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Monday, August 18, 2008

Down to Earth

Island People held the launch of their 2009 Carnival presentation “Heaven on Earth” last night at the Oval. We were told to look to the sky and had seen all the professional shots of the calendar, leaked last week, a leak that reverberated around the world as never was an email forwarded SO fast! I was anticipating models flying in the air or some unique acrobatic entry coming skywards so I was not surprised to see cranes upon arrival at the Oval. I was surprised however that our entry to the venue consisted of climbing a flight or stairs to be greeted by violin players and “fog” simulating floating in clouds, nice effect but you had to be extra cautions descending the stairs when the actual staircase was enveloped in fog!!

Several bloggers were at the launch, so you can look forward to their review, the first one I met was Carnival Jumbie and we were both curious as to the fact that the “runaway” looked as it if was an elongated truck bed decorated with cotton.. could that mean the models were going to be flying in from the sky and landing on the stage? It was even more interesting to see the cranes in the background as we could not figure out how this would all come together.

*click on the photos for a super sized view

Backstage I met Afro Chic who had already done a round of taking close up shots of the costumes. And while I got set up with the laptop the hubby got some lovely candid shots of the models. Because I was so busy uploading photos I did not get a chance to see many of the costumes before they came onstage, I did see Anya Ayoung Chee in a blue costume that looked like Heavenly Skies, when I asked her if the frontline had changed she informed me that it was an individual.

Soon it was time for the show to begin, my cue was models being loaded into boxes attached to cranes, well we no longer had to guess how they were making their entry. I took up position near the “stage”…not two minutes passed before we, the other photographers, were told to move. So, we walked down the length of the stage and stood to the front waiting for the box with models to descend.

It was somewhat of a delayed process to actually get the descent started but eventually it did and next thing you know police and these dancers dressed in white with wings started pushing everyone back from the front and side of the stage, which started causing confusion, what was going on?

I made my way to the side but other photographers held their ground until they realized the stage was MOVING!! It extended out into a long runway when the models landed, with them on it, and when they were done their showing of costumes it retracted. This was all done with beeping warning alarms (as if a truck is reversing) and generated A LOT of heat from the motors used to operate it . Needless to say the photographers were NOT pleased having to run back and forth to get pics or with the fact that process turned the show into an hour long production.

I will admit that I too got fed up of the heat, moving back every time the stage extended and the seemingly endless wait for costumes as the models slowly performed their routine, dancing and twirling down the stage.

Now unto the costumes!! Island People always manages to bring the "haute couture" in bikini mas with little details that really incorporate high fashion into Carnival For the most part they have always been innovative, creative, thinking outside the box which may not always appeal to everyone, however you cannot deny their ingenious appeal.

The thing is for ME personally, the costumes are more fashion than function in some cases. While I absolutely adore how the strapless bra and jeweled panties look I think that a specific type of woman will look best in those designs; beauty queens and supermodels perhaps? The average woman, to me, would have to sacrifice some comfort (plastic bra straps anyone?) or proper fitting bras (over a C cup in strapless) and stockings (how would you wear them with those dangerously low cut panties) to wear some of those costumes, not withstanding I am sure the appeal of the costume is exactly how the size 2 model looks in it! I am just saying when you choose the barely there panty and strapless bra do not be mad at Island People when you don't like how the costume looks on you come February!!

To be honest nothing could live up in reality to the stylized, glossy photographs of Wyatt’s in the calendar that was leaked before the launch; this proved to diminish the “wow” factor of the costumes (since we all saw the perfected version before) and expectations were running high pre launch; post launch my favourite costumes remain the same and the ones that did nothing for me in the calendar remain the same as well, with one or two surprises.

Top Choices!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Afrodisiac! The beading on the costume is fabulous and the headpiece is just gorgeous; I like the whole African vibe you get just by looking at the costume and the accessories are lovely as well. Great bra support in this section as it features a proper fitting bra (no strapless or cut out sides)This section also features the best (and quite possibly the only one, to hold that title) male costume of all the sections. From the calendar many people did not like this costume and were questioning why I liked it so much, but I guess I can see past the stylized, airbrushed photos to pick up on elements in the costumes that I loved beyond the excellent photography!

Rays of Light is my second favorite, the bra is very well embellished, looks like it provides good support and I like the little jewel detail that falls below the bra and ties around the back. Thankfully the back line comes with a belt option and smaller headpiece, while the jeweled underwear and larger headpiece is the frontline option.

