What I wore: no capes

It’s been a couple of years since my last cosplay.  After a stint as Tank Girl at Supanova I unintentionally took a hiatus from cosplay.  I didn’t make a conscious decision not to do it anymore, I just no longer felt excited about creating and wearing costumes.  But recently I started feeling the itch to cosplay once again.  And Free Comic Book Day presented the perfect opportunity to rock a new character costume

I’ve got a short list of characters I want to cosplay, and Edna Mode from The Incredibles was at the top of that list.  I adore Edna’s super sharp style and lightening wit.  Like so many cartoon characters, her look is simple but instantly recognisable and pretty easy to translate into a cosplay costume.

Naturally, an all-black ensemble was vital.  Edna’s outfit has an armoured look to it, and it’s very structured.  I chose this heavily sequinned dress for the bell-shaped skirt and the rough texture.  I added leather-look pants with pleated details on the knees and thighs for a tough look.

I actually bought new glasses specifically for this costume.  These are the 7001 from Derek Cardigan.  I normally go for very square or cats-eye glasses, but Edna’s frames are extremely round and heavy.  I actually really like the way these frames look and they’ve become my go-to glasses lately. It’s great to step outside your comfort zone and wear something you haven’t tried before.

Edna’s makeup was kind of tricky, because in The Incredibles she doesn’t appear to be wearing makeup. I kept my look polished and fresh, making my brows heavier and doing some more extreme contouring that I do for day-to-day.  I contoured my cheeks and around my mouth to make me look a little more jowly and shaped my nose to be a tad rounder to recreate the shape of Edna’s face. I kept my lips light with a slick of nude lipstick.

 

I picked up so many new comic books on Free Comic Book Day.  My favourite offerings were The Mall, which was a very nostalgic 80’s teen romance mixed in with a crime story.  Crush was gorgeous, a tale of a young man dealing with his first crush and I really enjoyed the lightheartedness of the Adventure Time Fiona and Cake story.  Naturally, I loved Tank Girl as well.  And the artwork in Street Angel’s Dog was unlike anything I’ve seen before.

After a very long day of standing in line, waiting in stifling shops and lugging bags of books I was grateful to jump on the train back to my boyfriend’s house.  He’s never seen me in cosplay before so that was a hilarious first for us.  I was ready for a long shower, a shampoo and a Marvel movie with the man I love.

 

I loved being Edna for the day and allowing myself to jump back into cosplaying.  I felt a bit disappointed with myself when I lost interest in cosplaying, because it used to be something that brought me so much joy.  But sometimes we grow out of hobbies that we used to love.  And sometimes we just need some time and distance, and suddenly our interest bubbles up again and we get to become reacquainted with that fun and creativity that we used to know.  And when that happens, it’s an awesome feeling.

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In the Style of: American Horror Story Freak Show

Freak Show was one of my favourite seasons of AHS.  Although I enjoyed the story and the characters, the thing that drew me in and held me tight was the costumes.  It was the first time that a season of AHS was set entirely within one time period.  The early fifties are the setting for this instalment of the titillating television show.  It was an era that mixed Hollywood glamour with rugged rock and roll and gave us some of the most enviable fashion of all time.  And Freak Show gives us a wealth of gorgeous characters with distinctly different looks to dazzle our senses.  So pull up a seat, grab your popcorn, and feast your eyes on the style of American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Dandy Mott

Spoiled and polished, this dastardly villain’s style is pure preppy.  Tailored lines, pinstripes and razor sharp accessories make Dandy’s look devilishly handsome.  Choose high collars, brogues and ascot ties to copy this look at home.  And don’t forget to add a clown tie pin, a homage to Dandy’s secret desire to run away and join the circus.

Amazon Eve

Eve’s look is down-to-earth but never sloppy.  She evokes the image of the sweet girl-next-door with her shorts and bright red sneakers.  But Eve is anything but rough and tumble.  With her off-the-shoulder blouses and gold earrings, she’s got a sexy side too.  Although she’s the one who has to hang all the lights and banners, her headscarf keeps every hair perfectly in place, so this amazon always looks sinfully gorgeous.

