06 January, 2012

It's Friday: Let's Piss Off People with Clockwork Orange Costumes!

OK, for the picky among us, let's acknowledge the following:
The classic "droog" uniform from the literary version of A Clockwork Orange is described by Alex thusly:
The four of us were dressed in the heighth of fashion, which in those days was a pair of black very tight tights with the old jelly mould, as we called it, fitting on the crutch underneath the tights, this being to protect and also a sort of design you could viddy clear enough in a certain light, so that I had one in the shape of a spider, Pete had a rooker (a hand, that is), Georgie had a very fancy one of a flower, and poor old Dim had a very hound-and-horny one of a clown's litso (face, that is), Dim not ever having much of an idea of things and being, beyond all shadow of a doubting thomas, the dimmest of we four. Then we wore waisty jackets without lapels but with these very big built-up shoulders ('pletchoes' we called them) which were a kind of mockery of having real shoulders like that. Then, my brothers, we had these off-white cravats which looked like whipped-up kartoffel or spud with a sort of design on it with a fork. We wore our hair not too long and we had flip horrorshow boots for kicking.
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange, p. 2
OK, if anybody here has an eye for detail, they'll probably agree with this much:
The classic "droog" uniform from the film version of A Clockwork Orange consists of the following:
  1. A white, collarless, button-down shirt.
    Each droog has a variation on this. Georgie wears an undershirt based on that the buttons don't go all the way down and the wide neck it has. Dim's shirt is pinstriped. Alex's shirt is pocketed while Pete's is not.
  2. A codpiece.
  3. White suspenders.
  4. White slacks tucked into...
  5. Black boots.
  6. Black hat.
    Both Alex and Dim wear bowler hats, Georgie wears a top hat, and Pete wears a beret.*
  7. Women's make up.
    There's Alex's eyelashes on his right eye, but notice that both Pete and Georgie wear eye shadow on their left eyes; Georgie wears a sort of yellow-and-green pattern while Pete wears a darker shade. Dim wears bright red lipstick.
  8. A symmetrical adornment of fake blood or gore.
    Alex sports an eyeball on each wrist and Dim has a rivulet of fake blood running down each suspender. Georgie sports a pair of bleeding nipples. Pete appears to be the only droog without this adornment.*
  9. The weapon.
    Alex's cane-knife, Pete and Georgie's shillelaghs, and Dim's chain.
  10. Those creepy masks.
Now, I'm sure you noticed the asterisks I placed in there, and that's because I want to go in a different direction here for just a moment, so please allow me the following digression: It can be assumed that because Pete is depicted as the only droog without a brimmed hat and a display of gore - even more so because he has next to zero lines aside from the word "right" here and there throughout the first act and absent from the following two - that he may be a new member of the group and therefore of lower rank. Georgie would, by benefit of being the brains behind the attempted coup and that Alex addresses him as "Georgie the General" in his narration, would position Georgie as second in command. Dim would perhaps be third in command, above Pete, but this would only be because of his tenure over Pete who, as inferred above, must be in a probationary period of a sort as his is the only uniform lacking two distinct details. Now, the beret can be overlooked, true, but that the uniform is devoid of the symmetrical gore perhaps notes that the display of gore is an earned badge denoting a member's rank or inclusion. That he sports the same makeup and weapon as Georgie would signify that he was brought in under Georgie's wing, though Georgie conspires against Alex more closely with Dim, Dim being shown as more easily manipulated. That Pete doesn't talk except to agree with Alex's commands to the group suggests that silence is part of his initiation period.
Look at me being all learned up in this bitch.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand: The Droog Uniform.
Above are the ten elements that are essential to that uniform and every Halloween, people go for the droog outfit. And I'm sick of it. I can't help it. I'm a hater. Because people always want to be Alex and are always finding ways of screwing it up.
I get that there are folks out there who figure that there's no reason to get bent out of shape, that espouse the whole "who-cares-as-long-as-everybody-gets-the-point?" attitude.
Well, you know what? I care. Let me take you on a tour of what I found when I Googled "a clockwork orange costume book" yesterday when I couldn't remember the specifics of the literary version of the uniform (it should be noted that the passage above was not copied and pasted; I had to go into my closet and drag out my copy of the book and transcribe it) and I also wanted to see if anybody had ever tried to pull that version off. Sure, it's a little more obscure but, c'm'on, you know that would start some conversations.
Now, as if by divine providence, we have ten elements to the uniform which means I can score these mofos on a ten point scale. The mask, our tenth element, however, is optional since it was seen on a much more limited scale than the rest of the uniform. The weapon is optional as well. Canes are nice accessories and really only Dim "wore" his chain (as a belt). I won't dock points for lack of the mask.
The thing about these, though, is how into it women are.
Score: 8.5
Point deduction for the lack of codpiece. Half point for the shirt collar.
Although, honestly, I don't know how I'd feel about her in a codpiece. Shit would weird me out, B. Otherwise, she's cute and she made the costume herself.
Score: 6
Well, the hat and the suspenders are correct. The makeup is a little over done but at least it's there. Not sure how I feel about the boots. I actually like the corset in place of the codpiece. I mean, if they're going to go feminine with this thing, that's a creative choice. Too bad it's not canon.
Otherwise, don't do with this.
Score: 6.5
You know it's bad when you score only a half point more than the skank above you.
Points deducted for lack of codpiece, makeup, and gore. Half point deducted for not tucking the slacks into the boots.
Really? She just looks like a ska fan.
Score: 10
A Georgie and an Alex, albeit in lady form. Look at Georgie: She even got the bleeding nipples right, if not a little high. (And, no, it's not creepy at all that my ex-girlfriend's name is Georgie and I have to refer to this woman by a male character's name and... ah fuck it.) And, no, I can't see the boots but I think I don't have to ask.
Score: 1
This one so doesn't count, I'm not even granting the grace points for the weapon or mask. I mean, I looked at it and thought it was a white dress with a black hat. The caption read "... Clockwork Orange costume..." I said to myself, No. That's a black hat with a white dress. If your intention was indeed to make this a Clockwork Orange costume, you get one point for putting on a hat, OK? There's this shit called effort. You may want to look into putting some of that into your future costumes.
I'm pretty against judging the costume when I can't get an idea of the entire thing but from what I see here, I get the feeling that there are probably white slacks tucked into boots. Just can't be sure. At least the top half is pretty slick.
Score: 0
What the fuck is this happy horseshit? This could just as easily be a Catholic school girl outfit at a Suicide Girls photo shoot. The gal who didn't go any further than putting on a hat beat you.
This is another one that's too limited, photographically, for me to judge. I want to give her a full ten, though, for completely, dead-on nailing the brooding and foreboding atmosphere.
Score: Score: 7.5
These guys would've walked away with an 8.5 if more than one of them wore make up. They lost a half point to the shirt collars and another full point for lack of gore.
Score: 4.5
And I didn't even want to give her that.
She lost a half point for the shirt collar. She lost five more points for the lack of codpiece, suspenders, slacks, gore, and boots.
Nothing says you're ready for a night full of the old ultraviolence like putting on a pair of sensible flats.
Score: (Surprisingly) 7
She loses a point each to the shirt, slacks, and gore.
There's so much I want to not like about this but really, she just replaced the shirt and slacks with a unitard. I mean, she even went out and got a codpiece.
And she's fit. That kind of helps.

