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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Individual Or Bust

I remember joking after band launch last year that Individual was the new Frontline for Carnival 2010 as it seems everyone wanted to go one step above the section segregation and actually lead the section this year. With the most Individuals I have ever seen on the road this year in TRIBE, the standard number in Harts, several in Ronnie & Caro and even a few in Island People and Spice the Individual masquerader was very popular this year. What brings me to my post today is that someone once asked if I would do the 10 Commandments of the Individual H.O. and at the time I thought it was pretty much unnecessary as in my mind if you are going to spend mega bucks for an Individual costume you are not going to show up in slippers and busted tights on the road right? Wrong!

Now, I know a young lady who played Individual in Spice who intimated to me  that her heeled boots were hurting her feet so she switched to more "comfortable foot wear" some time during the day. And, her tights were shredded by the decoration on her belt so she improvised. Sigh. After seeing the image of those booty short cropped tights in photo after photo , coupled with SLIPPERS I need to say something and cannot keep quiet any more; girl friend, you know the love is there but I am staging an Individual Masquerader intervention! 
Before - Fabulous!

Ladies, we have been through the tights conundrum already, especially since last year all those lovely diamante belts did a Freddy Kruger on our tights! The solution is simple; either go WITHOUT tights OR walk with extras. I cannot believe our lovely Greece masquerader did not have another pair in that rather large pouch strapped across her chest! Though if it were me, I was going to rip those tights  right off with her  perfect legs.  I mean most of her legs were outside anyway and her bare legs looked great! 

Look Max, No Tights!

As for the footwear, heels and heeled boots as popularized by none other than the Individual extraordinaire Wendy Fitzwilliam is ONLY an accessory used when crossing the "stage". I have played in Harts where Wendy was my section leader and she switched footwear to something much more comfortable during the day. And when I say more comfortable I do not mean slippers! Again, a simple solution would be to have a very comfortable pair of FLAT boots (well cushioned with your gel insoles and decorated to match your costume) stashed on a truck for you to change into after crossing the stage. I am guessing  boots are much more comfortable than sandals given that the latter has absolutely no arch support.

Flat Boots - The Practical Choice

As an Individual masquerader you are in the spotlight ALL day, especially when you are one of FEW in your band ......I am thinking the only other female Individual in Spice was the band leader herself:

So to go from looking like a Miss World finalist's doppelganger in the early morning to a busted version of yourself later in the day is not cute; not after spending ALL that money to be super gorgeous in your super fabulous costume. With great power comes great responsibility, and being an Individual masquerader is not for everyone. At this stage in the hierarchy of costuming you should be pulling out all stops to ensure that as an Individual, leader of the section, you present your costume as best as you can ALL day.Take a cue from La Toya Woods who looked spectacular from morning until night and yes, tights intact and all!


Still Fabulous!

Coming for 2011, The 10 Commandments of the Individual H.O. as it IS needed after all!


mjsbunny said...

There are no words.

BUT I LOVED that Habotai costume. I know that girl (she's only a baby, bless her!) and she's absolutely adorable and did that costume proud.

And Saucy, please find another acronym. I don't like this 'H.O.' thing one bit!

I hope Individual doesn't become the new Frontline, because I don't want any and everybody jumbieing my scene!!!

Kimberly said...

lol @ bunny. I myself was thinking bout doin an individual next year but too much pressure yes. I think i'll work with the designer for 2012 once the earth still intact.By then I'd have sudied sauce post well enuff lol.

Btw sauce yuh cyah compare L.Woods she had a friggin prep team wiping re-applyin a fixin her all damn day. soo Jealous lol

mjsbunny said...

Oh Kimberly, Saucy was right though. It's bloody hard work. I had no idea how much hard work it was until Tuesday. Monday I get spoil, since nobody paid any attention to me and I coulda roam the band as I chose. But Tuesday was a whole different matter!!

And my face was hurting from all the smiling for pictures. Like nearly EVERYBODY on the side of the road wanted a picture. Jeez!