The bright pink of Touch is immediately attractive, I also like the headpiece and the fabric used to decorate the bra and belt. Pity this did not have a frontline option. The male costume for this section, albeit is pretty sad.

I have to point out the fact o f Sonia Mack blatantly reusing the costume worn by Miss Universe contestant Danielle Jones when she represented Trinidad and Tobago;the Humming Bird wings, headpiece (with additional plumage) and foot pieces live today as Paradisus Frontline/Individual.. for shame, Carnival aficionados do NOT miss a thing!

In spite of that gaffe I do like Paradisus, and the several options and variations the costume offers. There are two backline options and a very interesting frontline option with a geometric bikini detail with a skirted bustle; I like it!

The "nice, BUT" costumes
This is not a popular choice among others but I do like Natural Mystic! I really like the little hat/headpiece details of the backline costumes, I think it is interesting and different; the male costume is also one of the better ones. The only caveat for me it too reminiscent of other neutral tone costumes done by Island People in the past.

I adore the Individual costume for Heavenly Skies, all the elements coming together, feathered skirt, monokini and headpiece work here. I also like the actual bikini detail on the backline with the attachments connecting bra to bikini and it seems as if this options comes with a cute back pack.. I could do without the solitary boa headpiece however and I do not like the wings on the frontline/individual costume; they are too wide and Halloweenish in design.

Chocolate and Caramel, failed to live up to the hype of the calendar shots to me in person. I was happy to see that the strapless bra now has straps and they are both nice costumes I am just not floored by this one.

Ocean Whispers is very, very skimpy (who I am kidding they all are) and actually looks as if it is lacking beads! However I like the frontline/collar option I think it adds the added oomph to the costume, without the collar the costume is nothing special

Angel Falls, surprisingly I like this one in person, especially the jeweled belt of the frontline, very pretty though I would hate to have someone tug and burst that while on the road, it looks fragile. I also like the little back pack options, but it needs more feathers! What kills this costume and hence it does not make the top list is the beads used on the costume; they look like plastic curtain beads! The female backline costume does not look so bad with the beads but it really cheapens the male costume.

Dreams gets high billing because I do like the colour purple and the frontline for this one with the jeweled belt and the nice backpack.. I think it can stand to do with a decent headpiece for the frontline however. The backline is standard pretty bikini with large feathered headpiece but it is outstanding on colour alone.

The “hmmmm” costumes…..
Midnight Bloom, like the headpiece and nothing else. The material of the bra looks like an embroidered fabric but what puts the “hmmmm” in this costume is the tutu aka Ballerina on crack!! Like how is that design supposed to translate for women with hips and booty? I don’t like the dark colours either or the long trail of black tulle attached to one of the models.

Love, love, love…. There is little to love in Love as I think the translation is beyond cheesy with the belt and bras of the costumes festooned in hearts. The backline bra is cute with the heart detail that forms with the beading but that belt is not; I do not like the cutout hearts! The frontline caged bra, I do not know what to say. Some cage bras just do not work, case in point here as the model had her hands on her breasts, I hazard to guess that the large heart shaped gems did not provide ample nipple coverage when the body was in motion. The heart shaped back pack, cheesey! However I prefer the other back pack with the twirly details and both frontlines left lots of ass outside though the models carried it off well with super toned butts!

Last but not least is Carnival; I did not like it in the Calender (when everyone thought I was crazy for thinking that) and I still do not like it! It is colourful, I will give you that and the frontline's fabric backpack is interesting with the steel pan detail on the back, I even like the fact that the scarf loops through the belt. However that is about all the appeal it has to me. I do not like the fabric tied around the breasts and coming from the neck down to the waist of the frontline, that style will not flatter everyone unless precise measurements are taken or a fitting. The backline costumes are sorely disappointing, especially with that scarf headpiece, I hope that is not a real option for masqueraders!

Don't forget to check out my BACKSTAGE PICS and LAUNCH PICS (just click the highlighted links).

Danielle Jones photo


Trinibears said...

Thanks for the Rundown Saucy, I was Blinded By the Dazzling calender pics.. I'm surprised of the differences to the actual costumes...ah glad i get meh costume aready...;)

afro chic said...

I maintain that you need to be rewarded for your political correctness and review ain't gonna be so nice.

babydoll said...

