Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So, this Halloween costume I'm making. When I really think about it, it's been years in the planning.

See, as a child, I watched Mystery! on PBS with my parents. Poirot was always my favorite. And my favorite Poirot story was "The Affar at the Victory Ball" featuring some of the most exquisite costumes I'd ever seen. The story centered around a group of friends who all dressed as characters of the Commedia dell'Arte, and thus began my fascination with Harlequin. Ironically, I never did study or read up on the Commedia, and to this day I know very little about it. But harlequin patterns and characters loosely based on Harlequin and his friends I find completely enchanting. I buy harlequin patterned scrapbooking papers, anything diamond patterned -- I adore argyle, and I swear it has to be for the diamonds -- I've even bought a graphic short story just because it features Harlequin.

Fast forward quite a bit. In, oh I dunno, January? or so, sometime between last Halloween and this Halloween at any rate, I sketched out a costume idea. I knew exactly what colors it must be, though I couldn't tell you why, and what materials I'd prefer. This costume is the reason I decided not to theme our Halloween party this year. That's how determined I was to make it. I made a special trip with Mom and Pam to the uber-mega-fabric-store-of-doom just to find the right fabrics. I already have the zip ties to bone my corset (trust me on that one). I bought a classic mask at the renaissance festival just to go with this costume, and then serve as a decorative piece until I have occasion to wear it again -- which I most certainly will. I started actually googling the concept sometime about a month or so ago, and found no other examples that are anything like what I'm making. Mine is a very loose interpretation. And what's odd is, I haven't even found anything else in my color scheme. Hmm. Where on Earth did I come up with that?

So I've started working on it, as mentioned previously, and I tend to watch movies while I sew. The other night, I put on the only vaguely ghost-related movie I have that's absolutely not creepy or scary whatsoever. Even tamer than Van Helsing. I watched The Phantom of the Opera. Halfway through the movie (give or take), I realized something. I found my color scheme.

For those of you who've seen the movie, do you remember the Masquerade scene? You should, it's easily the most beautiful scene in the movie, which is saying a lot considering how spectacular the whole thing is (if you disagree, just bear with me, k?). The entire scene, except for the technical staff and two notable guests, is clothed in black and shades of antique gold and white. As the scene opened, I answered my color scheme question. Without realizing it, I had based my costume not only on my lifelong fascination, but also on the most brilliantly costumed scene I can think of.


If only my costume were to turn out that gorgeous.


turtlegirl76 said...

You're such a tease! Here I thought I was gonna scroll down to a pic of the FO! I can't wait to see it. It sounds beautiful!

Trillian42 said...

If ANYONE can make a costume as gorgeous as those, it's you. :)

michelle ward said...

oooh - i'm so looking forward to the 'reveal' of the costume. you've picked a fave of mine - can't wait to see how you interpret it. wishing you nimble fingers and swiftness to be dome well before the party. (we need a dress rehearsal photo!)