The Beautiful and the Damned

Seán McGovern loves Halloween – and celebrates the obscene with the help of one particular Partie Monster partie1Halloween is one of those occasions that seems to be either adored or ignored – and while there are those who view it as a night of extreme and hyperbolic self recreation, there are others who simply hear two words: ‘naughty nurse’. While Halloween is a night of the grotesque, there’s no reason why it can’t be divinely so. Costume shops all over the county are brimming with outfits that, although fun and outrageous, will fill refuse bags the next morning, stained and beyond repair – particularly worrying if the costume has been rented. But for others, though, Halloween marks a time to use their own sense of creativity to make something personal.Mimi Rouge of monthly clubnight Partie Monster, in Rí-Rá, believes that Halloween should be taken seriously, especially the aesthetics. Partie Monster is a night where fashion and perceptions of beauty meet: an environment where the emphasis is on image; not about how you should look, but how you want to look. Mimi is a firm believer in ‘DIY glamour’, “As the night progresses you really slip into these different characters. It’s still you, but it’s a different version of you.”The ideas for Halloween are endless. There is, in fact, no need to go as “somebody” or “something”. While shops may provide costumes to rent, Halloween is made for trash fashion. Says Mimi, “There’s loads of different reasons for dressing up. Some people use it as a form of exhibitionism, or to get in touch with a darker side of themselves, or more simply to be more eccentric with their normal style.”Expensive Halloween costumes can result in a lot of unnecessary trouble. By the time day chases night and the experience is over, your €90 costume with €10 delivery costs will likely have followed your example and become a haggard mess. As a seasoned body-switcher, Rouge knows that she’s talking about. “Don’t go out and buy the readymade costumes off the internet.You can be creative with the clothes you already own, or cheapo shops and fabrics like tulle or voile. I went to Ikea and they have voile for dressing windows – they’re brilliant for making dresses or for wrapping around yourself.”Has she any other Halloween suggestions? “Bodypaint, bodypaint, bodypaint!” is her chirpy response, with the preferred source being Makeup Forever on Clarendon Street.Whether or not Halloween is the only night of the year where you dress up, let it not be a wasted experience. Halloween is an opportunity to leave your body for one hideously fashionable night, only to find it somewhere on the street the next morning. No matter what inspires you – movie characters, dead Hollywood stars, monsters of folklore or simply your imagination – don’t balk as you catch a glimpse of yourself in the window of a random Spar, with black kohl creeping its way down your face. Remember, beauty is found in the strangest of places.