Elsa Mars

If there’s one word that sums up Elsa’s style, it’s “Drama”.  Elsa incorporates rich colours, luxurious fabrics and luscious textures.  This is a woman who dresses to be seen, and she wants to make sure that even the folks in the cheap seats can’t miss her.  Feathers, sequins, splits and prints all make their appearance in Elsa’s wardrobe.  Although ultra-femme with her heels and silk stockings, Elsa manages to incorporate several androgynous elements like fedoras and neckties to take power dressing to it’s glamorous pinnacle.

Desiree Dupree

Desiree is pure, unadulterated sex on a pair of teetering heels.  Her clothes are intended to entice and allure, but never give away too much of the game.  Sheer fabrics and deep plunges are common, but flouncing layers and thick furs make sure that plenty is left to the imagination.  Desiree loves dark shades and leopard print, and is never without a pair of dramatic earrings.  Gorgeous lingerie is a must for this diva, to make sure that the final flourish is as dazzling as possible when she finally disrobes.

Bette and Dot Tattler

Bette and Dot’s style is a study in duality.  There’s a definite push and pull here, and this is the style of a woman who is still very much a little girl at heart.  Sheltered and timid, yet eager to experience the delights of the big world beyond their backyard, Bette and Dot mix mature and innocent elements to create outfits that are pretty but still a tiny bit cheeky.  Soft colours, sweetheart necklines and their ever-present hairbows mix with heels, handbags and silky fabrics.  And of course, the twins are never without their journal to record every day of their adventures.

 

 

 

Jimmy Darling

Jimmy’s look is reminiscent of so many Hollywood bad-boys of the era.  Jimmy takes inspiration from Elvis Presley, James Dean and Marlon Brando for a look that is casual, rough and super masculine.  Jeans, fitted tee shirts and open button-downs are the staples of Jimmy’s wardrobes.  His outfits are unfussy and simple, and the colours are earthy.  The one hint of adornment is the gold chain Jimmy wears on occasion, although this lobster charm is a cheeky addition I made to his outfit.
Which character’s style do you most covet?

 

What I Wore: Too pure to be pink

I think that pretty much everyone has a few “holy grail” wardrobe items that they’ve hankered for.  Things that might be slightly impractical or tricky to find, but that you want all the same.  For me, one thing I’ve always dreamed of owning was a Pink Ladies jacket.  Ever since I saw Grease for the first time, I longed to proudly wear one of those pink satin bomber jackets to proclaim my membership of the coolest girl gang ever.

 

So when a pre-loved Pink Ladies jacket popped up as part of Nerd burger’s annual Instagram closet sale, I nearly swooned with excitement.  I’ve been trying so hard to curb my spending on unnecessary items, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to own a Pink Ladies jacket.

 

The jacket is pretty lightweight, so I’ve been waiting for the weather to warm up enough for me to wear it.  I had so much fun styling the jacket.  I wanted the overall look to have a 50’s feel, but to be kinda punk-inspired as well.  I started with seamed stockings and a bodysuit, and added rough animal prints and dainty accessories.

 

I am wearing:

  • Pink Ladies jacket (purchased second hand from Nerd Burger)
  • Black bodysuit from Missguided
  • Black sheer seamed stockings from Voodoo
  • Silver ballet flats (thrifted)
  • Fairest of them All brooch from Erstwilder
  • Dice earrings from Equip
  • Silver signet ring
  • Tiger print mini skirt from Target

 

I opted for bold pink lips and strong winged eyeliner. I felt a little like Debbie Harry with this heavy eye makeup, but I also really enjoyed wearing strong lips and eyes together.  I felt sexy and tough and certainly not too pure to be pink.

 

What are your “holy grail” wardrobe items?

Game of Thrones makes us ask “What is Sex?”

I’m excited by the discussion that is swirling around the sex lives of two of my favourite Game of Thrones characters: Grey Worm and Missandei.  The Season 7 episode Stormborn ignited a conversation around a topic that I think is extremely important to consider: The way that we define “Sex”.

