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Monday, September 05, 2011

Explosion Carnival - The Review

The main question I heard asked last afternoon at Explosion Carnival Band Launch is : "WHO ARE THEY?". Among many of the invited guests it was a question asked over and over of this newbie band. From what I was told the band is financed by two South Florida based businessmen in the IT/Telecommunications field and the locally based  agent is Leah Gopaul. They are catering to 1200 masqueraders, fully all inclusive, and are looking at catering to 60% foreign based masqueraders and 40% local masqueraders. In fact it was intimated that the foreign based masqueraders have already expressed lots of interest and that spaces have been reserved. Explosion has sponsors on board and have created a buzz  surrounding the mystery of who is involved so it would be interesting to see how they fare with competition from the veteran  and new bands for Carnival 2012.

As for costumes, the theme "World on Fire" is a standard fantasy based theme and of course the costumes have no relation to it or even section names. They are however pretty costumes, I am sure many masqueraders who missed the boat with other bands will find something here. However, there were no WOW costumes  in my opinion as it seemed that they reserved going overboard with the feathers and "bling" as well as beads to cover your backside! This has got to be the skimpiest collection of belts for the season. 

Now, for the review:

First off why would anyone name a section and have the word "anus" in it? My eye automatically goes to the last four letters of the section every time I see the name in print, minor quibble. 

I like the colour combination on the Frontline as well as the  design of the headpiece, wire bra detailing and that the back pack looks light and easy to carry, especially like the gold wire shaped like wings.The belt design on the Frontline reminds me a little bit of "Lakshmi" from Ramajay Mas 2010 (same designers). The back of the Frontline belt is suffering from the costume affliction that has struck so many bands for Carnival 2012, lack of beads and in this case it is dire! 

The description of the section says it represents the "Sicilian Divinity who personifies fire" yet the Backline costume gives of a distinctive East Indian flavour with the shape of the headpiece , the belt design and even the bright pink used. I appreciate the lack of feathers on the Backline headpiece  just for diversity and yet it still has more to it than a plain headband/tiara. The male costume is rather generic and that lone feather in the headpiece looks a bit sad.

The Frontline costume is quite possibly my favourite of the six sections, I love the colour and how richly embellished the tiara and wire bra are, but they took the prize for most minuscule back of belt EVER. When the model turned on the runway I cringed. I am thinking that this band chose to go a bit simple and understated with their Frontline costumes as none have any huge feathered additions, the collar on this one looks nice and light and easy to carry .

I cannot tell you when last I have seen a true headband headpiece with a puff of plumes on one side, reminds me of Poison days, however this Backline is also well decorated love the stonework on the bra and belt as well as the feather tipped beads that actually cover your backside. I am still trying to figure out why the front portion of the male belt is SO big! Other than that, add another generic male to the lineup of other generic males from Carnival 2012.

Generally I am not a fan of black costumes but for Carnival 2012 I have been liking the offerings so far. I LOVE the design on the monokini for this costume, it is interesting that the designers used a metallic crackle effect spandex for the base and no beads! The "bling" is tastefully done, adds to the costume but does not take away from the avant garde look of the costume.

Closeup the pearl beading on the Backline bra is very nice, the entire bra is covered in it and trimmed with diamante, I don't think you get the beauty of it from the professional photos. The Frontline is also very nicely decorated but I have a serious problem with the size of the belt, it is beyond tiny which gives the impression of very little "substance" to the Frontline costume! I also think for Frontline the headpiece could have been more elaborate but again, seems like the trend for Explosion is not to do extreme and you know how I feel about bigger being better; more plumes on that headpiece please.

The addition of chartreuse to the turquoise and tan is a nice variation to a two colour combination that I have seen for the season, I love the pop of bright colour. My personal pet peeve with this costume is the applique used on the bra and belt, this is purely a personal opinion as I am not a fan of appliques on costumes because I think it looks dated. To me appliques have gone out of style with the advent of designers creating custom pieces for costumes. 

Other than that I do think the Backline costume is lovely, very well decorated and I like that they used a model of a darker complexion at the launch as well  to show that the tan works for ladies who do not fall into that shade of "nude". The Frontline costume however needed the feathers on the foot piece (which look incongruously proportionally  too big) added to the headpiece

Hands down the most well received costume at the launch, I am going to give credit to the model (Miss Cyprus/Angry Birds/ Bali Frontline) who really worked this costume. As far as Frontlines go this is the most elaborate in the band and  I love it. Love the headpiece  with the front design that looks like a jeweled beak, the back pack that looks like wings on fire and the gem work on the wire bra. The belt naked as it is still gives some hanging beads for that "swish" factor. 

 This section probably has arguably the best male costume though I am on the fence when it comes to the headpiece. The Backline costume is cute, love the hanging beads on the belt and the feather covered bra.  I also have to point out that accessory wise all sections come with pretty jewelry. 

The same design team for Fantasy Carnival did these costumes so you do  get a bit of familiarity, especially with the Individual and Frontline costumes, but overall I think Explosion costumes are a solid group of safe designs. If the goal was to not have one bad looking section they have achieved that. I wish them luck in getting the desired number of masqueraders and with actually putting a band on the road with the level of service that discerning masqueraders have come to expect especially when it comes to trusting a brand new band. For now they seem to have everything on track, the website is already up and running, now we await prices and registration information... that should be interesting! 

For more costume photos

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