Posts Tagged ‘fancy dress’

Not that I wore this out dancing. Alas.
But here are my new glitter-icious shoes in a summery ensemble.

When I sat down to do this post, I realized that every single item of clothing EXCEPT the shoes came from H&M. Sad, I know. In my defence, the tunic is several years old. The necklace is a recent purchase and I got it because it reminds me of this amazing string of crystal beads I used to borrow from my mum in high school. (Where did it go, Mum? I miss it!) The clutch…. well, Gentle Reader, I have no excuse for the clutch. Other than, “Isn’t it shiny?!”

Tunic, Necklace, Clutch: H&M
Shoes: 9 West, via DSW

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Every year at school, a colleague and I and the Book Club organize an event based on Canada Reads. A panel of students present novels, one per student, which they love and think the whole school would like to read. Then, over the course of a week, kids campaign for their books or in support of a book from the panel and they vote online for their favourite. This year, our first-ever middle schoolers presented as our first-ever duo and their novel won.

Today, about a month after the vote (to give people time to read the winning novel), we had our lunchtime discussion of the novel. Complete with theme lunch– yum!

Can you guess what the winning novel was?
I dressed in tribute (hint, hint) to one of the characters:

“Hat” (it’s really a giant corsage) & Belt: Le Chateau
Top: Zara
Skirt: Comrags
Tights: Gift from LHR
Shoes: Dollhouse
Ring: I can’t remember!

 I did my make-up in my best Effie-ish style.

My beautiful tights from LHR did not fare at all well when I washed them a year or so ago– the gorgeous feather design all but disappeared. Effie would never wear something as understated as faded tights, so before work today, I whipped out the glitter glue and tarted up the design a bit by emphasizing the spine of each feather. I like it!

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For Hallowe’en this year, BMad suggested that he and reprise I the costume M and I wore  many years ago to the infamous (and yet-to-be-topped) “I See Dead People” party hosted by J and LHR when they lived here in T.O.

Is it a totally appropriate costume for our workplace? Maybe not…. On the other hand, sometimes people are drug addict/punk rock stars who do murder their drug addict girlfriends and then do o.d. in jail and who would we be if we were not raising these important issues for discussion with the young minds of today?
(Also, no one except [some of] the adults in the building knew who we were supposed to be*.)

I look like an idiot in these, as I was trying to look sulky and bratty, but had a bad case of the giggles, brought on by BMad’s gleeful joy at wearing eyeliner…

Just so you can see that our shoes are in character, too.

*My favourite overheard comment of the day was from a conversation between two grade 9 girls:
“Oh! Did you see? It’s so cute! Mr. P and Ms. O came dressed as grunge rockers!”
Jesus wept, people. Jesus wept.

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YYZ: Winter Wonderland

Dreaming up holiday lesson plans for my Media classes this morning, I have run across this.
The latter part of the video makes me ache to live in NYC or Paris or London— places where beauty in the built environment and craftsmanship of all kinds are valued and are a part of one’s daily experience.  You don’t have to look hard to find beauty in these places.
In these places it is okay de rigueur to have fancy, unapologetically over-the-top Christmas displays.
(In sharp contrast, take a look at the Christmas –oops! Sorry– I mean Holiday— “decorations” on Yonge Street. It is, frankly, embarassing and more than a little depressing. Believe me, in person it’s like being on the set of Tron. Not in a good way.)

Anyway, on a happier note, the Christmas windows at Bergdorf’s are called A Compendium of Curiosities this year and contain nods to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the mind-bending visuals of M.C. Escher, among others. Not to mention some fabulous gowns. The gowns!

Oh, to be in New York at Christmastime!

This one is amazing-- it's all made from PAPER!

For me, this one is all about the cape. Okay-- and the dress.

No fashion here, but I couldn't resist.

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Which reminds me, here is a film that I first saw (because I am so uncool that it took me FOREVER to see it and also I must depend 100% on LHR and J for any whiff of coolness in my life. Do not even ask me about where the funky decor elements in our house come from: they belong to J and LHR….
We are cool-stuff-sitting while they live abroad) at Rodwellian Theatre a few years back.

I digress.
As usual.

Back to fashion and the reason for this post about a stylish film and its influence on/affirmation of my style sense:

The other day as I was posting and having a giggle, I was reminded of how much I LOVE this movie.

Not least because it is like something someone who has been poking around my brain would dream up:

Setting? Pre-1989 Cold War DDR, and U S of A.

Music? 80s-meets-60s-meets-off-Broadway-musical-meets-punk-with-more-than-a-soupçon-of-Freddy-Mercury/David-Bowie-thrown-in-for-good-measure.

Clothes? Hell, YES!  Wigs? Them, too! HUGE make-up? You know it!

Story? Transgendered East German victim of a tragic surgial accident escapes life behind the Iron Curtain to pursue singing career in the decadent West. And ends up working as a night check-out girl in a grocery store. And a nanny/babysitter. And sings about it. Then becomes huge pop star. Hellooooooo!

Subtlety? None whatsoever!

I love the music (though, strangely, not the main song, which I just think is hokey, with no quirky/campy qualities to redeem it….)–

–I adore the story, but mostly what I love are the costumes!

Tania and BMad and J and LHR all know that my DREAM Hallowe’en costume is to get me a Hed-wig (get it– wig?!)

and dress as Hedwig one year. Sadly, no one would have the faintest idea who I was supposed to be, unless I went out in costume on Church Street.  There are several outfits which are contenders for this dream costume, but I think the top of the list would have to be the high tops, fishnets and sequined mini from the show at Bilgewatersa seafood restaurant! Howl!

