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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kutchela Costume Review

KALPANA – designed by Sonia Mack
My favorite section of the band, with not one scrap of a feather and a headpiece that is an asymmetrical abstract creation I am absolutely loving all versions of this costume. There are two Individuals, the one with the pearls and beads draping from the neck, arm and leg with pasties for a bra and then the frilled frou frou contraption; both have major impact in person, though the all pearl beaded version is quite stunning. I like the many, many options for both the male and female regular costume. At the launch the model wore one version with fabric tied at the waist, which she later unhooked to reveal a beaded belt, I like how the fabric flows from the arm. The other options show different headpieces as well as optional fabric, in the Calendar the male costumes are awesome! Two different “dohti” pants with turban and there is also another headpiece option shown there that was not shown last night. I am wondering if the pearl beaded Kalpana comes with a bra for those who do not want pasties, and if the many beads will be a hindrance on the road possibly hooking and entangling on each other; apart from that totally in love with Kaplana!

TAAL – designed by Ruana Booker
If at first glance the bra on this costume reminds you of TRIBE’s Ruby Topaz from 2009 it is because the same designer did both costumes, pity that the colours and style are reminiscent of that costume because it is what stuck in my head when I first saw it. The backline costume on this one is simple; the cloth panels falling from the bra are interesting, not too sure if I would keep that if I were in this section. The frontline belt is SUPER skimpy, but the detail on the back pack and headpiece is quite ornate and because of the feathers this will be a popular one with the ladies. The male costume is also simple, but very nice, not too much costume for the men who want the board shorts, and still sticking to theme. Verdict, liking the frontline with the embellishment, small feathered collar and headpiece but the backline is too simple for me though the colours are beautiful.

RAJA AUR RANI - designed by Dianne Hunt
Not a colour I would pick off the bat for a costume in Kutchela as so many others are very vibrant and I think it is more grey than silver in this one. I like the style of the body wear, especially the one with the large headpiece, in the calendar it is shown with a sheer decorated sleeveless bolero and looks very stylish, however at the launch it was just the bra and belt. I don’t like the fit of the bra on the version with the small headpiece on the model; again the regular costume is SIMPLE in this section. The individual with the painted fabric wings is interesting; I like the artwork on the wings for this (and the others with the same feature) just not feeling all the grey.

MUDRA – designed by Sandra Hordatt
Gorgeous shade of yellow and blue used for this costume, the regular costume is super skimpy with a barely there belt, a wisp of fabric giving the illusion of coverage. The fabric for me could have been replaced with something else as so many other bands did the fabric for the seasons already, and the bra looks unforgiving for larger cup sizes but I do like the chain detail from neck to waist as well as the headscarf on the regular costume. The frontline is again nice with the feathers for those who want it ; I am noticing a trend of smaller backpacks from Island People, hopefully that translates into reasonable prices! The male for this section actually has a proper costume! I am waiting to see how many men actually like this option as the shorts are worn under sheer pants.

BINDI – designed by Crystal Amming
A burgundy costume I actually like!! First off notice the shorts on the male and how they are gathered at the calf as well as the chest jewelry loving this male costume a lot. This is one of the few sections with feathers on both the regular and frontline costume, I love the belt, bra and headpiece on the backline however I am wondering what is going on with the frontline bra with the sides missing! It’s different, but really, how practical? Love the frontline headpiece as well as the Individual which uses silver, burgundy AND gold in one costume, hmmm. The jeweled pieces of this Individual does not translate well in photographs, it is quite ornate.

CHAND SITARIE– designed by Crystal Amming
I like the mirrored discs used to decorate the bra and belt of this one, the regular headpiece (and regular costume) I am neither here nor there on, it is ok for me. The frontline is nice, I like the twist on the popular doughnut headpiece, the collar and the placement of the straps on the bra is different. Liking the male, but that is A LOT of white to keep clean on Carnival Tuesday, toss a tide to go pen in your carnival pouch!

KUNDALINI- designed by Tisha Neilsen &Marlon Grant
For some reason I really like this costume, even with the headpiece that was giving the models some trouble and a bra that looks unsupportive. I think it is the fabric pattern used on this costume and how it is worked to look like a sari skirt. I also really like the style of the headpiece and the loads of accessories for this costume. I also have to say I am really liking the skirted type backs of the belts, no beads, just a peek-a-boo fabric panel; cute detail that stays true to theme on the costumes that have it. The Individual for this section comes with a gorgeous beaded skirt that ties to the belt at front, reminds me of Silk of Rajasthan however this skirt is blinged out with crystals, the back pack is also reminiscent of a costume which escapes me at the moment, all I know is it looks like something that has been done before, still nice however. The male costume for this section is one of the weaker ones; the model also needed longer shorts!

