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Friday, April 16, 2010

Imitation, Copying or Inspiration?

I was told that the readers of Trinidad Carnival Diary are "digging way too deep for s**t" when looking for comparisons between Bachanal Mas' costumes  and costumes from TRIBE and Island People.

You be the judge of the HOTLY debated topic. Are these costumes imitation, copying or a result of inspiration?

Pierrot Grenade


Tyrian Purple


Sahara Jumbie


prince namor said...

yuh cyar see them thing have more feather and thing. And d colours different. How dat is same thing. YUH MAD OR WHAT. All mas different. Seesh!!!!

mjsbunny said...

Who knows the secrets Saucy? Maybe TRIBE and IP saw Bachanalmas' designs and copied them before he could launch. How DARE they!

Look, I eh no designer. But all I can say is what I seeing here. And it's not looking good. But even a trained chimp will have to admit that the Pierrot Grenade costumes are a little TOO similar to be pure 'inspiration'...especially as the first one is from 2007's much derided (but loved by me) Ole' Time Something.

Hmmm. Looks like I'd better go back to bed. My brain hurts.

afro chic said...

HAHAHAHA!! I love the side by side comparisons.

Does using different colours make it inspiration or a copy?

Anonymous said...

I think the debate is pointless as everyone has thier own point of view.

Costume Design, like Fashion Design, or any Art form is based on one's individual idea of a concept.

Bachannal Mas designers have created their own depiction of Carnival Characters in thier own way and you either appreicate it thier thought process or you don't.

I personally think that the designers acted as designers and saw beauty in other work to inspire thier own costumes.

If I am wrong tell me so, but as an art and design student, studing fashion and as a costume designer myself, BM has acted rightly in thier designs.

In Fashion, some will compare Stella McCartney to Fendi, and Victor and Rolf to A.McQueen.

NO DESIGN COMES FROM NOWHERE, BUT ALWAYS HAS A SOURCE, primary and secondary research.....For those who do not know, take a BTEC or A Level course.

Critics are always there, (Trust me I have them all the time) but aslong as you stand by your work, you will prevail.

BM, continue to keep your standards high, and producing costume in your own way. BM has given Notting Hill Carnival some well deserved added spice.

Continue to design in Confidence.

Springmoon said...

Pierrot grenade, non question. For kiskidee, not so much. But what it looks like is that everyone is using similar shells or frames and just filling in with different colors. I guess it goes back to the fact that mas isn't being made like it was back in the day, but is being mass-produced to be more inclusive. That stifles true creativity, and I wonder if we were to see very early, original sketches of costumes how different they would look to the final product, especially after the designers/creators have purchased the raw materials for the costumes. I bet there's a drastic difference.

Or, are they tailoring their creations to the materials available?

prince namor said...

Bleh! Humbug@patricia S

I truly believe you are held in such high regard seeing you all knowledgeable and the like. I as a lowly human being cyar judge all them thing nah. You have to be right. Please lead me. Let me follow your just and righteous ways. I clearly knows nothing.

Carry on!


Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Patrica S if the debate was pointless there would be no need for this post but when the designer sees fit to light up my inbox arguing there is no comparison I have to put it to the bloggers to see what they think. I mean. I would gladly agree that it is pointless if I did not have to do a back and forth internet debate!

Springmoon, excellent points! I think some of these mas bands need to find different suppliers or start creating their own beads, applique's etc.. much like Spice did for 2010.

Tr|n|gYa| said...

LOL @ Behooves!!!
PN, hurry and enroll in your art and design program before you come contesting people's opinions that are 146.93% correct please! :P

redgirl said...

I myself am an follower of this Blog but I am quickly becoming disgusted by some of the people who reside on here, One or two in particular who never seem to have anything nice, Constructive or of any great credibility to say towards their own "Culture"

I personally do not see many similarities amongst these costumes apart from colour except for the first one.

The Fiery one and Mulberry are different not only in colour but overall concept.

Sahara Jumbie is very under decorated in comparison to the BM Black Costume, The use of the straps on the legs finishes of the costume and brings it into another league in terms of newness and something fresh.

I am a lover of mas weather it be "Bikini" or "Traditional" Styled Mas I have never been to the UK to play Mas but this band for me is making me want to.

My conclusion is there are people from all walks of life and background Making a Difference to "we" Culture I as a Trinidadian am appalled to see such disgraceful talk from both professionals and general public who probably have and never will make a valid contribution to make our Culture better and Elevate it, Despite what BM said I can see his point of view and I applaud his contribution to Mas as a Non Trinidadian and hopes he continues to work on his Character and improve in bringing out Quality Mas for many years to come.

Springmoon said...

@afro chic: I think using the same frame but different colors makes it inspiration, not imitation. With the exceptions of Pierrot Grenade and Sahara Jumbie, the BM costumes look different enough that I wouldn't call them copies.

