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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Au Courant Mas 2011

Well, well well.. just when you thought you heard about the last of new bands for Carnival 2011 comes a competitor, entering in the late half! Fashion, Art and Media all wrapped up in a costume presentation? Well that is what Au Courant Mas promises; see more on their website.

Au Courant is a Virtual Studio focused on creating Fashion+Art+Media projects.

For our first major exhibition, we have chosen to stage a Performance Art Presentation in Trinidad + Tobago for the annual Carnival celebrations and parades.

Working in the medium of Mas, and using couture hand-sewing techniques + sculptural approaches, our presentation is an avant-garde, movable take on the cyclical nature of life.

THE CYCLE - A Play in Five Acts - will be set in motion by our players; an intimate + select group of creatives, bold individuals and 'Mas' men + women' who will take to the streets on Carnival Monday + Tuesday during March of 2011.

Each elaborate piece is fully crafted by hand in limited numbers, and are fully built by Au Courant Studio in NC, USA and St. James, Trinidad + Tobago.

To keep a smooth, seamless movement of THE CYCLE through Port-of-Spain, Au Courant will be traversing the wide roads and the winding paths with:

- Fully Catered Service (Breakfast, Lunch + Evening Eats)
- Premium Drinks
- Street Security
- An International + Local Mix of Pumping Sounds
- Complimentary Gifts
- Special Au Courant Items
- Pre-Carnival Costume Fittings
- Private Members Events + Performances

And other on-the-move treats + post-Carnival indulgences...

The Best of The Past - Backline B.A.B.E.

What a big tease it is to see all these fabulous frontline costumes, that all bands are catering to, knowing that for most of the masqueraders in the band these costumes are out of reach either because of price or because of the limited spaces available. It seems as if Frontline Fever has gripped female masqueraders, on every message board and amidst chatter on which sections are the most wanted EVERYONE is announcing that they are playing frontline.

There are not enough frontline costumes to meet the demand and besides if everyone plays frontline then there would be no backline would there? Reality is that the frontline's appeal is the fact that it is limited, too many frontline costumes and the frontline H.O. no longer feels "special". The more people clamoring to get into the limited frontline costumes the more it pushes the price up!

So, what is a Backline Betty to do when her only choice is to be regaled to being a floor member in the showgirl's presence? Well a group of Backline Bettys have united to reinvent the persona and perception of the "ordinary" costume, their goal is to make the Backline Betty JUST as FAB as her frontline sister and have more fun doing so!

The first step these ladies took was to discard the "Betty"; "Betty" is the girl who grasps her hair up in a pony tail, sprinkles on the glitter dust from her costume box, puts on her costume and hits the streets. Backline Betty has been retired!! No longer will the supporting character to the Frontline H.O. (High maintenance Overachiever) be referred 

1.Backline is a state of mind, B.A.B.E. is the standard by which I shall execute my fabulosness!

2. The B.A.B.E. has not spent the extra money on FL there fore splurge on the makeup, lashes and put the glitter in glittericious!! Being a DIVA is not reserved for only the frontline! Spend the savings on accessories!

3. Speaking of accessories, matching footwear is a must. A Backline B.A.B.E. must have the appropriate FAB footwear to match her equally FAB costume. Whether it’s boots or sneakers, make sure it matches and make sure it is FAB!!.

4. Being a B.A.B.E. does not equal being stush. Your job is to brandish that backside, revel in the fact that there are no obstructions to the measures and skills of your winery!

5. Make it your duty to take a wine on all the fine men that will come your way, while the FL might get more photos, the men flock to the B.A.B.E. because she is unencumbered by a backpack to jook out his eye or a headpiece to give him a mouthful of feathers! Throw your waist! But remember not because you are a B.A.B.E. that every Tom.Dick and Harry can wine on you, have your limits!!

6. Traverse the band showcasing your fabulosity, after all it’s more of us, we cover more ground. Do not shy away from the camera, showcase the Bodaciousness in B.A.B.E.

7. Some may turn their noses up at the B.A.B.E. because she is in the back, kindly smile and say “I am FAB as is, I don’t need extra embellishments to make me feel better about myself”

8. B.A.B.E.s choose the costume they love, not the one the crew likes. Don’t be pressured into thinking that FL is the place to be. B.A.B.E.s spend less money for the same experience. B.A.B.E.s are the smart ones!

9. Ensure that the B.A.B.E. is on point at all times. While B.A.B.E.s have more fun,it should look effortless, which means no sweaty faces, ripped stockings or costumes falling apart.Keep it together!

10. Lastly remember your FL sisters, although it is not your style, it is hers, respect her space and demand that she respects yours!

