it was a bridesmaid’s dress

Free porn, you guys! The first prize for Green Mountain Cabaret‘s cult classics costume contest was the critically acclaimed Dickin’ Around, brought to us by the producers of Cumming of Age and A Barely Legal Christmas. Who, other than pun fetishists, actually gets off on this stuff?

This past Saturday, Josh was slaughtered on GMC’s stage. Our friend Sarah, one of their featured dancers (“sugar shakers”), enlisted his roguishness for a combat number. I’ve never seen him strut like he did that night – and we’re talking about a man whose ego has its own magnetic field. Sarah’s boyfriend Gregg and I showed up hours early for front-row seats, hoping for a wink from our lovers. “I wanteed to toss my vest out to you,” Josh told me later, “but stage management nixed it.”

Each number was a tribute to a different cult classic. In Josh and Sarah’s case, Heavy Metal. I also identified Repo: The Genetic Opera, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Doctor Who. Other than that? I was lost. I can identify vintage from any era, but damned if I don’t live under a pop-culture rock. Hell, burlesque shows are about the only getting-out I do.

I love burlesque. I love the whole mad eroticism of it. The skewed axis on which your world operates for one precious evening, where naked butts are normal and catcalls become a good thing. I love the melding of sex and art – and the absinthe doesn’t hurt, either. I’ve been taking classes for six months. Mark me – one of these days I’ll be a stage kitten.

Anyhow, Gregg and I got our own spotlight later that evening, when our respective Tyler Durden and Marla Singer were hauled onstage as the winners of the costume contest. Infinite credit to Zinfandel Photography!

marla and tyler

marla and tyler III

Helena Bonham Carter allegedly asked Fincher and co. to give her the most haphazard makeup they could, because she didn’t think Marla would care about such things. I don’t know how to feel about this, given that Marla’s makeup isn’t too different from my normal palate.

marla and tyler II

Gregg and Josh could damn well be brothers. We joke (but it’s not really a joke) that he and Sarah are Josh’s and my bizarro-world equivalent.


But actually.

Next month’s theme is nifty fifties! Knock on wood, but that costume contest will be MINE.


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