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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Death by Boas!

Personally I was a bit hesitant to do a review on Elements costumes for Casino Royale as I am bracing for a maelstrom of protests that my review is rooted in bias. However, I opened the floor to those that read the blog and other bloggers to leave THEIR costume reviews and I must say those that contributed did a very good job of capturing the general sentiment on Casino Royale's costumes. For the reader reviews click here for the comments that were left on my post entitled "Elements First Look".

When I first heard that Douglas John was one of the designers for Elements I must say I was looking forward to seeing what fabulous creations he would bring to the table. I was very impressed with his headpieces and frontline options for "Myths and Magic" this year, not to mention he has several costume design accolades to his name. On that point I was sorely disappointed in Elements presentation, though to his credit he was not the sole designer responsible for these creations.

Several of the costumes looked as if the production was rushed, the assembly looks shoddy and details were overlooked such as the glaring white elastic on some headpieces. A little time and quality control should have been invested to ensure that the actual translation from drawing to reality translated as close to actuality as possible so that the overall effect would not look as tawdry. I know for a fact that after the costume screening advice was given by an independent party that the product needed revamping, sadly it was not taken.

Case in point is the section Caesars Palace, the draping looked awful on the models, as if a pit bull ripped a bed sheet to shreds and it was hastily pulled together. Upon closer inspection the decoration on the "bra" seemed to be an afterthought; drop some rhinestones and gold leaves and call it a day. The belt for this section is also very sloppy. A little time and effort in getting it looking right would have done wonders.

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The other section that baffled me is Mirage, way too many things going on with this costume. I think they might have been looking to use novel materials in their designs but WOW the fabric on this one is indescribable and the frontline is truly one of the worst costume designs for the entire season! That "claw" on the bra is truly hideous and again, what is with the randomly placed dripping rhinestones? The bling does not make it better!

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I am not going to go into detail on the other costumes as they have been critically assessed by Carnival Jumbie in her review as well as by Mimi and Afro Chic. I just want to add that some of the designs needed some extra embellishments like the waist coat of Dealers that is terribly underwhelming.I absolutely cannot fathom why anyone would think VELVET should be a material of choice in any costume design!

The headpieces had so much potential and just fell flat, I wonder if the creativity was limited by budget? Even more disappointing were the frontlines, most being festooned with lightweight feather boas; not one iota of ingenuity went into slapping some boas on the butt, shoulder, head and calling it a day. The mass of feather boas killed those costumes! I agree with everyone that said the resource of Vegas show girls was enough to draw inspiration on for some spectacular frontlines, even it meant replicating the entire costume from Bob Mackie!

All is not lost for Elements however, I still like Jubilee and is the only costume I would personally consider playing with of the lot if Elements were my band of choice. Bellagio is also another nice option, the colour blue can really sell a costume most of the times. Roulette is best for sticking to theme and has the best headpiece design. Cabaret also gets a nod as being one of the better designs, though the feathers differ in colour from the actual shade of green on the costume; I like the abridged corset bra.

Treasure Island would have been nice if the model's costume was not already busted (note the damaged coins hanging from the belt in the photo below) and that INSIPID eye patch which was not worn by the model in the no headpiece version of the costume.

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I like the little horseshoe details on Lady Luck's neck piece, didn't care for it sticking out randomly on the headpiece nor did I think it was a brilliant idea for the male costume to have horseshoes on his head!!! Queen of Hearts, thank God they got rid of the skirt (website photo) for the launch is all I have to say though the satin? taffeta? frills should have been gone along with it. Sahara's Halloween colours did nothing for me not to mention I took an immediate dislike to the black lace used to decorate the costume. However it is not bad and the frontline version is actually sort of nice.

My impression is that costume design was secondary to Elements, their focus seems to be working on providing an intimate on road experience as well as tackling the challenges faced by other bands hoping to make an improvement to the benefit of masqueraders. I am positive that they have their supporters who will play with the band regardless of costume, however if they were hoping to sway the undecided to their side based on costume designs only they face stiff competition from other new bands that have launched thus far!

18 comments:

empressnatts said...

Saucy is a good thing u did not comment 1st. so let me just say "The designers need to be put in a barrel with dem things dey call costume, roll down de gully and shot at!!! Such terrible designs when the theme is so FAB!! Like they never see Las Vegas show girl on E! or any casino/las vegas movie for that matter? steuppsss. But you know some people going and play with them, those costumes aint worth more than $1,800 if u ask me

FAB said...

