|Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. Photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge (died 1904), first published in 1887 at Philadelphia (Animal Locomotion). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The K2K launch published as an event at Queens hall on 9:08:12, and it was indeed my first band launch in Trinidad in over a decade I must admit while I was happy it was a K2K launch the idea of dressing elegantly or ‘dressing up’ for a launch did bother me a bit, but in the theme of things this was not just a band launch / fashion show it was an ‘event’ so I resisted the rebel in me and went with the flow.
At Queens Hall, I felt this was indeed the theme playing out in real life, or life imitating art imitating life...but just not mine. Sitting watching masqueraders and potential masqueraders walk in mixed with public figures I noticed a complete absence of music of any sought; I constantly had to remind myself this is not a band launch...it’s an event.
The event started (fashionably?) late as they do and while I walked past the seats reserved for the special people and found a seat I was happy with I could not help but noticed that the audience was made up of about every possible age group, leaning towards the mature, (maybe $ 450.dollar price of the tickets had its part to play with the turnout...) and then the show started.
Billed as a Gala event the show had a dramatic enough start but in my opinion failed to create the drama excitement or general atmosphere a horse race or even a horse race themed show might create.
I somehow looked forward to a show that mixed the best of a fashion show with the best of dramatic band launch with story line plot a protagonist etc, instead the audience was treated to a fashion show...(and if I had to be honestly critical while all of queens hall was used in the production, It seemed no better in execution than some I seen in my school days),while I did enjoy the sound track during the presentation I did take note that there was no soca either... not even the names of the sections were announced as the costumes came on stage, so the audience had to guess through observation who was horse rider and spectator...depending on who held a crop or wore or posed with a horse head or helmet.
By now we all know the theme of the band and its fractions made up of horse, rider/jockey, and spectator. But this well publicised show did not do much if anything for the theme, while I went to the show with an open mind ready to accept something different I feel an opportunity to captivate and fascinate future masqueraders totally, may have been missed by the show’s lack of storyline or basic information in the names of the sections being announced when the costumes were on stage.
From the stylised horse headpieces with golden manes, to riding crops, with gloves and riding boots and goggles all indicate the equestrian theme of the mas, multi layered rhinestone covered dresses, lace covered umbrellas, and top hats reflect the pomp and glamour in the horse races of high society of another period.
This band seems to emulate the bourgeois from launch to costume design; this gave me the impression that this ‘human race ‘ was not a comment on the pressures and misdirected material values of modern society, this was a celebration of these values the race was not the high pressured battle of ambition, goals, and hurdles and but a celebration of high society where even the jockey’s could be spectators, or kings they seemed so ...established, and the horses (our ambitions) have all been achieved...
With this presentation K2K’s mas dances even more than the waters, on the border between high fashion and high mas, leaving some potential masqueraders questioning the road worthiness of the costumes in terms of comfort and practicality, masqueraders who played with k2k last carnival however, (the ones I spoke too) seemed more positive about the mas and the sections they were interested in or definitely going to play in. Once again the costumes display in construction, and tailoring craftsmanship way above that of the regular mas band, a quality that will no doubt see K2K claiming more awards on the road come 2013.
The band also echo’s silhouettes from last year’s mas in both the male and female designs, half jackets, caged apparel, skirting for the men , this may be a trademark look of the Norman twins, or a reoccurring theme that might join the trilogy together, but when the fashion world is your pool of inspiration such reoccurring styles can be bypassed.
All said and done, in their launch, K2K have provided another visual spectacular in the ‘Human Race’, the Norman twins in their second outing have in my opinion strengthened their grip on the leaders of the new school title, using more vision imagination and originality than any of their contemporaries, they have succeeded in getting other designers and band leaders scampering around their search engines looking for themes and designs in an attempt to add some depth to their presentations and legitimise their presence by contemplating competing for a title.
A title that is already within the grip of the twins once all goes as planned for them.