One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art - Oscar Wilde

Friday, 16 July 2010

Irish Blood, English Heart

Next weekend I shall be attending the Secret Garden Party festival deep in the heart of the English countryside and the theme is fantasy/fiction. The British (and Americans) love fancy dress and will don a costume at the drop of a hat. However it is actually super difficult to come up with something interesting and original which also looks good, without spending a fortune. If you go on the internet (ebay/other fancy dress websites) the adult costumes for women tend to be tacky, tacky, tacky with an extra large dollop of slutty and mixed with a severe lack of imagination. So despite the wide scope granted by the theme 'fantasy/fiction', I was having serious trouble.

However the other day, inspiration hit me like a bolt of lightening, courtesy of the online Net-A-Porter magazine. The theme was 'Gypset': one part gypsy, one part jet-set. I have always had a fascination with gypsies: the way they travel from place to place, making their own medicines, running around barefoot.... I think it appeals to my romantic bohemian tendencies and my free spirit in that I have little ability to stay in one place for a long time without getting seriously itchy feet.

Gypsies have long featured in musical and literary motifs: witness the rise in popularity of Gypsy bands such as 'Gogol Bordello' and look to the references in the stories of D.H. Lawrence and Jilly Cooper. The sense of movement and freedom associated with gypsy culture are undoubtedly perfect themes for the escapist nature of music and fiction.

Anyway, I digress. I have now found the ideal costume to wear next weekend and the best part about this is that I already had it. When I was last in Vietnam (jet-set) I found a dress which is going to be perfect: it is long and made from scraps of coloured and printed chiffon (so very gypsy). All I needed then was a ton of jangly jewellery and some gold hoop earrings: 5 minutes in Accessorize - done. Easy. This look could work either with heels (more jet set) or flats (more gypsy); but as it is a festival I will choose the latter.

Perfect for the Irish one.

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