BUT I loves me a big costume, so I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love feathers and sequins and beads so Individual is the way to go. But I knew that with great power came great responsibility, so I had my makeup done, had my boots done (flat ones of course. I'm not an idiot!) and when my tights got a ladder, I dutifully changed (nobody wants to see these bare legs).

If things don't go according to plan, Individual for 2k11!!!! :)

afro chic said...

Backline BABES unite!

Mz No Behavior said...

That Habotai costume was stunning! The hat, corset, pink and black feathers everywhere: I loved it!!
Backline BABE in de crank! A good make-up artist, time spent on footwear, extra braclets, pretty earrings and additions to your bra/belt [if necessary] can make all the difference.

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Kim I disagree, there were many ladies I saw at the end of Tuesday still looking together without a prep team. I mean no one is saying you have to look as fresh as when you stepped off the MUA chair in the morning, you are going to have a good time on the road,sweat etc. But being an Individual with so much attention focused on you, you know that anything looking a lil off is going to be captured in pics :)

chris said...

I really like this post. I too was surprised to see this individual ripped to shreds, literally. If you can't handle it, don't do it.

I absolutely love the bra on the Xi Ling costume. I wonder if TRIBE made it for her, or if she had it custom made herself.

Saucy, your Premium FL was stunning. Everything about your look was perfection. I think a post on the right and wrong ways to make one's FL costume stand out, drawing from carnival 2010 would be interesting.

Thanks for this.

chris said...

Opps, sorry, individual, so TRIBE made it. Anyways, its lovely.

Carnivalcocoa said...

I always liked that Habotai individual, despite the "pong" it got. And girlfriend werrrked it. Bless her.

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Thanks Chris! I saw lots of costume customization this year,and lots of really stunning masqueraders on the road; from the pony tail, to makeup, to boots, to even the hair accessories when they removed their headpiece was on point. Check Threads of Morocco gallery on Carnivalscene! Best bunch of masqueraders, physically, in TRIBE lol.

trinicandy said...

i like this post ALOT because i'm hoping to do it next year

Kimberly said...

I get it Once you do it you have to own it. But if they cool with the shredded look dey pay for
Jus now we go have costume etiquette/rules like Rio especially for Fl/individuals:s

But honestly I think alot of ppl really step up their game from make-up, customizations, hair etc both Mon and Tues.
As AC say BL babes unite!!!
Plan is; Buy a backline an customize into a Individual ;)

CityChick said...

Backline babes unite afrochic!

I read this with a bit of consternation. I am a bit lost and confused. Is the aim of Carnival- the release and explosion of bacchanlia before the 40 days of Lent (and the associated emancipation overtones) to look polished on the road for pictures or is it to engage in the revelry of it all.

As far as I am concerned, once the "nice" pictures are taken at the beginning of the day, your DUTY is to contribute to the excitement, the fun and the drama. Not to walk around like you iz Miss World. Yup and that applies even if you're an individual! My mantra- if de tights ent rip. You didnt have fun! I could understand wearing two or maybe changing but forgive me, those people on the side of the road are not paying for the pics so its not my duty to oblige them by looking fresh ALL day! I pay my money to palance. I think I have a very different view to all of this- I am not one to gently chip, you will see me wining on somebody man with me rum in me hand- so if the girl wants to wear her slippers so be it! Carnival is freedom. No social mores should apply!

Saucy, ah want to see how you were looking in yuh costume. Leak ah pic nuh :)

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

LOL City Chick there are all sorts that play mas for all sorts of reasons.

Most of the times it is the vainglorious ones who want FL or Individual, I mean they like they attention right?

Anyway I am NOT saying do not have fun but when you take the commandments of a H.O. (yes bunny a High Maintenance Over Achiever) you accept the responsibility of being a H.O. and nothing but a H.O. until you reach home and take off that costume!!!!

If you know is not for you.. backline BABES unite :D

"Chatty Patty" said...

