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Sunday, July 24, 2011

TRIBE "Take Me To" Review

Usually I write my review bright an early after the band launch when I am still buzzing with the excitement and all the thoughts are fresh in my head. This year for TRIBE I had to digest the fact that there were NO backline costumes on show and since I did not get a booklet I was at a loss having not seen the backline costumes and quite perplexed at the decision not to show them at the launch. I think it is either a brilliant marketing move knowing that Frontline and Individual Costumes DO sell a band when the backlines are not strong enough on their own or it is going to backfire and be a huge disappointment to the majority of masqueraders who cannot get into Frontline or even an Individual option. Whatever the reason for this decision it has created A LOT of talk about TRIBE; go BIG or Stay home seems to be the philosophy for Carnival 2012! I hope there is enough room in TRIBE to accommodate all those fabulous backpacks of the Frontlines and Individual costumes.

I eventually saw the Backlines from the booklet (I made a friend take pics and send to me) and they are underwhelming at first impression but since I never review a costume I have not seen in person I will have to reserve judgment until I see them at the Mas Camp. It is a well known fact that I absolutely love a Frontline costume (my costume of choice) and I love lots of feathers so many of these costumes hit the mark for me, if I were in TRIBE I would not be spoilt for choice of a costume.

Now unto the review and I must say that I did have the pleasure of seeing all the sections up close backstage and my overall impression is lots of pretty costumes hitting all the marks; bling, feathers, nakedness, wire bra, bling and more feathers! However although there were at least three costumes I got a “wow” from upon first look I cannot say if I am overly impressed with the entire production , it was a bit underwhelming as everything looked familiar . There is certainly no correlation to theme so let’s get that out of the way one time and some truly tragic male costumes but I will get to that later. In order of appearance:

South Beach
The colour combination reminds me of Charmeuse (TRIBE Secret of Silk), liked it then and it works here as well. The Frontline wire bra is interesting, I actually like the design with the neckpiece attaching to the bra, but I am not sure how it will work for every masquerader. The backpack on the Individual looks exactly like the one done for Amazonia and Izumi Clan in Bliss this year. The gold metal circular cut out on the belt is nice, liking that, but the belt is just beads and THREE Strings to the front and back! Seriously now, what is that covering exactly?

I had really high hopes for Rio, if it was one costume to hit it out the park with beads, feathers and bling it should have been this one. Rio I expected to be over the top, drop dead gorgeous, a costume fit for only a Reina De Bateria. Sadly Rio was nice but just that, nothing extra special at all. I feel like I have seen that backpack, seen that shape of headpiece already; the only thing I could find to peek my interest for detail is the wire bra which has a nice shape. I appreciate that this section is nicely gemmed up but it needed something extra that screams “Rio” at you like some of the other sections.

St Tropez
Getting a little Habotai vibe from this shade of pink with the pheasant feathers, the Individual has lots of visual impact and needs lots of space on the road. The frontline headpiece has the same detailing as Knights Templar with the wire gemmed crown piece, didn’t miss that. I am on the fence about the asymmetrical backpack, I like the idea of trying something different in design but somehow I am thinking it would look nicer if both sides were symmetrical.

I LOVE it! It was really nice to see Animal print done in a costume and not look tacky. I should also point out that there seems to be one version of this costume as it is the same in the booklet as well. It is simple but effective; the Monokini gives just enough coverage for those ladies trying to find a section for anyone over a size 2 in TRIBE this year. I am also liking that the entire costume looks light and not cumbersome at all, perfect for a large band with a mass of people.

Wow, LOVE the Individual costume. That nude jeweled bra and matching underwear is all Showgirl and a perfect match for the name of the section. Love the peach (even though I was iffy about it last night when I first saw it). I like the detail on the headpiece with the gems falling and framing the face and that the Frontline offers boyshorts with that very teeny tiny belt. Not a fan of the under decorated bra and appliqué to be honest but the costume does look nicely put together. Hope the middle piece joining bra and belt is adjustable as an ill fitting costume will ruin the effect.

Naked. My first impression when I saw it, this costume is making the model look fat far less for me! The bra is gemmed within an inch of fabric, stunning in person I must say. The jewelry detailing that has become a hallmark for this designer is nice, but Lord can that belt be any smaller on the Individual? I actually prefer the Frontline costume to the Individual, as it offers a bit more coverage, has more beading and I adore the headpiece, that attaches to the arms. Gorgeous costume.

