This review is long over due, the procrastination in writing was unavoidable owing to a SUPER busy schedule so lets get right to it.
Quechua The Andes – If I were to play in YUMA this would be my section,the frontline would be my choice. I absolutely LOVE the colours chosen for this costume, vibrant and bright with a lot of impact, just imagine the shades of orange, yellow and teal on the road. My favorite part of the frontline is that headpiece. Although you may have to sacrifice peripheral vision that headpiece is all sorts of awesome in the shape, which I cannot recall seeing in any other costume of recent times, it looks light and easy to carry on the model. I love the design and construct of the headpiece as well as that the designers chose the perfect feathers and embellishments to reflect a sense of the theme.
The body wear on the frontline is simple but effective I always appreciate a fully decorated bra, the detail of the beaded necklace incorporated into the bra design is a nice visual element to the design that I also like.The bra is covered with medallions which is also repeated on the belt, with just a touch of beading to match the feathers and beads on the bra. The one thing I do notice is that this costume is devoid of “bling”, there isn’t any rhinestones or crystals and I think it works perfectly because of the fact that this is supposed to be a more native themed costume.
The backline and male costume complete the section nicely, backline I really like the use of fabric ( as in many other sections in YUMA) since that had been a design element missing from the other bands launched so far. I think you need to see the necklace on the backline as well as the colours and print of the fabric in person to appreciate just how well decorated and put together this backline is. The male costume is pretty sweet as well, the belt is fully beaded into a pattern using seed beads, I love that the guys get a chunky beaded necklace rather than a sad looking bib, and the male headpiece is fantastic. One of my favorite males in YUMA by far. Standing ovation for Quechua. Absolutely love looking at the entire section together.
Kush Kingdom of Africa – Oh Kush , how do I love thee! To be honest I LOVE this costume more than Quechua, I think in terms of body wear the design and style, Kush wins on uniqueness factor more than the aforementioned. However as a personal choice of what I would wear, the plain patterned fabric would not be my pick for the road, I would need it to be embellished for me and that triangle bra on the monokini changed to something more supportive. I actually prefer the individual body wear if I had to wear this costume, but this is all a PERSONAL preference and this does not distract from the fact that I do love and appreciate this costume as is.
What I really like about Kush frontline is that something as simple as draping and placement of a beaded necklace could make such an impact. Just that ONE designer choice on a patterned monokini resulted in perfection. The costume is very simple but effective and from the body wear you can easily relate to a tribal theme. That headpiece on the frontline pushes it over the top , who does not love a big feathered headpiece. I like the beading used on the headpiece as well as the shade of blue feathers accented with just a smattering of colored pheasants, again works beautifully. My one critique would be that I might have preferred to see a big feathery mohawk styled headpiece perhaps, more in keeping with the African theme, not that I can fault the current headpiece choice for impact and beauty.
Again I do like the backline a lot, it’s simple but effective in that it mirrors the frontline body wear with the added feathered necklace, cute touch, and looks complete as is. I hope the headpiece for backline comes as standard. For some reason I was expecting more from the male, this is YUMA after all, males are their “thing”. The only let down in this section is that I felt like Kush male could have been more representative of the African theme, so much potential to work with. Notwithstanding I still give Kush a standing ovation as the female costume totally makes up for the male.
Medici Florence – Right out the bat, standing ovation. I was intrigued with this costume from all the teasers and after studying every detail I have to say this section, particularly frontline embodies the theme Reign in every aspect, it is regal. Feathered dress, LOVE it. Medici takes win for one of the most “original” designs of the season , I say that in quotes because I am sure someone can pull up an “inspirational” photo from somewhere to compare, however for all intent and purposes we can agree that a feathered gown has yet to make an appearance before Reign. I can see the designer put a lot of time into the design of both frontline, individual and backline, every detail is so well put together. From the choice of body wear to the gems used to the flow of ombre feathers to the jeweled crown to the baby collar; every piece of this costume works together.
My ONE fear is that the frontline body wear will not work on every body type, choose wisely ladies. The backline is gorgeous, albeit it somewhat pales in comparison to the frontline, as a stand alone costume it is pretty. The male is pretty basic, his job is not to stand out but to serve the queen it seems. Standing ovation for Medici, this costume rocks!
Shahansha King of Kings– I will tell you why this section gets another standing ovation from me, I am in love with both backline and male. Don’t get me wrong, the frontline is nice as well, but I do think the body wear is on the simple side and the feathered cape while a stunning addition to the costume reminds me of Harts cape which they have done for the past two years. However the backline ,which is my favorite of all the sections in Reign, and the male win win win.
Male costume made it seem like it was Adonis himself descended unto the stage on the night of the launch. The headpiece is glorious, better than some female frontline headpieces I have seen in other bands. The designers again hit the mark with the leather belt , gladiator foot pieces and loin cloth; no surfer shorts for this male costume. I feel like THIS is what a male costume should look like. LOVE it!
On backline I love that when I first saw the costume on stage it looks like the model glided above everyone with her train flowing behind, looking at the plebeians like “you can’t touch this” ! A white skirt for Carnival, seems impractical and haughty but I LOVE it, it screams high maintenance diva, walk with your tide to go in your little gold pouch on the road. I love the headpiece as well, again I hope they do not offer a tiara for this section, this diva needs all her feathers!
Although it is hard to tell from photos the entire bra and underwear on frontline is decorated with spikes which I think is pretty cool and I do love love the headpiece. It all ties in nicely with the same design on male and backline. Overall a gorgeous section and I do love white and gold on the road. Take a bow for best male, best backline costume guys.
Marrakesh Kingdom of Morocco – What a vibrant costume. The first thing that strikes me is the colour, lots of orange with all that gold grabs your attention. I can see this costume on the road in my head and it will look awesome.
