I’m going to warn you now that this is a kit post that is a little different to my usual ones, as it’s to do with how I style my hair as Lady Judith. If you’re looking for hair resources then I encourage you to peruse my previous post collecting some resources together, but today this is solely about the good Lady-Knight.
The best thing about having LARP characters, in my opinion, is having the opportunity to take the styles and fashions that you see in your favourite films and tv shows and bring them into your life. It’s a way to find excuses to wear outrageous gowns, or to flounce around in a draped cape that you can casually toss aside when someone challenges your honour or opinion, or a chance to wear big hats with feathers outside of a wedding season. It’s a chance to step outside your usual norm and wear something you wouldn’t dream of wearing out in ‘public’ – like lashings of heavy gothic makeup for a Vampire masquerade, a wimple and veil or even armour. LARP is, as ever, a chance to escape the realm of normal and to be someone else.
If you’re anything like me you’ll find part of your mind picking up on costume details when you’re sat in the cinema or in the comfort of your living room, obsessing over some detail or outfit that would be ‘perfect’ for your current or future character. But how does one take that image on the screen and recreate it in real life on an often limited budget?
Photograph taken by Kirsten Barrett, August 2017
For me LARP is about character interactions and role-play, but a lot of cues can be gained from costumes. As you can tell, costume making has developed into an interest and forms an integral part of my hobby (ask my OH about my fabric haul …). You look for insignia, you take in whether the kit is rough and ready or fine and fancy. We are a visual people, a social people, and costume forms part of that unspoken language. If you see insignia from your unit you’re more likely to interact with them over the “others” who aren’t part of your unit, or Church, or group – almost unconsciously.
Costume is great! It helps with our immersion as a group and it’s always wonderful to see someone go from being a 21st Century citizen to being a scout or wizard or futuristic warrior (depending on your system) by putting on some different clothes and doing something with their hair or make up. Isn’t the whole point of this game to be something other than ourselves?
So why is there an unspoken snarkiness about kit? What gives us the right to judge people for the costume they put together, that they have spent time thinking over and developing and working hard on preparing?
The short answer is – none. None what so ever.
We’re finally in Advent, which for many is a time of preparation and waiting. It is also a time of year that people look back on what has been and look forward to what is to come. So it’s the perfect time to look towards next year, and the blog, and plot and scheme about sewing projects.
Prepare for a ramble post!
With winter well and truly bearing down on us – who else had to scrape the car these last few weeks? – the woods have been beautifully atmospheric and begging to be photographed during LARP days. My thoughts have been turning towards winter too, and I’ve been reviewing my kit, especially after writing the winter LARP guide for the blog.
Let me show you a couple of new items that I’ve made to flesh out my kit for winter.