It all started with a ‘Pop Icons’ 40th birthday party. I was pretty much dreading it, ‘why can’t I just wear a bloody dress?!’. But then the decision was made – Britney Spears a-la ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’. Y’know, school uniform, knotted shirt, over-the-knee socks. And suddenly the intricacy of the outfit became uber important; I watched the video countless times to make sure the outfit colour was right, the shoes were as they should be, the wig was suitably plaited. The fact that nobody cared was of no relevance. I HAD to know the costume was precise. I was on eBay searching for weeks (not real shops, mind – I’ve told you I don’t do shops). I spent a comparative fortune. And not to blow one’s own trumpet, but it went down a storm.
Then came my husband’s 40th later that summer. And the cosplay obsession was in full swing by then, so we chose a ‘Sci-Fi’ theme. Right away I knew who I was going to be; Starbuck from Battlestar Gallactica (not the 1970’s male character, the cool female Kara Thrace from the re-made series). Even through I was entirely certain the vast majority of our guests wouldn’t have a scooby-doo who I was supposed to be, it had to be Starbuck and she had to be perfect – right down to the last little tattoo. Don’t worry, it’s not a weird fetish – I’m too prudish for that. I guess it’s just attention to detail, it’s knowing that if you’re going to do something, you may as well do it right.
I suppose the interest in costume pre-dates all this. I adore period drama (particularly Georgian) and I’m particularly obsessed with Jane Austen (me and the rest of the female population of the world). There’s just something about fiction written about people from a different time, wearing such elaborate clothing – when life seemed so much simpler. Except it wouldn’t have been, because knowing me I’d have been born poor and have been some ladies maid or other domestic drudge and there’s simply nothing awesome about that!
Anyway, the craze seems to have died off a little and the ‘themed’ parties aren’t as prevalent as they were. And it’s probably for the best, it’s an expensive habit and I don’t need another one…