Monday, September 04, 2006


The second of three fancy-dress parties this year occurred on Saturday night. Tinseltroos' friend Maddie decided to celebrate her birthday with a pirate themed bash and she was kind enough to give us all enough notice that those of us who get excited by this sort of thing could really go to town on our costumes. I already had a pair of flat-fronted old-style trousers with a black stripe down the side that was perfect pirate captain material and my old gold-rimmed glasses from my teenage grunge and metal past also felt quite antique but the rest of the costume provided an excuse reason to get some exciting new clobber, some of which is more practical than others.

Pirate Captain

First up came the coat. We tracked down a really lovely firm in the North of England who hand-make old-fashioned clothing, mostly for grumpy goths judging by their website, but undaunted I took a good look at their catalogue. I settled on a rather lovely black velvet frock coat and duly it arrived. And it is utterly gorgeous, the waisted cut and the pleats down the back are fab so though it was expensive it's going to get worn a lot, and not just for fancy-dress, I assure you.

The shirt, sashes and bandanas came from "Greenwich Village" a boutiquey, hippyish clothing and jewelry shop in Brighton which had more shirts made out of hemp and weirdly patterned shawls than you could shake a stick, or peg-leg at, so all that was needed after that was the fire-arms and some footwear.

Flintlocks and a blunderbuss were obtained from this online joke shop who seem to have the same magic delivery network that Dabs do. Ordered one lunchtime, a box arrived on my desk the very next morning. Brilliant.

The final piece to the puzzle was the boots, and here, I cannot help but feel, I struck gold. Searching online for boots I found who made the boots for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. And it appears that they made a few too many since I was able to obtain a pair of leather boots with massive collars for $100. After an initial mix-up where the pair I'd ordered turned out not be in stock, the lovely people in El Paso sent me an even better pair for the same money. They made the journey from the Lone Star State to London in 5 days. Amazing.

With costumes assembled we were ready for the big night, and suitably attired, and feeling quite pleased with ourselves, Tinseltroos and I headed out in full pirate regalia from her flat, down Tottenham Court Road to the Underground. Our evening was made for us almost immediately when a small child inquired of her mother as we passed, "Mummy, are those real pirates?" We of course relied in the affirmative but didn't get a chance to hear her mother's reply. I was a little disappointed at the comparative lack of attention we got on the tube though I did notice a few smiles and "YAARRGH!" comments as we went on our way. Eventually we arrived, appropriately enough, in Docklands where the party was held.

Gathered Throng

I was pretty impressed with the standard of costumes, most people had made at least a reasonable effort, though there were the inevitable spoil-sports who came in their boring regular clothes. If you don't have the guts to make a bit of a fool of yourself and dress up, you shouldn't come to a fancy-dress party. And, thinking about it, everyone looks fab dressed as a pirate so what's to worry about?

We Have Grog

Our final piece of attention to detail was to steam the labels off two St. Peter's Brewery beer bottles (which have a pleasingly olde-worldy shape to them) and fill them with our drink of choice for the evening, scotch and ginger, which as well as being damn tasty, does not give me hangovers and looks pleasingly grog-like.

We eventually rolled home at around 3 a.m. feeling lightly toasted and ready to board any Spanish Galleon, laden with doubloons, that crossed our path. Grog will do that to you.


Blogger Mandi said...

LOVE the costumes - excellent job!

The world needs more occasions for dressing like a pirate. Or dressing up at all, really...

5:37 pm  

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