Search Website
Close Search Pane
Toggle Menu

Costumes

Where to start - with Theory, with a reading list?

 

When I was 3 Dad dressed me in Lederhosen

and a Greek pompom.

When I was 15 I once wore oranges for breasts

and devoured Kafka's Metamorphosis.

 

Muffs and Morals? Or Belted Heroes and Bound Women?

 

I like overdressing, which explains:

A testimony against perriwigs and perriwig-making, and playing on instruments of musick among Christians, or any other in the days of the gospel. Being several reasons against those things, by one who, for good conscience sake, hath deny'd and forsaken them.

 

The Myth of the Homeric Warrior-King.

 

La beauté pour quoi faire? Essai sur l'histoire de la beauté feminine

: a title of beauty, it's French accents are cute feathers).

 

Easily outgunned by the Russians:

Drevnerusskoe shit'e v sobranii Novgorodskogo myzeia

= Old Russian: Embroidery from the Collection of the Novgorod Museum.

 

More male titles could appeal to the cricket team,

You Are What You Wear: The Key to Business Success, Sex and Suits.

 

For a more back to basics on the lost male impulse:

Man Made Mobile: Early Saddles of Western North America

tho. my favourite in drum beating is

The Wild Bull and the Sacred Forest: Form, Meaning, and Change

in Senegambian Initiation Masks

 

For Sapphic friends: The Cowboy Hat Book, and

Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls, and Other Rrenegades (sic).

 

and for anyone: Beneath It All: A Century of French Lingerie.

 

From Black Beauty to the Beauty Trap, and we're still in the Bs.

 

On to C: Civil War Gentlemen: 1860s Apparel Arts & Uniforms

or the minutiae of US Military Buttons of the Land Services, 1787-1902:

A Guide and Classificatory System.

Hell's dress code? Most abstract, most rational,

fascist four-square and modern: Uniform: Order and Disorder.

 

Without clothes there're no confessions like the following:

 

Stripp'd and "guilty", trouserless, skirtless,

accus'd in a prisonhouse of bad dreams, wired to a car battery.

I wore the golden mask of grief

but under that there was no grief at all, for the enemy

had rendered me to nothing.

 

As a soldier I wore the Ace of Spades in my helmet.

And a necklace of ears.

 

Where then the bookmark to pleasure?

My innocent, my baby, begin with no clothes at all,

swimming in the tropics a thousand miles from here,

be "a devil forced to wear

a dress of lavender crochet".

 

Read The Anatomy of Nakedness.

Read Physical Attractiveness: A Cultural Imperative.

 

 

 

Gwen Harwood, 'The Wasps', Selected Poems, ETT Imprint, (1975) 140/

 

Go to Adam Aitken's profile to read more poems

Poem Video

  • Adam Aitken Poems to Share