Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ronnie and Caro - The Aftermath

Date: Saturday 28th August 2010
Place: St. John's Hall
Cost: $100

Ronnie and Caro held their band launch last night at St. John's Hall in Port of Spain. The media launch was scheduled to begin at 11:00pm. I got there with my brother just after 10:00pm and we made our way inside to the media/VIP area. (note to self: always walk with your invite to avoid any delays at the gate).

The media/VIP had access to drinks and snacks which included meatballs, puffs, accra, celery sticks, baby carrots and cucumber.

At about 11:00pm I noticed one of the Ronnie and Caro 'regulars' carrying Peter Ray Blood to a blocked off area backstage. I realised that this must be the media launch area and followed.

I received a booklet at the door and was immediately blown away by the green costume on the cover modeled by Caro herself. As most of you know I am not a fan of green costumes for the most part, but this one was wow.
The individual costumes were displayed and I was already liking Tsunami and Go Green.

After the media launch I made my way back to the media/VIP area where I met up with Carnival Jumbie and Trinidad Events. They missed the media viewing of the costumes so we again made our way backstage to take some pics.

Shortly after we made our way stage side and awaited the start of the show.

At 12:15am the launch began with an introduction by Ronnie, as well as a dance routine.

Then the costumes came out. Each section displayed a blackline, frontline, individual and male costume with the exception of Survival of the Mexican Aztec Dancers.

First up was Guardian Angels
This white and gold section is very cute, and I think might appeal more to a younger masquerader. I really like the beading on the bras and belt. The male costume is one of the better ones and the male model had a time on stage wining dong low lo much to the delight of the crowd.

Fire on th Hills
This orange and gold section has a simple backline and a great frontline. not liking the upper arm pieces on the backline that much though. The individual model didn't seem to know what to so with minute she jumping hyper, then posing for 5 seconds and then jumping again. LOL.
Huge backpack on this individual but it looked like it was easy to maneuver.

Go Green
Imagine. A green costume. That I actually like!
I really like this costume and this is one of my top picks. The men costume is simple enough. The backline, I like the belt shape and bra beading. The frontline is lovely though a little old school with that style of beads used on the arms, but I like the overall effect.
The frontline is fabulous and again another huge backpack that moved well. That model posed all on the ground for the media launch...I think she watches ANTM ;)

Survival of the Mexican Aztec Dancers
Yellow and orange with some pheasants thrown in, this is a guest section out of Toronto.
I like the unusual shape of the headpiece on the frontline and backline costume, people might get some feathers in their face if they in you way but small ting. The backpack for the frontline is cute as well and I like the movement of it. Not a fan of the appliqué and braid used on this costume too much though.
This male costume is one of the better ones and the headpiece ain't bad either. (Anyone know why the backline chick was looking like she was running away from the male model?)

Global Warming
This peachy section was introduced by its male model who came on and gave the audience a performance like no other! Very entertaining, down the the Bolt-esque poses. LOL. (Next time dude please wear a plain black boxers)
Not liking this colour too much, nor the coral shaped headpiece and cape, but again bead work especially on the monokini is really nice. I think the individual in this section might need a bit more something.

Blue blue my world is blueeeee!!
What can I say? It blue. I like blue. The backline sports a cape that I'm not feeling, but I like the frontline and LOVE the individual. This is also one of my top picks. I like the shape of the headpiece which give way to that wave feeling.

This is my least favorite section. I am not a fan of the red, white and blue, and when I look at it I'm thinking 4th of July and not Earthquake. The striped material is just not working for me. I really liked the shoes on the frontline model though. They were fierce!

Smoke Pollution
In my top four, this black, grey and silver costume is really lovely. I dunno what was going on with the backline model who stumbled down the stage and kept holding on to her headpiece, though it was not very big at all. She even took it off and had it in her hand! I like the backpacks and headpieces on the frontline and individual. This male is just meh.

