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Monday, July 30, 2007

Generation X Miami Band Launch Photos

Click the link below to be taken to gallery of photos from Generation X's launch of "Kaleidescope" on Saturday.

Harts Prices

The female costumes have several prices depending on the headpieces selected; they run from frontline headpieces to smaller ones. Cheapest male is $1370.0 and cheapest female $1755.00, like I said before the prices are not bad at all.

Jewel of the Nile - Female 2250.00,1885.00 Male $1700.00

Conan - Female 2135.00

Ben Hur - Female 2235,1865.00 Male 1845.00

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - 1960.00

South Pacific - Female1755.00 Male 1690.00

Coming to America - Female 2460.0/20545.00 male 1585.00

Chicago - Female 1985.00 Male 1370.00

Last Samurai - Female 2585.00 Male 2230.00

Twilight Zone - Female 2515.00, 2135.00

Karma Sutra - Female 2200.00 Male 1855.00

Sahara - Female 2510.00,2185.00 Male 1720.00

Amazons - Female 2320.00, 2100.00 Male 1745.00

Showgirls - Female 2260.00, 1950.00

Pirates of the Caribbean - 1640.00

Sampson and Delilah - Female 1915.00, 1710.00

Apocalypto - Female 2565.00, 2190.00 Male 1985.00

Geronimo - Female 2430, 1830.00 Male 2355, 1760.00

300 - Female 1960.00 Male 1715.00

Shark Tale - Female 2370.00 Male 1970.00

Troy - Female 2215.00, 1995.00 Male 1850.00

Lights, Camera, Action...... Harts first look

So, I just came back from Harts and the mas camp is PACKED with people registering in droves. At first glance I was disappointed that the costumes all look like Harts trademark costumes,I don't think I saw any that were totally different this year. I even saw the same headpieces from this year in another colour.What Harts has going for them however is PRICE, the costumes are affordable AND they look nice, plus they have a very faithful following.

The costumes I like are Showgirls , Troy and Apocalypto, though I don't think I got any photos of Apocalypto on the show board nor did I get a shot of 3oo which is nice as well. Showgirls bra reminds me of a section that Harts did some years ago, but I like this reincarnation. Apocalypto is beautiful, the beading is fabulous! Troy is a really nice black costume, though it looks similar to a section this year.Thing is the mas camp was so crowded and the photos sectioned off by a rope so I could not get as close as I would have liked. Hopefully I can return and get some better pics before the website launches. Suffice to say Harts has delivered nicely decorated costumes albeit the same formula from each year. Say what if it isn't broke, don't fix it!

By the way I saw the hubby sneak out a registration form, apparently he likes Geronimo (the Native American Section) and 300 so we shall see if he ends up in Harts.


Show Girl Headpieces


Island People launch date changed

Animal Instincts will launch on the weekend of August 18h and not August 12th as was previously reported. The exact date, whether it is the Saturday or Sunday has not been finalized but I was assured it will definitely be that weekend and once the date is confirmed it will be released to the public.

Breaking records!

Yesterday visits to this blog was phenomenal and if the numbers are any indication of things to come for Carnival 2008 I forsee bands selling out much faster than last year! My average for viewers of Trinidad Carnival Diary holds at around 550 per day with 300 on weekends and you can get a year long report from the site meter located under My Blog Log to see how the numbers ebb and flow. For the weeks leading up to Carnival 2007 I had a then record of 1000 visits a day. However yesterday that record was shattered when 1792 of you logged on to see costumes!!

Now I know that number reflects multipe visits, but the page views are even more incredible at 9984 hits when the daily average was around 1500. You guys refreshed the blog page countless times!!

Most of my visitors do come from the USA but yesterday I had many Trinidadians logging in as well, as illustrated by the following pie chart:

The buck stops here!

As I chuckled softly to my self while reading the comments by members of the Island People Carnival group on facebook I decided that this year I am not going to get sucked into the Band versus Band Bacchanal; the buck stops here people!!

I reiterate that TRIBE’s costumes are gorgeous, and yes Black Magic is Island People’s Jumbie if Jumbie was dipped in crystals added some wicked beads and pumped up with feathers to the max. Conversely I can also say that last year Island People’s Oasis frontline was TRIBE’s Nylon Pool done better and cheaper, point being that we can clearly state that each band has borrowed from each other, now can we move on and at least admit that TRIBE’s costumes are looking fierce? Right, you do not need to love the band to appreciate pretty costumes; I guess that is the difference with me. I was in love with Island People’s costumes after their launch last year, even though I had already made my choice of costume with TRIBE. I can safely say that I liked at least one costume from EVERY band for this year's Carnival, remember how in love I was with that Trini Revellers costume?

People have gotten the wrong impression that I do not like Island People and have successfully baited me in the past to stoop to their level and get sucked into pitting “my” band against “your” band leading to the band bacchanal! No more for 2008 I tell you! I am looking forward to Island People’s costumes as much as if I were playing with them for 2008. And for those on facebook who have seen my personal photos from the launch you would see me being cheeky with one of Island People’s members so there is no “war” with me and any one of them. I have heard they are working hard to improve on the areas that they got bad reviews on last year and I wish them all the luck because I think all masqueraders deserve to be compensated royally for parting with their hard earned cash for feathers and beads; service is also what we pay for as well!

