Public Executions And Fashion: What To Wear While You Watch A Man Die
Maybe you live in a troubled nation where the forces of evil reign over the powerless; where the corrupt feed on a diet of fear and hatred; where information is suppressed and dissenters are silenced; where the defenseless and the undesirables are expelled, imprisoned, or worse. Or maybe you don’t live in America or in the seventh Harry Potter book, but your home country does still hold public executions.
One thing’s for sure: The lawful murder of a fellow human being is no excuse for not looking your best. So in the spirit of haute (and deadly) couture, this style guide includes some of the best looks for attending public executions in your nation, kingdom, dystopia, or dictatorship of residence.
Your outfit should consist of sturdy footwear, a heavy jacket for withstanding blows and power hoses, a shirt with a catchy slogan, a hand-painted sign (“Execution Is Not the Solution”, etc.), and a hidden cyanide capsule for when they catch you and throw you into the inevitable prison camp for dissenters.
Your goal here is to draw attention away from the spectacle of death and towards your fabulous attire. Wear something eye-catching, avant-garde, and terribly inappropriate for the occasion. Think plunging necklines, bright colors, or a giant statement necklace. Make sure you stand close enough to the front to get attention, but far enough back to avoid getting blood on your ensemble (unless you’re incorporating blood into the look deliberately.)
The Wizard About to Save the Day
Some kind of robe is a must-have. It can be weathered and nondescript, flashy and bold, or enchanted to make you invisible. A walking stick (or other obvious magical artifact that you can claim is harmless) is another stylish touch. Also consider including a broad-brimmed hat from beneath which you can peer knowingly at the victim as you wait for the perfect moment to wreak havoc and save them from certain death.
The Commuter Just Trying to Get Home
Let everyone know that you couldn’t care less about the blood-soaked stage (you’ve had a long day at the office, dammit). Maybe Karen brought fish for lunch, or Brian wouldn’t shut up about his bracket, or Daewin son of Glaewin extended the council meeting by two hours to propose a new tax on bread. Wear sunglasses and a nasty glower. The clothes you choose aren’t as important as how clear it is that you just want to get home and change out of them, and could the guy on the end of the rope up there just get on with it and stop twitching already?
The Unnoticed Child
Are you the soon-to-be-orphaned son or daughter of the person being drawn and quartered for treason? Is your strained relationship with your parent about to be denied catharsis and reconciliation by the swing of the ax or the flip of a switch? Raggedy, unassuming fabrics and copious amounts of eyeliner are the key to foreshadowing your five-volume quest for vengeance. One thing you should NOT include in this look is tears. You will never weep again.
The Simple Peasant
You want this look to say, “I love our glorious leader, the oppressive class-stratified system in which I live, and the death of those who would plot against it!” But not too loudly, because you don’t want to be singled out for a position in the king’s court or an internship on the Hill. You just want to get through this, have your Execution Logbook stamped with this month’s required attendance, and get back to planting crops or mining coal or to your three minimum wage jobs that don’t add up to an actual livable one. Basically, this look is all about not getting noticed. Wear your oldest clothes, neglect to shower, don’t do anything with your hair, and maybe roll around in some dirt or a Walmart beforehand.
The Secret Lover of the Accused
It was passionate and intense, and you both knew it couldn’t last, but neither of you expected it to end like this. Part of your heart is dying today, so dress in black. However, incorporate a secret splash of color, like a red flower or your lover’s flower-patterned handkerchief. Stand with burning eyes and your hands clenched into fists. Know that in their last moments, your lover is searching for your face in the crowd, and that in the end—no matter the cost—it was worth it (especially since you’re not the one being executed).
The Executioner’s Fanclub
This look is all about showing that you know who the REAL victim is here. Executioners get a bad rap for being, well, executioners. But you understand the sacrifice they’re making in the name of justice or tyranny and, more importantly, you admire it. Show your support this sundown by donning your darkest clothes, your most imposing hood, and a cloak that flutters menacingly in the wind.
Do not, however, bring an actual ax or other such tool. You run the risk of being mistaken for an executioner yourself and led up to the stage to perform the deed. While this may be flattering or even deeply fulfilling for you, it means a lot of paperwork when the truth comes out. And also the unnoticed child of the accused may seek some serious revenge in a couple years.
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