Behind the Mask..
It goes without saying that, as costumiers, the Masked Singer programme is of interest, although obviously their costumes are in a world of their own: The twelve outfits in the current UK series apparently took 47 people 5000 hours of work to complete, and aside from a few sizing specifications and other feature details, even they didn’t know who they were making them for.
At Antrix we do have a number of mascot-style costumes, and many others with overhead masks, but the problem is that, in a party environment, aside from the higher cost, the mascots are impractical, hot and heavy, with limited vision. More generally, any form of overhead mask on a costume makes talking, let alone eating and drinking, difficult. The Masked Singer costumes may offer some high-tech solutions to singing in such outfits, but they still need ‘minders’ to help them move on and off stage!
Of course to those of a certain age, the masked singer concept is nothing new: As with their pioneering work on environmental awareness, The Wombles were well ahead of the game in singing, clocking up a number of chart hits. As with the Masked Singer programme, few knew who was in the costumes, and the Wombles’ music maestro Mike Batt has recently revealed that, on one occasion, the members of Steeleye Span (known for Christmas hits All Around My Hat and Gaudete) filled the furry outfits. Coincidentally, just as masked singers are back in vogue, word has it the Wombles are making a comeback to our TV screens. Whether they also return to the charts is another matter. Just for the record, for reasons of copyright and the problems noted above, we don’t have any Womble outfits!
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Last week we have had two costume-related news stories of interest:
The Iranian government wished to publicise a forthcoming rocket launch and its bold step to joining the Space Race. Unfortunately they chose to do this using a spacesuit illustration which turned out to be a photoshopped version of a child's NASA astronaut costume widely available on Amazon and other outlets. Obviously unless they had plans for small-sized astronauts in the interests of economy, this was a major faux pas – oh, and the rocket launch was a failure too, exploding soon after take-off.
Meanwhile as dedicated costumed runners gear up for this year's London Marathon, belated success for a runner in last year's event: Going for 'Fastest Runner Dressed As A Nurse' for the purposes of the Guinness Book of Records, her claim was originally turned down because she was in a 'scrubs-style' outfit rather than the 'traditional' nurse outfit. After a social media campaign involving nurses explaining that scrubs are indeed now the traditional uniform, Guinness has now 'updated its outdated attitude' and recognised her achievement.