My old friends will know that I have a long-standing love of surrealism. This love and interest spreads to most artists, not just the painters that everyone knows of (though I do enjoy the works of Dali, don’t get me wrong!): Schiaparelli in fashion; Luis Buñel in film; Jean Cocteau in every field you can imagine (including costume); and my longterm idol hatter Stephen Jones is also commonly referred to as a surrealist.
Anyway, I decided to have a surrealist costume party to celebrate my final hand-in that-wasn’t (how surreal is that?!). Partly inspired by the Buñel film Un Chien Andalou (that also inspired a lot of work in my final Art A-Level, thinking of it) and also somewhat inspired by the Hitchcock film Spellbound, I decided to dress as a piano.
I’d had the ideas for the costume and the party in my head for several months, but ended up making up the costume in one night. Originally the idea incorporated my “Schiap” hand headpiece, but I couldn’t get hold of it in time, so improvised instead with music spiralling out of my hair. What with the corset and the opera gloves and the pencil skirt, I felt a bit dominatrix-like…not really what I was going for, but luckily I don’t think that that is the overall impression given by the costume!
It was an incredibly fun night of mayhem and much laughter. True to form, we consumed alcohol and played surrealist games including (though not limited to) Exquisite Corpse, and Pin The Hypodermic Syringe On Uma Therman’s Heart (i.e. pin the tail on the donkey, but with the Pulp Fiction movie poster). We also did interpretive dance to music according to their costume, e.g. a piano dance to Fats Wallers’ A Handful of Keys, at which I danced the charleston so hard that I ended up splitting my skirt in two! For future reference, pencil skirts are meant for posing in, not dancing!
Special mention does have to go my friend Monica for the best thought out costume…She was the René Magritte painting “Empire of Light”. She will probably kill me for putting her on my blog.
Looking forward to the next costume party, whenever it may be! It’s lovely to set yourself a simple brief from time to time!