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#116550 - 11/25/03 03:07 PM Book Group Costume  
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gift horse Offline
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Hi Folks

My book group is having an holiday party in December with a creative/funky/outrageous tea party theme. The hostess says, "Please come up with your costume version of Earl Grey on acid".

So, I have to create some sort of clever costume before December 9th. (Eeek!) I'd appreciate any ideas, input or comments from the AWAD Collective Consciousness.

Thanks!
Dawn


#116551 - 11/25/03 03:20 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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Dear gift horse: Earl Grey is a UK brand of tea.
You could go as a tea bag, but so might a dozen others.
"Acid" was an early name for LSD. That's a tough one to
symbolize.
Edit: LSD is found in "smut" the black gunk that grows on grain. So some rye tassels (I think that's the word) well blackened with soot could symbolize LSD. Smut could be simulated with black spray paint.


#116552 - 11/25/03 03:45 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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Charles, the second Earl Grey, was a great reforming parliamentarian, a man of good sense and good will. He was prime minister for about three years. One story is that in 1830 he was given the tea recipe by a grateful Mandarin, but no one really knows what the connection is, if indeed there is one.

The idea of him being on acid is as unlikely as supposing that Solomon might be dealing on the margin in Wall Street in 1929. And therein lies the humour of the idea. Give your imagination full reign, there is nothing to build on!


#116553 - 11/25/03 06:05 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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my parent won first prize at a dress up (several times) once for going as a tea pot and tea bag...

the tea pot costume was made from 'skirt hoops', and circular table cloths, (you could use a hula hoop i suppose to hold the center of the tea pot out,--or you might find some sort of stays that would work in a fabric store)) the spout and handle were made from cardboard/oaktag type paper (don't for get a hat for the tea pot top!)(a wild design or tie dye would work!)

the tea bag.. (to be in the bagis to be drunk, wasted or intoxiacated) was made from two sheets, and curtain rods, (she made a harness to hold the rods on my dad's shoulders) -- don't forget the string and tab for the tea bag...

so rather than being earl grey (the man) be earl grey, (the tea), either in the bag, or potted!


#116554 - 11/25/03 07:11 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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That's a cute idea, of troy. Your parents' costumes sound adorable.

I can sew, so should be able to make most anything if I put my mind (and sewing machine) to it and have enough time. My mother recommended covering a vest in tea bags. Not sure what I'll do yet. I'm still collecting data at this point.

Thanks for the input!


#116555 - 11/25/03 07:54 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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Hang on, horse.

there's more to come.


#116556 - 11/25/03 08:32 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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Zed Offline
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I have also had Lady Grey tea, lighter on the bergamot. My first thought was an extreme version of the out to tea costumes of the turn of the century. The advantage would be the chance to wear a REALLY BIG FABULOUS hat. Think Ascot extreme. I saw one once with a hula hoop sized brim.


#116557 - 11/26/03 12:28 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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I have also had Lady Grey tea, lighter on the bergamot.

I like Lady Grey and enjoy English Breakfast tea as well.

My first thought was an extreme version of the out to tea costumes of the turn of the century. The advantage would be the chance to wear a REALLY BIG FABULOUS hat. Think Ascot extreme.I saw one once with a hula hoop sized brim.

That would be fun! I might keep it under hula hoop size though, just so I don't become a nuisance at the party.



#116558 - 11/26/03 01:50 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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All I can come up with is a pun on Dorian Gray. But since the former was neither my first pet's name nor was the latter any street I lived on (as far as I can remember), maybe all that's going for it is the association with Earl Grey. Earl D. Gray. Instead of a hula-hoop-sized hat brim, Mizz Horse, you could walk around with a picture frame setting off your face. Now, that wouldn't be annoying, would it?


#116559 - 11/26/03 02:02 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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Hey! To sort of combine threads plus an "inspiring" photo of a friend--perhaps you could come up with something to go as Earl Grey in drag. I suppose, if he'd been on acid, he might have gone in drag...


#116560 - 11/26/03 03:39 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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Black velveteen knickers, white athletic sox; shoes with turned-up toes, a red vest covered in tea bags, a Napoleon hat with a veil; and a shirt with a lace jabot frill.
Bright red lipstick and a black beauty spot!
Whatever you decide post a picture!
And carry that frame - it's a great idea!
And no, I am not on acid. Just imaginative!
P.S. And for Heaven's sake : Drive Carefully!


#116561 - 11/26/03 04:15 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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I am not very adventurous at all and so don't have many ideas; I would have probably thought of a bottle with label saying acid and a tea bag inside it; or maybe an earl in a grey frock or some such thing....I know, I know...alternating
The ideas here are simply great though! gh, what are you going to do about the lovely aroma and do post a picture of the costume once you are ready!