I still haven’t caught up on season 7 of GoT, but I just HAD to check out the love scene between these two characters so that I could join in the discussion. I saw so many posts online that were asking the question “Grey Worm and Missandei hooked up…..but did they have sex?  And if so, how?”

For those who aren’t fans of Game of Thrones, let me shed a little light on this question.  Grey Worm, as a member of The Unsullied, a ruthless slave army, is a eunuch.  From what I can gather from the series and the books it is based on, in his case this means that he has been fully castrated, with the removal of both his penis and testicles.

 

So when the tender love scene between a castrated man and his female lover aired, a lot of people asked how, if he has no penis, could he possibly have sex with her? And this opened a can of worms around the idea of how we define sex.

 

For me, the discussion surrounding the love scene really highlighted how penis-centric our idea of sex is.  When most of us first learn about sex, we are taught that sex = penis in vagina.  But in reality the definition of sex is so much broader than that.  “Sex” can encompass a huge range of activities, including oral sex, anal sex, digital penetration and stimulation and mutual masturbation.  While there’s no denying that these are all elements of sexual play, our culture still largely views them as foreplay, a lead up to the Main Event of penis-in-vagina sex.  I’ve even heard some people refer to penis-in-vagina sex as “real sex” or “full sex”, which kind of gives the impression that those other sexual acts are less important or have a lower status than vaginal penetration with a penis.

And while some viewers were happy to concede that while Grey Worm could easily provide pleasure to his female partner, that without a penis he’d be bereft of any pleasure of his own.  If Grey Worm has no genitals, then surely any sexual play between him and Missandei will be ludicrously one-sided, cried they.

 

Although Game of Thrones has had some truly questionable sex scenes in the past, I loved the way this scene was shot. It was tender, it was erotic and the desire of both parties was palpable.  I thought it was a wonderful illustration of the ways in which sex can be much more broadly defined.  It showed that the important facet of a sexual encounter isn’t the body parts that are involved, but rather the connection between the partners who are participating.

 

If we think of sex as only including penis-in-vagina penetration, we are selling ourselves short of a world of sexual pleasure.  We are excluding the sexual relationships of same-sex couples, intersex individuals and trans folk who do not participate in penetrative sex.  We discount the sexual connections had by heterosexual men who do not experience erections or sensation in the genitals.  And that cuts out a huge percentage of sexually active humans and relationships.  This narrow idea of what sex is does not serve us. It sets us up for a limited sexual experience and shame if our sex lives don’t match that view.  And so I encourage everyone reading this to take a look at how you think about sex and try to widen that view a little if you currently think that “real” sex only looks like a penis in a vagina.

 

So how might Grey Worm and Missandei have had sex?  Well, we know for sure that there was plenty of kissing and touching, and we saw him go down on her.  Knowing what I know about their anatomies, here are a few other activities that they might have enjoyed together:

  • Grey Worm might have used his fingers or hands to stimulate Missandei’s vulva and clitoris, and may even have penetrated her digitally.
  • Both parties have nipples, which might respond to touch and play.
  • Although Grey Worm doesn’t have external genitals, he probably still has a prostate.  This nerve-packed pleasure spot can be accessed through the anus and can produce orgasm internally.
  • Frottage, or the rubbing of the clitoris against a thigh, hip or pubic mound, could be enjoyed by both parties while still maintaining full body contact and giving them the opportunity to kiss and look at one another.
  • Both Missandei and Grey Worm could have indulged in a sensual massage as a way to explore eachother’s bodies and relax their partner.
  • Regardless of their genitals, everyone has a butt.  And the backside is full of nerve endings which are very responsive to touch with fingers, lips, tongues and toys.

This is just a few examples of the ways that these two characters could give and receive sexual pleasure together.  None of these activities involves a penis in a vagina and all of them count as sex in my book.

I am so chuffed that a program as huge as Game of Thrones has shown such a beautiful sex scene and given fans the opportunity to talk about how we define sex. It’s a super important topic and one that I could chat about for ages.  But I wanted to keep this post relatively short to give you a chance to sit with these ideas and think about where you stand on the definition of “sex”.

