Cats Fancy Dress

Cats Fancy Dress Theme
Looking for a theme idea thats the cats whiskers? Its almost thirty years since Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Cats’ hit the London stage (11th May 1981, since you ask). So, what better reason than to celebrate famous cats? Children’s fiction and verse is littered with cats of note, from Orlando the Marmalade cat to the Cheshire Cat of Wonderland. There are the various cats found in Nursery Rhymes from the Cat and the Fiddle to the One that went up to London to look at the Queen. Plus, of course, there is the TS Eliot Book of Practical Cats upon which Lloyd Webbers mewsical was based. Also, with Halloween in mind, black cats are renowned for their involvement in the field of Superstition and Witchcraft.

Okay, a cat theme is a little female orientated and even then, not everyone favours the catsuit look, but as always at Props & Frocks we aim to cater to all tastes and can perhaps offer some interesting suggestions: For example, although the event (like the World) might be based around cats (Dogs have masters, Cats have staff), it may be permissible to involve some non-feline partners in the festivities, on the grounds that cats have been part of many famous pairings Dick Whittington and his cat, the Owl & the Pussycat, Tom & Jerry, Sylvester & Tweety and so on. It may also make for a bit of variety!

Creating a basic cat does not usually involve much expense or effort – many a hennight has been based around a suitable frock with added tail and cats-ears accessories and a bit of face-paint, but with a little willing and a bit more preparation there are plenty of other avenues to explore. For a start, there are a wide range of cat-style masks on the market, from the winged domino mask to more elaborate Venetian-style affairs, but if you want to use make-up instead, from a simple design to a full-face creation, we will be happy to help.

Starting with the standard cat-suit based cat (which might be fur, lycra or stretch-knit based, depending upon preference and environment), we also stock a wonderful black petticoat dress that makes a fantastic base for a lovely cat costume (and stays away from the lycra!) The standard cat offers you a number of character options, the Nursery Rhyme cats already mentioned, Dick Whittington’s companion, or the original version of Catwoman from the Batman TV series. The latter was such a challenging role it was played by three different actresses (including Eartha Kitt) over the run of the series and the subsequent film. More recent incarnations of Catwoman are mentioned below.

For a cat with character, you need look no further than Puss-in-Boots. Admittedly, the most recent Shrek incarnation has been male (voiced by Antonio Banderas) whilst, thanks to traditional pantomime convention, Puss has usually been played by a she. Either option is available from us here at Props n Frocks and at least this is a cat with class, a dashing outfit and a nifty pair of boots.

Of course you might want to set your sights higher than a mere pussy-cat and go for the Big Cats – Tigers, Leopards, Cheetahs and the like. Luckily there are a good number of such animal print costumes available, although if the heat factor is relevant, most are based on plush fur fabric so may prove hot in the wrong way. Alternatively animal print leotards may be the way forward with body and face-paint being used for the bits the costume does not cover. For the very brave there is a leopard Morphsuit as well!

Why not wear one of our big cat masks if you do not want to wear a complete big cat costume

Other leading cat characters of recent years have been the updated versions of Catwoman. Despite appearing in 1992, the black PVC-clad version portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer continues to be a regular request, whilstHalleBerrys street-fighter Catwoman of 2003 (which was not related to the Batman franchise) continues to have a following, even if the film itself was not a great success. More recently, Anne Hathaway has added her cat-burglar Catwoman impression in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

If you are wanting something a little more exotic, original and with a touch of the godlike, the Ancient Egyptians were very keen on cats and worshipped them -they even had their own temples! There were two cat-headed deities. The first, Bast (or Bastet) was roughly the equivalent of the Roman Goddess Venus in having Love and Fertility in her remit. This is an original sex kitten, the costume perhaps being a cross between a sexy Cleopatra and a Catwoman. At the other end of the spectrum was Sekhmet, the lioness headed goddess of War and Retribution, so something based on an armoured Warrior Princess cum Lioness could create a good (or god) impression here.

Perhaps the whole cat/animal thing isnt quite you. No matter! Aside from well known TV presenter Cat Dealy (not too sure how you impersonate her, but dont let practicality get in the way of a good idea) theres Pussy Galore played by Honor Blackman from the Bond film Goldfinger. (It was Honor Blackmans stint in a catsuit on The Avengers that got her the role in the film). Alternatively you could try Jane Fonda in one of her less remembered roles, the cowgirl Cat Ballou, a film she starred in with Lee Marvin. For cartoon fans, we have already mentioned Tom Cat and Sylvester, but theres also Top Cat and his gang Benny the Ball, Choo-choo, etc. Not that weve necessarily got these off-the-peg, but we may be able to help with key elements.

Of course having used the Cats musical as an excuse for this posting, weve not given this much coverage. This is because of the vast range of costumes and looks involved. If you are a fan, you will already know this, if youre not, we wouldnt want to take up space on something of specialist interest. Perhaps if theres enough demand we might put together a special sheet, but there are plenty of reference resources available on the Web in the meantime.

How about dressing up as Cat Stevens?

Of course if your cat costume is a bit ragged or your cat make-up attempt is a disaster, put your paw in a sling, wear an eye-patch and collar label ‘Lucky’ and go as ‘Cat-astrophe’.

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