#116562 - 11/26/03 04:41 PM Tricks of the trade  
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I used to work in a fancy dress shop, designing looks and putting together outfits for parties and the occasional TV show. With such a vague brief there is plenty of room for personal interpretation. Clockwork Orange springs to mind, or, obviously, Alice in Wonderland.
HOWEVER, here is a short list of do's and dont's for fancy dress ( you may feel these are obvious but you'd be surprised how often these mistakes spoil parties):

1. Do not wear anything that covers your face: helmets, full mask or cumbersome hat. You will be too hot, unable to talk to anybody and unable to drink, eat or smoke.
2. Do not wear anything that extends more than 8 inches from your waist, tops. You will destroy your outfit, knock stuff over and you won't be able to sit down.
3. Do experiment with make-up, it's cheap and versatile. Once you've decided on your look, lay a tissue over your face and brush some powder over it. Do this several times on your lippy.
4. If you are using a synthetic material against your skin ( PVC, sateen, spandex etc) wear a light cotton undershirt and talc. You will sweat buckets, and this will spoil your outfit, including your hair and your makeup will run.
5. Decide on what type of person you are, if you are going to get tired of people asking you what your costume is then GO AS SOMETHING OBVIOUS.
6. Keep it simple, some of the best outfits I've seen for interpretative themes are based on plain black body ( t-shirt and trousers) with appropriate make-up ( psychedelic?) and accessories.


#116563 - 11/26/03 07:56 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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Black velveteen knickers, white athletic sox; shoes with turned-up toes, a red vest covered in tea bags, a Napoleon hat with a veil; and a shirt with a lace jabot frill. Bright red lipstick and a black beauty spot!

Cool, wow! That's a super image. I think I'd actually look cute in the outfit you described.

I'm still trying to decide what to be, but your idea is on the top of the lot.

I'll definitely take photos and report back after the party. Thanks!


#116564 - 11/26/03 08:05 PM Ooooooo!  
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Thank you, dodyskin!

Your tips are very helpful. Wish you could come over and help me get my act together. Sounds like you are an expert...and I'm always in need of adult supervision.

Seriously, I'm amazed at how clever all of you are. I knew I'd get some good input from the smart folks here, but I'd no idea how much sheer creativity was amassed at AWAD. All of you are quite impressive! Thanks again!


#116565 - 11/27/03 03:19 PM Re: Ooooooo!  
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Given the excellent suggestions from dodyskin (clever you dodyS)I would modify the hat to a tiara!
Wheeee! sounds like great fun! Envious-e.
Makes me wish I could wangle an invite, ah, well. Sigh.


#116566 - 11/30/03 03:22 PM Re: Ooooooo!  
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Makes me wish I could wangle an invite, ah, well. Sigh.

Consider yourself invited! Seriously, I wish I could invite all of you to my book group. It certainly would improve the discussion quality. Unfortunately, the Stepford Wives in my neighborhood have a limited conversational repertoire. The people here at AWAD are definitely a breath of fresh air. I wish you lived in my neck-of-the-woods. Oh well.

Now, if only I could find a Napoleon hat. Hmmm...


#116567 - 12/01/03 11:25 PM Re: Book Group Costume  
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Black velveteen knickers, white athletic sox; shoes with turned-up toes, a red vest covered in tea bags, a Napoleon hat with a veil; and a shirt with a lace jabot frill.
Bright red lipstick and a black beauty spot!
Whatever you decide post a picture!
And carry that frame - it's a great idea!
And no, I am not on acid. Just imaginative!

P.S. And for Heaven's sake : Drive Carefully!
Yes, can you imagine the officers reaction to that outfit if you get pulled over for speeding!!!


#116568 - 12/06/03 09:48 PM My Costume is Ready!  
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Thanks to everyone for your wonderful input and enthusiasm.

I just purchased the last item for the tea party costume today. Likely not as exciting as some of your more creative suggestions, but it is cute, if I do say so myself...and I do. So, here is my ensemble:

Black velvet sleeveless dress with 'burned-out' floral pattern (black on black). Most assuredly a reproduction of a 1920's design.

Old black velvet shawl with 12" fringe.

Black velvet pumps.

Wrist-length, fingerless black-net gloves.

Elaborate black-beaded choker & black earrings to match.

And last but not least, a small black velvet hat with veil, c.1920, which I just bought today at a vintage store in Mt. Dora, FL.

I'm really pleased with the look and will be able to reuse most of the items again for other occasions (though I'm not sure what I'll do with the hat).

Thanks again to all!


#116569 - 12/13/03 04:50 PM Re: My Costume is Ready!  
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Not to worry. HAts are making a comeback!


#116570 - 12/13/03 05:40 PM Re: My Costume is Ready!  
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Hi wow!

Not to worry. HAts are making a comeback!

You're probably right. Anyway, the hat is pretty, even just sitting out on my vanity. Guess I need to buy a hat box to protect it. It would be interesting to find out who owned it in the 1920's.

BTW, the party was a lot of fun. One lady arrived wearing an old wrap made up of 3 dead minks, all chewing on each other. It was so disturbing I couldn't take my eyes off it.

The hostess is really into the Victorian era. She wore a few period pieces and served tea in big china pots, scones, cakes and finger sandwiches.

The night was a definite success.


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