Bird Flu
Fushia and purple and I like it. Not so much the backline with the feathered bra and belt, but I do like the frontline and the unusual shaped backpack. This is another backpack with a lot of movement and boy did the lil model move! She palance all over that stage like it was the big stage up in the Savannah! The individual backpack is similar in shape as well and the bra and belt is blinged out. The shape of the frontline headpiece look like it could be tweaked a bit as it was falling into the model's face.
Male costume, *shrug*

Initially when I saw this costume I thought "WHOA! Colour much?" as it is a LOT of colour on one costume...but as the night continued it definitely grew on me. Not a fan of the backline, but the frontline and individual headpieces and backpacks are nice. I do not like the body wear on the costumes, but I definitely get the whole "Carnival is colour vibe".

Once the launch was over, Blackie gave us a performance of his new song for 2011 "Pong Meh", then we heard from a DJ out of New York which wasn't bad at all. The music for the night was cool, soca mixed in with a little dancehall and zero techno.

Overall I would give Ronnie and Caro 4 coque feathers out of 5, for a great launch and some pretty decent costumes, plus from personal experience I know for sure they deliver a GREAT vibe on the road! While there were no "out of the box" designs, the designs for the most part definitely have appeal, with my favorite sections being Go Green, Tsunami, Bird Flu and Smoke Pollution.

For more pics from the launch you can check HERE, and pics from the media launch can be found HERE.

Ronnie and Caro - The Aftermath: Pics...

Just came in from a great launch by Ronnie and Caro.
Pics uploading I type, check them out HERE.

Carnival Individual

Monday, August 23, 2010

Island People: Shades of the Universe - The Aftermath...

Date: Friday 20th August 2010
Location: Pier 1
Cost: $210 for masqueraders
Imagine my surprise when I get an email in my inbox from ISLANDPeopleMas on Thursday evening inviting me to their media launch. This was just moments after speaking the Carnival Jumbie about the lack of an invitation. Hmmm...thanks to whoever called on mine and Jumbie's behalf and thanks IP!

Fast forward to Friday night, arrange for my drop down to the launch (who forgot me btw *coughSaucycough*) and we get there just around 9:30pm, just as the launch was about to start. I again tweeted for @TrinisceneLive on Friday and I did not have a photog for the night, so the shots I got were limited. (Next time Afro Chic and guest would be nice IP *hinthint*)

Noone told me there was going to be a race that night, or else I would have come better prepared. Dem models bolt out that curtain onto the runway and back so fast yuh could barely tweet or take a pic!

We were told that after the media launch, the launch itself would take place at 11:00pm. Great I thought, I could have time to shake my bumsee in the party lil bit before I went home. Media launch come and gone, 11:00pm come and gone, we hear launch at 12:00, which then turned into 12:30 which then turned into ridiculous.
I think if the music playing wasn't so damn good I woulda been bored outta my mind. Dat dj played the BEST music I've heard so far in all the launches that I have been too.

Finally! 1:30am and the show begins.

One time is REAL smoke on the stage, and from my vantage point up on top de balcony dat wasn't good, so wuss yet for who was stageside (as wuzdescene mentioned my camera eh have no smoke setting). The big screen dat was taking up half the stage lifts up and we see some alien creatures in silver body suits (did that dude have a camletoe?) an they o some simmy dimmy and after one long ass drawn out explanation, the first section comes on stage.

If yuh familiar with IP, yuh know the first section at the launch and on the road does always be Sonia Mack.

Quasar aka Quasi-Black Brule

This costume is lovely, but the similarities to Black Widow and Soleil Brule cannot be missed, down to the rhinestone braid and style. I love what I assume will be the individual with the skirt and all the fabric (doh set allyuh eyes and heart on this one, Sonia does have her people long beforehand). Signature Sonia Mack costume here. I counted 8 options for the females and 3 for the males.

Nebular's Hypnosis
Nice. Simple. Safe. Blue.
I like it.

Saturn Sanctuary

I did not like the execution of the hoop design for the individual, but it was a nice concept. How yuh wining in dat? I did not get a closeup of the backline and the frontline is okay. Not a fan of that fringe, it's kind of dull, but I like the shoulder pieces.

I like this costume, and it's green! Love the materials used, not too loving the shoulder hoops though. Both frontline and backline are very pretty.

Allyuh sure Diane Hunt design this? *yawn* Boring. And the frontline model was over sour.

