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Sunday, October 15, 2006

First look at Hiawatha

Much thanks to Kevian who scored these shots of Legacy's costumes from last night's launch and shared them with me. You can read her review of the launch on her blog, The Carnival Diet. From the first look I have to say that Legacy has also fallen victim to the arbiturary body painting that just distracts from the costumes. I could understand if they did some "warrior" paint on the model's faces, but the airbrushed stars make no sense in my opinion.

Anyway, I am liking the orange costume so far though I was expecting more native Indian elements portrayed in the costumes. Apart from the headpieces the rest of the costume looks like the same bikini and belt as any other band.And I hate to say it but my first impression is the costumes just look like different versions and colours of what TRIBE has done in 2004, 2005 and for 2007. They even have a red, white and black Indian costume! The designers need to take a look at Harts who have managed to do diverse versions of Indian Mas, none replicating what TRIBE has done to date.

(click on the photos to make them larger)

Royal Court de Versailles

I so wish I could make these photos bigger so everyone who does not have the real newspaper can see them properly! This is the section called "Royal Court" from the band Trini Revellers which is featured in today's Womanwise Magazine of the Trinidad Guardian, and these photos have made me excited to go to the band launching tonight. So far, I am liking everything I have seen from Trini Reveller's, and this section not only represents the theme but it looks like couture fashion! In my humble opinion, it just goes to show how much talent we have in Trinidad and as the article says, we can provide much more than just "bikini mas" and still have a beautiful costume. Here is the article from Womanwise:

By Essiba Small

The perennial complaint of plus-sized and mature women has long been the fact that mas designers do not cater to their size or taste. But at least two designers are paying attention to these complaints.

Keisha and Kyle Matas are the brother-and-sister team of mas designers hoping to provide an alternative to the bikini mas with their presentation Royal Court de Versailles — a section out of Trini Revellers’ French Revolution.

The San Fernando-born siblings, Keisha, 25 and Kyle, 20, grew up in mas. Keisha would play while Kyle would focus on design.

“Since I was three years old, I was playing mas,” Keisha said. “And not kiddies mas, you know. Adult mas. My mother used to make the costume and I would play with her in Lionel Jaggessar’s Indian mas band.”

Kyle, Keisha said, started in mas design helping friends who would bring out sections in bands.

“He used to go and help build stuff for the King and Queen mas for bands when it came down to competition time.”

Tired of the bikini mas, Keisha and Kyle decided it was time to bring out their own section.

“I have played in several bands and after a while, you realise that all the money you spend to play mas is really for the all-inclusive package you enjoy — not the costume,” Keisha said. “From a person who is working behind the scenes on the mas, I can tell you it doesn’t cost much to put a bikini costume together. It is so cheap it is ridiculous,” she said with a laugh.

Inspiration for Royal Court came, Keisha said, when Kyle and their father travelled to Germany earlier this year for the World Cup.

“It was as if God was seeing the future because my dad and Kyle went to several countries after Germany, including France, and Kyle took lots of photos of the monuments there.”

When the couple approached Trini Revellers and heard that the band was presenting The French Revolution for 2007, they did their research and came up with Royal Court.

Ostrich feathers, crystal-beaded corsets, generous layers of cloth and elaborately constructed headpieces, are a few of the features of the Royal Court section.

And while Keisha admits that the materials used for the costumes are expensive, she was quick to note that financially, the revellers won’t feel it.

“If we had to charge people by what it cost us to put the costumes together, it would be too much.”

Royal Court will feature what Keisha calls, a front line and a back line, to give would-be revellers several price options.

“The front line will have masqueraders in costumes. The back line will be a slightly toned-down version of the front line. But when they all come together, you won’t know who paid more or less, because they will all look the same — more or less. It’s just that the front line costumes will have more detail,” said Keisha adding that, “We also want to give women of all body types a costume option.”

Royal Court de Versailles will cater to 150 to 300 masqueraders. It is scheduled to launch this evening at Pier 1.

©2003-2004 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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