 

If you’re up for it, I’d love for you to leave a comment telling me how you define sex.  What counts as “sex” in your book?

Five Fandom Friday: My favourite sequels

Last week I sat down to watch Army of Darkness for the first time.  About ten seconds in, I realised that it was, in fact, a sequel to The Evil Dead.  So I quickly switched over to watch that instead.  But after the tree-molestation scene I was ready to give up.  I decided to just watch Army of Darkness anyway, and in the end it worked out fine because it was really funny and didn’t relate too closely to The Evil Dead.

 

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So I’ve been thinking a bit about sequels this week and I thought it would be a good time to do the 5 Fandom Friday tag: My Favourite Sequels.

  1. Addams Family Values

The cast of the 1990’s Addams family films was flawless.  Anjelica Huston was the perfect Morticia, and Raul Julia was ideal as Gomez.  You couldn’t ask for a better Wednesday than Christina Ricci and Christopher Lloyd is unrecognisable in the role of Uncle Fester.  This film brought together this incredible cast for a second helping of kooky fun, adding in the incomparable Carol Kane as Grandmama (the only role that was recast for the sequel).  The second instalment had just as many laughs and tongue-in-cheek jokes as the first film, and it also features the glorious tango scene- my favourite part from both films.

2. D2: The Mighty Ducks

As a child of the 1990’s I spent a fair chunk of time watching The Mighty Ducks.  Of the three films, I think that the D2 is the strongest.  It introduced some fantastic new characters, such as Julie Gaffney and Dean Portman (Bash Brothers forever!).  Additionally, this movie was less focused on Charlie Conway than the original, which I thought was a blessing because he always irritated me. There was a stronger rivalry between teams and bigger stakes that made D2 a more exciting film than it’s predecessor.

3. Toy Story 3

I went into the cinema to watch Toy Story 3 fully prepared to hate it.  I felt that 10 years was too huge a gap between Toy Story 2 and 3 and I wasn’t sure that it was going to have the same feel as the originals.  Five minutes in and I had completely changed my tune. I thought it was genius that, rather than pretending that no time had passed, Pixar embraced the time lapse and showed us Andy as a young adult, dealing with the dilemma of letting go of his childhood.  It had some emotional moments, and I choked up over and over.  But thankfully there were plenty of laughs as well (the part with Mr Tortilla Head always has me giggling).  Toy Story 3 was so clever and managed to keep the spirit of the original films while still feeling fresh.

4. The Dark Knight

There are not too many sequels that are vastly superior to the original, but this is undoubtedly one of them.  With superhero movies, the first film tends to be on the slow side, because you have to establish an origin story.   But Batman Begins was excruciatingly tedious.  The Dark Knight saved the franchise by introducing us to Heath Ledger’s Joker, a villain who is simultaneously fascinating and piss-in-your-pants terrifying. In my opinion, The Joker is the best part about this film, and his mad plots and creepy voice never fail to capture my attention.

5. The Golden Age

The Golden Age is another sequel that was made a long while after the original film.  It was released in 2007, nine years after Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was the film that kindled my fascination with the Tudor period, and I always felt a bit disappointed that the story ends just as Elizabeth really begins to come into her own as Queen.  So I was delighted when The Golden Age was announced.  As the name suggests, this film tells of the greatest period of Elizabeth I’s reign.  The first film showed us Elizabeth as a young queen, dealing with the question of marriage and struggling to rule as a woman in a man’s world.  In The Golden Age, we see Elizabeth as a confident, competent ruler.  She has already established her image as The Virgin Queen and is about to unfurl some of her greatest triumphs.  The Golden Age shows another side of Elizabeth, the vulnerable woman behind the white mask, struggling with impossible decisions and deep, personal disappointments.  Although I love both films, I feel that The Golden Age beautifully captures the strong spirit of one of England’s most impressive monarchs.

 

What are your favourite sequels?  Are there any on this list that you also love, or any that you’d like to add?