EMP....u still give them a figure...I just told my friend if they offer me a free costume or even pay me to wear that Mon-Tue i running so far away...I say $500 and thats only because they have drinks and food on the road...as a matter a fact they should just scrap the costumes and have ppl pay for drinks and food and make it a t-shirt band with their elements symboys - earth, water, fire (oh I cant remember what else makes up the elements) etc...

Please Elements, please rethink about coming out this year -- find some excuse...

Again I'm just saying...

squeezle said...

Let this be a lesson to you Elements. Less time on the party bus, more time at the drawing board!

There's still time to re-vamp, I suggest you hop to it quick fast.

afro chic said...

LOL@Less time on the party bus!

Re-vamp? More like scrap. They need to scrap Mirage and send it to the rubbish heap.

Tr|n|gYa| said...

Oh man...**sigh** where to start?
LOL, maybe I won't.

S said...

I actually wasn't going to comment cause i don't think Elements is even worth my time... i done remove all the images and names of those monstrosities (aka costumes) from my mind... steups.

But i still wanted to add my two cents: What an absolute waste of time, energy, and materials. I am absolutely shocked and disappointed. Really elements? really? As a group you looked at those designs and said 'yes, we goin with that' ? Quite frankly i think the production is embarassing.

P.S. I still think Jubilee and Cabaret are ok (disregarding Cabaret's fabric butt flap), but the others are so overwhelming that those 2 sections are overshadowed with the ugleeeee

Shaykee said...

Elements is one of the few bands that I have seen to really pick a theme that was versatile and beautiful. I think the Mirage costume is very original and gorgeous...you definitely get the sexiness with a level of class. Loved that frontline mono-kini look. Very chic. Cabaret was mind blowing. That blue corset beautifully embellished is an absolute winner and Jubilee is also outstanding. Love the originality of the long hanging diamond strands. Like the overall concept of a smaller, intimate band and even if they don't meet their targets, better yet for the masqueraders who looking for a nice experience in a smaller, intimate and gorgeous band.

nimsay90 said...

i totally agree with shaykee...this band is definitley getting my money for carnival 2k9..i love the costumes ecspecially mirage i think its unique and had the opportunity to look at it up close and personal and loved the weird combo of colours.....so far i love what there trying to do by improving the service for there masqueraders, i think ppl tend to be a bit biased when it comes to new bands and don't truly give them a chance...

i 4 one played with a "certain" big band this year and my experience was awful...my costume did everything but fall apart.. and they most certainly wont b getting my hard earned $3,200 next year!!!

shells said...

As posted on AC's blog: let's see:-
1. Party, in terms of drinks quality, and music: A+
2. Soca music playing while models paraded: A
3. Models actually dancing: A
4. Crowd repsonse to music:C. WTF? The DJs were playing some great music dammit!
5. Ease of getting drinks etc: A

...oh I forget this waaaas a band launch. Costume quality: C.

I really really expected more from this band! They really need to consider doing over some of those customes, and let's not get started on the quality of those pics in that booklet!

Carnival Jumbie said...

*withdraws her troll radar*...*ding ding ding* throws some more pitch oil...lights another match .....

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

P.R. people working overtime, lol lol.

M said...

HHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, allyuh hear 2 ah d committee members......HHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAA

DC Chica said...

I particularly loved this line:

"I think the Mirage costume is very original and gorgeous...you definitely get the sexiness with a level of class."

Wow - I'm speechless.

Andie said...

i thought that after Tribe and IP sell out that this band was a consideration...but HELL NO!! next option... KAOTIC

carnivalbaby said...

I'm still traumatized from looking at those costumes, lol.

Tr|n|gYa| said...

LOL...oh jesus, allyuh is TOO much..
I am playing Mirage frontline, allyuh could hate how much allyuh want! :P

Shaykee said...

Lol lol lol...more like Tribe PR people working overtime...they scared of the competition it would seem. Unfortunate that they fraid healthy competition..there's enough for everyone dears.

Elements, if nothing else, will have a real nice vibe. The launch had a nice mix of people and felt like family. With this a their first showing as the new kids on the block, it can only get better

Carnival Jumbie said...

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOl

Yeah ok, Tribe is really afraid that they will have problems getting their costumes off their hands! Oh no what will they do with all those Cotinga and African Love Birds costumes sitting idly on the shelves? Shaykee what on earth led you to believe that?

I not saying that ppl who play with Elements will not have a good time on the road but the costumes still leave a lot to be desired. They have their ppls but Tribe started off much the same way and then just got out of hand. I would be most interested to see if and when Elements has a demand comparable to Tribe presently if they will take the decision to keep it small or if the money will start to dance in front their eyes.

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