MORGANDANI– designed by Diane Hunte
Ok, this costume is by Diane Hunte, sure you can tell, as it is all artsy wearable costume wear as opposed to the typical beads and bikinis, gives me a strong “The Cloth” vibe as well with the circular fabric panels decorating the headpiece and belt. The reaction to this one is either you like it or don’t, somehow I like it. The fact that the costume is all fabric really appeals to me; I also like the wrap shorts that are the belt /bottom piece, pleats on the bra and even the head band headpiece. The added wings for the Individual I think should be a frontline option as I like the total look of that costume; a little touch of “marse” in the bikini band. The male costume is a complete outfit, though I did hear someone refer to it as the Bmobile mascot!

JAIPUR – designed by Tisha Neilson & Marlon Grant
The colour of this costume is beautiful, looks like the same shade of pink used in Touch this year. LOTS of pink, even for the guys, pretty regular costume option; I like the belt, the fabric coming from the headpiece, the decoration on the headpiece but not the cut of the bra which looks a bit odd for me. Talking about odd bras, the men LOVE the frontline wire bra option but the women think it is just too naked, too skimpy and too vulgar (not my opinion, just those around me). I think the style of the wire bra looks odd, as in painfully odd as it is squished against the model’s breasts in both the Calendar and at the launch. The headpiece on this frontline does not appeal to me either, with such a naked looking costume it could have been bigger to compensate, not just a headband. Even the backpack looks a bit incomplete, like it is missing feathers.

PRIYA DAR SHINI - designed by Tisha Neilson & Marlon Grant
Lovely shade of yellow, very pretty skirt/belt love the embellished fabric used on both the belt and bra. The headpiece looks like a cloth draped on the head in a most unflattering way, unlike MUDRA which used a longer piece of fabric on the head this one just looks like a dish rag. Other than that I really do like the regular costume, I would just leave the rag at home or get some sheer fabric and do my own, longer, version of the head scarf. The frontline is so out of place in this section, it’s like all of a sudden Kutchela stopped on her way to Brazil before reaching Trinidad. Again, a very naked, naked body wear with minuscule backpack, it’s pretty but looks out of place for me, and does not give many people hope of playing frontline in this section as that costume is only for certain body types. The Individual model held on to her back pack throughout the entire presentation, and boas aside it is a pretty costume, much prefer this as a frontline that the other one.

NAKSHATRA– designed by Melonie Sebro
This costume looks better in photographs than in real life, I am still on the fence because at first I liked it but upon seeing it up-close I don’t like the gold and black. What I do like are the two versions of the headpiece, that ornamental beading on the headpieces is lovely as well as the working on the bra. The “orni” (head scarf) in that black and gold fabric is really throwing me off. The male costume is also interesting; I liked it in the calendar, not at all in real life.

CHUTNEY BHAAV– designed by Diane Hunte
My least favorite female costume in Kutchela, although I do like the male a lot, maybe because that model really worked his costume. The pattern on fabric used for this costume is what kills it for me, as well as the headpiece. There is way too much of that floral kitchen curtain print repeated in the costume, some variety would have been nice to break up that print. The headpiece while it can work, does not for me, reminds me of something you would see on stage at a village cultural show, not Carnival. The Individual has the lovely painted fabric wings, that is the one thing I love about it as well as the cloth covered bangles that are thankfully not in that awful print. Do I dislike this one as much as Serica? Hell no! It may be my least favorite in Kutchela but overall I do not think there is one “ugly” costume, just costumes that appeal to different tastes. Serica, butt ugly!

The one thing I must point out is that the bras on most of these costumes, as has been the trend with Island People over the years, are pretty skimpy and look as if they do not offer much support, case in point is the bra for Mudra. Hopefully they will allow masqueraders to supply their own bra again for 2010 so that the ladies who need a little more security in the bra department will be well covered

Personally, I really get the whole Kutchela concept and I love that it is so different from what we have seen so far. I swear it does get a bit repetitious with the same feathers and beads but this was an interesting and welcomed change of pace. Would I play in most of these costumes? Quite possibly only a few, I am a girl who LOVES my feathers, but if I were to choose one it would be Kalpana Individual with the loads of pearls… ok, if I were to choose another one it would also be Bindi or Kundalini. I can see people either feeling Kutchela or not, the latter being those who CLAIM they want something other than the recycled designs of past presentations, but when they get diversity really only want to see costumes that fit the feathers, beads and bling formula.

So, let’s hear it… are you feeling Kutchela or not?

More Island People Pics and Video

And Then There Was Kutchela

Island People's launch of Kutchela has been the best presentation of the season, with set decor, choreography and the costumes tying the theme together; even the opening Indian Dance routine was very well received by the crowd on hand.

I am really liking most of the costumes, if only for the fact that they are not only refreshingly different but they stick to the theme. There are some sections that I like more than others, some do not appeal to my personal taste but overall I and the crowd here tonight appreciated the show with the sections Mudra, Bindi, Chandsutarie , Taal and Kalpana as crowd favourites. I see Sonia Mack selling out in a hot minute, I absolutely love her section! And the males have LOTS of choice for great looking costumes in Kutchela.


Chutney Bhaav









Raja Aur Rani


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