Individual mas isn't for everyone! I played it 3 times in my life and it was much more then feathers and a massive headpiece. I've had back problems since then, and so I stopped playing it, and now I'm fine with being a backline masquerader. I do agree with Saucy that you must represent well. Some of these women not ready at all!

squeezle said...

As far as Carnival goes, I think I'm most definitely a low maintenance type of masquerader. I do my own makeup, my own hair, my own nails, and while I may add a bauble or two to my costume, I certainly don't spend countless hours trying to enhance what comes out of the box. I don't really take issue with BL or FL masqueraders who choose to wear sneakers, or go sans makeup and fancy hairdo. I'm all about being comfortable and having a ball on the road.

However, I firmly believe that when you take on the mantle of an INDIVIDUAL in a band, which is by its very definition a one-of-a-kind entity, you also take on the responsibilty of representing that section, and that band until you leave the parade and head home. Now like I said, I'm all about comfort - so if the headpiece hurting your head, rest it down for a while, if the wings are bruising your back, stash them on the truck for a bit, if the heels are killing your feet, put on a pretty pair of comfy boots. But there is quite simply no excuse for the level of "busted-ness" displayed by that Spice individual. And as for that piece of luggage strapped across her body? Don't even get me started!

If you seek out individual status ladies and gentlemen (and seek it out you must, 'cause no bandleader will come begging you to wear an individual costume unless you are famous), please be prepared to do justice to the title.

mjsbunny said...

LMAO @ squeezle!!!!

But I agree with everything you've said though. You gots to strut ya stuff!!!

If an FL or BL wants to wear sneakers and no makeup, then that's their business. If you're the individual, it's a whole different level and you need to step it up a notch. No excuses!!

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Just sharing an email, especially for Kimberly :)

Dear Sauce,

Thank you for your positive comments about La Toya in your latest blog, we are all very poud of her. Contrary to popular belief she did not have a prep team on the road with her LOL. She has a few tricks inside trade secrets that she uses to always look her best.

1) She does her make up in the morning, but she always sprays or spritz's with mineral water. That sets the make up and keeps it fresh thoughout the day.

2) If she get a nick in her tights she dabs it with clear nail polish and that prevents the nick from turning into a run.

Yes she has a mini beauty tool kit that she keeps her looking sensational all day. Its all learnt in the Miss T&T beauty McGyver Class 101 LOL.

Congrats on the blog Sauce we all all huge fans

ennekaycee said...

You bashers need to stop and you know it!

Are you telling me that if your feet were killing you on the road and your only options were 1) Wear a pair of slippers/sandals in your possession OR 2) Call it a day and go home early because wearing said sandals would violate some unofficial "H.O Code", you would go home?!?!?!


One has to have some serious image issues to tell oneself that it's better to forfeit thousands of dollars and the chance to have fun than risk being photographed in some sandals...I would not torture my body like that just to look good on the internet/in a newspaper. IT IS NOT THAT my most humble opinion.

From the photo it looks like it was still pretty early when she changed footwear...TOO EARLY to call it a day perhaps? Maybe the sandals were the only way she could make the most of her Tuesday experience. She looks like she had a ball and I'm happy for her.

Do a poll nah Sauce lol....Let's see how many I/F.H.Os are willing to break the rules if it means we can stay on the road a little longer.

dougla_1 said...

Au contraire ennekaycee, playing MAS in Trinidad is SERIOUS and fun. Sorry, you didn't get the memo ;) The history is rich.

You can make your case for Frontline malfunctions, but Individual? Nah. Money could buy the mas, but it can't play d mas. In a sexy mas band, Individual is about fantasy and pefection (yes, I know that covers a lot of ground for many different eyes.) This could be a burden too "heavy" for some to carry, all day Tuesday :)

I have noticed in the last four years bikini mas has stepped up it's game big time. And, I am pleased that DETAIL costuming is BACK! (Harts remained the sole standard bearer for far too long.)

PS, this comment is just MY view, with a SERIOUS tongue in cheek ;)

dougla_1 said...

