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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Costume Trends 2011

Being the so called "non expert", "non designer" when it comes to mas I am going to have to fall back on my own trumped up sense of self importance, never mind my years of experience as a masquerader and knowing what I DO like in pretty bikini mas, to throw out some ideas and suggestions for Carnival 2011.

Stick to Theme
You would think the logical, common sense to costume design would be you design the costume around the bands' proposed theme right? Wrong! One can clearly see from 90% of the bands out there that the costume design comes first and THEN it is fit to the theme. So what ends up happening is that you have a generic costume that can fit any band, and costumes have switched places from one band to the next without even one change in a design element, which to me defeats the whole purpose of having a theme in the first place. Got to hand it to Island People here, Enchanted Forest LOOKED like an enchanted forest, Sahara, LOOKED like the desert, Animal Instinct LOOKED like actual animals and of course Kutchela stuck to the Indian theme .. they may have fallen a bit with Heaven on Earth but generally this is one band, bikini and beads that is, where you can expect to see the theme reflected in costume design. So, if your theme is Warriors for 2011, bet your bottom dollar I want to see WARRIOR costumes even for the men ( they are looking forward to swords for some reason!)

The Back Pack is Back
As I was over tails and collars for Carnival 2010 I am now calling for a rest on any super large Loulanesque  headpiece (expect to see this mimicked in all the Carnivals for the rest of the year!). I think the backpack should make a  huge return for Carnival 2011 . I also like the idea of merging both the back pack and headpiece to create the illusion of one large headpiece  for those who still want the big headpiece or a  backpack with a very small headpiece. Retire the large headpiece AND large backpack for 2011, I saw way too many frontliners in Mulberry having a horrid time having to juggle both.

Bling Has Faded
Bling is all blinged out! It looks great in prototypes to have all that sparkle, but when the actual thing is switched out for acrylic rhinestones NOT the same effect. Not to mention that the said same bling is responsible for many a snagged stocking and you have to use too much, and too much expense, of the bling to create any real effect. It is an expensive decorative item that does not give you much design for the money.Bring back some BEADING! I loved the beading on Threads of Morocco Bra.

Death By Appliqué
And while we are on the  topic of beading, the next design element I would really love to see die a quick death is that ONE huge appliqué stuck on a belt or bra.In fact appliqués are so OLD school; I am just looking for more creativity for 2011, more designers to do something a little different. Hey it is hard work having to design bikini mas no matter what the critics say! You try changing up a bra and belt every single year! However I have seen it done, look at Island People for instance, and I think there are a crop of new young designers such as Solange Shaw Gopaul, Sandra Hordatt and Crystal Amming who are thinking outside the bikini and beads box. More designers should follow their lead.

Use The Colour Wheel
I would really love to see designers use more than one or two colours (one being a metallic) in costumes.After a while it does get repetitive doing the same blue and gold/silver, red and gold/silver, green and gold/silver.. you get the point. And I do know mixing colours can be tricky, wrong combinations and it looks tacky, however it would be nice to see a costume with a mix of several colours instead of just ONE colour.

Let the Feathers Fly
Feathers would always be my weakness, however using feathers just for using feathers sake is also out. With some of the themes that bands are portraying for Carnival 2011 feathers just does not fit the theme. How about headpieces and back packs using structural elements (see Lady Gaga) as well as some alternate materials for feathers; again, think outside the box!

Mourn the Monokini
Ok, I loved the idea of the monokini when it first came on the scene because it offered an alternative to the standard bra and belt. But when you had a band doing every single section with a monokini you know it has become way, way too popular! I am all for a new designs for ladies who want sexy coverage, and I do like the corset idea (in some cases fits better than a monokini) but can we now add to the options costumes that work more like couture clothing? Here is an idea for example, exaggerated jewelry pieces worn as an actual costume element; something worn OVER the bra perhaps? What about pants? Sheer, nude, jeweled pants! If I give any more ideas I would have to start charging, but hopefully you can wrap your mind around the idea of a costume that is NOT just a bra with a belt.

To sum it up for Carnival 2011 I am expecting costumes that go beyond the formula of "catalogue costuming" that you can see that in any random Carnival outside of Trinidad and Tobago now;Bra and Belt from China and Headpiece from Juan Pablo in Miami.We are the pioneers and leaders in mas design, especially when it comes to BIKINI mas; Trinidad is admittedly pretty stellar in that department. So, time to give those other Carnivals something new to copy, you know, the ones that use TRINIDAD costumes to advertise their own local Carnival (I could never grasp the logic of that one) and give jaded masqueraders like me a REASON to play mas for Carnival 2011. I am waiting until I see actual costumes to decides who gets my money next year, if ANY!

Can band launching season hurry up and come! Bring on the costumes!


afro chic said...

Nice post Saucy, let's hope the designers take note!

dougla_1 said...

Blow the conch shell horn, Sauce! All great suggestions.

I like especially mourn the monokini (corsets ARE better imho), and using more structural elements. Hugh cautions to designers: NO horseshoes!!!! (couture, yes; cartoon, no), and make sure prototypes are fully perfected for easy and flexible road movements...I loved, loved TRIBE's Silver Mist (Myths & Magic, 2008), but it was a failure on the road (many ladies also had major let down woes with the unappealing "bear tufted" bra deco).

Springmoon said...

Excellent thoughts! I especially like the idea of sheer, nude, jeweled pants that would totally eliminate the need to worry about your tights getting snagged.