Great job as always Saucy you've pulled it off once again!

shells said...

Sauce, great to see you at the launch, and yay for Wyatt hokking you up with a media pass! Once again hats off to you for such a diplomatic review. As you said, after seeing the calendar and reading the pre-launch interviews I was expecting FANTABULOUSNESS!! Models landing from all over the place!

I was disappointed. IP's costumes are always creative, and don't appeal to all, but I usually love/like several. This time I was only wowed by one or two...the rest were just simply 'safe' or in the case of Carnival just simply coskell(sp?). The presentation was simply ruined to me with that runway moving back and forth. Original concept that did not translate well into reality.
that said, my favourite costumes of the ones presented are in order: Dreams, Paradisus (though I'm not a fan of green), Natural Mystic (with the men's costume suspisciously like 'Sacred Sands' of IP 2007) and Midnight Bloom (something about this I like)

Anyways, I'll post a full review with pics by end of the day.

dajewel1982 said...

awesome coverage, saucy!!! keep it up!!

yes, those calendar pictures made some look better than others...i actually thought carnival and heavenly skies were really nice based on the picture, but after seeing it in live form...its a different story.

well, here are my picks:
*ray of light (l actually love the front and backline!!! they didn't really skimp on the crystals in either!!)
*dreams (although i am not a big purple person, i love it in this section)
*caramel/chocolate (i am not big on the regular bra option. i do, however, like the bandeau option...then again, i am very obsessed with that style of bathing suit...)
*paradisus (it just grew on me...)
*touch (love because of the hot pink!!!)
*ocean whispers is nice (...but it reminds me of king fisher...)
*carnival (since seeing it in live form, i am not really fond of it in general, but i could live with the backline option)

Tr|n|gYa| said...

**sigh** I don't know how I feel now..from the calendar pics, I thought that it was a good marketing tactic in the sense that it generated a LOT of public hype. But what am I seeing now? The only costume I would even remotely consider playing in is Afrodisiac. It's creative and gorgeous. Love getting no love from me, Touch looks like it touched a bit of Isis circa Tribe 2008, and Paradisus is just a plain ripoff.
I'm sad, I was REALLY hoping that IP would offer us some costumes to salivate over. I mean, the costumes aren't horrid..but they aren't what you would anticipate from a 4 time veteran large band with such a talented designing team. Lemme go read Afro's review...I brace for the scathing grammar! lol
I still give Wyatt kudos for giving you passes to the launch. :)

dajewel1982 said...

oh, and one more thing:

I do like the men's board shorts for afrodisiac...very up to date!!!

Kerryann said...

Based on what I saw of your pics Saucy, I was a little bit disappointed. Honestly, I think alot of the costumes have TOO much going on. Loved "carnival" from the calendar pic but upon seeing it on the model, completely changed my mind. "Love" is horrid. The backline with the regular bra is not too bad. I don't know. A little too much going on with most of them but I wish them luck all the same. I'm sure their followers will find something that "wows" them.

Kerryann said...

Oh YEEAHHHH....immediately upon seeing Sonia Mack's costume I realized that I had seen it before. Uhhmmmm....weird that she did not bother designing something new but just added a little to something that's already existing. Hmmmm......Oh well, to each his own.

empressnatts said...

Great review saucy and I cant get vex with you on this one. They could of rolled out the moving stage and left it there ah swear ah get lung cancer from all dat exhaust.(Nice idea but was not excecuted well IP when allyuh doing dem ting yuh have to spend $$ and get de real ting man) Yes some costumes did not make the grade for me while others did and actually looked better in real than on the calender.

My pics are Rays of light, Dreams and Chocolate with Touch coming in a close 4th.

Oh well i will be there to register early to amke sure i get my choice.

psst..I'm sure I saw you saucy and was pointing you out to my friend. So now I have a face to the name...ha haaaaaaaaaaa. Good work once again

boobs said...

ok first wyatt should really consider taking this photography thing to a next level because the man real good! he made an apple look like a banana the man real talented, but the backlash is when the the costume dosen't live up too the photos what you get is masqueraders cussing, a group of girls were actually cussing for the whole launch i understand there surprise one of them was so disappointed it looked like she was going and cry she was soooo set to play in the section carnival from the calender pics, that when she saw it in real she literally start cussing real loud too! i was like oookk! anyways moving on..