Marrakesh reminds me of Osage (TRIBE Secrets of Silk) and I think that is because of the huge feathered collar , everyone knows by now how I feel about collars for frontline, I think it is too easy to just add a collar to upgrade. For frontline I do appreciate costumes with more thought going into the design. And while I do like the gold coins falling off the frontline body wear, on the night of the launch it was shown with a plain orange underwear which I subtracted points for, I do not like plain underwear particularly on frontline , at the very least use a metallic fabric.
I actually like the backline of this section, what works is the colour coupled with all the gold embellishment which results in major impact, especially the monokini option of backline that was shown at the launch. Very pretty section, standard male. I give Marrakesh 5 claps.
Sai Samurai Warriors – Although I am not partial to darker costume colours I really like this particular section. I like the feather and colour combination of the frontline as well as the shape of the headpiece and backpack. The frontline body wear is nicely decorated though I am curious to see how this monokini works on a regular masquerader, does it come with double sided tape?
The backline is pretty cute, I like the shoulder pieces, headpiece and chain belt. The male also has a cool shoulder/arm piece . 4 claps for Sai
Pompeii House of Gladiators– Two things sold this section for me, it’s red my colour of the season and the men looked pretty awesome!
I do think the frontline body wear should be switched with that of the Individual, I much prefer that design as the frontline while pretty looks like we have seen that style of bra too many times this season. I love all the red feathers paired with gold and especially the shape of the frontline headpiece. Glad to see so many plumes in YUMA, less emphasis on coque and pheasants.
Backline is again standard bra and belt, the headpiece shape is lovely and I like that it looks substantial in size. The only critique I have is that the underwear is red matched with a gold bra, they should both be gold in my opinion, minor point.
The men all looked great decked out in their gladiator costume, excellent choice of models and presentation. 4 claps for Pompeii
Medjai Majestic Royal– Another costume that I am rating based on impact of colours as I always think yellow is one of those that look great in sunlight. I have seen this combination from this designer before and it was one of my favorites on the road that year.
As far as frontline goes I like the shape of the headpiece, the feathers fall and flow nicely plus it looks manageable. The foot pieces are a great addition to balance out the costume. What I would have liked to see was more embellishment on the frontline monokini, I think paying what we pay for frontline it does not hurt to give a fully decorated bottom piece and bra, again the plain spandex bottom piece from the back looks incomplete.
This backline is pretty standard, especially with the tiara option, and once again a fully decorated bra is all I ask for on these costumes when they are this simple in design. Male is also very basic in comparison to the others. A solid section in terms of what is on offer . 3 claps.
Eros Love & Desire – Plain blue monokini, statement necklace and big feathery necklace I see YUMA is channeling Luxor from their Press Play presentation with this costume.
I wish the frontline monokini had more embellishment I do think it is too plain, but I like the colour combination. The backline is actually the star of this section, it is well decorated and looks complete. The male also has a lot going on with that chest brace and headpiece. 3 claps for Eros.
Chakri Kingdom of Thailand– Let me start with what I like, the headpiece on the frontline looks cute,I sort of get the Thailand reference there even though just barely. The headpiece is a bit on the smaller side for frontline as there is no backpack or additional pieces but if you are the type of masquerader that wants a no frills frontline all about the body wear this is for you. Speaking of body wear while I do like the shape of the monokini it does remind me of Grace from TRIBE’s Wings of Desire with the same styling and lace detail.
The backline also invokes memories of Fantasy’s Rio with those hip feather pieces, especially as both costumes are blue, I had to do a double take when I first saw it. I do like the male for this section. 3 claps
Vuitton French Dynasty – It took me a while to try and objectively assess this costume. The shade of purple came off as too dark on the night of the launch and I cannot seem to look past the white underwear on the frontline it is quite jarring. The professional photo is much better, I am guessing the designer wanted to add an element of interest to an otherwise standard frontline costume with the style of the underwear but the addition of a belt looks very arbitrary.
The backline again is pretty standard, I actually like the size of the larger headpiece . The male however, what was that baseball cap and crown? 2.5 claps for Vuitton.
Xicio Empress Xiao – I would have rated this costume higher because I do like colours used, that shade of blue is great. And while I like the detail on the bra with the covered straps in gold this frontline looks like a backline with large headpiece. Is there more to the costume that was not shown? There must be a missing backpack or collar or tail or something!
The backline I do not care for the beige fabric falling from the belt, at all. I also do not like the shape of the small headpiece with just a tuft of feathers to the top, switch it with the frontline for what I consider a proper backline headpiece. And I am still trying to understand what was that massive bib on the male costume. 2.5 claps
Jaipur Kingdom of India – When I imagine a costume depicting India I see bright, rich, festive colours so imagine my surprise to see Jaipur portrayed as black. Once I got over the initial disappointment of not seeing a hot pink costume there are some saving graces for Jaipur.
I like the frontline belt, pretty interesting body chain work going on there. I also like the frontline headpiece and all the costume accessories. Again I do not understand why frontline looks like backline with large headpiece and why backline was so basic, what was that tiny tiny headpiece? Too little costume coming from YUMA.
The male version of dhoti pants I think are cool, let’s see how many men actually choose that option, and I like the male turban and accessories. 2.5 claps for Jaipur
My final thoughts on YUMA, very good presentation for Carnival 2015 and follow up to Cirque. While some sections got the theme of the band and section spot on others were a bit more generic in their offering therefore I have standout stars while others just got a passing grade in the review, thankfully no one gets a resting bitch face!
There is not one bad section in YUMA, as a masquerader you have many many choices to suit different tastes. The details at the mas camp are even more impressive, I am looking forward to YUMA’s Reign of the road for 2015.