Curlylocz said...

What about the caged bra Saucy? Keep it or kill it?

DQ said...

Excited much? lol Excellent post as usual- great points. I still like the monokini though..I just find it sooo sexy!! lol. Lovin d idea of the sheer, nude or jeweled pants (I really like the semi-shorts IP did this yr).

I really cant wait to see what the bands coming with this year. Hopefully something innovative for a change!

Carnivalcocoa said...

Hear Hear Saucy! Brilliant post. That's why I loved the Kutchela costumes. I felt like I was actually wearing a costume, and not going to the beach with 5 feathers on meh head.

Lady Gaga is awesome inspiration. Also Alexander McQueen's (R.I.P)Spring 2010 runway show. It was very sleek, space-themed and futuristic: perfect inspiration for "Shades of the Universe". That show was a spectacle -- it gave ME ideas and I'm not a costume designer.
Heck, even Beyonce's black and white outfit in the "Video Phone" video can inspire designers to play with geometric patterns(for African warrriors perhaps, but different colors).

I need to see more experimentation with materials too. To each his/her own, but if I see an overload of ostrich feathers for 2011 I'll throw up. Sick of it already. I rather see blinged out chicken feathers lol.

It's time we put the Victoria Secret fashion show to shame, 'cause right now those costumes are more forward thinking than our mas costumes.

dougla_1 said...

Caged bra is a keeper! (not too big, not too small, it's really not for all, for sure :) )

chris said...

NO!!!!!! Bling will always be in! Headpieces can be even huger!!!!!

Carnival Divaz said...

Thank you saucy, I was just having this dilemma with the costume that I am designing. I chose quality over quantity this year, so I'm doing a simple design with actual swarvoski gems and stones. I am trying a new medium for me this year, so which me luck. Its hard to design a beautiful costume and make it practical for the road. Not everyone is a diva, a costume has to withstand jammishness.

dougla_1 said...

Chris it not the BLING of the prototypes, but dullness of the purchased acrylic "gems" for mass production.

For my costume (male, in IP's Kutchela), I had 7 (read that again, seven) nicely placed small sparkling gems (glass) on each of my India wedding shoe and they radiated more dazzling sparkles than most any "bling" I saw in TRIBE and IP (Tuesday, I spend some time in TRIBE, and of course I was in IP most all day). I think the quality of the gems is the rel issue (the better bling could stress out an already stressed out costume budget.)

Lisa said...

Nice post. After carnival 2010, I was so sick of bikinis and feathers, I was considering an Individual costume in a smaller, traditional type band come 2011. I would really love to see the return of "costumed" mas which stick to a theme. That's why I always like IP, although I never played with them. Enchanted Forest was fantastic and so was Kutchela. My favourites for Tribe with a theme would be, Ole Time Something and Birds of a Feather.

greg said...

Great read Saucy.

trinicandy said...


i also want to see some designs for the plus size masqueraders like what IP did with my Taal......not just on an individual bases because i was stopped by many onlookers asking question about it......i guess some people didn't know

Mas Assassin said...

Damn Saucy if this opinion was that of the majority of masqueraders you would be putting over half the industry out of business...I must say there is a satirical vibe about this post hhhmmm

Dino said...

Saucy, I most agree with you on bands sticking to their theme (kudos IP) and experimenting with the colour wheel. I long to see a band WITHOUT the 'requisite' red section, blue section, green section, etc. I am hoping that with IP's theme for 2011, they experiment with metallics and really get creative with colour. And I would also like to see more bands have actual costumes (not just boardshorts and a wristband) for us males (kudos to Harts and IP).

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Wire bras get a yes!

cutetrinilawyer said...

I am not a fan of the monokini. However, I loved Spice's frontline greece one-piece, how it curved to the side. LOVED THAT!!

D unknown Tb said...

I am fed up of seeing the SAME headpiece styles just in different colours appearing that pisses me of!! there are various desings that can be explored !! Although i was banned from d cbox i still LOVE and Support ur blog Sauce


"Catalogue Designers" i will say it again Saucy. . . . .
i dont forsee much change! it will be plumed headress to the floor dragging behind you! more Crystals, More Bling, more Repatative Costumes and super super Neckid, i bet everyone will still be dropping down all over the place come July..............

Spiceness said...

Love it... CityChick here... I think all your suggestions should be taken on board.

What I have to add is less "sameness" please. Can we have an original concept- take something like a place, warriors, tribes, birds, the asian theme have all been overdone- pick something fresh like a place- New York, London- design costumes around it in the abstract or maybe different kind of trees (whole band uses green as a base colour with different accents) I think people need to think outside of the box. I too am fed up with one red section one blue section one purple section.

ms. hershey said...

love the post. i'm not sure about giving up the bling though, my costume this year had plenty of bling on the headpiece and belt and it looked great on the road. the key is QUALITY bling. i hate to see cheap stones being substituted for quality stones on a costume. it just upsets me.

as for the monokini, i still love it. it's sexy and as an additional option, it looks great. as long as it's only an OPTION and not the main component of a section, I'm all for it.

i too would LOVE to see different types of headpieces. frankly, i think may of these have been done to death.

WaroWaro said...

I really appreciate your blog - as a first time street Masmaker - I am eager to partner with experts and non-experts alike to produce EYE MAS for Trinidad Carnival 2K11 - thanks again - and I look forward to reading as much of your posts as I can

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