Where was the people??? I found the turnout to be very weak not alot of people atall!

why in gods name did they have such a long drawn out presentation I was loosing my bloody mind every group stayed on stage so long it was sending me nuts.

and how could you have a launch without soca music?? please explain this to me somebody anybody a lady was singing on the stage some kindof r&b thing saying the name of every section when they come out so imagine listening to the same beat for over an hour bad idea don't do it again islandpeople please it was awful.

And you see these boney magga underfed girls modelling it needs to stop quick, this is becoming ridiculous now! I tried to take some pics but somehow the camera adding 10 pounds on them or something but in the photos you can't see it but in real these models are to small they do not represent the majority of masqueraders on the road because most of us don't look like that, it's pissing me off now, it's just plain ridiculous.

ok the only section I like after liking several from the calender pics boils down too ONE! rays of light is hot to death! although one of the models needed to shave alil lower because well we saw some well you got the picture it didn't look good atall! I don't think she realized how low that beaded panty was.

now with that said it looks like I am not going to be a 2 band ho this year I am not wowed enough to do that this year, and what's funny is the confidence of wyatt when he saw me he started saying get ready for the show of your life, i was like great i can't wait and dane lewis said the same thing also so they were really pumped, and when the long drawn out show was over I saw mr lewis again and he ask how i liked the presentation I pretended not to hear him blaming it on the music because my honesty wasn't gonna be nice, I'm sure he will find out today what the majority thought about it, I wish everyone the best with there choices but as an IP masquerader I am very very disappointed and wyatt needs to take photos that shows the costume for what it is and nothing more because these photos turned out to hurt him more than ever, the costumes didn't live up too his superb photography, he needs to change his lens, all in all I am lost for words, if I didn't see the calender I don't know what my views would've been but he wrong for leading on people! I'm done.

Krystle said...

I must say that i am a bit dissapointed in IP's presentation. Although i am a Triber, IP always seems to waw me with their presentations but somehow the "WAW" factor just wasn't there this time around. And from the theme i would've expected more of a heavenly presentation for costumes. I really do not think the theme complements the presentation at all. I had really liked chocolate and caramel from the calendar pics, but what a disappointment.

I think with all the hype and all the excitement that IP usually causes their presentation this year did not live up to what is expected of them. Hopefully next time.

empressnatts said...

Boobs that is talent!. U good when you make something that is tacky turn it into georgeous by photography. Yuh feel vogue models movie stars and singer does look so in real?? LOL we will run if yuh see it them in real life. I think the problem was that the calender was leaked due to the fact that IP take so blasted launch or to give people something so people was expecting the WOW factor after seeing the pics. I for one aint hype up myself nah

boobs said...

empress girl the man have real talent lol, he needs to apply in a big magazine and make the big bucks he wasting time, and another thing is there wasn't any crowd applause or nothing the most reaction from the crowd was when that black male model came on stage he is a fine specimen nice and chocolatey yumm! lol

innerouterdivaPON said...

Excellent review Saucy and anyone who attended the launch can relate.

As everyone has said, the calendar did leave us expecting more. After reviewing the 548 pics I got it's disappointing that no matter what angles I look at some of these costumes, they fail to impress. Afrodisiac, Carnival and Angel Falls were the only three that made me feel like leaving my house wasn't a total waste. Ray of Light is also really pretty but I was hoping that they weren't actually trying to sell a bra, a jeweled panty and a headpiece only.

The other photogs were literally cursing because the moving stage made it almost impossible to get decent shots. Good in theory; bad in practice.

I even noticed in a few of my shots that the bra piece from DREAM already had busted strands hanging off. I would hope that the actual costumes are better secured than that prototype.

Might I add that another disappointment was the fact that IP seemed to print a VERY LIMITED amount of calendars. Maybe they assumed that most people had the leaked version, but I don't think they really catered for even close to the number of people who attended the launch.

