Tribe circumvented the comparisons to Victoria Secrets angels by taking front and admitting in the Trinidad Express interview on Friday July 18 that the Victoria Secret runway Show was indeed the inspiration for their Carnival 2015 presentation. In effect, silencing the keen eyed critics who would happily point out the exact same wings that were copied and pasted unto Carnival versions of beaded bra and panties. Excellent move TRIBE.
I had hoped by now to have seen the backline costumes on the website as keeping with tradition over the past four years, only individual and frontline costumes were shown at the launch. Reports reaching me at this time indicate that there will be a delay in the backline photographs being published, consequently this review will be based on only the costumes shown at the night of the launch, subject to change in future.
Raw – This super sexy costume is one of my favourites simply for the fact that the designer did not just duplicate something that we have already seen in Carnival past or on the Victoria Secrets Runway. The body wear gets top marks from me, even with the straps on the stomach as I know this frontline will be screened for only the most toned of bodies, Scorch does not play when it comes to who represents their frontline line up.
The most interesting part of this costume for me is the combination of pastel mint green with animal print and then the pop of teal, pink, purple and yellow a very unexpected combination of colours and pattern, but it works. The only critique I have is for the gold part at the top of the wing which personally I think is not the proper dimension for the rest of the backpack, some editing to scale would make it blend more seamlessly , but that is a minor point. Overall Raw is fierce , 5 claps.
Crave – Although the shape of the wing is one that is repeated throughout the entire presentation for most costumes, what I do like about Crave is that I would not think to add neon green to blush and rose gold, again the appeal for me is adding that one element that takes the costume from standard/average to edgy. And as impractical as the cut out wire strapless bra might be for those ladies with more ample breasts, I actually love it.
The beaded necklace mirrored by the beading on the bra is very well styled on the costume, it looks finished and a good continuation of design. If you look closely the bottom piece is a jewelled belt layered over the bikini bottom, which I think is a cute compromise between a jewelled bikini and standard belt, it is sexy without being too risqué. 5 claps for Crave
Luxe – If you notice the trend with my top selections it is that I am looking for costumes that offer something different from the norm or expected. With this presentation it is easy to be bored with yet another pair of feathered wings on a pretty costume, however I do appreciate that Anya Ayoung Chee chose to not do “pretty” but went edgy. I love the gold headpiece on both the Individual and Frontline, it ties in the Egyptian influence that was her inspiration without being so obvious and literal. I had been stalking her Pinterest boards for months and knew that she was using Egyptian as motivation for design so I was very interested to see it all come together. Patterned fabric is this designer’s signature style and I appreciate the addition to the costume for interest and options for the masquerader.
The other design element that I like is that these are one of the few wings that actually go UP instead of cascading to the floor. It’s the very little details that catch my eye and as you all know I do love body wear that is always fully embellished.
The one concern I have heard expressed is how the cream/nude/ivory feathers will look on the road, this was a concern I had with Pearls of Tangola , my costume this year, and contrary to expectations it looked great in daylight, I think this costume will not be washed out as well. 5 claps for Luxe, I appreciate all the effort went into distinguishing this costume and section from the others.
Vice – Let me start off by saying that this designer has such a strong following of supporters some bordering on sycophants that I was hesitant to give an honest review of this costume as I thought maybe I missed something on the night of the launch, as though it is a solid costume with some very strong points, it is not one of my personal top choices. I do rate the costume highly for the risks the designer took and the amount of detail that went into the body wear.
Lets start off with the bikini, if you did not know it is not only the lowest V cut bikini I have seen on a costume to date it also has MESH see through panels on the crotch piece and a sliver of gems barely covering the pudendal cleft (look it up); it is indeed quite vicey! Love it or hate it, this could be a game changer, setting the standard for just how low the bikini bottom can go.
