princess marla

marla III

This dress was a recent gift from my friend Danica, who spotted it at Goodwill and decided I had to have it. It reminds me simultaneously of Marla Singer and a thoroughly disaffected princess – which, I guess, are basically the same thing. Does anyone else imagine Marla as the archetypal slum tourist? I bet she has a rich family somewhere in the ‘burbs just biting their nails for her to grow out of it and come home. When you’ve gone to college in Burlington, Vermont, you get used to the Mac-using, kombucha-swilling players at poverty. You start to see them everywhere – even in a character you quite like, whom you’ve now thoroughly ruined for yourself.

marla V

marla II

The back of my Fight Club DVD case describes Marla as “sensual”. I get that Fincher and Palahniuk probably know their creation a little better than I, but sensual? Really? She’s about as sensual as Sunny von Bulow. She’s completely out of touch with her own body and the world it inhabits. Her personal tragedy is that she doesn’t die at any given moment!

marla VI

marla IV

I like Marla Singer. She’s actually quite a clever parody of the “femme fatale” archetype. But many interpretations of her ignore the “parody” aspect completely. I see cosplays advertising the black-hat-and-cigarette Marla that’s become ironically iconic. To me, the best summation of her character is in the grimy sex-crime-victim of a bridesmaid’s dress. Glitz and glamour turned completely on their filthy head.

Spoiler alert: I’m actually working on a legit (not just conceptual) Marla cosplay for an event later this month. I found a spot-on pink dress, though it cost more than a dollar. This post is just a warm-up, wherein I practice my ideology of her character.

marla VIII

marla VI

marla XIII

Dress, Boots, Tights, & Hat: Gifted Belt: Classy Closet Brooch: Battery Street Jeans Sunglasses: Old Gold Attitude: Palahniuk

marla X

marla XI