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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sold Out Section Update

The only two remaining sections in Island People are LOVE and Paradisus.

Registration for Paradisus will not begin today, when I called for more information I was told it will start "sometime later this week", and the website will also be up "sometime this week.

I was advised in the interim to email Sonia Mack with the following information.

1. Sizes (bra, waist, hips, bikini for females; chest and waist for males)

2.Option you are interested in, frontline or backline.

Preference will be given to past masqueraders to register first, after which those wishing to play in Paradisus will be accommodated where there are remaining sizes. If your size is not available you can request to be put on a waiting list in the event that you size is available up later on.

The new mascamp will be located on Kathleen Street St. James.

Check Sonia Mack's website for contact numbers and email address!

The Bra Size Issue... AGAIN

Every year another band has another issue when it comes to bras!

In 2006 it was the infamous sizing issue with TRIBE and their bra cup restrictions for the sections Tales of Benguela and Nylon Pool front line; this one brought scathing commentary from Terry Joseph which accused TRIBE of being racist and was the topic of discussion on many a radio call in show.

In 2007 Island People and their bra sizing were also put on blast, though to their credit Wyatt was very pro active in trying to get a proper sizing chart to ensure that masqueraders were able to choose their bras with more information on what the S,M,L,XL sizes translated to in actual bra sizes. Of course, no one made a fuss about the bra sizes, no scathing commentary, no call in programs, it was only my lone article on the subject which you can read here.

Now it is 2008 and the bra wars is still a hot topic with another band, this time newbie SPICE.
I have been informed by one of the bloggers registered in the section Paprika that her well endowed friend (she wears a 44 DDD bra) has been told by SPICE that:

1. Her bra size cannot be accommodated in the section Paprika.
2. That she is not allowed to bring her own bra to be decorated, even though she offered to pay extra.
3.There are no other sections where her bra size is "available" or where she can submit her own bra to be decorated.

Needless to say this potential masquerader is very disappointment as all her friends are playing with Spice and at this point she is the odd man out because of her bra size.

To tell the truth I am totally FED UP of this whole issue of bra sizing. Is it THAT difficult to afford a masquerader willing to submit their own bra AND pay extra the courtesy of being catered to? Not to mention that a custom made bra can be made in Trinidad by the swimsuit manufacturers, of course this brings with it other issues such as having one bra made for one masquerader at possibly cost instead of wholesale price, as well as going through the effort to have this done.

And if the fact is the band really only wants to cater to a certain aesthetic when it comes to their masqueraders, man up and say so, let people know you have a size limit instead of wasting their time! There are many tactics bands have been using to ostracize the larger cup sizes to make them feel unwelcomed from ever since the bikini bra top made it's way into mas. A masquerader cannot force a band to change their policy, the only recourse is to take your money somewhere else !

Not to mention that the bra sizes available ONLINE for certain costumes only go up to a 36B... is Spice trying to send us a message here? This was one of the flaws pointed out when I observed their online registration process last week and I came to their defense when a blogger wanted to know if "based on those notations in this post, it appears as if the band is catering only to smaller sized people. not necessarily, true, but that's the way it is looking. But don't want to stir that pot as I "heard" similar accusations against TRIBE and other bands so....interesting.....inquiring minds and conspiracy theorists want to know...".

Today I am doubting that a band touting themselves as being headed by all females would be so insensitive to a request made by a sister female on such a sensitive subject!

Question and Answer The Bandleader

What made you want to become a bandleader? Now that you lead a band, do you that the reasons that you continue to lead a band are the same as your original reasons? As a general matter, do you find being a bandleader to be more of a business or pleasure (i.e. love/furtherance of mas)? Do you have any advice for someone who might eventually want to become a band leader?

First off I must be very careful how I answer this first part of your question, don't want to give away my identity. Carnival has always been and always will be the one thing that defines who I am. It's in my blood and once it's there, there is no getting it out. It's all I have ever known, and even though I do have other occupations, being a band leader truly is who I am first and foremost. I continue because it's what I do, I am good at it, and even though It is also a business, to me, it's a labor of love. In other words I am happy to be able to make a living doing the thing I love the most.

What are your feelings on the bikini & beads mas issue? Do you appreciate what mas has become, or do you long for the days of Peter Minshall and think bikini mas is not furthering the culture?

Like all things, carnival is driven by what the consumer wants. I cannot sell a costume that people don't want to wear. I like seeing beautiful people in sexy costumes, so I don't have a problem with the beads and braid, if that is what you want to call it. And as long as people disguise and enjoy parading on the road, then the culture of Carnival is being served. Remember you are free to play mas how you wish, without anyone telling what you can or can not play. That freedom is the essence of carnival.

Peter made great costumes for his masqueraders, but even they moved on. Some play with Brian Mc Farlane, some stopped playing, and the rest scattered to other bands. So my advice to the future band leaders is to put the needs of your masquerader first, and do not be blinded by your personal ambition, you must listen to your masqueraders and keep them in mind when you design. In the future when taste change, as they always do, you must be flexible or you will not survive.

What was your first experience with carnival and what made you want to come back again and again?

My first experience with carnival would be kiddies carnival. Even from a child I liked the thrill of it. Everything from making my costume to performing on stage.

Where do you see Mas heading in the near future? and do you think that the creative aspect of carnival has been lost to the bikini?

No, Actually it takes way more effort to make costumes different and beautiful when you have the constraints of the bikini to deal with. You are assuming that everyone sees things the way you do, I personally like the bikini. As for the future, it is yet undiscovered,. Who knows what will be popular in the future.We will have to wait and see, most importantly ENJOY CARNIVAL NOW! And enjoy it your way, don't let anyone tell you how to play your mas.

When a band offers options such as a corset of tankini for the more modest sisters, what techniques can be used with the design to make it look more appealing? How can one visualize if a bikini prototype would also look as good with a corset/tankini?

That's a good question, It will look good if it suits your body type. Tankini's and corsets are normally for the more conservative mas player who wants to cover up. I personally find corsets very sexy on voluptuous women. It slims the waist and gives that coca-cola bottle shape. Takini's are more functional as they don't require
removal every time you need to use the girls room, as say a whole piece. But all will pretty much work with most designs, it's a give and take, whats more important is what makes you more comfortable.

This question can be for you or the a new masquerader I wanted to know what exactly happened to the stage? Why was it removed and what are the chances of it ever returning?

The powers that be in all their wisdom, decided to fix something that wasn't broken. And build another monument to their reign as government, regardless of the sentiments of the masquerader. Newer is not always better, the Savannah worked fine, it was the access that was the problem. The same access they want to use for the this stab in the back building they have erected. I am pretty sure we won't be seeing our beloved Savannah venue with it's exciting stage ever again. But we will still endure the long waits to cross this betrayal of a venue with no stage. Money better spent on the Hospital.

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