Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Not So Little Red Riding Hood

You all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood or at least a version of it, most popularly the Grimm Brothers' version where Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother are both saved by a woodsman in the end who kills the wolf. Of course in the older versions there was no woodsman and Little Red Riding Hood and granny were not so lucky.

If you look it up on Wikipedia you can see how this fable has developed and been interpreted over the years, often people add sexual symbolism to it from Red's red cloak to her being led astray by the wolf, everything seems to have a double meaning. This is most beautifully explored in the film In the Company of Wolves, directed by Neil Jordan and based on a story in the book the Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. This film, along with Trick R Treat also explores the idea of Red being a wolf herself and not the innocent heroine/victim she is usually represented as.

For years now Little Red Riding Hood has been one of my favourite fairytales, perhaps because of the talking wolf (I love werewolves) or the fact that's she not a stereotypical princess but someone more average or maybe just because generally she's represented as a brunette and not a beautiful blonde lol.

Nowadays a lot of people depict Red as grown up, sexy and getting her revenge on the Big Bad Wolf, which is an interesting interpretation, one I am very fond of. Although I like the idea of her being the wolf's alley and maybe a wolf herself even more.

It's amusing how a lot of fairytales have now many adult interpretations, some wicked and gothic, others sex filled, some both, you just need to google the internet briefly to find a few, from the Gothic versions of Disney princesses to the adult novels about Beauty and the Beast or the television series for the matter. It seems as adults we have lost our innocence and cannot be fooled by happy ever afters but we are not yet ready to let go off our beloved stories and so have moulded them to suit our realities better.

What girl can't relate to the desires to stray off the path like Red and rebel, going off with the dangerous male who she knows is dangerous and yet she cannot resist his seduction?

As a lover of Halloween and Red Riding Hood naturally this year I've decided to dress up as my favourite heroine. I've been Red before, twice in fact, but with poorly made costumes that involved my own clothes and a purchased hooded cloak that was warm and great to wear but alas too long, easily catching on the feet and quickly spoiled by mud. This year I decided I wanted my costume to look good so I bought one after much trawling through the internet, browsing all the available options.

It was more of a struggle than I thought it might as I bought one of ebay that turned out to be a tacky, polyester thing that looked like it came from Anne Summers and then I was sold the exact same costume again from ebay by a different seller who had been falsely advertising with a different pic. I finally went to the website that had created the costume I wanted, the one falsely advertised on ebay, and bought it directly from the source.

Below is my costume, made by Secret Wishes in velour.

There were others I thought were good, the Elite costume naturally, which was around £80 and made of real velvet, only for the diehards, Halloween may be the best holiday but it is only once year and as much as I love dressing up as something different every year there is a simple to how much should be spent.
There was also a brilliant, Gothic tween costume that was based on an artist's picture A beautiful costume, I might have gotten it if the adult one had been easier to come by. For those who want it, you can get it from American websites and ebay from American sellers though it is not cheap.

So concludes the random Little Red Riding Hood rant inspired by my costume purchase, recent rewatching of Trick R Treat and purchasing on a wonderful leather bound edition of the complete collection of Grimm fairytales.

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