Sunday, September 02, 2007

ISLAND PEOPLE MAS : Animal Instinct



PRETTY MAS OR PRETTY UGLY MAS?

Animal Instinct is the theme of the big band Island People for Carnival 2008.

Every creature on Gods green and blue Earth from the Alcedo atthis (King Fisher Bird) to the Zebra ( Equus zebra) is depicted in this band, and I must confess from looking at the various launch pictures on the net, contact lens or no this band has some of the MOST HIDEOUS costumes ever assembled for a Carnival.

These are hot sections




Now don’t get me wrong the whole band is not an eyesore, Kingfisher (frontline) and Portuguese Man-O-War, (frontline and section) in my opinion are hot bread, good to go. It’s the rest of the band that causes a migraine, Red tiger is one, while some what original, the whole design is a turn off, an exercise in minimalist design I mean the female design lacks……everything, on the road the red tigers will be lost in a jungle of hues since ther is obviously more flesh than mas on display, the male costume is better with a design that seems heavily influenced by south American native Indians but still cant save the red tiger from extinction.

good as DEAD!

Sticking with the big cats, is the cheetah section, I don’t know what these designers think some times the female design is so standard it hurts cat costumes of the ‘cat woman,’ variety come a dime a dozen, the head piece is standard, no, less than that they forgot the plumes, (the frontline includes these of coarse) the rest, representing an animal so elegant and exciting is boring, real boring.

Yaawwn boring....

The male costume however is better, the stylized collar is not too much or too little, I might have braded it with gold, but this costume is good, not great, but good for the road, I like this one.



Sometimes when designing a costume the mas man has to decide if he is going to depict the animal, or the essence of the animal, teeth, claws, tail, and colour, with surroundings or a mixture of both. The lion section is one of these sections that I like, but at the same time I don’t like On the female costumes the head piece on both section leaders and standard are the bomb, this has the lion, or lioness essence to it, and while the costume itself is still minimalist the headpiece blends with it wonderfully.


As for the male half of the section there is something lazy about this design, I hate the headpiece with the crossed eye lion and that endless mane everywhere there must be another way to depict the king of the jungle .




Black widow


The Black widow section, this section has about 5 versions to it, that range from a 5 to a 10 on the ugly meter, it's as if the designer/s just cant make their minds up on what this mas should look like. The web motif on the black is most effective but there is something of overkill about it, I might mix the big feathered headpiece with the webbed cape and replace the webbed 2 piece for the other black and silver that the feathered headpiece comes with, then burn the other options since they are all a waste of time and those spider legs…..jeeeez.
The male costume, is too camp.

ahhh! i cant bear these bears.


There are 2 bear sections that need to burn, these sections are just lack all kinds of creativity and originality, like I said before sometimes its better to depict the essence of the creature some of its surroundings for example there are lots of myths and legends that surround both brown and white(polar) bears that the designers could have sourced to make these sections hotter than they are.



I like the silver fox section. The male costume is cool, but the 2 piece costume while pretty needs more, the minimal design might look good close up and personal, but on the road all these small details amount too nothing.





The Zebra section is another unbalanced section the male is strong and original, I like it zebra print in carnival is often associated with African mas but these designers have depicted the essence of the animal yet successfully removed that traditional tribal theme associated with that zebra pattern. The female half of the section is a bore and ugly there is a lot of zebra influenced art out there and research can find concepts in mas that has been used before.




The crocodile section, this is another section that is both weak and strong, the crock is an ugly creature, a croc mas is a challenge I think, its this kind of mas as a designer I would like attempt. The male costume is cool the head piece could be better, but it can pass, the top is original and beautiful the croc texture can be seen , I think it captures the animals essence in a pretty mas way, just right.

Looking at the female costume I can’t say what it is made of, however this costume also captures the theme, it is indeed ugly yet pretty if you know what I mean, however there is something missing, once again I feel the minimalist approach to these I.P. designs seem to drop this and other costumes short of being something special.



When I first saw the Dragon lizard female costume I thought this is horrible the contact lens littered launch in my opinion did the mas no favours . this yellow black and green section is the flagship section of ugly pretty mas this year now the lizard they are depicting is an ugly yet fascinating creature, but this costume is a turn off for me, the male version is ok but needs something more I think.



All in all this is an ugly band, the minimalist approach while appealing to the naked mas lovers might fit the bill, however some of the costumes are in fact uglier than the actual creatures they depict, others like, Egret, the male lion, and the bears are just boring, I.P. seem to take on fantastic themes but some how fall short with depictions that just don’t equal the commercial hype behind them.



All said and done, i give this band 2 stars and 1 grenade launcher cause i want to open hunting season on some of these sections.
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