I can only hope that ALL bands keep the ball rolling now that TRIBE has launched and that we see a range of costumes; from the glamorous from Harts, exotic from Island People, artistic from Mc Farlane and the detail of Trini Revellers. Now what we as masqueraders should be doing, instead of throwing stones at each other, is to petition the Government for a return of the Savannah Stage for Carnival 2008!! It would surprise many to know that the impression of the Ministry of Culture is that masqueraders enjoyed mas on the move and that it was a success!! I say we, each and every one of us masqueraders, pan men and band leaders organize a written protest and send a message to the powers that be; we need a stage for 2008!! After all these beautiful costumes I cannot see any place to display the fabulousness but ON A STAGE!!

Myths and Magic review of the launch

Let me preface this by saying that a band launching for me is all about the costumes, partying is secondary therefore I enjoyed the launch more than others who were expecting a fete. My night started early as I knew 1. I wanted a good parking spot and 2. Pier 1 would be subject to traffic jam from the number of persons going to the launch, therefore I went up Arima to pick up my friend at 8:30pm. With one stop at Movietowne for something to eat we got to Pier 1 promptly at 10:00pm.

Walking towards Pier 1 from the car park, we did get a good spot by the way, my friend was surprised by the number of people who were already there as she thought I was insane when I told her we were leaving home before 9. I too was somewhat taken aback by the small crowd of persons outside the venue. It was only a bit later that we found out the gates were yet to open.

waiting to get in

This would prove an omen of other situations that went askew on Saturday night and contributed to the night not going as smoothly as it could have. We waited for half an hour outside of Pier 1's gates before they started letting people in, at that time traffic was already starting to back up along the main road. Knowing me you know I did not line up at all but was the first inside. Yes, same trick I pulled at the mas camp, I cut in on the side. Since we were among the first to enter I observed the e-ticket system which basically scans your TLC card to confirm payment was made, the whole process was swift.

Entrance to Pier 1

The decor of the venue was a cross between medieval fairy tale and whimsy, with a lots of lights, the stage decorated like an enchanted dell and a coloured light display illuminating the ground . I even saw a few horses dressed as unicorns passing by as we went to get drinks and several maidens dressed in period type renaissance costumes. That was the last I saw of them though, I had no clue where the "unicorns" went to for the rest of the night.

There were several options for drinks with a pay bar, Heineken beer on tap, "free" bar and a bottle bar. I discovered the Angostura cocktail bar early on and was drinking Harry Potter cocktails all night much to my detriment as I was not only tipsy on Saturday night but I woke up on Sunday morning with a splitting headache!!

From early on I basically secured my spot, and eventually the area filled with other patrons who all looked anxious for the show to begin. I cannot say how much time passed but it was after midnight when they announced that the show would start soon. Carnival Jumbie was on the other side of the stage when either she saw me or I saw her and she came over to join me at the best vantage spot for taking photos. Sooner than later the show began with some pixies dancing, a pyro display that went off at the wrong time and then the models appeared.

Massive crowd

Now, I have been to several launches so I have some experience dealing with errant models, like the ones who speed down the catwalk, not stopping to pose so photographers can get a good shot or posing in such a way as to not display the costume properly. Trick is to put your camera on "burst" to take multiple shots and try to compose the photo as the model is walking towards you, and contort yourself into any position necessary to get the shot. Even with this method I only got the back of Peter Elias section, I have no idea why his models were so eager to get off the stage!As for the inexperience of the models, lets just say that I also got information beforehand that some of the "models" were last minute replacements for other models who bailed to go Great Fete in Tobago, hence the fact that some of the girls were looking confused at times, not knowing how to pose or which part of the stage they needed to be. A bit annoying for the photographer looking to get a good shot and I know patrons who were not close to the stage saw costumes in a blur, to tell you how fast the models were moving!!

Models onstage

I have to agree with Carnival Jumbie and many others who complained that there was no narration or anyone calling out section names. We did not get the booklet until much later in the night, however I had seen the media launch packet from the Triniscene representative earlier on in the evening (before he rushed off to upload photos from the media launch) which contained a booklet and had an idea of which section was which, especially since I was familiar with the names already. However most people were at a lost looking at section after section coming out with no information. Also a group of front liners came out and we had to guess which back lines they belonged to. The whole show was over in under an hour and the finale where all the models came out was punctuated with a performance by Sherwayne Winchester which was my sign to leave the front of the stage.

At that point I had every intention of leaving the launch but got sucked into looking for a booklet, which led me to the VIP area where I saw a bride and her entire bridal party hanging out there! Apparently they had their wedding at Pier 1 and along with 3o guests were invited to the launch by TRIBE, how cool is that! In the VIP area I met designer Gail Cabral who was kind enough to go to the front of the venue to get me a booklet! Talk about service from TRIBE. Anyway we got scotch at the VIP bar, limed a few minutes and again I was ready to leave when my friend decided she wanted to stay until 2:30 so we hung around until then. By that time Harry Potter was in full control of my mental faculties so I have no recollection of any bad behavior that might have occurred during that time.

Bride and Groom who were invited

Eventually we left Pier 1 but that was only the beginning of a very long morning for me!It was a good thing I made my planned pit stop before heading home as that ensured photos to be up just before 3:30am. Overall the launch was okay, I think the venue caused some problems with traffic, especially when behind the scenes was chaos as reported by blogger South Reds who was an impromptu model; she revealed that behind the scenes was much more stressful than we were privy to know.

My goal was to see the costumes firsthand, get some good photos and enjoy my night with my friends and the hubby which I did so the launch was satisfactory to me. I do hope that the next year they can procure a venue closer to Port of Spain, advise the models to take their time on the catwalk and make sure we know what costumes we are looking at. All minor issues which can be remedied with more planning for 2008.

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