Wait… I am getting De Ja Vu... isn’t this South Beach? Why show two costumes with the exact same colour combination is beyond me! I am almost as confused by it as I am confused as to how a TAIL on this costume evokes Dubai, but I am not going to bother too much as correlation to theme is nonexistent. The male Individual was a nice touch, visually appealing costume.

Ah yes, another one of my faves! Sandra Hordatt is a boss let me just say that. This costume design has to be one of the FEW unique ones that I have seen in the entire presentation though the Individual costume borrowed the fabric wings from Threads of Morocco. The monokini is hot; I am not even hating on the ones who will be chosen to wear the Frontline because you need to look like the model to do this costume justice! I am on the fence on that 3 string no belted bottom piece, it looks great on the model, in reality it has the potential to border on vulgarity I think. The only thing that let me down with this section is that I was expecting the backpack to be WINGS and it was not. I LOVE the headpiece for this section, featherless and all!

Sigh, all I could focus on with this costume is the beads from Amazon. Was there a surplus that needed to be used up? This would be my least favourite section.I don’t know if it is the colour or the arm pieces that I think could have been executed better (they look too stiff and do not flow as nicely as Caged Canary’s arm pieces) or the recycled beading, which is a shame because the costume does have impact when you first see it and I am sure lots of other people will love it, just not me.

Ok at this point I started to think to myself that the costumes are looking repetitive; didn’t I already see that shape of back pack, that headpiece, those feathers? Honestly there is nothing wrong with the costume except that on the Individual costume the designer has done the same backpack already seen in several other sections! Love this colour though.

Even though I might have expected a black costume for Manhattan and the grey took a while to get adjusted to I think the combination with purple and burgundy actually works for the stage. How will it work on the road in sunlight is another consideration. I am wondering if it will fall flat. Carnival is COLOUR and I have noticed that costumes in shades such as grey tend to look drab and get lost among all the other bright hues. Very “safe” design, cannot fault it in execution, I mean it is a nice enough costume but not one iota of excitement when I saw it.

Hands down MY favourite, FAVOURITE section in TRIBE! If I were playing in TRIBE this would be my section of choice. I absolutely love that the “monokini” effect is from a full bra with fringe attached to the belt, awesome! The Individual costume looks like trouble once a good wind takes it. The Frontline is just stunning and I love how there is no backpack (backpacks are so last year)! I love every single thing about it and I am seriously thinking about TRIBE just to have it the only thing is I would have to beat some masqueraders out of the way in order to not crush all those lovely feathers!

I see TRIBE put a lot of effort into not deviating from what seems to be a winning formula for masqueraders even though they claim to want something “different”. Different costumes do not sell as well as feathers, bling and beads that is a fact. Bikini and Beads masqueraders are always seduced by the pretty no matter how much rhetoric they spout about everything looking the same or that costumes are boring. So today they will have lots of chatter about TRIBE ‘s uber skimpy feathered to death costumes and tomorrow they are looking for a link to get into the band! Every year I bemoan the fact that the male costumes are given very little love but this year it seems to be especially bad. Those male costumes are just regurgitated and some look like a last minute scramble. I know that some men just want a band and board shorts but this is starting to get ridiculous now, at least offer the option of a decent costume for the ones that actually care about that and not playing in the section with the hottest costume.

Hopefully TRIBE’s website will be up soon so we can see backlines and when I DO eventually see them in person you will get a review as to how they compare to the frontlines. If it is one thing I know today everyone will be talking about TRIBE, good, bad or indifferent.

TRIBE Take Me To Video

South Beach – Designed by Lana Nobrega - ( Purple and Gold)

St. Tropez- Designed by Gail Cabral - ( Fuchsia)

Rio- Designed by Ruanna Booker - (Yellow)

Vegas- Designed by Valmiki Maraj -( Peach)

Fiji- Designed by Solange Shaw Gopaul -  (Jade Green  and Brown)

Cyprus- Designed by Sandra Hordatt -  (White)

Santorini- Designed by Valmiki Maraj  – (Orange)

Johannesburg –  Designed by Peter Elias- (Animal Print)

Manhattan- Designed by Gail Cabral  – ( Grey)

Dubai – Designed by Monique Nobrega & Valmiki Maraj (Teal and Purple

Cancun- Designed by Gail Cabral - (Aqua)

Ibizia - Designed by Monique Nobrega  -( Red)

TRIBE Take Me To First Look

TRIBE Take Me To Media Launch Pics

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