November 1, 2007

Everyday Attire


I don't normally attempt emergency costumes; if I haven't been planning it since July, I'm just not into it. I needed to make an exception, however, because I was going to see the B-52's play at the Roseland Ballroom, and you do NOT go see the B-52's on Halloween without a costume. It just seems sort of heretical to even consider it. So I made this costume out of neckties, which I happened to have a stash of thanks to Lucy; the mask is made of the wide and narrow ends of ties, as well as my late grandmother's jewelry. I wore four neckties at my throat, one as a belt, and then wrapped up in the scarf I made last year out of seven more. So my face, neck and chest were literally writhing with ties, while the rest of me was covered in regular dress clothes (which function no less as a costume in my daily use of them).

Putting together costumes like this isn't an attempt to be scary, or even to show off (though these are often interesting side-benefits of wearing them). In my perfect world, this is how people dress every day. Rather than buy garments that come in a shallow spectrum of types, with which we contort ourselves into seeing as an endlessly wide variety, as we do now, we would truly gather and assemble our accoutrements from the full spectrum of human ingenuity, and present distinctive faces to the world. You could imitate, invent, or hide just as freely as you do now, but more effectively and more specifically. When I leave the house wearing clothes or costumes that I've made, I feel relief. Last night I went out in ties, which is to say, I went out in no costume at all.

A lot of my costumes are just designed around themes or certain wearable elements, so I'm not "being" anyone else. I get irritated when people come up to me and say, "So, what are you?" Yeah, I know, people are just being friendly, or are really trying to figure out the reference they think they're missing, and I AM in a freaky looking get-up, after all. Even so, I manage to resist the impulse to walk up to many unfamiliar people throughout the year and ask, "What are you??" If I don't know what someone's deal is, I generally hang back and observe them and let my imagination take over. This year it only happened once, at the concert (though I saw and overheard many other people trying to figure it out). This woman ran up to me smiling and gushing alcohol vapors. OH I LOVE IT. SO WHAT ARE YOU, ANYWAY? Smiling invisibly under my mask, I told a half-truth: that this is what I wear every day.

So, anyone have ideas yet for next year?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As someone who finds business attire really horrifying, this is just about the scariest costume I've ever seen! To think I actually wore a necktie in the '80s... It was red satin, and it had a picture of Betty Boop on it...