Costume, DIY, Refashion, Sewing

An Unfortunate Costume

Minor ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ spoilers ahead!

Esme Squalor 1

Because my friends are the best, I was recently invited to a fancy dress party. The theme was ‘Villains/ antagonists from literature’, and we had a bit of a book swap at the bar too.

Esme Squalor freak cosplay

If you know me at all you know that I am a big Lemony Snicket fan, particularly of his A Series of Unfortunate Events books. I decided to go as Esmé Gigi Genevive Squalor, the city’s sixth most important financial adviser and terrible person.

Squalor

There have yet to be any filmed depictions of Esmé squalor, except for this easter egg at the end of the first Netflix Series. Feathers are iiinnnn, apparently. I wanted to combine this with one of my favourite and most rude outfits, the one she wears in The Carnivorous Carnival to persuade a group of ‘freaks’ to commit an awful crime. Here’s an illustration from the book-

Freak-woman_(1).jpg

Now, according to the written description the dress was white, however I was already set on the monochrome idea, plus I felt like everyone would think I was a bride villain if I went down that route. Ooh, are there any good bride villains from literature, that sounds fun?

I went to Thrift Manchester and got me a large velvet dress. As it was a stretch dress I could quite easily adjust it to my fit, and then onto the decorations.

Esme Squalor make up

The main decoration was the sashes, which I made from some lining fabric folded in half and sewn into a tube. I then tried to sew them on with my machine, realised I physically couldn’t do that without taking apart the whole dress, decided I did not want to do that, and hand sewed them on instead.

Esme Squalor freaks

Next was the lettering. I’m no calligrapher, but I think I did a reasonably good job of replicating the writing. It’s painted with fabric paint.

Lastly, I glued some s**t on it. I wanted the costume to look a bit more snazzy and what says snazzy more than red sequins and feathers? Don’t answer that.

I Love Freaks

I used UHU textile glue and I would recommend to a friend, it stuck down very 3-D feathers with no problem and they lasted the whole night!

Sly Esme Squalor

Lastly, Michael found a cloche hat and cigarette holder at a fancy dress shop, so I glued a large feather to the hat to tie it into the dress, and the costume was complete! I really enjoyed making and especially wearing Esmé’s garb. Mainly, it’s got me extremely excited for the next season, and especially meeting the most fashionable villain of them all.

Esme Squalor Carnivorous Carnival

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