Another strong selling point for me is the arm pieces that I LOVE, especially on the Individual costume which is then continued on the side of the body wear in effect connecting bra and bikini into one flow of design. The only thing that throws the individual costume off for me is the use of the nude bra instead of the mint that is shown on the frontline costume, I prefer the mint. And while I do like the combination of copper, bronze and mint, the yellow feathers are not my cup of tea. Again this is just my personal taste.
The wing style I like a lot as it is a stand out among the others, personally I would add more feathers to the wings as I think it is a bit on the smaller side. The Individual sized wings are perfect to me, maybe it can be a premium front-line on offer. The large winged frontline headpiece style does not appeal to me, I prefer the tiara option. 4 claps for Vicey Vice.
Charm – I really do like Charm a lot. It was initially one of my top picks , I love the colour, it will look brilliant on the road. I also really like the use of animal print on the body wear, its a nice change of pace from the gems and with the pattern the designer is allowed to skimp on embellishments. I do have one critique and that is the bra looks too much like Vice.
This costume is the one that looks least like a Victoria Secret’s Angel and would fit in very nicely in Bliss. It’s a well put together, complete costume the only reason it did not get top billing is because I do not think the headpiece shape is flattering. Again, that boils down to personal taste. 4 claps for Charm.
Grace- Not a costume I would ordinarily pick as a top choice, but I do love those frontline wings, they are big feathery and they point up , yes I have an obsession with wings that are not trailing the ground! This is channelling Victoria Secrets in a big way, even down to the lace monokini. The spider straps do still get a side eye from me, but I think this is a pretty costume done well, one of the better ones from this designer. I think she deserves to get the recognition for effort. 4 claps
Envy – Let me preface by saying black costumes do not excite me, I believe Carnival is colour, I love colour on the road, it is vibrant it looks beautiful in sunlight and while I do love black as a wardrobe choice I have never played in a black costume, ever.
That being said I had to put my bias aside and really look at Envy fairly, while I think it can do with some minor editing ( the bra did not fit the model properly) it is a striking costume . 3 claps for Envy.
Pure and Sultry – Unfortunately these two monochromatic costumes get the same review from me, so I decided to lump them together. The body wear while pretty is not unique; Pure we have seen in TRIBE’s Papillion and Sultry looks like Brazilian Macaw. Overall pretty wire bra, tiny belt, big feathered wings. It’s nice but somewhat boring, as it lacks any detail of interest to me, nothing stands out. 3 claps for Pure and Sultry.
Lust – I am getting into the territory of “pretty” and safe with the following costumes, Lust is one of those. While I like the colour combination, it is a cacophony of feathered gorgeousness , that’s about all I can say about Lust as it isn’t really saying much but “pretty”. 3 claps
Tempt and Impulse – These both costumes did not even register to me until I saw the professional website shots . I was left scratching my head as to if I totally missed them on stage, seems like I did! Nice bright colours for both costumes, falls into the territory of “pretty and safe”. 3 slow claps
Blush – Sigh.
What possesses a designer to copy one of the most popular costumes of Carnival 2014 from a rival band and proudly show it off as their’s for the following year? Imitation may be the best form of flattery but as I played in Pearls of Tangola in Fantasy and it is my favourite costume to date, I am not flattered by the lack of designer ethic that would motivate blatant and outright plagiarism. At least wait a few years!
Ballsy move, and for the lack of shame or conscience displayed by this designer Blush doesn’t even get a clap from me , it gets resting bitch face !
In conclusion TRIBE did as expected with Wings of Desire, as I have been noticing their design formula for the past three years is to pick one stand out element to theme and add it to generic body wear. In 2013 it was butterfly wings, 2014 War Bonnet /Indian Inspired Headpieces and in 2015 it is feathered wings. Obviously this works for their designers and masqueraders.
Wings of Desire is a very pretty presentation, the last time I saw so many feathers in TRIBE was Birds of a Feather, arguably one of their best presentations to date. I look forward to seeing what the backlines have to offer and all these vibrant coloured wings on the road come Carnival 2015.