And there is nothing wrong with criticism (this irony leveled at a couple of the other posters on here). As consumers of this end-product of Carnival, no matter where on the planet we palancing, we have a right to respectfully critique what is being offered to us. What I see here 75 - 80% of the time is thoughtful posting and discussion, which is then thrown out the window by a few people who just want to stir it up. But that's enough from me today, yes, I done.

redgirl said...

i Agree Springmoon 100%, Mjsbunny being the main one of them exactly what I was saying, I feel this post was not needed and is just leaving the door open for more disgusting behaviour.

mjsbunny said...

Steups @ redgirl.

You can go back through the archives of this blog, looking at reviews of launches/costumes that Saucy has posted. And you can see the comments that Bachanalmas has posted. He has critcised practically EVERY SINGLE BAND that has been on this blog. He constantly badmouths TRIBE (full disclosure, I LOVE TRIBE!) for being uncreative, too full of themselves, yadda, yadda, yadda.

As a non-designer, I have been very wary of criticising a designer's work. My opinion stems not from knowledge of the craft, but from me knowing what I like and don't like. I don't openly mock designers and what they have done, unlike Bachanalmas.

So my annoyance/ anger at this, stems from what appears to be his copying the SAME band he has criticised time and time again. TRIBE did this theme THREE YEARS AGO!!! You cannot tell me there are no similarities between the costumes. I'm all for people taking inspiration and what not, but that Pierrot Grenade costume is a blatant rip off! And what about the Loulan necklace in the orange costume? And my first thought when I saw that Indian costume was "A, a, look Tyrian Purple tail!" I'm not saying that TRIBE has a monopoly on these costume elements, but they were used in a presentation Bachanalmas himself said was boring! So the tail only boring if TRIBE using it, but when he use it, is genius? Steups!

I am annoyed at what appears to be his thin skin, and his willingness to cry 'race' because he got criticised. He was more than willing to pour scorn on other designers, but nobody should pass a negative comment on his work? No palo, it doh work so.

He have to learn to take it, because he like to give it and give it hard. And if he cyah take it now, then he will dead when he debut them designs for D'Krewe, because Trinis will eat him alive if he bring that cocky attitude.

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

Gosh I love how now everyone name Saucy and decides what is important enough to post on the blog!lol

mjsbunny said...

And for the record, if ANYBODY had bring out them designs, they woulda get call out the SAME way. If it was a band in New York, Miami or Canada, people would have commented on the striking similarities to costumes from Carnivals past. Bachanalmas' mistake was to take everything so personally and to start to attack people when they offered a comment.

Saucy posted a picture of a band that basically copied Brazilian Macaw! Sonia Mack get put on blast for recycling a headpiece and who can forget the whole Zari/ Loulan 'gems' drama?

So that is just the way it goes here. This blog is about CARNIVAL. Saucy didn't fly to London to go to Bachanalmas' launch, so she was obviously sent photos and a little statement. She put them up and everybody just supposed to rave about it?


Tr|n|gYa| said...

Of course! Of course this blog just seeks to bring out the worst in people and leads to their more "disgusting" behaviour- all because they lack a compass of self-control, ent?
All a ruse to boots viewership and ratings, right?

Shame on you Saucy!

redgirl said...

Mjsbunny, you really need to channel the energy into something more creative, i can see the anger in your posts but cant figure out why? yes i agreed Pierriot was close.
but the rest may just have slight elemtents of the costumes Saucy "claims" they are copies of Kiskedee and Sahara Jumbie Are so far off in terms of design the only elemnt tying them are Color.

I'm not defending no one apart from the art of Mas and my Culture! People including other Designers all have the right to an opinion, they also have a right to take inspiration from another source even if it's not liked and change or inprove on it, the same thing takes place in the fashion world its called "Friendly Rivalry" it just seems you and others seem to take this personal, where as i am totally indifferent.

Saucy there is only one Saucy i dont know if that is a good thing or a bad thing?? but i feel i need to revert back to being a sidliner and just look in at the topics i feel are worthy of my time.

designingDARYL said...

Hmmmn - all yuh wah meh to comment? I think I wah some sorrel first! - EH!!!

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

The claims of similarities between the costumes were not made by me. The comments in the post on bacahanal mas is where you will find that assertion.

I did however have a debate of sorts with the designer which lead to this post.

Mas Assassin said...

a debate again lol who win?

dougla_1 said...

I believe Bachanal Mas and BACHANALMAS got pong for "Traditions" and what it "should" have implied from the mas (Trinidad) names which have storied meaning and or satire. The best thought that came out on that post's comments was the theme could really mean Traditions of Tribe.

I recall Tribe got a little heat and some praise for their "sexy" take on the traditional mas, "Ole Time Something Come Back Again."

Now, whether they (designers of Bachanal Mas) borrow, or steal, or inspired to copy, I don't think it really matter for their Notting Hill jaunt in the streets. But, a strong case can be made that the designs are hardly orginal visions of Bachanal Mas' interpretations (or even update reimaginings) of a few "traditions" elements of Trinidad's mas, as the comparisons show on this blog post.

