The prototypical baby doll goes through a grown up transformation and becomes the Luscious Dress by Pinup Couture, a high quality stretch cotton knit tinted a sensational pink that practically screams retro chic. An embellished draws attention to the flattering wrap style bust, where charming black ric rac trim add a bit of contrast and coordinates with the embroidered swans and atomic starbursts on the shoulders. Gathers in the skirt spill from the fitted waist into a sophisticated length that is not too long and not too short. While the dress comes in a few other colors – each of which have a different design – I chose the swans as they represent artistry and grace, two key elements that are often required in Circus culture when presenting a successful performance. In the classic children’s tale of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ it is a token of inner beauty, and for those who consider it to be their totem animal, the swan signifies you are empathic towards others. Prepare for them to be drawn to you, especially wearing Betsey Johnson’s Makenna, snappy black suede slingback wedges that have adjustable heel straps and peep toes that will leave an indelible impression. Candidly express your love of impeccable vintage vogue by toting along the Floozy Purse by Sourpuss, where creamy pink vinyl is decorated in black polka dots, a black vinyl bow sitting beneath the kiss lock closure and black piping that makes it look like a piece of pop art. Extend the theme to your legs by covering them in a pair of Reverse Polka Dot Tights, which are opaque tights with sheer spots from hip to toe.
When styling hair, I would suggest sweeping it up in a sophisticated bun or twisting it from the nape up to the crown and allowing tendrils to fall on the side of the head, elongating the neck to resemble that of a swan. Then place a Cocktail Hat on top – this particular one is coated in hand-stitched sequins, a goose feather flower adorning the front and extending into dramatic fronds that curl into the air. Perplexing accessories that lend themselves to formulating a story often make the difference between a look that is a cataloge copy and one which reflects couture characteristics. Teaming up Cameo Key Earrings from Too Fast and an Oval Keyhole Necklace from Classic Hardware prompts the imagination to wonder which key opens the lock and what sort of treasure lies behind it. Drawing inspiration from water drops, the Anzie Starburst Bracelet is a dazzling array of white saphires, clear topaz and pear shaped mother-of-pearl gemstones in unique silver settings. Finalize the ensemble with a Swan Princess Ring, a magnificent piece of jewelry that captures the elegance of a swan in stunning silver and glittering diamonds, the detailed head and spread out wing setting the bar for a statement ring.
Although the nods to Circus may not be as obvious as previous style guides, it is important to remember that stripes, primary colors and other attributes which are often associated with ‘circus fashion’ do not always need to be present. Here the not-so-subtle addition of polka dots retains a certain level of playfulness that is reiterated through the distinctive placement of pink and black, while tribute is paid to vintage tastes and piece can be utilized in other outfits. The swan becomes a representative of the fluid ballets often executed in the air, as artists nimbly navigate their apparatus of choice in a display of skill and talent that leaves the audience breathless as they stand up to applaud. Channeling this same determination through all aspects of life is what separates a Carny from those who just sit around wistfully lamenting about running away to join the Circus, signifying the dedication which is often lacking in pipe dreams.