Mars Bliss

What/ TWO Sonia Mack sections?!?!
I like this section for some strange reason. Not that I would wear it, but I like the textured, coral like feel of shoulder pieces and face mask. And I doh mind the body piece at all.

Luna Cycle
This section is the first that looks like it fits to the theme to me. I'm not liking the netted part over the eyes, I would cut that off, and I'm not feeling that stiff headpiece either. The individual was very Lady Gaga, and I liked that.

Now come on. Ah mean really. Nice design yuh know, but I saw this a month ago in TRIBE launch man. But it was purple and they called it Persian Gold. *sigh* And wait...the hoodie too? What is dat? That being said I did not like this costume at first look, but the leg and arm pieces are fierce.

Galactic Dust
I coulda swear i tell IP retire this colour for their costumes yuh know. And doh think I missed the Jellyfish fabric style from Animal Instincts cause I didn't. Despite that I do like the overall look of this costume.

Meteor Burst
I predict that things will be bursting in IP...bursting out that is. I hope IP giving away pasties with this one. NEK-KID. I doh even think I ever see a Rio costume so nekkid.

Orion's Starbirth
Not a favorite of mine. The colour combo again is too familiar for me. Lovely monokini style on the individual, but lacking decoration, and I doh understand the point of that ugly monstrosity of the backpack.

Forever Orbit
Wait...when did this become a night at the Playboy mansion? What the hell? Is that lingerie? The frontline could pass with a push, but that backline, people will want to know if Yoko Fung band coming back for 2011.

Twilight Phenom
IP for 2011 will have a youth oriented section targeted to the 16-20 age group. This is a great idea that I can see other bands wanting to/should pickup in the future. As far as this costume goes, it's aite. Kinda naked for teens, but some of them wear worse than that to go to the mall/cinema. Not loving the collar and headpiece though.

IP's overall presentation would have been great, had I seen it when it was scheduled to start. As it was, the endless alien appearances and robotic/alien model poses just drew out the show longer than it needed to be.

Swappi came on to entertain the crowd during the grand finale and was decked out in all white wit silver...IP should have that as a male costume, because the males were lacking for the most part, with the exception of probably Sonia Mack.

I would be hard pressed to find a costume to suit me/my taste in IP this year.
Overall I give IP's costumes 3 asteroids out of 5.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

YUMA - The Aftermath

Date: Sunday 8th August 2010
Location: Queen's Park Oval - Havelock Street side

Now other than working for Triniscene again this week at YUMA's band launch, I was also invited by Ms. Danielle Jones to a special social media behind the scenes of the launch. It was not only me but Saucy Diva and Carnival Jumbie as well.

I must say the behind the scene up close and personal arrangement was really nice. It wasn't a regular backstage thing. It was a costume by costume hands on detailed look of everything before, during and even after. Even while the models were dressing we were there.

We got to speak with the models about how the costumes felt while they were wearing them. Most of the models said it was very comfortable (this despite some of the bras looking like they were about to pop some of the girls boobs).

We were allowed to take closeup shots of the costumes, just enough of a teaser to keep the interest of our twitter followers.

Once the actual costume display began, I got into my role for Triniscene and was able to look at the live feed and the feedback to each of the costumes.

I will say this before going into my review of the costumes. The live feed did not do those costumes justice AT ALL, which is not to say that the live feed was bad, but you just were not able to see the level of detail that went into the costumes, as we could being there up close and personal.

I would urge you to go into the mascamp which is located on Alcazar Street and scheduled to be opened this Saturday, and have a look at the costumes in person.

Now on to the costume review.

The theme:
I honestly do not expect BBF bands to be true to a theme. I think most of them probably just design then put a name to the costume then try to match it to the theme. But das just me. Despite this, I was thinking that something like the Zodiac that it would be relatively easy to stick kinda close to the theme. And while the majority of costumes are very pretty, most of them don't really look like the zodiac sign they supposed to represent.

The basic male costumes for the most part suck. I feeling it for the men and I hope they revamp some of the sections for allyuh, seriously. And where was the Gemini male costume?
With the exception of male individual costumes, most of them were pretty sad and generic.
By the way YUMA, the men told me they would like see some male prototypes in the mas camp please and thanks. (That was pre-launch though, I eh know how they feel bout it post-launch).

