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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!

Ahead Of The Pack...

You would think that with Carnival 2011 being held  in March that the frenzy of a hectic band launch season would start later than the July band launchings we have become accustomed to over the past few years. Well, think again!

I have been reliably informed that TRIBE is way ahead of the game with most designers either finished with or finishing prototypes for what I was told would be a very early costume viewing/critique.Probably gives them more time to tweak and adjust a costumes head of the July band launch, as opposed to finishing actual costumes AFTER the launch, I am just saying!

And, the band all are looking forward to for "real marse" Skullduggery is already boasting that their prototypes are completed and they are looking for masqueraders interested in playing Section Leader, Individual or just being "extra special"; if you are check out their Facebook Page.

D Krewe, under the hand of a new production manager and designer, has long returned from a material hunt in New York for their Carnival 2011 presentation and I know for sure that Spice is soon to make that journey   now that they have a new theme! Interesting is that this year the design duo of Spice will NOT be on this little jaunt to source materials; I am not sure how your  star designers get left behind when looking for the actual materials to design the band...hmm, "new" designer perhaps or trouble in a Spicy paradise?

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