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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Missed it by a nose!!!

There I was minding my business yesterday when I got a call that Island People were shooting out in the open around the Savannah opposite Stolmeyer's castle. Since I was in the area anyway I decided to pass and check them out hoping to glimpse the costume with a "butterfly on the head". Sad to say I missed them, damn they were swift!

Sources have said the costumes are gorgeous, I was told in particular that Diane Hunte has a lacy gold section that is stunning, Crystal Amming is coming in yellow as the Caribbean Sun and Angel Falls is crystal and white beads. The Chocolate Dreams section is getting a touch of Caramel to cater to all skintones and from those who have seen the costumes, the "backline" are so hot they look like frontline !!!

Bring it on Island People, it is about time we have another crop of fabulous costumes to drool over. Best of all there is absolutely no hype surrounding the launch so I think they are planning to WOW us and that is even more exciting.

Still asking that question????

sat·ire Pronunciation[sat-ahyuhr]–noun
1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.
For the record, I did NOT at any time camp out at Cascadia or take time off from my job to do so please, please do not email me or message me on facebook asking that question again!

I mean really, the satire was lost on SO many people even I was left incredulous at the gullibility of logical thinking people ! The whole thing started as a joke when people kept asking me what time to get to Cascadia for TRIBE's registration and I quipped that I was going to camp out to be first in line. The mania, insanity, fervor, anxiety and panic that the whole registration issue is/was causing was even driving me insane as I was faced with one question after the other as soon as I logged on to any medium of instant messaging not to mention the emails asking the same thing over and over; like I have said many times before it was the newbies perpetuating the hysteria.

My satirical response was the "Coming to you live from Cascadia *cough*" posting complete with staged photographs; did anyone believe Winnie the Pooh was actually in line for a costume as well? LOL. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that anyone would think that was true! All I was hoping for was people to laugh at the whole situation and lighten up, thinking TRIBE is not worth that much stress, there are other bands to consider especially if you have never even played with TRIBE.

For the record I am not some crazed, foaming at the mouth TRIBE psycho who would stand in line 3 days for a costume, nor do I endorse that anyone should go to those lengths either.Truth be told I won't even be going to Cascadia on Wednesday!!

Good luck to all who will be registering then!!

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.

click for super size view

click for super size view

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!

click for super size view

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.

click for super size view

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!
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