Female costumes:

Oracle - This costume is beautiful. I was not impressed when I first saw the pics of it from the media launch, but in person it is absolutely gorgeous. Lots of rhinestones winking at you in the feathers in the headpiece, and I have always been a fan of peacock feathers, especially when they have been used well.

Libra - The first thing I noticed about this costume was the frontline backpack which is identical in structure to the backpack that I almost played mas in this year...the pain is still fresh in my mind *shakes it off* Same designers yes, but that design should have taken a rest for 2011. I like the shade of yellow however.
Pisces This shade of blue is gorgeous! Again the frontline costume with the corset and blue beaded fringe is stunning. Not too loving the headpiece but it is still very nice and I could work with it.
Virgo - Not a fan of this costume. I do not like the colour combination at all and I am not a fan of the straps attaching the top piece to the belt of the costume.
Leo - I like the use of the Kankelon hair in the headpiece of this costume, I even like the use of it on the bra, but I'm not sure how many women will want to play mas with hairy boobies. LOL.
Cancer - Loving the leg pieces on the frontline of this costume, the bikini bottom is NAKED!
AriesThis is my zodiac sign and I actually have a representation of it tattooed on my back.
I absolutely dislike this costume.
The colours do not in any form or fashion represent ANYTHING to do with Aries. Great design eh, doh get meh wrong, but I real dislike the costume colours. In my mind I would re-do this costume using the black base but with orange and yellow coque feathers. And where are the horns?!?! *sigh*
I agree 110% with this comment that was left on Saucy's blog by chris:
I am an Aries. Aries is a FIRE sign. Our colours are RED, ORANGE etc. Our sign is the RAM. So then how in the world did my sign get translated into a GREY costume?? Even with a long stretch of the imagination it does not make sense. Additionally, ARIES is the start of the Zodiac. It represents new beginnings, spring, that kind of thing. Again, GREY is not the colour associated with this at all. Ask any Aries... the LAST colours that we would be drawn to are grey or black. I find the lack of theme in this presentation annoying.
Well said.
Sagittarius - Not liking this section too much. Another brown section which is just okay, it didn't really wow me. I do like the mohawk headpiece though and the models were fierce.
Aquarius - A very pretty costume and a great design as it does remind me of water. Not sure that netting is for people who are bigger than the model who wore it, cause I did notice that there was a tear when she was backstage changing after the show. But this particular shade of blue also gives me horrible flashbacks *shudder*
Gemini - I like the design of the frontline with the belt high on the waist to display the decorated panty, but I have never really seen a green costume that I loved.
Capricorn Love the black and gold. Love the chains. Love the sleeves on the frontline costume. I could see the individual in some pants of the same sleeve material with some liquid leggings underneath. A huge headpiece with horns, additional coque feathers and maybe even some pheasant feathers! But das just me.
TaurusGreat detail on this costume. Loving the amount of gems and rhinestones on this costume, the individuals are great, (having only been made that day)
loving the sheer pants and horns...b
ut Xi'an called and they want their armpieces back.
Scorpio - OMG! the red faceted gem used on this costume absolutely works! This is one of the few sections I watch and see that what it represents. I feel like I going to get bite. Great costume. I hearing some of allyuh on the Blue Cottinga reference, but I eh seeing it.
Overall I would give YUMA's female costumes 8 coque feathers out of 10.
The men costumes get 2 boardshorts out of 10. Please give the men something more, PLEASE.
Unlike wuzdescene I really really did not like the music, as I have always said, if it is a Carnival bandlaunch, I want to hear soca. Only soca. Whole night.
I did not get to party much post-launch but it looked as if people for the most part were enjoying themselves, and like the music didn't bother them as much as it did me.

I'm not sure about the overall look of the band on the road with having 3 brown hued sections ans 2 red, but I do think they will make an impact on the masqueraders.
Much thanks to YUMA for specially inviting bloggers to the launch, it was really a great experience! Maybe some others would take a page out of YUMA's book?
Oh gosh! how could I fogrget to thank my photog who took pics for me stage side while I was upstairs tweeting. Thanks Mys! :D
If you not fedup of seeing pics as yet, you can check mine out HERE on photobucket.