[Peter Kent reports]
It is approaching that time of year again, the time that all the girls enjoy – the annual fancy dress party. Over the years, the girls have enjoyed it much more than the boys because they took pride in making their outfits rather than just buying them from the store. They spend many months preparing for this one day. To reward the girls’ efforts, a best fancy dress outfit competition was started to end the party with, the winner getting money donated to their favourite charity.
However, the first obstacle for the girls was to make it onto the nominations list, which meant the girls’ costume had to be accepted by three judges. Over the years, the judges had come up with a suitable brief for any girl wanting to be considered for the finals.
Any participant had to produce a faithful representation of the character they were dressing as and if they were depicting a historical figure, they had to remain historically accurate. They had to do all this while still conforming to the college dress code as much as possible. The judges however, knew that keeping to the code might be difficult because of the costumes so with the Dean’s permission, students participating in this competition have the dress code rules relaxed a little for this one night only (although the girls are not informed of this so that they do not take liberties and try to bend the rules too far).
Usually, on the day of the fancy dress party, the three judges spend their time visiting all the girls who have put their names down for the competition. They check over their outfits and decided if she should be submitted to the final later that evening.
I, Peter Kent, spent the day accompanying the judges as they assessed the costumes for the evening’s party. Here are the highlights…
Tina and Rose
Our first visit was to Tina and Rose. They are cheerleaders and best friends and do everything together, entering the competition is no exception. When we found them, they were busy adding finishing touches to a painting.
They presented themselves to the judges without naming their characters.
“Well?” The judges asked.
“We’re two Disney characters!” Tina said gleefully.
“Yes, but which ones?” one judge asked with a little exasperation.
“Oh, you have to guess!” Rose exclaimed.
The judges were in no mood to play games considering the workload ahead of them and decided not to put the duo down on the nominations list. The girls were a little disappointed that the judges didn’t what to play but for some odd reason, they still did not want to give their characters away. Instead they decided to try and make the judges reconsider by showing off their cheerleading skills…
…but it takes more that fancy leg work to impress the judges who were not swayed and they moved on to their next candidate.
Koika was very excited to show us the Chinese costume she had handmade.
One of the Judges was concerned about the amount of flesh on display but Koika gave a good explanation, “I’m a Chinese ‘Comfort Woman.’”
“Comfort woman?” a judge asked.
“Yes, from World War 2. Maybe you should Wikipedia it. Being a comfort woman, I would have probably had to attract customers and I thought the best way a comfort woman would do this would be to ‘display her wares’,” she said. “You see? I am sure you would have to make yourself look very desirable, like this…”
The judges huddled around one another to look up what she was saying on one of their mobile devices. After finding the information, they were a bit unsure to the tastefulness of what she was dressed as but satisfied with her answer and costume and seeing that she was trying to be authentic, they put her thorough to the final.
Miranda’s costume was instantly recognisable but was also instantly dismissed.
“I’m Super Girl!” she proclaimed proudly.
“The brief said ‘…an accurate representation of your chosen character…’” one of the judges quoted to remind her.
“I know, I know, but I just couldn’t find anything else and I really wanted to be Super Girl.
With her costume not being up to scratch, the judges could not let her through to the final.
When we found Shelly, she was very upset and in tears.
“What’s wrong?” a judge asked her.
“I really wanted to be nominated,” she said in between snivels, “but my costume is ruined!”
“We’re sure something can be done. Why don’t you get it and let us have a look anyway?” another said.
“I’m telling you, it’s ruined!” she said getting up and going into another room to put her outfit on.
The judges being concerned for her wellbeing got together to conspire, “I think we should put her through to the final no matter what she is wearing,” one of them said.
“I agree! This girl really needs her spirits lifted and reaching the final will put her on top of the world.”
They all concurred and called Shelly to tell her the good news. She came out of the other room wearing her costume and leaned against the wall.
“You see? It’s ruined! I put it in the wash but the temperature was too high and it shrunk! I was supposed to be a one of Santa’s little helpers and I was sure I had a good chance of making it to the final,” she said looking up at the judges with hope in her eyes.
The judges had no idea that Shelly’s outfit would end up being so revealing, had they known the state of it before hand, they wouldn’t have put her through but as they had already given their word to each other, they could not go back on it.
“Well,” they said hesitantly, “despite your laundry mistake, we’ve decided that your costume would have been a very accurate representation of one of Santa’s little helpers and have added you to the nominations list.”
Shelly was ecstatic, “Oh thank you sooooo much! I’ve been looking forward to this all year!”
Tabitha had always failed at the cheerleading tryouts and had never been given the chance to join the squad, so the choice of costume for her was obvious.
“I’m sorry, I did have a skirt to go with this but… I lost it…,” Tabitha said thinking that without the skirt, the judges wouldn’t let her through to the final. She suddenly thought of a good idea to try and get them back on side, “…but look! Even though I’m not a cheerleader, I can do real cheerleading moves…!”
The judges actually thought that she didn’t have a skirt because she was trying to conform to the dress code. They liked her outfit, especially the addition of the pom-poms and put her through to the final.
Zara showed her costume declaring that she was Red Riding Hood. She gave her luscious red cape a great swirl as she greeted us.
One of the judges spotted something, “Wait a minute Zara, come closer. What have you got on underneath that cape?”
“Oh, nothing.” Zara replied as she opened it up to show us.
The judges had a problem with this.
