I was expecting Sonia Mack to get MORE pound for the remix and rewind. I have been to 3 of IP's band launches and they are always stingy with the calender.. humph!

innerouterdivaPON said...

AC...I halfway dying of laughter here, feeling disappointed all over again and wishing that stupid ad-libbing was not still stuck in my head. That singing was really annoying :$

Your review is ON POINT. I dunno how to feel about Island People to be honest. Why would you leak a calendar that is CLEARLY a Biblical 7 times better than your actual product???

Everyone I have spoken to or shared my photos with thus far has echoed the same sentiments..."WHAT HAPPENED???". It's like we were presented with a different band altogether.

I was looking at some IP costume pics from their past 3 years and the standard has severely dropped!!! Is the band going broke or something? They even skimped on accessories, armbands, leg bands...is wha really going on? It's one thing to cut costs, but some of these costumes don't look anything like the work of a 4 year Carnival contender.

My final concern is this: I've been told of some internal issues the band is dealing with. If there were organization problems before, what can masqueraders expect now?? :|...IP is proving too much of a risky venture in my opinion...They should focus on their parties.

Carnicherry said...

Great review...

afro chic said...

Saucy I willing at this point to give a veteran desginer like Sonia Mack the benefit of the doubt.

InnerouterdivaPON, I only know a handful of people who enojyed that launch and liked the presentation. I doh even wanna hear about internal issues nah, cause when they didn't have that they had problems. And they really skimp on the accessories this year come to think of it.

Thanks Carnicherry.

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

They need to lay off the China made costumes and get some local designers to do work!

Yes the bra straps will not be sequined down to the last but you know what, the costumes won't start looking like same ole same ole; if you notice these costumes can easily fit in with what Baje International used for Crop Over 2008!!

The first year of island People the costumes were really FAB and did not have that China look.. they need to go back to those designs!!

Ms. Sexy said...

I agree. but i will not only place the blame on IP. Since the importing of completed costumes instead of cetrain components, all the carnival costumes are starting to loose there creativity. the most creatie parts of the costumes becomes the feathers and people tend to skimp on them due to inflation.

But I must admit the IPM costumes are becoming more appealing day by day, pic by pic.

shells said...

great review... and fabulous pics.
I thought I was the only one thinking that since IP came out in 2006 to now, they've been on a slippery slope!!! That's not good considering one is supposed to improve with each passing year.

Let's hope whatever 'internal shuffling' is happening turns out for the best.

Wuzdescene said...

gyul ..... dey really say dat .... great minds think alike .... cuz I see we both talked some of da same shit in our reviews :-)

keda said...

well i was at the launch and while i get what u guys say i think we being kinda hard on them.... The costumes are beautiful and the decor was beautiful as well. I mean coming down from a cranes and then having a moving runway was way cool. I think they made a good effort at changing the way costumes are presented.

No offence shells but i disagree that the quality of costumes have ben declining since 2006, i think they improve each year and a friend who played this year and who encouraged me to go to the launch , say there are options for us "thick girl" who want to play too. Plus lke Ms. Sexy say the costumes look better day by day

Afro chic i like reading your blogs because it's ur honest opinion and i respect that.