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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Fantasy Carnival Book Of Angels The Review

Fantasy Carnival is the new kid on the block and everyone is asking WHO are they . Well the band launch last night did not reveal any more details of the people behind the band that I have not already pieced together, as they never officially gave information about Fantasy. It started as a J’ouvert band called Fantasy and together with Jamboree Committee and some familiar faces and names formerly associated with TRIBE, Bliss, Harts and the now defunct Elements I am guessing Fantasy Carnival was born. The crowd at the launch was certainly made up of the socialites and party people that I see at certain events, and to be honest reminded me of the very early TRIBE days!

Fantasy’s biggest coup in my opinion was securing design services of Richard and Anthony Productions and going with a simple yet effective theme called “Book of Angels”. Hard to go off theme when everyone wants wings for Carnival 2012 and the costumes look like they can easily morph into a Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show. The second thing I have heard, and if it is true will be key in the success of this band, is that they have also gotten the producer who does TRIBE’s costume to supply theirs. This is key as we masqueraders appreciate pretty costume prototypes but we also need to know that what we ARE getting when we collect is the same as what was advertised. From where I am poised, Fantasy looks like a new band that can give veterans a run for their money however more needs to be known of the players behind the scene as people are a bit hesitant to hand over cash to an unknown entity.

Now for the review and I must say I was glad to be able to examine these costumes backstage myself and even had conversation with the designers about their vision and meshing it with the direction of what the band also wanted:

The standout feature on this costume is the gorgeously decorated bra and the diamante trim that us used to construct the necklace and also the belt. I was concerned that the diamante would snag the stockings but I was assured (and felt it to see if is true) that the backing has no exposed casing to do any damage which is a good thing to know. I am not a fan of pink costumes, especially pastel pink, but this is a very soft, delicate and pretty looking costume. Love the headband on the frontline as it works to balance off the hugeness of the wings. The backline is also nicely decorated and they have a full regular headpiece, albeit the shape and design is very familiar to these designers. I love the bra design on the Individual costume and also the height of the wings, for the road however that might be an issue when the wind takes it but visually a very pretty costume/section.

Arch Angels
The collar on the frontline is very familiar in style and with the use of the coque feathers reminds me of Pisces from YUMA. I like that they decided to change the concept of just using variations of wings and do something different. Again the tiara headband with frontline works, the shade of blue is a nice selection and silver/diamante complements it well. The backline is richly decorated, the seed beaded fringe on the bra and belt gives good movement HOWEVER the back of this costume could benefit from some extra beading! It is very bare.

At first glance the frontline has a resemblance to Cyprus Frontline from Sandra Hordatt in TRIBE. The deep plunge monokini with double string sided bottom and of course the colour gives that impression. This costume differs in that it is not a wire bra for frontline, the strings do not extend to monokini back bottom piece and the wings are actual “angel” wings as opposed to plumes. I love the beading on the monokini of the frontline, only wished that the headband was done with some other material, maybe different crystals and it could be a tad bit larger but that is just minor nit picking. I love the backline on this one, proper sized headpiece and a cute collar. Liking the feathered and gem bra. I was surprised that small variations of wings were not offered as a backline option for more sections.

This is a sleeper section, the true beauty cannot be seen at night but the copper and turquoise will look amazing on the road. I like the solid metallic copper base of the bra and that it is not overwhelmed with decoration or “bling”, it looks a bit tribal and organic. Like what the designers did with the chain love knot detail that has been around since this Carnival, turning it into a belt and using it to design the bra and headpiece on the Frontline. The frontline wings are nice and light looking, a bit wide when you think about having to maneuver with others in the section, I am wondering if they can adjust backwards just a little bit so as they do not stick out so much on the sides. I much prefer the wings on the individual costume for this section; the Pheasant Feathers give it a “wow” effect matched with the teal and copper.

I cannot help but get a Gemini/ Green Honey Creeper flash back with the backline headpiece; very similar construct and use of feathers. I am just not a huge fan of all green costumes this season, but at least this one breaks up the monotone with some crystals, silver and diamante. The Frontline has a very interesting asymmetrical backpack, can’t say if I like it, but I do like the bra design. The backpack to me just looks like it might be hot and uncomfortable with the feathers resting directly on one side of the body, but kudos for doing something different when wings can become repetitive.