Daily outfit: Blue and BB-8

One of my new years resolutions for 2017 was to make a knitted garment of some kind.  I saw a bunch of boxy knitted jumpers popping up on ASOS and I loved them.  I thought it would be a fairly easy thing to make for my first project.  I managed to whip up this TARDIS blue jumper with a minimum of fussing and I really like it.  It’s nice and warm and super comfortable for lazy days.

I am wearing:

  • TARDIS blue jumper (handknitted)
  • Blue pucci shirt (thrifted)
  • Bootleg jeans from K Mart
  • Dr Martens boots
  • BB-8 enamel pin from Hannah Hitchman Illustrations
  • Skull ring from ASOS
  • Moonstone ring from Lovisa
  • Fleur du Lis ring from Equip
  • Clog earrings (thrifted)

 

 

I topped off this outfit with my new BB-8 pin from Hannah Hitchman Illustrations.  

I have been obsessed with enamel pins lately and I bought a few as a little treat right before my birthday.  This dude is adorable, and I love that he’s doing the “thumbs-up” pose with his lighter.

I wore this outfit for a run to the shops, reading on the lawn and loads of decluttering.

Five Fandom Friday: My to-be-read pile

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One of my new years resolutions was to get my to-be-read pile under control.  The top of my bookcase in my bedroom is a dedicated space where I keep the books i have yet to read.  However, that orderly pile has begun spilling from between my bookends, and the overflow has formed two additional stacks. This simply won’t do!  I am trying to make time to read more as well as attempting to curb my urge to buy every interesting-looking book that catches my eye.  This is proving challenging, particularly as I often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices each time I begin a new book.

 

So I felt that this 5 Fandom Friday Prompt was timely and served two purposes.  Firstly, it will help me identify five books that I am most looking forward to reading and secondly, it will give you a glimpse at my reading material.  Let’s make a start.

 

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  1. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

I’m obsessed with Tudor history and historical fiction set in this era always piques my interest.  I am a fan of Philippa Gregory’s novels, because I think she does a brilliant job creating strong connections to her characters and it’s fun to imagine what it might have been like to live during those times.  The Lady of the Rivers focuses on Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Henry VII’s grandmother in law.  Jacquetta was a formidable woman and possibly a witch.  I have already read The Red Queen and The White Queen, and Jacquetta was a background character in each of those stories.  I’m really looking forward to reading a story with her at the forefront.

 

2. According to Yes by Dawn French

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to sit down with this book, because each of Dawn French’s other books has barely lasted a week on my shelf before I’ve torn into it. I absolutely adore her characters and her witty yet heartfelt writing style.  From the cryptic blurb on the back, I get the impression that this is going to be a tale of self-indulgence and finally breaking free after a lifetime of denying ones own impulses.  And it sounds very juicy indeed.

 

3. The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

There’s a reason why this book has been sitting on my shelf for such a long time.  Terry Pratchett is my favourite author, and this is the final book that was published after his death.  I have been trying to work up the courage to read it, because I know that it’s going to be emotional, almost like saying goodbye to a close friend.  The Shepherd’s Crown features one of my favourite Pratchett characters: Tiffany Aching.  Tiffany is a young witch who is steely and fierce yet still has all the vulnerability of a teenager.  I know I’m going to love this book, but it breaks my heart that once this one is done, there are no more new Pratchett books left to read.

 

4. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

Since seeing the film several years ago, I have been burning to read The Colour Purple.  The copy on my shelf is battered and dog-eared, having been purchased from a tiny book stall in Melbourne.  This story of two sisters in the Deep South, facing unimaginable oppression and fear, promises to be moving and poignant.

 

5. Aimee & Jaguar by Erica Fischer

A true story of two women who fell in love in Berlin in 1942, and the gut-wrenching realities that pulled them apart.  I have been searching for more queer fiction to add to my literary menu, and this story has been on my to-read list for quite some time.  I am truly looking forward to being transported back in time by the words and pages, and walking with the two title characters as they discover one another and develop their love.

 

What have you been reading lately?  What’s on your to-read pile?