St.Lucia Carnival 2008: Red Int'l NEW Blue Section

Red International Carnival Band originally had this "Breathtaking" blue section. Then on Sunday, May 11th, Trinidad Carnival Diary wrote an article, "Is this a new trend?" Apparently Red International's "Breathtaking" blue section was the exact same costume from Trinidad Carnival Band, Ronnie & Caro "De Mang" 2008 section. The only difference between the two sections was the head piece.
Red International INITIAL "Breathtaking" section:

Ronnie & Caro "De Mang" 2008 section:


For weeks after the Trinidad Carnival Diary article, Red International scrapped that particular blue costume. The blue section was not available on their site, until now.

I even wrote Saucy, the author of Trinidad Carnival Diary, especially after a subsequent article that she wrote, "Exporting the Greatest Show on Earth..." I felt the need to inform her that in the case of Red International, band leaders had no clue that the costume was a carbon copy of a Trinidad 2008 costume.

A Red International band insider told me that the Trinidad costume sellers gave band leaders the impression that the costumes were new designs. It was so disappointing for Red International Carnival band to discover that their 2008 section was a carbon copy of a section in T&T Carnival 2008, especially since they paid top dollar for those costumes which were not new designs.

I also posed the question to Trinidad Carnival Diary to find out, "What really happens when other countries purchase costumes from Trinidad?" After reading the 2 aforementioned Trinidad Carnival Diary articles, I wanted to clear the air that it is not St.Lucia(n)'s intention to steal Trinidad Carnival costumes or to compete with Trinidad Carnival, "The Greatest Show On Earth."

...And God knows, no one can! I love Trinidad Carnival!

Also in my letter to Trinidad Carnival Diary, I said this, "I will definitely admit that Trinidad Carnival, particularly TRIBE coined the term, "All Inclusive Carnival Band" but when I first played mas in Trinidad, I remember private ice cream carts with liquor following revelers on the road. Well, all my life, all St.Lucian Carnival bands were 'ALL INCLUSIVE". The minute you bought a costume, you got free drinks from a drink truck! More like an open back van! So an all inclusive carnival band is not exclusive to Trinidad. Unlike Trinidad, we do not do the lunch/meals since our carnival starts around midday. Although, with the recent introduction of VIP sections in some bands, lunch and snacks have been introduced for VIP revelers."

In fairness, Trinidad Carnival ALL Inclusive Bands offer much more; the WEE WEE truck, Mobile A/C units, Security, Photographers and the Ultimate Carnival Experience!

To see Red Int'l's NEW Blue Section, continue here:

Red International Breathtaking Section



Thanks Red International for making us look good!


Read Trinidad Carnival Diary's Post about the Sweet 7: 

5 comments

  1. boi boi!!!!!!! Now this is a HOT section now!

    Nyree, I lurve your sources. Not only you're the Lucian Saucy, but you are the STAR for Lucian carnival blooging as well.

    Now I'd pay my money for this. But I stick to my last comment about their prices lol. But this costume is reallly hot. I just wish that Red and all the IT bands can be original instead of importing costumes from Trini. :( And not just Lucia, but for the rest of the Caribbean as well.

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  2. Thanks Nicky. A friend gave me a new nickname, especially since she sees how I work, "Access Castries". I love it! LOL!

    My hope was "Bringing the Truth to Light". Get it? LOL!

    In fairness to Red Int'l, which they revealed at their first band meeting was with the price of everything going up (drinks, etc), the price of their costumes had to go up.

    Almost every other bands' prices have gone up too!

    And yes, that blue section is cuter!

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  3. First off I must really truly commend the work that you're doing with this blog. It's really been insightful and helps me keep in touch with the carnival pulse back home from here in Brooklyn. Being the avid carnival fanatic that I am this blog is a home run for me, or should I say a 6 down to the boundary lol.
    But anyways to the matter at hand. I am a fan of the updated Simply Breathtaking costume and I commend Red International for at least doing something about the situation. This wholesale importation of Trinidad costumes is a trend that will soon have to be seriously addressed around the region. It's one thing to seek talent outside our shores when we have budding designers and other skilled persons that can be tapped to produce an authentic product but it's another thing when the product you bring back and we now have to spend hard earned money on is a watered down replica. Now much fuss was made over this one particular section but as I pointed out in an earlier post Breathtaking is not the only watered down carbon copy to come out of Trinidad in Red's portrayal for this year, the others just aren't as blatant as this one is but Spectacular is Tribes's Isis, Fiery is from DKrewe and Tropical is Evolution's Tantalize in Teal. In Red's defense they are by no means the first or only nor will they be the last band in the region to purchase designs from Trinidad but again I commend them for correcting the matter.
    I almost forgot to touch on the excuse from the Red camp that they didn't know the costume wasn't original, well I think whoever is responsible for this blunder should be appointed to another position in the band because surely if you, myself and other readers of this blog could have noticed right off the bat that there's was something very familiar about this particular costume then the guys over at Red can't expect us to believe that they're so out of touch with carnival. Something like this has to be their business to know. I too tune into Saucy's blog on a daily and I follow the trends and designs from Trinidad yearly so I can recognize an import when I see one and so should at least one person in the Red camp.
    If it's possible do you think you could find out if there are any regulations regarding costume importation in our carnival. Last I remembered a band couldn't be in the running for band of the year if their costumes were imported or something along those lines but not sure.

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  4. Access Castries??? Hmmm....I wonder who gave you that name. Is it the same ones who named their show Access Caribbean??

    I know prices elsewhere have gone up so I'm not surprised if the same shall follow for carnival, fine. But that nonsense Red doing about get this 1 cheap b4 1 June (tmrw, omg!) is ridiculous. As I said they treating the thing like a Black Friday shopping 'discount'-get 50% b4 12 noon. And another reason I eh like it cause I hypothesized that half to most of the masqueraders are from overseas. And most comes in early June. How will they be able to get the 'discounts'? I don't think everyone is fortunate to get sum1 to register for them, or maybe Red have some restriction on that as well. All in all, J4F and other bands were getting my money cause it's 1 price set from the get go and that way, I know I'm not being cheated.

    Proffessor, you and me are alike! I too follow Saucy's site on a daily basis and like you I can be able to tell the differences as well. But I didn't realise that Spectacular was Isis, I shall check this. And Tropical...I noted the similar beading design at the bottom but didn't consider it was cc. (BTW both are sold out!)

    And also, I feel the same way as you when it comes to importing costumes. I think it's a slap on the face telling our own people they aren't creative enuff or don't have potential. I mean can't you find 1 person in SLU that can use a glue gun and beads together? Also @ the other end, it not only accumulates (sp) a huge ego to Trini about their carnival (too late) but other masqueraders feel cheated or even threatened about the ccopying of the costumes as well.
    1)We spend all dat money and dem ppl getting 'our' costume next to nothing?
    2)With all our costumes being exported will we ever see more people coming down to experience 'The Greatest Show on Earth?'

    And as for bands not being able to participate cause the costumes aren't original, I heard the same thing.

    I do think SLU have the potential to have a sexy mas band while being original. Alas, I just pray for the day...*sighs*

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  5. These problems will always arise when bands do not create their own designs as it can be difficult to be 100% certain that these designs have not been used by another band. It appears that there was some dishonesty on the part of the Trinidadian designers who offered these designs as original works. I hope Reds have learnt their lesson and try to create their own designs in the future.
    Reds remember its not only about the parties but its more about the creativity. Thats what will make St. Lucia stand out from the rest.
    See you on the road.

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