I really like the Frontline of this costume, the black with the silver pheasant feathers has a lot of impact. The decoration on the bra is a style that has been repeated on other sections, the jeweled underwear with the chained bottom piece is a cool idea and alternative to a traditional belt. I love the size of the backline headpiece, again the shape and styling is familiar but I do appreciate the touch of purple feathers. Like that the bra uses a self decorated fabric and that the gems on the belt are nice and chunky but they could have been longer!

I really liked this Frontline in person, I guess it is the monokini style with all that diamante and gold beaded fringe as well as the arm wings which are super easy to walk around with for Carnival. The muted tones may not work well on all skin tones but I do love it. The backline headpiece reminds me of Taurus a, same colour feathers, and as much as I like the diamante trim used all over the costume the placement and size of the piece on the belt is a bit unflattering and draws your eye directly to the crotch area.

This section showed a decorated triangular bra and a plain bra option, I am guessing the plain bra with winged shaped headpiece is the frontline. I like the shade of red, just think that the triangular bra costume needs some of the extras that the other one offers. Also the shape of the smooth bra costume looks a little boxy on the model. I absolutely LOVE the Individual for this costume, love the shade of red, love the wings, love the headpiece.. LOVE!

Or Oracle version 2.0, this costume is strikingly similar to that popular section in YUMA! Same decoration on the backline bra, same shade of purple and same contrasting peacock feathers, pretty then and pretty now but really I cannot help but call it Oracle! That backline belt needs some more beads. The frontline is awesome! Love love the beading on the bra and belt and what looks like two versions of the headpiece offered; a massive one (shown in the booklet) and the tiara type headband.

The frontline monokini on this costume is just amazing! I LOVE the chains and diamante as well as the strappy back and sides but you have to be a size 0 like the model to do this costume absolute justice. Love the collar. Love the headpiece. The frontline gets full marks in my book. The backline belt is gorgeous, but again wondering how this nude shade will look on everyone, even with the touch of turquoise.

I adore this colour combination, very refreshing to see coral and purple used in a costume. The effect is a very, very ,very pretty costume to look at, love that the backline belt uses variegated seed beads and it is a substantial looking sized belt, lots of movement and swishy beads. The frontline is one of my favourites as well because I love the size of the headpiece and the shape of the wings and I guess I must love pheasant feathers because I love how they used it at the tips here to create a nice sweeping effect.

Another costume in my top three, this shade of yellow is beautiful and looked great on the models. There is just a touch of lime green to give enough contrast and I like that they used silver as opposed to gold, the long fringe necklace is a nice detail that I like. Love the shape and span of the frontline wings, one of a few that uses plumes instead of coque feathers. The Individual for this section is so pretty, it is very easy to look like big bird in a yellow costume with tons of feathers but the wings on this costume saves it from that fate, very angelic in style if not colour.

As for the male costumes, wow all very YUMA looking (sorry to compare but cannot help it) and very generic. Well decorated but sticks to the headband, chest d├ęcor and board shorts formula. The focus is certainly ALL on the ladies in this band.

In summary a VERY impressive showing from Fantasy, they do not have one unappealing section in the band; in fact it might be hard to choose a favourite. The backlines are given properly decorated bras, belts and a proper sized headpiece no skimping on the bling and glam factor at all. It was obvious to me as well that they did not overdo the “bling” factor byusing crystals and gems just to stick it in all over a costume, it was understated but still looked rich. I wish that there were baby wings offered for Backline as an option, I mean only the frontlines really represent the angel theme and I think the backlines could have had that extended to them as well as with the section Virtues.

I expect nothing less from Richard and Anthony, they do pretty and they do it WELL. The only criticism I have is that when you have a hallmark and trademark style doing designs for more than one band you cannot help but see some similarities. Hopefully their other set of costumes will vary greatly from what was seen to set both bands apart.

Fantasy gets top marks for their first showing, masqueraders as I always say want bling, feathers and pretty costumes and they got just that from Fantasy

Fantasy Presents "Book Of Angels"

Full album HERE 
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