Ok, I have a typo....(perfection). No more comments for me; I am going home now. LoL

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Surely someone having the brilliant idea to wear HIGH HEELED boots to play mas would also have the foresight to walk with something more comfortable and aesthetically suitable to the costume than slippers when they were warned and also advised that they needed to do so.To me that is simply common sense. Ir's like driving all the way to Maracas for a swim and then remembering that you had to walk with swim wear.

Even if she had changed into flats that were plain silver I think it would have looked much better than the slippers personally. It is not about getting caught unaware that you needed comfortable shoes on the middle of Frederick Street. You knew you were playing an Individual since last year right? Therefore, like a good boyscout you put some planning in motion. Preparation for the role is key!

Individual characters playing the part all day is not something new. Just take a look at a traditional masquerader playing King Sailor, Indian Mas or even Midnight Robber and tell me if they are not outfitted to match from head to toe !It's REAL work that goes into the thing!

It is not so much about breaking rules or a code but about knowing what the position of an "Individual" entails when you decide to take on the task.... of course this is just my point of view :)

Kimberly said...

LoL It's not that serious ppl but looks like we headed for Rio costume etiquette ie;no eating in costume no alcohol in costume no real fun in costume.

I really wish i had taken a pic eh of L.Woods being dabbed by whats his face.
No prob with that she is holding a title.And i glad she was looking fresh. I aint want nobody telling me ohh gosh allyuh queen in ah mess.
She's a doll, really sweet girl and her team err I mean ppl nonchalantly chipping with her were great at doing just that ;)

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Mas is serious business! To me is serious when an Individual Masquerader is one step down from King/Queen of the band in the hierarchy of costuming. I mean is not like you are a backline betty lol.

Individual comes with responsibilities just as if, for instance, you were the Queen of the Band.If you not able with all that drama don't get involved in the people thing!

CityChick said...

Well ah bowing out ah dis conversation because quite frankly, I think Individual means just that- you stand out in your own way- so if you decide you want to stay in de rest truck, sit down by the road, anything you want.. yuh ehn owe nobody pay! The King/Queen are the only "chosen ones" in my opinion- and that reflects in the fact they don't pay to play- they are doing the band a service.

Anyyyyyways Saucy you need to focus on another pet peeve of mine. Buying a mudda ass stockings that three shades lighter than you skin! Is we slave mentality so strong- so miraculously, we have a white leg with a dark face... looking like a sheep! Wearing a light stockings wouldnt make you light skin! Wear you tone with pride. I personally go darker with the hot sun and all.
That just looks real ridiculous in my opinion.

dougla_1 said...

Oh gorm CityChick, doh fight up the people thing nah ;)The Individual could be a Section leader but not necessarily (it could be a design inspiration(s) that follows the theme of the band, fitting in any Section.) What your refer is PERSONALIZING your costume (highly recommended, own it, make it YOU, and not just wear it out of a box.)

You shouldn't be surprised that vast majority of the Kings and Queens of the bands PAY for those costumes.

spana said...

I agree with Saucy 100% that Individual is work! The reason for playing Indvidual is to be in the spotlight...ppl marveling ur costume...marveling the person representing the costume!..and I'm sorry but the girl in Spice Individual failed. She's a very cute girl..really adorable but her change of footwear n dat busted into a short tights stocking wont cut it for the Individual role! Also, i'm sure u've noticed that the girls who play Individual...LaToya,Gabriel...are toned n' in great shape...n Spice Individual masquerader failed there too..just being honest ppl..I mean Individual= perfection and any imperfections will be revealed in the spotlight...after all you are in the spotlight!!

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Spana while I too agree that the Individual Masquerader should present their best self in respect to the role of costume portrayal I disagree that the Individual Masquerader, or any for that matter, should be restricted to a certain size.

I saw many plus sized and slender male and female Individuals and to me it is not about size at all but over all presentation as most rocked their costumes! Carnival is not only for the skinny.

And as for out Individual masquerader here, she is a model so if her body is not up to standard (and she is very slender) that is a lot of pressure to put on anyone to meet your standard of "toned" as she looks great physically in my humble opinion.

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