Trinidad Carnival Diary Presents the Best of The Past

I am taking a walk down memory lane for the Blog Posts over the next few days as many of the new readers of Trinidad Carnival Diary May have missed some of the earlier articles from the days of Pretti Dolli and Hottie Hottie. The days when we all got that this was not about taking ourselves seriously but really the coming together of a diverse group of Mas Lovers who finally had a "voice". By the way Dolli, you are missed! I am going to feature some of the more popular articles, the ones I consider to be the best of that time! Hope you enjoy it.

So, the ode to the archives of this blogs kicks off today starting with The Ten Commandments of Frontline H.O.Ism

If you want to see the original post, and comments, just click the underlined link above.

Prettidolli was kind enough to define "H.O." for me a while ago since I was using the term more like "HO" leaving out the periods which changes the meaning to something much less glamorous. Her definition is that a H.O. is a HIGHMAINTENANCE OVERACHIEVER, if you have never heard this used in a sentence such as "I am a front line H.O." you are probably quite lost as to what I am speaking about.

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FRONTLINE H.O.ism according to Prettidolli:

1. Swear to be the best FRONTLINE H.O., giving the cameras all de H.O., and nothing but de non-stop H.O.. So help yuh Jesus/Krishna/Ram & Sita/(Insert deity here) Represent your band and PLAY YOURSELF to de FULLEST!

2. Do your best to make certain you do not look a hot, sweaty, and ghetto mess! That means makeup and all body embellishments should remain intact. Dis ent de backline yuh know....LOL!

3. Do not neglect your section or your admirers under ANY circumstances! They don't make de H.O. but they damn sure can break de H.O.. Be friendly, smile, chat, and oblige de nice folks who are mesmerized by your divadom and fabulousness. Take photos, lime, flirt, hug up de chirren, socialize, LIVE IT UP! It IS Carnival after all!

4. Bless all man jack in de place with a deadly but posh cheesecutter wine when yuh pelting waist. BLESS DEM WID SWEET WAIST!! Yes, I said p-o-s-h. If yuh want dutty wine, stay in de back with Backline Betty and dem... You should be Helen Keller deaf by Ash Wednesday b/c your crystals made plenty noise going, "WHIP WHAP WHIP WHAP!"

5. Pose and smile in style without twisting up yuh body and skinning yuh blasted teeth like a flipping jack-o-lantern. Is February not Obzokee(sp)October... The ideal pose is for the body to be fairly centered with a natural, non-forced smile without the slightest hint of desperation. A true frontline H.O. knows how to make tweet, tweet luuuuv to the camera.

6. On a more serious note, H.O.'s MUST have their hygiene in tact! This means, removal of all unsightly body hair, no visible underarm deodorant, no halitosis, no lipstick/goop on or in teeth, no poorly positioned pantyliners. Believe me, I have seen this and have gone Helen Keller b-l-i-n-d right on Carnival Tuesday. Why play yuhself frowsy in a $1K mas?Allyuh get meh point...

7. Make certain that your band's security can control yuh property. Make a FRIEND in security, it helps! As an ultra, ubersexy, divalicious F.H.O men (and some women) will attempt to rush your band to get more than just a glimpse of you. And why not? The poor souls simply cannot help themselves! IS YOU GYAL IS YOU! This is where security comes in to keep you safe and bum's rush free. Is not just sweet man...vagrants does tief ah wine too yuh know?(Psst! Security can also babysit your stilettos until it's time to cross de Grand Stage.) Check on it.

8.IGNORE DE FRIGGING CUT-EYE. Let's just face it, many do aspire to H.O., but few do achieve. The hateration screw face and cut-eye is alive and well. Meh granny does say that red costumes does decrease de maljo. The Devil is a liar! Don't hate, congratulate, lift, separate...Two snaps, allll of that.

9. Be a Benz, Beemer, not a Pinto screamer. F.H.O's take pride in themselves. Facials, manicures, yoga, gym classes, discipline, nutrition, and exercise are mandatory. If your love handles are dragging on the floor behind you and there are flats in you Michelin tire, de H.O. is NOT for you...Leff de H.O. alone! (Please see appendix for B.M., aka Bullet hole Mampie.)

10. The best F.H.O's have a heart as magnanimous as their Carnival persona. This means respect your fellow masqueraders and other bands while you are on the road. A cussing, swearing jammette does not a F.H.O make! Do not be a pretender to the throne. I tend to buy extra pieces of inexpensive jewelry to give away to de sweet lil' H.O.'s in training who beg for pieces of your costume. I've even given some of my lunches, snacks, and drinks away to the homeless folks who "try a ting" with these overstocked and overloaded bands on de road. Carnival is a time of joy and giving. Do so act like so!
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