Mas Assassin said...

Saucy the truth is you dealing with a clash of perception and culture. What some people find very hard to understand is that Trinis KNOW their Mas, when we say CARNIVAL in we blood THAT EH NO JOKE!
And when we say ‘that’ is a copy or an imitation of ‘this’ mas or ‘that headpiece’ we know what we seeing and what we saying MAKE NO MISTAKE!
That guy Paul In my opinion is the BEST Technician in the Notting Hill Carnival today full stop. However he is by no means a good designer, Im not being mean Im not hating. I giving Jack he Jacket.
His design game is weak, he shows no originality in designs, and we all can see that. How can you do proper research on a Traditional character modify it and come up with a Tribe meh....explain that...somebody...
Some designs are carbon copies others have been altered to fit the theme or fool the trained eye or not so trained eye....
We see inspiration, but, there is no development, no creativity in his thinking, is almost like he see it he like it he make it too, he got talent but is copying creating?
The guy called Andrew said it all right here “Members of bands are not all hard core carnivalist and don't all understand the traditional aspect of things and it's our job to educate.”
My question is...
If you don’t understand the traditional aspects of things how can you educate others on the subject?
A lady said this after reading that battle field of a post the other day “As they say, you must know the rules so that you can break them”

harrie said...

It seems to me, that the main point here is that when he uses the word "traditions", that word alone makes people expect something traditional. If he wanted to be creative and reinvent them, then don't use that word. I think others in the past post said the same thing. I know when it started a Brian and a Lisa Maria had very good intellectual comments on this with constructive advice, they never said anything about copying etc, but rather stressed on this same premise. However Paul and others knocked them and I saw they removed their posts. They were mocked, especially with the impressive crenditials they had, I know Brian for sure as he both said it and I was able to view his blog. This is someone who has painted these characters from over 10 years and works in the field. And Paul has the guts to tell him that he did research? And yet another to mock him and say that only beacause he does J'Ouvert he needs to read carnival history? I mean was she and Paul for real? And in a way I don't blame them from withdrawing either as it got very nasty and childish. They gave him good advice with the experience to back it, they never questioned his talent or pointed fingers of copying. Paul you just threw it away a good opportunity. I would have been glad to get to converse with folks like that and even be honored to call them friend. And I don't know any of them, I wish you luck in T&T as you have seen how out of hand and large this has gotten.

Spiceness said...

I am not going to get into the namby pamby childish dialogue that was in the previous post when the dissimilarities between most of the costumes (save two I would say) are so glaringly and strikingly obvious that even a blind man in Timbuktu would see it save to say the following:

1. Deleting one's comments is cowardly. Stating one's faux credentials to bolster a weak argument is in poor taste. I don't care if you name Brian Wong Won or whatever. Stand behind yuh beliefs.

2. It is easy to be a brash, loud mouth critic. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

And after reading all the vituperative, to be honest rather disappointing comments above, that demonstrates to me why this Carnival "art" which was born in Trinidad will probably live and die there as it is not allowed to metamorphose. It is indeed a sad day, I going an fire ah stiff one. Dont invite me to mas funeral!

Maya Angelou said it best "There are very negative people to say the least. Nothing is ever
good enough! When you make your mark, you will always attract some...That's why you have to be careful with whom you share your
blessings and your dreams, because some folk can't handle seeing you blessed..."

*exits the throng of the baying mob*

Sheeple said...

Listen. This is bikini mas we talking about here people and nothing is 'original' anymore. There is no patent on designs and we really might be looking too deep. Everything doesn't have to be held up to another design, and least of all Tribe, and Ip and spice etc. They are not the be-all and end-all of carnival costume designs. This comparison game is counter-productive. Do we compare Tribe and IP and Spice to Brazilian samba costume design and ask the same questions? Inspiration, copies, imitation what ever de hell it is...Tribe and IP and Spice and the whole lot of them do the same thing. I am sure their 'designers' look there for inspiration. Is anybody going through the archives of Brazilian carnival and pulling out a cage bra design (sooo popular nowadays) and comparing? I mean, we all know it didn't start with Trini carnival right? Point is, short of a designer being able to look at a costume and say, hey this looks EXACTLY like mine... down to the last bead placement. We need to chill out and let people do what they love.

Carnivalcocoa said...

"What some people find very hard to understand is that Trinis KNOW their Mas, when we say CARNIVAL in we blood THAT EH NO JOKE!"
Thank you Mas Assassin, that simple concept has escaped many.

Now just because the feather color changed from one costume to another doesn't mean jack. If the design is the same/similar, then they're the same/similar. Period.

Of the examples Saucy gave today, the only one that is not so similar in my eye is the Jumbie/Midnight robber comparison. That one is reaching. The Kiskidee/Arawak --- got to look real hard for that one. Otherwise the others are too close for comfort.

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