'A ball gown is your dream, and it must make you a dream... I think it is just as necessary in a woman's wardrobe as a suit. And it is wonderful for morale...' Christian Dior

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Nightmare on Cardozo Road

Name: Ghostbuster
Costume: A child's jumpsuit from a fancy dress shop in Camden.
Effort: 9/10. Liz queued for half an hour outside the most popular shop in London on Halloween. Then ripped the crotch open with a pair of scissors and sewed it back up because the legs were too short. And still found time to cook dinner for us all. Gold star.
Fear Factor: 8/10. Back combed hair and an inflatable backpack that kicked a lot of ass.

Name: Morticia Addams
Costume: Long black dress and structured black jacket. Face paled with powder. Morticia wig.
Effort: 7/10. Helen was going for long flowing goth locks. The wig was dishevelled so it went under the iron. Being presumably made of acrylic, it melted on the iron bringing back painful memories of a home economics class with a particularly witch-like teacher in secondary school, which seems appropriate for Halloween in hindsight but distressing all the same. Helen wasn't too chuffed with the missing clumps of her new hair either.
Fear Factor: 7/10. The wig is bloody scary.

Name: Wayne's World
Costume: Ripped jeans circa 1992, band t-shirts, checked shirts and attention to detail from the drum sticks (do they look like wooden spoons?) to the fetching white blonde wig
Effort: 8/10. Julie Tipp-Exed Wayne's World onto the black cap with such precision it looked better than the original. Sort of. And marvelled at how far Tipp-Ex has advanced since, well, 1992.
Fear Factor: 6/10. Not nearly as scary as they were worried they would look. Which is like a couple of teenage boys. I thought they looked cute.

Name: Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby
Costume: White M&S slip, vintage lace dressing gown, plastic dagger
Effort: 4/10. I already had the hair so this was an easy one. What I didn't have was the white nightie. Despite my sister's efforts to post one to me (it didn't arrive on time) I ended up running around M&S after work on Friday in a mad panic with a facial expression a bit like the one above.
Fear Factor: 4/10. The facial expression I had down to a tea. The dagger caused some damage. It's just no one knew who I was meant to be...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Dead Man's Shoes

If this season really is the one that boyfriends won't get - the time that sex forgot - and I think from the number of snowflake/Mark Darcy reindeer jumpers I saw seemingly uniting for a convention at a Chalk Farm cafe last weekend, it must be... then I am unusually on trend. I'll draw the line at chewbaccas (sorry, Chanel) but I have invested in some new winter footwear.

Nothing unusual about a pair of brogues, or so I thought, until I paid for them. I was in Paper Dress Vintage in Curtain Road, Shoreditch when I innocently asked if they were mens. I'm a size seven so stumbling across vintage shoes, especially women's flats is annoyingly rare. So it turns out they are, which is fine (it merely makes me a bit paranoid that they look kinda clumpy, which is silly but that's just me). Only in order to reassure me, Hannah the owner starts telling me about the other five pairs of brogues she had in that were also snapped up by girls. That she acquired from a lady whose husband had died.

Was he wearing these when he snuffed it? Cue more paranoia. And bad jokes from my friends that my new shoes are possessed and will start 'walking' me to places I'd not normally be seen dead in (scuse the pun), like Tiger Tiger in Piccadilly Circus.

It dawned on me that in all the years I've been wearing vintage, I've never once thought about wearing a dead person's clothes. I'm not sure why, because it's so bloody obvious. Possibly because of my irrational fear of death I've instead focused on the various people who could have worn that item. Seen it as a journey from person to person who loved it in equal measures and passed it on. Well it's a brighter way to look at things in this so very dark and dreary season, she says, listening to Smog.