For those of you who do not know me (does anyone who does not know me read this blog??!), this post may well explain some of my kookier mutton-dressed-as-lamb outfits. Sartorially speaking, having Hedwig and the Angry Inch as one’s style inspiration is not a great idea if one is not a drag queen, but I can’t help myself.
(I’ll save Priscilla, Queen of the Desert for another day…)
After all, as my hilarious and insightful hair stylist always tells me,
“You are a gay man trapped in the body of a straight woman!”

I think that is an enormous compliment.

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On Friday M forwarded me an email invitation to a Hallowe’en party on Saturday night.
That’s right, kids– the DAY BEFORE. An invitation to a THEME party!
I suspect he delayed  as long as he could so that he would be spared elaborate costume-planning on my part:  M hates costumes, dressing up, Hallowe’en, etc. Once I actually used packing tape to attach one of those cardboard skeleton cut-outs to him; as we were running out the door, I was wrapping him, mummy-style, so that he had the arms, legs and torso of the cut-out taped to his own, over his jeans and t-shirt.  It boggles the mind that the two of us ended up together, as I love to dress up in every sense of the phrase and M is happy in the same Old Navy t-shirts and jeans he’s had for years. 🙂
Which is a darn shame, as he is athletic and looks GREAT in clothes.

I digress.

So, there I was, not too keen on the thought of having to come up with VEGAS-themed costumes in under 24 hours, particularly since one of those costumes was going to have to be something that M would deign to don
= nothing complicated, no props, etc.

I was whinging about it to LHR on the phone and she talked me into going, even if all I did was throw on a feather boa.  That approach is not my style, however; Daph can attest that a stint in historic interpretation makes a person a stickler for details and accuracy, so if I am going to go in for a theme, I need to go all the way.

Surprisingly, it was M who came up with the idea, as he listened to me moan about not being too keen to bare it all as a showgirl (ew– wobbly bits!).
He suddenly muttered something about him going as Sammy Davis Jr or my own Vegas hero, Dean Martin!
The plan was born and, tossing my responsibilities aside for the day, I made it my mission to concoct
Vegas Rat Pack-era
costumes for us.

Picture 1

In a stroke of extreme good fortune and wildly-ego-boosting serendipity,
The Dress fit me yesterday!
I also have this, which, worn by M, made the perfect Vegas crooner get-up.
I accessorized  my own look with elaborate late-50s, early-60s makeup, including false eyelashes and red lipstick, a beehive hair-do and a martini glass. M refused to carry the flask I gave him (we don’t own rocks glasses), so I had to be content with having gotten him dressed at all. Finally, I have my divine silk-taffeta opera coat, circa late 50s, which looked and felt great — swishy and swingy!–over The Dress and caused a bit of a stir at the party.

So, here we are, in some very bad photos (particularly the ones at the end of the night, in which my poor beehive has suffered some wind damage and the shine on my nose has bested my face powder!):
Rat Pack-era Vegas, baby!

Perhaps Dino and date?


When my mum sees this, she will faint: I look like her CLONE!

On me:
Shoes: 9 West
The Dress: Gift
Silk-Taffeta Opera Coat: Courage My Love ($20!!!!!!)
Earrings: mine, from the 80s– I guess these days, that makes them “vintage!”
Cocktail Ring: Some little store on College

On M:
Trousers and T-shirt: his own
Smoking Jacket: Cabaret


The spots are on the antique mirror, not on me! Hairdo a bit the worse for wear...



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Okay, so she’s not 16, but I could only think of this song title, so we’re stuck with it.
Really, though, with a campy vintage performance like the one below, who can complain?
I don’t even mind that the sound and Neil’s lips aren’t in synch…

Today, of course, we had to wear our Hallowe’en costumes to school.  If handing back papers is the number one drawback of my job, today is the number one perk, as far as I’m concerned. Hallowe’en is one of the biggest events of the year where I work: of the nearly 900 students and 80 or so staff at the school, a mere handful do not dress up.
It is COOL to dress up.
Even those who are too-cool-for-school dress up.
EVERYONE dresses up.
Most of us admit to starting to think about our costumes for the next year as soon as school is over each Hallowe’en day.

LHR would love it; like me, Hallowe’en is her favourite holiday. Is anyone surprised that two grown women who post daily photos about their outfits love a holiday that involves dressing up?!

My brilliant and clever hairstylist, M, gave me the idea for this year’s costume.

Everyone knew who I was as soon as they saw me. Well, okay, all the students, women staff members and gay men on staff knew who I was– straight men thought I was a devil… I am sure the copy of Vogue and my oversized sunnies had them mystified…

I faked a copy of "The Book" with last year's September issue. Sadly, I did not get my copy this year-- sob!

I faked a copy of "The Book" with last year's September issue. Sadly, I did not get my copy this year-- sob!

The grads even nominated me to get in the costume competition during morning assembly. I didn’t win, but you know, it’s true what they say: It’s an honour just to be nominated!

Taken before my hair got exposed to downpour.

Shot taken before my 'do was exposed to downpour...


I even had a tail.


Anna sans devilish accoutrements. 'Do post-downpour exposure.

Anna never has a hair out of place, so I’m glad I got soaked AFTER school!

Dress: Club Monaco
Belt: H&M
Earrings: Gift from LHR
Fishnet Stay-ups: Secret
Shoes: Pour la Victoire
(Alas, no Prada…)

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