May 22nd, 2012
I was really into Greek and Roman mythology (thanks to home schooling, the last bastion of the classics) as a child. I think I’d just graduated from the D’Aulaires to Bulfinch when I decided to costume myself as Aphrodite for Hallowe’en.
The dress was a thrift store find. Probably donated by some bemused bridesmaid who didn’t look well in peach, or who anticipated relatively few toga* party invitations. It’s actually a rather lovely dress if you don’t mind polyester chiffon. And it certainly fits better now than it did then. I recall some fast work with safety pins around the shoulders.
(Pardon the idyllic setting, it’s just our front yard — what a difference from Thompson & Bleecker, Greenwich Village!)
The real effect of the costume was made not by the dress however, but by the embellishments we added. They’re long disbanded, alas. So you’ll have to use your imagination.
- Naturally I had a crown of flowers.
- Some say Aphrodite carried the seasons on her feet (I’ve heard of stranger things), so my mother decked out a pair of sneakers with fall leaves, spring flowers, winter snow, and summer fruit.
- And of course you’ll recall that Aphrodite bore a son, Eros, god of love, aka Cupid. Which inspired my ingenious μήτηρ to kit out my otherwise nude “Fun In The Sun” Cabbage Patch doll with a bow and quiver of heart-tipped arrows.
Of all my old costumes, this is the one I see myself continuing to wear. Minus the naked Cabbage Patch Doll of course.
*Yes, I realize this is a chiton, but how many chiton parties have you seen? Hmmm. Interesting idea actually…