Re: The Apocalypse Will Not Be Televised . . .

….because, you know, of the collapse of civilization. But how will the survivors be dressed? This article in the Guardian argues that fashion sense will be the first casualty of any world-destroying force. From a stage/film viewpoint, I can certainly see moviemakers’ justification for using punk/tribal costuming for their characters. Black leather, body armor, heavy weaponry, tattoos, and “big, stompy boots” create the impression of a dangerous, anarchic, every-man-for-himself kind of world where law and order have broken down and the hero/heroine is alone in their search for truth, justice, and a zombie-free life.

But movies aside, what would survivors in post-apocalyptic world actually wear? I can see the point of stompy boots–you need sturdy footgear when tromping through the rubble of previously thriving cities–but booty shorts, lace up pants, long dresses, and mini-skirts? No way. Moviemakers tend to take the Western point of view that lack of modern technology equates primitive society. The reality is that any society where the members have the leisure time to paint intricate tattoos on their body and construct elaborate armor and decorative as opposed to practical clothing is extremely sophisticated.

In a realistic post-apocalyptic scenario, people would be living on a much more primitive level. It’s always a safe bet to assume that large scale agriculture and manufacturing have become casualities of the apocalypse so where are folks going to be getting their fabric from? And what about the skill set needed to make clothing items, armor, weapons, etc. from scratch?

Moviemakers usually get around awkward questions like this by setting their films either immediately after disaster or by assuming that their societies have rapidly reached a sophisticated level. For the purposes of our scenario, however, let’s assume that neither of those things has happened. How do people cope in a world where ready access to clothing materials has been cut off?

One way would be to re-purpose pre-existing materials as in the examples shown below:

Street sign armor made by Chain Crafts (see blog here) and modeled by Eric L. Posted to Crafster. Shoulder armor is made from discarded Stop and Dead End signs. Metal was shaped using a ballpeen hammer and an anvil.

Joan of Arc suit of armor made by Obudah (Craftster) from bicycle intertubes. The whole suit took 40-50 hours of work.

But re-purposing only lasts as long as there are stockpiles of pre-made goods. Sooner or later the rubble runs out and people have to generate their own garments (and other objects of daily life) from raw materials. That means re-learning all those pre-industrial, agrarian skills most folks have forgotten. Sure, the sheep may now be mutant and man-sized, but that doesn’t mean one can’t gather their glow-in-the-dark wool and spin it into yarn. (Say it with me now: “we’re going to need a bigger spindle”).

Really, when you think about, costumers and artisans with their hard-won hoard of do-it-yourself skills will be in high demand come the apocalypse.  Yes, it will be artists who rule this brave new world. Mwuwahahahaha!


Re: Halloween Roundup 2011

No sooner has our chocolate high subsided, but we must search the Web far and wide for the best Halloween costumes of the season. As always, I am impressed by the amount of creativity out there.

It took 33 yards of tulle, hand sewn to a simple tube dress, to turn Craftster poster binkyrmt into a shower scrubbie. Or poof. Or loofa. Or whatever you want to call those little scrubbie things.

Her shoes deserve special mention. She took rubber duckies, glued to them to snap on barrettes, and then clipped them onto to her regular shoes.

Don and Beth Kingston dressed up as–wait for it, you know it’s coming–a pair of boobs. Read about here on her blog. Beth got the idea from Pinterest.  Touch of genius: the pink ribbon in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

What would Halloween be without a topical political reference? I thought that the  image of the Monopoly Man holding his Occupy Park Place sign was terrifically clever.  Uploaded to the Huffington Post by user Mark Schroeder.

Your eyes do not deceive you. This is Craftster poster pinupkate dressed as a steak. A regular steak. Her significant other was dressed as a butcher.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this costume. Blogger Merrilee is dressed as a book fairy. Read her post about her costume here. Her wings are made from the cover of an old dictionary and her skirt is made from rolled up dictionary pages. A great costume for a teacher, a children’s librarian, or anyone who is doing storytime with kids.

What a great costume.  Osujen posted a picture of her Comic Girl outfit to Instructables. The makeup word balloons on her face say “Pow” and the word balloon on her headband says “Kaboom”. The bodice is made from duct tape and the skirt is made from cheap fabric. Both have comic book pages over the top, secured with a combination of spray adhesive and packing tape.

Craftster poster Snarkdog and her friend dressed up as Lucy and Ethel from the candy factory episode. If you’ve never seen this episode of the Lucille Ball show, the plot involves Lucy and Ethel taking jobs packing chocolates at a chocolate factory hence the conveyor belts and the candies.

M-I-C-K-E-Y …..admit it, the old theme song for the Mickey Mouse Club is going through your head right now, isn’t it? This is a very simple, but very effective group costume. Kudos to the Mouseketeers! Uploaded to the Huffington Post by user oojenn.

Okay, I’m a sucker for animal costumes and you have to love one that involves brown felt, a pair of white long johns, and hot glue.  Read more about Ic4isu’s great Halloween outfit here on Instructables.