BTW He has already taken his photography to the next level. Check out his work if you like :)

boobs said...

inneroutadivapon now that explains it he's really good, but i wonder if he would do the same thing next year or change up his angles so the pics are a true representation tothe costume because he really made those costumes look totally different especially the carnival section, that cloth look so cheap, the bra looked different the waist band everything i thought it was another costume..

ms. hershey said...

funny... I've always said that Wyatt has a way of making coal look like a diamond in his photography. the man is talented, this we cannot deny for a minute but the problem is... when you're showcasing carnival costumes, people want to see the details within the costume and not the fanciful sets the models are placed in. this is where IP falls flat year after year. i had a feeling the costumes would fail to impress as i was caught in that trap a couple of years ago when i played with them. i've since learned my lesson. last year was the same issue, the costumes looked superb due to Wyatt's photography however, when i saw many of them in the mas camp or on the road... they were a mess and many looked cheap. maybe next year, rather than trying to do the old "eye trick", IP will actually put more work into the construction of its costumes... i thought "touch" was going to look fabulous in detailed pics and while i still love the color... it has failed to truly impress. the only one i would remotely play in is Afrodisiac. there's not denying that costume is gorgeous.

TriniVice said...

I'd have to disagree with u on that one ms hershey..I've found that some of IPs costumes do not compare to the photos of the launch or on the website in that they're even nicer than initially thought..sometimes details and vibrant colors are no where near fully captured in a photo as it would appear in person. There was absolutely nothing cheap about my IP costumes the last 3 years I've played with them, Illusions 06, Oasis 07, and Kingfisher frontline 08..I can't say from these pics of the launch this year that I'm disappointed at all.. There's actually one from the calender that I wasn't too liking that seeing in a different light moved way up on my list! As far as I'm concerned, the only difference in the pics from the calendar are the models and the background lol..everyone needs to remember that a costume will look different on each and every person to some extent. If IP switched the costumes on each girl and did the launch all over again the costumes will look different still..hips, complexion, bust all play a role in how the costume is essentially displayed..anyways, I'm sure I seem biased bc I'm an IP goer, but then again everyone on here has their own lil biased moments yes? lol

Trinitee12 said...

After taking a closer look at IP costumes I have to agree with the majority, very disappointing. Most of the costumes are way too skimpy and not covering enough. The images we saw on the calendar was not reflected at the launch. I am most disappointed about Carnival, it has way too much going on, the back piece needs to be edited or completely re-thinked, still love the colors and I actually like the head scarf for the backline costume, since I never wear head-pieces. Afordisiac is hot, nice colors and very elaborate headpiece. Love, is a complete mess, there is nothing to love about that costume; it looks like something you will expect from Legacy or Genesis. Heavenly Skies individual costume is not bad but the back piece has too much going on, there definitely should have been some editing of this design. Rays of Light another hot section, the bottom is nothing more than a panty; you have to be in tip top shape for this one. Saucy made a good point, with the amount of barely there bottoms how exactly are women planning to wear stockings with these costumes.

I think IP missed the mark on a couple of these costumes. More time should have been spent editing the design concepts, way too much going on in some of the designs.

I wonder if any of these bands has a Creative advisor who acts as a mentor to the designers and provides input on when to tone up or tone down the ideas.

dougla_1 said...

Less mechanization, more theatrics would have been smoother (look to the sky for sure, because, Birds of a Feather flying higher, lol (JUST KICKS!!!))

The only real disaster seemed to be Love (I never liked it from the calendar, too kitsch and cliche.) I know some hot ladies will rock Carnival. And one reality check, people. This IS nekkid MAS (certainly not "strong men and rude girl" nekkid, which ain't so pretty to me), mostly for the few who could make it work on the road.

Big Love to Saucy Diva for tirelessly keeping it real!!!

dougla_1 said...

PS, Except for the regal sexy (yup the model rock it!) Afrodisiac, all dem other male costumes seem to be ketching HELL!

SmokyEyes said...

I love Afrodisiac (sp?), Carnival looked better in the calendar, the rest is just okay to me.

IP chic said...

I agree with trinivice...I think these photos actually do these costumes an injustice. They are waaayyyyyyy hotter in person. I was at the launch and i thought almost every section was absolutely gorgeous! And not a first time masquerader, certainly not. You cannot judge from the pics on this website cus the photos look dull...almost gray to me. Where's the flash??? But i will definitely say that the costumes are beautiful..hats off to IP! People act as though every costume must be made to please every body type...IMPOSSIBLE! You cannot please everyone, thats why u have a choice ppl! Big breasted? Do not play in a section with a strapless! geeesh! Simple. TRIBE and Spice's costumes are just as skimpy as IP's and there are tonnes of other bands to play with if its just not your cup of tea.

Triniprincess said...


Thanks for all of your hard work as usual and you are right (AGAIN).

After close inspections my top choice just dropped all the way down!!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the infomation that you give... making my choices a lot easier

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