Origami Girl

Sunday, 6 October 2013

In which there is a little ode to Halloween

Uma Thurman as Medusa in The Lightening Thief. That's a costume to try.
I really love dressing up. I've always loved it. I've always chosen to host fancy dress parties at any excuse. I dressed up as a Native American at a 'Cowboy and Indian party' I had when I was eight (we were very friendly cowboys and Indians who liked climbing trees and playing pass the parcel together). And ten years later, my eighteenth was a huge costume party, and my twenty second was themed on 'things you'd find in a forest' (red riding hood, fairies, Big Bad wolf and Princess Mononoke were among the costumes), I have been to comic conventions in cosplay, but most of all I am always excited by Halloween. It's the time of year when d it is acceptable to get all dressed up, to make an effort, and to revel in it.
I thought I'd share a few Facebook snaps of me in costume from some past times at uni and such. Neither the pictures nor the costumes are all great quality, more snaps in the hallway on the way to the party! What you can see is my progression from first year university student to now: graduated three years ago and still loving to dress up.

And now? This Halloween? What's next?

A little while ago I funded a Kickstarter called Take Back Halloween. It was a response to the over-sexualisation they saw in a lot of Halloween costumes, meaning Halloween costumes for girls. There's a beautiful cartoon that illustrates this concept:

 Jillian Tamaki has an awesome webcomic at mutantmagic.com.

Personally, I quite like looking sexy and am not adverse to wanting to wear things that make me look good. What I also like though, is imagination in costume concept. The idea of the 'sexy broken doll' or the 'sexy Alice in Wonderland' is part of an idea that women always have to be conforming to a patriarchal beauty standard. It's also really boring. I want to do more like my Death outfit, more fully realised characters. Take Back Halloween offers surprising ideas for new, interesting character costumes for women. It also gives detailed advice on how to make them and where to buy the material's. It is also incredibly informative and fascinating. There are so many names on there that mean nothing to me, so many awesome women of history and legend that I've never learnt about, reminding me of just how much more there is to know. They fill in that gap by providing alongside the costume ideas, a mini-biography of that woman. So they are worth checking out, even if it is just to learn a little more about women who have been pirates and philosophers and genius nuns. The site isn't perfect and I find it lacks some of the scarier characters that might be fun to spook people with on Halloween, but it's definitely fun for ideas.

In the mean time these are my current favourites:

The Morrigan

Anne Bonny/Mary Read


So, do you love costumes? Do you dress up at Halloween? And if so, what are you doing this year?


  1. Great post, I am not a fancy dress person, I tend to just wear 'costumey' clothes on a daily basis haha, thanks for visiting my blog x


  2. I LOVE Halloween! I love dressing up, going to parties, and just being able to to let go! I agree that women's costumes have become overly sexual, but it doesn't really matter to me! -Jessica L

  3. So true - all those 'sexy' costumes are just boring after a while..
    I love yours though!


  4. I'm a fellow dresser-upper, loving scouring the contents of the dressing up box to see what I can come up with. Can't bear supermarket-made costumes, for the reason you allude to: lack of imagination.
    Take Back Halloween is a brilliant initiative that I'm going to spend more time perusing.