Birthday Suit

Post by Aoife

Last time I went to the theatre in Dublin I rocked up decidedly crumpled following a bus journey spent contorted into different positions, in a frustrating quest for comfort. Adding to that a cumbersome rucksack I had to hoik up every time anyone wanted to pass by me, which happened frequently – needless to say I didn’t give off the cultured theatre going vibe I had been hoping for. This time, I’ve staunchly decided, will be different. For it’s a very special weekend. A birthday weekend!

TM and I are entering the final stage of our twenties, which is cause for a couple of differing nights out to mark this most significant of occasions. Friday night will be the last of our current age and will be duly spent with other spring chickens at Dylan Fest at the Academy. Among a load of notable names in the music biz (including brilliant fiddle player Sarah Lynch, originally from our neck of the woods!), a pair of Strokes will be on hand to remind us of a heady Leaving Cert year ending with an expedition to Oxegen, that most youthful of excursions.

Birthday Fest will end maturely and sensibly with a trip to A Streetcar Named Desire in the Gate. So the conundrum is, of course, what to wear to bridge the gap between late 20s and nearly 30?

Turning to the prevalent Bob era, the 60s, I’ve decided to go for a Jane Birkin inspired look first. Birkin was a Swinging London darling and thus for a time epitomised the throwing-caution-to-the-wind attitude of the emerging free love culture. Perfect!

Jane Birkin
Jane Birkin in the 60s
60s 1 _edited-1
Look how young and fun I still am! See? It’s Swinging 2013!

Because I’m not quite as willowy as Jane at 5’2.5″ (that half is important), I’m going to wear a pair of heels high enough to add an inch or two but low enough to dance wildly in. I’ve also replaced the 60s peace and love jewelry with something a little more current, and popped my hair up into a jaunty little ponytail. The mini dress remains. I’m sure to be IDd in this get-up!

So that’s Friday sorted, on to Saturday. A more sophisticated style is in order, both to kickstart our new year in a fittingly dignified manner and to dress up all pretty-like for the play. Streetcar was written by Tennessee Williams in the late 40s, so that’s naturally an appropriate starting point, paired with inspiration from Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor in a recent BBC4 production, Burton and Taylor. Oh the glamour and high-horsiness!

Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor being her beguiling self
50s 1_edited-1
If I stand up that piano will keep playing all by itself

TM mentioned in her previous post that an incoming trend is a floral pattern on a dark base. Luckily I have something that fits the bill languishing in my wardrobe, a 1950s style dress with a nipped in waist and full skirt – which so happens to be a silhouette that will be all over the place in A/W13. I tied a long string of pearls up with a ribbon so they’d look like a four-strand necklace resting at the neckline, and added a bright pair of red stilettos. I curled my hair into something of a bouffant, and would have worn a huge cocktail ring if I had/could find one.

Sunday brings me back to Galway, but before I leave I’m hoping to partake in some coke and cakes, party hats and goodie bags, in deference to the golden years of the birthday party, between the ages of 5 and 12. Jacked up on sugar and high spirits, it’ll be just like being 8 again! And why not – everyone knows you’re only as young as you feel!

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