So having attended all the band launches, and getting to see every single costume, I thought I'd choose my personal favourites. I narrowed it down to one overall costume, then best bra, or best headpiece. It wasn't hard actually to decide going through my thousands of pictures. I've chosen based on my personal taste, obviously, but not necessarily what I'd wear. Sometimes I considered what stood out on stage, how the models wore it, and what will work well on the road.
Speaking of the stage, I have to give praise to the many models who really "sold" costumes this season. They walked the runway with a purpose - to SHOWCASE the costume, help the potential masqueraders imagine themselves in it. They showed enjoyment and PRIDE in wearing the costume, which was demonstrated by their walk or wine, happy expressions, and stopping to pose - not a quick pass, then faster retreat.
Tribal Carnival's Guardian Angel.
One of the best colour combinations this season, with those full arm and leg pieces, this costume is going to be stunning on the Lakeshore.
I also liked how it moved on stage, as shown here.
Best bra - Angel of Lust
I really like how the feathers and jewels look here. I included the waistband since it's very pretty as well.
I'm normally not wowed by white, but the peach adds to this creating a very attractive costume. This is one of the best suits I've seen this season out of all the bands.
The lighting isn't the best, but zoom in to see the detail in the work done here.
Best bra goes to the "sport" style bikini top from Lust. I like to see something different yet still pretty and this design was it!
This colour combo together just pops, it's so vibrant. It's great how the fringe creates movement, which is ideal for mas. The feathers add to the Arwak feel, and the jewels & beads are for the princess-y side.
Best body suit - Ancient Goddess, which is I know, a no brainer. I mean, those jewels! And who doesn't want a necklace like that?
I imagine those playing in this have been living at the gym and munching on what, lettuce? since they registered to do it justice like Ranae here.
The colour combo is stunning and the hips to leg pieces and arm pieces make it look on point from all angles.
Feminine & feathery for many = fabulous.
Favourite headpiece, Revolution.
I know we've seen mohawks for a few years now, they are very popular for mas. If you've never worn one, you really need to, it's an amazing experience! The guys happens to be in the shot too because I think men will like this one. Not all fellas want feathers.
Winds of Discord a Black Sage design.
Discord is a lack of harmony, and with all these colours and the question mark style back pack, one could see chaos. But I don't see disunity, I'm rather drawn to how everything here works so well together. It certainly made a visual impact on stage, as it's bound to do on the road.
Aurora Borealis - Favourite headpiece. This needs to be acknowledged for the fun and different design that it is. It's this type of artistic creativity that mas needs more of.
Wrath of the Barbarian
The blades, unpretty makeup and barefoot models really emphasized these are warriors ready for battle. I like the leather look details, the side mini, red & bronze belt and headgear. This has a video game vixen vibe.
Avalanche, Ice Warrior is my favourite because it's refreshing to see something other than feathers be used to create a standout headpiece clearly representing the theme. There wasn't a single feather used in this costume, and the end result is definitely an icy warrior.
Good use of gold and silver to compliment black so it's not stark and unappealing. Nothing overdone or excessive, yet not subdued either.
This entire costume came together well, I appreciate the cohesiveness of it, and I like how a skirt was used, as opposed to a waistband.
When considering what makes the best launch, there are several things I prefer. #1 is definitely starting on time, around midnight is great.
Let's talk about proper lighting. While playing around with different stage lighting is a fun effect, it often ruins the photos. And just ditch the smoke machine. If you really want smoke for whatever reason, use it at the beginning of your show, before the costumes need to be seen and photographed. Wait till the smoke clears & then send the models out.
It's all about the models, so models that take their time on stage, know how to pose for photographers, and keep expressions on their face that photograph well are what we need to see. Remember that shots are being taken of you at every angle, so if you screw up your face for example, it's going to come out in pictures. I know some ladies aren't experienced with doing these launches, they don't listen to soca &/or know how to wine, so for them, it's like a runway gig. I'm ok with that - my goal, along with all the other photographers, is to see the costumes being displayed long enough to get a good shot. When ladies walk too quickly, don't pose, and then get off the stage, it's such a waste, IMO.
I can see models for several shows were instructed to walk a certain unified path then turn back, so I don't blame them. The way I look at it, you've (band leaders) spent the money and time making the costume, and hiring the makeup artists, so they should take a good pass displaying themselves on the stage. You want your costumes to be seen in the best possible light, right?
The best launches also provide the names of the sections. You can do this in a few ways, in your visual show, in a brochure, by giving media a list, or just putting them on your website the following day.
Have a website ready after your launch. Everything should be done online now, and people need to be able to reach section leaders with their questions, and certainly for registration. But that's another issue I guess for another post...