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Matryoshka Costumes

October 17th, 2007 · 4 Comments

matryoshkas-dolls.jpg As anyone who knows me can tell you, I take Halloween fairly seriously. But however elaborate the execution of a costume might be, I tend to keep them conceptually pretty simple, dressing as flashy iconic characters like The Joker or Spider Jerusalem or Rorschach.

I’ve noticed among my friends, however, a recent penchant for what I’ll call Matryoshka costumes—not literally, of course, but in the sense that one costume is nested inside another: Jimmy Carter as a Naughty Nurse; Margaret Thatcher as a Werewolf. (I’m using made up examples to avoid spoiling anyone’s surprise here.) Possible rough approximations to this category in past years include French Kiss (rocker makeup + berets) and zombie pope/Mormon. I’m not sure whether this is the upshot of our general valorization of wry meta-ness, or just the influence of the 2004 Homestar Runner Halloween cartoon in which Strong Bad dresses as Cesar Romero as The Joker. The obvious next step, of course, is the extremely tricky triple-nested costume, which raises the question: If you wear an ironic trucker cap as part of a hipster costume, does the double negative make it sincere again?

Tags: Art & Culture


       

 

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eric Scharf // Oct 17, 2007 at 9:09 am

    I’m not sure whether this is the upshot of our general valorization of wry meta-ness…

    I’d lay the blame at no longer playing to an audience composed primarily of pre-teen children. If you’re dressing for the cocktail party on the weekend before the 31st, you’re going for a laugh. When doing your civic duty on The Night itself, however, white face, green hair, and red mouth always get a scream.

  • 2 Julian Sanchez // Oct 17, 2007 at 10:52 am

    I don’t think that fully explains it: The trend is too recent (the people I’m talking about haven’t been “playing to an audience composed primarily of pre-teen children” for a long time) and too specific (there are lots of ways to do a funny costume).

  • 3 digamma // Oct 17, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    “If you wear an ironic trucker cap as part of a hipster costume, does the double negative make it sincere again?”

    Actually, yes. By mocking the hipster for mocking the trucker, one expresses solidarity with the trucker.

  • 4 Anonymous // Oct 27, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    do are

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