Isn't it embarrassing when you all show up to the party and find out that you're wearing the same things?
This is another one I can't score because I can't see the lower half of the costumes. I have a feeling that they might have on their finest white jeans but I'm not going to make that assumption when I'm looking at three women whom I'm presuming have only passingly seen the movie poster as they all showed up in the Alex makeup.
And then, of course, there's the tank tops.
Score: 0
This is not a droog. This is a stripper. Note the bow tie.
Score: 9.5
Otherwise perfect, he's docked a half point for the collared shirt.
Score: 7
I hate to dock this guy points because he looks so happy. Still, half points for the shirt collar and boot tuck, full points for the codpiece and gore.
Score: 8.5
Again with the half point for the collared shirt. A full point deduction for the gore.
Score: 8.5
Half point for the collared shirt and a full point for the missing braces. There's some red on his wrists that looks like he has tried to improvise some gore with a magic marker. So he keeps his gore point.
Also? Does his codpiece have a boner?
Score: 7.5
The beret tells me we have a Pete, here, so we can forgive the lack of gore. Still he's got a shirt collar, a missing codpiece, and no makeup.
Score: I'm not even adding this shit up; it looks like where one of them will fail, another will succeed.
And like this hasn't been done before: The band that dresses like droogs. Do a Google Image search for the band The Adicts (yes, one "d"). They've been doing it since '75.
Score: 7.5
This one was easier to score as all of them are wearing collars, lacking gore, and I think only one of them is wearing make up. What they're doing with indy-band-Lestat at the courthouse is anyone's guess.
Again, can't tell what's going on downstairs but, where I don't see gore, I also don't see a collar.
I just wanted to point out how easy it is to obtain a shirt without a collar.
Score: 6.5
Obviously, we're docking a full point for the black slacks and the usual dockage for the lack of gore and presence of a collar. But what the fuck is up with the cravat? Is she trying to mix the literary and cinematic uniforms? If that's the case, she can probably be forgiven.
Also? You're not really intimidating anybody by looking like Zooey Deschanel in your close up.
Again, can't score this one.
This happens to be Rooney Mara, who's playing Lisbeth Salander in the English language version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Again, this photo is being used only to show you that collarless shirts exist.
And there we go, my little illiterati: A lesson in paying attention to details. A lesson in making your own Halloween costumes. Also probably a lesson in whether or not women look hot dressed up like a fictional male sociopath and a lesson in trying to not picture Malcolm McDowell when you're stroking off to some of these women. But all I'm trying to say is: If you're going to do something, do it right. Otherwise, some lame-o who writes a blog nobody's ever heard of while he's at work will ridicule you for having a collar on your shirt.


  1. Its Rooney Mara jackass. Fact-check your shit.

    Also, I think I know what my Halloween costume is this year.

  2. I pledge that I will on the condition that you remember to spell Björk - my future ex-wife - with the umlauts.
    Also? As far as portraying Lisbeth Salander goes, she's going to have a tough time topping Noomi Rapace's performance. I still haven't seen the US version but I look forward to it. I'll make a judgement call after I do.
    As of now? It's going to be... well... It's going to be tough, man. Like when they tried to replace Sean Connery's Bond with George Lazenby's. (Admittedly, I like Lazenby's Bond, as well. So take that as a point in your girl's favor.)

  3. For the love of God hasn't anyone tried to make the costume from the book? Cream shirt under black jacket with black tights? Why not? Why??


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