“I have never read a Red Riding Hood story wear she was naked under her cape.”
“Well,” Zara had been thinking about this, “Firstly, I Knew that the cape was very long and would usually break the dress code so I decided to make up for it by not wearing anything underneath. Secondly, I’m sure that as the real Red Riding Hood was running through the forest, she would have gotten extremely hot and would have had to remove some clothes. Now, she would hardly remove her signature red cape so of course she would have taken off her other clothes and open the cape up to let the forest wind cool her down like this…”
The judges found her logic irrefutable and allowed her into the final.
Reanna knew her Snow White costume was great and she expected to see smiles on the judges’ faces but instead of smiles, she saw them frowning. This confused her but suddenly thought that the problem could be the length of her dress.
“I know the dress is a bit long but maybe I could have some leeway since I’m not wearing panties, see?” she asked.
The judges were amazed by Reanna’s outfit. Dress length was not a concern today as for this event, the rules had been relaxed a bit but they noticed her hair and demeanour and thought that this might be some sort of Gothic interpretation of Snow White.
Reanna could see they still had apprehension on their faces and asked them if they liked her costume.
“It’s not the outfit itself that’s a cause for concern, it’s that you don’t look like you’re not enjoying yourself. In fact you seem a bit scary.”
“Oh, ok. How about this?” she asked.
“Much better!” The judges liked her smile and put her though to the final.
Polina was dressed in a traditional Roman costume.
“Hmm… That looks very authentic,” one of the judges commented.
“Yes! I made sure it was when I was making it. I don’t think the Romans, especially the ones with less money, wore any kind of underwear, so I followed suit and tried to be as authentic as possible by not wearing underwear too,” Polina said.
“Yes, that is very authentic,” a judge said. “But are you wearing a bra? I’m sure Roman women did not have that kind of lingerie either.”
“No, of course not, see?” Polina replied.”
“Like I said, I’m trying to be very authentic!” she said.
“Excellent!” The judges exclaimed and added her to the nominations list.
We visited Christine (who shared a room with Anita). We knocked on the dorm door and Anita answered, “Yes! Christine is waiting for you in the bathroom.”
“Well if she’s not ready, we can see your costume while we wait,” one of the judges said.
“No, Christine said she’s ready for you. I’ll be ready when you come out,” Anita Said.
We followed her directions into the bathroom to meet Christine. After closing the door, Christine leapt out from behind the shower curtain surprising us by presenting herself like this:
At first the judges thought she had lost her mind and should be disallowed from attending the party altogether.
“What on earth are you doing?! Why are you naked?! Where is you costume?!” they demanded to know.
“This IS my costume!” Christine said defiantly. “I am dressed like a streaker.”
After some thought, her ‘costume’ made sense to the judges and they apologised to her. Two out of three were not completely happy with her total nudity (they thought it defeated the object of a ‘fancy dress’ party), but logically speaking, out of all the girls they had seen so far, Christine was probably the most accurate at portraying who she was meant to be, so for that reason alone, they had to put her through to the final.
After trying to get over our shock of Christine, we heard Anita call out to us, signalling that she was ready with her costume. We entered back into the dorm room to find Anita like this:
“Don’t tell us you’re a streaker too!” the judges said flabbergasted.
“A streaker?! No. I’m Eve, from the Bible, before she ate the apple,” Anita said. “Don’t I look all innocent and carefree?”
“Well, yes you do but I don’t think we can allow two naked girls in the final,” one judge said.
“TWO naked girls?!” Christine and Anita both exclaimed.
Christine came hurriedly out of the bathroom, still naked, and they both looked at each other in shock.
Well you can understand the girls’ upset; even though they had dressed as different people, both of them had been caught wearing the same outfit!
“Hey! You’ve stolen my outfit idea!” Christine said to Anita.
“No I didn’t! I didn’t know what you were going to dress as!” Anita said.
A judge interrupted, “Whatever the case, we don’t think it would be a good idea for two girls in your attire to be in the final and we’ve already put Christine through.”
Anita slumped to the floor disheartened and scratching her head, trying to think up something.
The judges began to feel a bit sorry for her. They could tell her heart was really set on being in the final as well and could see all the hard work she had put into representing Eve. Reluctantly, they decided to put her through too.
Lastly, we visited Elise who surprised us by not only being in costume but in character also.
“I AM ELISE, THE MIGHTY DRAGON WARRIOR!!!” she shouted at us in her most heroic voice. She was swinging a sword about quite violently.
“Careful with that, we don’t want you to hurt yourself… or us,” one judge said.
“We like your costume but your armour doesn’t protect your modesty. I don’t think this is very authentic. Wouldn’t your armour have been a problem to a… warrior woman like yourself? Wouldn’t all the other warrior men be looking at your… feminine areas?” another judge asked.
“Modesty? MODESTY?!!” Elise replied. “I AM A DRAGON WARRIOR!!! I AM FAR TOO BUSY SLAYING DRAGONS TO BE CONCERNED WITH MODESTY!!!”
“BESIDES,” Elise continued, “AS QUEEN OF MY PEOPLE, EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT THEY WILL GET IF THEY DO SOMETHING THAT DISPLEASES ME!!! SO… WHAT SAY YOU ON MY ARMOUR?!!”
The judges decided to put Elise through to the final, more out of fear than anything else.
Later that evening…
The party is in full swing with all the students enjoying themselves. All that is left to do now is for the public to decide which finalist will win the best costume award so now it is over to you: