Getting into Character

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Dressing up as a 1950s Sicilian widow. With a slight drinking problem. And a dark secret. This is my dream look. Ideally you are hoping to look like the entire Dolce and Gabbana ad campaign archive. Every single character. Guest starring Madonna circa Blonde Ambition, and Monica Bellucci in everything. Crucial ingredients include: Slightly smeary black-lined eyes, that give the sense that you were recently crying. Or swimming, inappropriately. Thunderous expression. Heaving bosom. Black lace, sheer stockings, a veil. Small gold crucifixes, smouldering cigarette, hybrid pearls that could have come from Tudor England or 1985.

I think the obsession was born when I first watched a Leonard Cohen music video. As soon as I laid eyes on the heroine of that 6 minute love letter from Laughing Len to The 90s, I was infatuated. She was a slightly washed up looking blonde. Glamourously dressed, but down at heel. Hardened by a life full of knockbacks and bitter disappointment. False eyelashes, resigned expression. Shot of tequila, two inches of ash dangling precariously from her cigarette. This is the icon I chose to represent myself with aged 10.  I have sought to emulate her sartorial devastation ever since (if not her rotten luck).