Monday, February 7, 2011

Power in Costume Party Fashion

by Emily Mann

On the metro this past Friday night, it would have been difficult not to notice the group of girls standing on the platform next to me. Two of them were wearing solid color dresses with matching antennae and wings, and the third was in a tight leopard dress, complete with faux fur collar and tail. Costume parties serve as a fun environment for guests to express themselves and their confidence and creativity by blurring the lines of what is considered fashionable. The girls’ outfits demonstrate the intersection between the power from costume design and from gender identity. Though dressing up as animals, they still wore classic pieces that are often associated with strength in females—form-fitting dresses, tights, and black high heels. It reminded me of the stereotypical high school Halloween party, in which the girls would all show up in tight dresses, their only distinguishing factors being bunny ears or a mouse nose or cat whiskers. Still, I have to give them credit that the costumes were distinct enough from one another that they didn’t lose their functionality; each girl was clearly dressed as her own animal. And what’s better than a pair of black heels to make a costume more commanding?

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