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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Carnival Divaz Review

Good morning TCD,
I decided to get a custom Monday wear and decorated boots to match my costume for CK12. Some of my friends were also coming to Trinidad carnival for the first time so all of us decided to get custom items to look fabulous! Carnival Divaz was highly recommended by friends who had used her services in the past. The initial contact was very positive, she was upbeat, available and worked with us on making a final decision regarding designs, colors ect...She gave us an estimate (her prices were very reasonable compared to others) and all of us paid half, the other half would be due upon completion. We sent her our boots, sneakers and corset in November!

Everything was great and exciting up to the holidays: the Facebook group was active, she was posting pictures, my boots were done and I was very pleased with the design.After Christmas break, things started to get weird!We are now in January!! Everybody is getting the carnival fever, tunes dropping, first fetes of the season, yet Carnival Divaz is “missing in action”, she doesn’t reply to email as fast, we have no news of our Monday tops nor delivery dates (she is supposed to mail us all the items before leaving for Trinidad).

Fast forward to the first week of February, I’m literally emailing CD every day to remind her of my departure date to Trinidad and giving her the proper address to send my items since I work very late. She assured me I would receive everything by Wednesday the 8th and will send me a confirmation number. Wednesday NO news so I emailed her and she gave me some silly excuse that she forgot a pair of boots home, Thursday NO news I emailed her again and this time she said that she didn’t bring the items to be shipped from work-it was obvious that something wasn’t adding up but I remained patient in order to get our items before leaving-. After going back and forth with the most random excuses, I ended telling her to bring everything to Trinidad and I will pick up when I reach.

The circus continued in Trinidad, she was never home, never available and always had an excuse. I couldn’t believe I had to deal with all this madness in the middle of feteing and enjoying my vacation for something that was ordered in November. It’s carnival Saturday and she finally dropped half of the order at the front desk of our hotel (in the middle of the night while we at a fete); my top is too small, my friend’s top is too big; the boots are cute but sloppy (glue and thread showing); one of us still has neither footwear nor top. My friend’s UGLY and UNFINSHED Monday footwear was finally dropped off at the hotel carnival Sunday and the Tuesday top (sloppy and last minute work) had to be picked up by another friend on carnival TUESDAY at 5am (on our way to get our makeup done) somewhere in POS!

The worst is that she got more vexed than the paying customers who had to run after her to get a half-done job and had the audacity to mention delivery fees! *If the work had been done well, on time and mailed from New York, that mess wouldn’t have happened*!

Everything had started off very well but went downhill after Christmas and ended in a HOT MESS in Trinidad. I was very disappointed by her lack of professionalism, the tons of excuses she made up and her nonchalance until carnival Tuesday. I understand that things come up but when you run a business but most importantly you need to keep your clients happy and informed! I know other people who had a similar experience with her and we all ended up wearing our own clothes on the road or the band’s Monday wear. It was our FIRST and LAST time ordering from Carnival Divaz. NEVER AGAIN!

By the way, we have received NO apology to this day!

Saucy’s Carnival 2013 Costume Wish List

Every year I give a wish list of what I would like to see in costuming for the following Carnival; last year it was wings and we were SATURATED with wings in every band.  I did like that we got some new colour combinations for Carnival 2012, Fantasy's Principalities was just GORGEOUS:

For Carnival 2013 I don’t have a particular wish per se. I am feeling that I have done/worn it all when it comes to bikini and beads so I simply want to be WOWED by something different. When I am yawning at even the costume photos from Rio Carnaval 2012 you should know that by now I am simply fed up of seeing the same regurgitated designs in majority.

I am challenging designers to find away to circumvent the textbook formula of a beaded bra top and beaded belt. I honestly thought that Call of Duty Frontline was a genius costume in the bikini and beads genre. Not only did Call of Duty Frontline represent the theme (you could tell exactly what the costume was meant to represent by looking at it) I loved that the monokini was very sexy even though it appeared to give more coverage; think outside the bikini box!

When I tell people I do not want the “extras” for 2013 they laugh at me but I am dead serious. I am tired of lugging around all those huge pieces all day; backpack, headpiece, tail. I am envisioning simple, sexy, amazingly decorated body wear with a manageable headpiece/backpack/collar. Angry Birds back pack was super cute and light; many women wore it all day. I also loved Fiji’s headpiece construction, it looked very light and easy to carry … side note: someone needs to give Solange Shaw Gopaul the job of designing MORE costumes in both TRIBE and Bliss. A Solange Shaw Gopaul costume in Bliss could make Bliss my perfect band! 
Solange Shaw Gopaul "Fiji"- 2012

Solange's costumes for the past four years have all been varied and detailed, which that it sets her apart for me and which is the reason some people I know still play with TRIBE. Solange and Sandra Hordatt both need to be doing MORE designs, because they need to recognized for the consistency in their fabulous costuming year after year and I think that TRIBE and Bliss needs to move away from the dominance of myopic designers and embrace the younger talent; put ego aside.

Solange Shaw Gopaul "Caged Canary" - 2009

Solange Shaw Gopaul  "Mystery of Loulan"  - 2010

Solange Shaw Gopaul  "Persian Gold" - 2011

Masqueraders have also been complaining about the disappearing belt, and each year we beg designers for more ass coverage but they just give us LESS. It is almost like a non verbal way to say if your ass is bigger than the belt you have no business being in this costume! And on THAT note how about giving multiple options for all sizes of masqueraders? I know it is a long way coming to see plus sized models for each a section at band launch but would it not be nice to see a monokini or corset modeled along with a bra and belt? I know Fantasy did that for Carnival 2012 because they offered several monokini options for frontline in their presentation,  however I think those other options should be extended to backline as well. 

Finally, can we see some new materials? I am sick to death of rhinestones that serve no other purposes that to shred stockings. On that note if you DO want to use rhinestones Azteca is a demonstration of how it can be incorporated while still using materials to theme.

I am envisioning  new textures, new beading, new stones, new fabrics and of course I still want FEATHERS but ….imagine something new with feathers as well. I know bands LOVE using coque but here is the thing, after a while each costume begins to look the same when it is festooned with coque. Don’t they sell different feathers? Step out the feather box!

So here is hoping that for Carnival 2013 I am not only WOWED I am FLOORED and not bored; the challenge is set.

TRIBE Las Lap 2012

TRIBE Las Lap Cooler Fete!

Ltd. Adv. $200s available from committee members.

No glass bottles allowed | Designate before you celebrate


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