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Portrait of a Naked Lady

Everyone who knows me (or who has seen my instagram), knows I love a good dress up. I timed quitting my job in advertising specifically so I could have a week to prepare before a special event, for what was surely going to have to be my best dress up yet. My last night in advertising also coincided with our office Christmas party (I planned on going out with a literal bang; we lost our bond as a result of popping 30 jumbo glitter canons. Whoops!), which I co-organised - a ridiculous 'Glitterati' dress up extravaganza. I'm still finding glitter and tinsel everywhere.

The special event I needed a week to prepare for; Chyka's 50th. The theme was avant-garde, 1920's decadence. More is more and less is a bore. If ever there was a party to go all out for, this was it. So when I stumbled across this beaded slip dress from Vintage Garage - and as I stood, completely naked in the change room (for so long in fact, the shop assistant was shocked to see me walk out, exclaiming, "Oh! You're still here! I thought you'd left ages ago!"), I knew this was going to be my outfit. THIS was avant-garde.


When I have a costumed event, either an idea comes to me straight away of what I imagine myself wearing and I find it hard to think of anything else, or, I need to go on the hunt. I prowl and stroke and touch as many fabrics as I possibly can. I look in the most unexpected places for inspiration. I explore my usual haunts; Vintage Garage, Rose Chong, all my surrounding op shops... there's this amazing fabric/sequin/bead shop that a lot of dancers use on Smith street (close to Johnston st) that I also pop into. I will devour things on pinterest, but try not to get too wrapped up in it, as I find this will just scatter me further afield. This is how one ends up with several outfit changes. Two is chic - exciting - three or more is confusing.

As soon as I found this dress, I texted a picture to a friend from the change room.

"Please...tell me....and be HONEST... CAN I PULL THIS OFF?!?!?"....

I waited with baited breath... pale and naked for a response.


Fuck it. I was going to go naked to Chyka's 50th. It was a no brainer. I hadn't worked out in well over 6 months, and had been living off cheese toasties from the work staff pantry, but knew this was an opportunity I couldn't miss.

The outfit came together swimmingly from there. I headed up to Gertrude St, to the BABES at Rose Chong, and showed them what I was wearing. They GASPED and made me try it on in the store - which elicited squeals of delight and "THAT LITTLE BOTTOM!". At Rose's I found an insane feather boa made completely out of plastic surgical gloves. Slowly the image of a mad, demented 1920's flapper started to form.

The gals gave me the number to Kryolan's makeup. Holy moly. HOW have I never heard of them before?! They specialise in stage, character and drag makeup, and did such an epic job. They even spray painted my body and painted my neck and UGHHHHH it was insane. I got my hair done at the Distinctive Dame - she is ammmmmazing! She has a divine studio on Collins St and specialises in vintage hair, and did a quick set of finger waves. I finished the look with epic silver talons, a vintage 1930's beaded clutch, smothered myself in *fake* diamonds. My housemate Al painted myself silver (find yourself an artistic housemate who loves to put fake tan/spray paint you - it's wonderfully handy) . Oh - and bathed myself in perfume. Can't forget perfume if you're going to an event naked. This is very important. 

Those who made the costume possible


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