Personally, I've never played Mas before. I've always been deprived of the experience, because I'm always in NYC during that time of year. Not this year folks! I've been taking a peek at some of the costumes for 2011 and here are my picks.. so far..
Tribe 2011: The Way of the Warrior
Bliss 2011: The Warrior Within
Overall: "Same vibe, different tribe," but honestly, the Tribe costumes are better looking than the Bliss costumes. I was torn between several for Tribe, but not in Bliss. This was the only one that stood out to me and I'm not even completely sure it's Bliss. It wasn't in either Mas Booklet, but it bore more resemblance to the Titan's costume in Bliss's booklet, so that's that!
Website: Confusing! I spent 1/2 hour looking for Bliss costumes, until after some skillful Googling I discovered they have their own website... that has NO content yet *sigh*
Spice 2011: The Signature Collection
Overall: Haute Couture was pretty nice too, but I like color and coverage, so I opted for this one instead. Tribe has been established since 2008, so really, a signature collection, already? They've only had 2 prior presentations, so the 3rd is supposed to be a compilation of the 1st two? Did they run out of creativity juice already?
Website: Easy to navigate click-through booklet layout. Best layout so far.
Yuma 2011: Zodeak
Overall: I don't believe they've had their Band Launch yet, but I wasn't too impressed with the few costumes that i was. The Oracle was another o.k. costume, but only because it's purple and y'all know I love my purple.
Website: What website? It's still under construction.
Harts 2011: Planet Rock
Overall: Harts costumes were pretty typical. Most of them just looked like bathing suits to me, then again, don't most Carnival costumes these days look like blinged out swim wear?
Website: Easy to navigate, but that spinning costume display thing had me dizzy. I didn't like the loading time and the zoom option is nice, but cumbersome.
Skullduggery 2011: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Overall: With costumes like Baa-John, Bacchanal Woman, Horn Chile and Soucouyant, Skullduggery won my heart over simply because their costumes remind me of actual Trinidadian Mas costumes from back in the day. It's not about the glitz and glam and the lack of fabric that it is now. I like their idea, I just wish their execution was better. Some of the costumes look too cartoony.. like Halloween meet's Japanese Anime.
Website: Gives you the option to see the illustration and the actual costume, so you get to see the idea manifested into reality. Photo reel type of costume display, easy to see all the costumes at once and click the one that draws your attention.
So those are my picks for the Carnival season... so far. I should warn you that these are based solely on what I would personally wear to play Mas and not on just what is aesthetically pleasing. As you can tell, mama likes to cover up all her goodies and woman parts and leave certain things to the imagination. I can't walk around in a studded bikini with feathers and gems, I wouldn't be comfortable. I don't even go to the beach in a two piece!
All in all, Tribe and Spice (despite what I said earlier) were the most impressive to me and Skullduggery gets an honorable mention for keeping it old school!
What are your picks? Click the links and let me know!
Check out this page while your at it: Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Costume Photos
Yuma's Website is AWESOME!! Ease of navigation and detailed 360 views of the costumes, I couldn't ask for anything more! Well done, I love it!