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Saturday, October 03, 2009

D Krewe, Showtime and Ronnie &Caro Mas Camp Visit

Yesterday evening I took the opportunity to visit the mas camps of those bands whose launches I did not attend and before anyone questions why I chose some mas camps over the others, the reason is simple, I went to those who were open to the public. Genesis Mas and Trini Revellers are on the agenda when they open their mas camp.

First stop was D Krewe, I like their display of the costumes and the mas camp is a nice large space, not crowded at all. You can see both the front and back of all the costumes as they are mounted on mannequins or in a glass case. The young lady manning the camp was very pleasant and personable, answering all questions and giving information as required. I was quite pleased to learn that all sections can be tailored to the individual masquerader; if a whole piece or extra fabric is not shown it can be requested and it will accommodated, even if the body wear for the costume is say a monokini. I was informed that the frontline for Rainforest at $3495.00TT is the cheapest frontline costume this year; I have to agree!

As for the costumes, I do like Kindred Spirit very much in person, it is certainly different. The designer (and male model) for the costume Sheldon Clemendore used to work with Brian Mc Farlane, I almost wish that more of D Krewe's costumes were in this vein as it is outstanding among the other sections. Ruana Booker (Ruby Topaz - TRIBE) also designed several sections for D Krewe, those being Venom, Soufriere, Yellow Fever, Rip Tide and Tsunami. You can tell which sections are hers as they all have a similar look and are all "nice", skimpy embellished, costumes reminiscent of the band she designed for this year. I do think Soufriere is way too simple however.

Yellow Fever looks much nicer in person, the yellow is brighter than the darker shade on the website as is the case with other sections as well. Comancheros is another one that I do like but it is very easy to do Indian Mas that has mass appeal, I will say that I wish it was another colour combination; I have seen this red and white Indian in TRIBE, Legacy and Trini Revellers! Overall there are costumes in D Krewe that will appeal to most everyone, some with coverage like The Desert, some that are very skimpy with beads and bling like Venom and then there is Kindred Spirit.

Location wise Showtime has a nice spot on French Street, they were the most active of all the mas camps with curious and interested people walking in to view the costumes. The space also doubles as their production area and has been their showroom since they were a section in Legacy so it is pretty small. You basically get to see the costumes mounted on the wall. Once again pleasant service at the mas camp , the employee was willing to answer questions about the costumes as well as about the band. The costumes can also be made to the masqueraders specifications, if you do not want a monokini (featured in 5 out of 10 sections) you can request a bra and belt instead.

My pick of the lot would be Oblivian, albeit I am mildly irritated by the spelling, the blue is very nice in person and I like the gems on the belt which varies from the belt on the website. The other section that looks better in person is Merovingian, but overall I am not really sure The Matrix is readily grasped from looking at the costumes, maybe I was expecting too much of an interpretation of the movie!

Final stop was Ronnie & Caro's mas camp on Ariapita Avenue. First off, the staff were not too enthused about taking photographs of the costumes, in fact they said no then changed their minds. One of the reasons thrown out as a possibility as to why photographs were banned (seems like it was a management decision) was to prevent the costumes being copied! Oh the irony in that thinking, as I can tell you Wonders of Bucco Reef uses the same beading of Spice's Brown Sugar, Fun Lovers is a cross between Rome(Spice) and Bindi(Island People) not to mention Hummingbird is certainly not original! Besides, most bands have already launched who is really going to copy these costumes from my photographs when they are also on the website, makes no sense to me at all! One would think they see the value of FREE publicity!

After that snafu we were allowed to take photographs, but to be honest if it were up to me only I would have not even queried that decision, leave upon being told that photographs were not allowed and there would be no mention of Ronnie & Caro in today's post as I would have nothing to say about them. Africa is the nicest costume of the lot, proven by the fact that the female costume is already Sold Out (both regular and frontline), I also like Wonders of Bucco Reef, City of Gold and Fun Lovers. I do not understand why We Kind of People uses a red , white and black headpiece with gold and red body wear, it looks very mismatched. I am also not feeling Hummingbird's beak headpiece or the plastic fruits decorating Saucy in The Marketplace. Other than that I am sure Ronnie and Caro will do well as they have their supporters and masqueraders. Of the three mas camps they were the only one with costumes sold out, so they must be doing something right.

I cannot wait to see Genesis in person, I got a look at photographs from the launch finally and THAT mas camp visit will be interesting to say the least, also looking forward to seeing what Trini Revellers have in store.

You can view photographs from my mas camp visit below:

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