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Today is Pop Music Chart Day! Comments Off on Today is Pop Music Chart Day!

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

pop-music-chart-day

Today is Pop Music Chart Day! When was the last time you investigated the pop music charts? Well, today is the day! Not just for looking into what’s at number 1 right now, but celebrating chart music throughout the years!

The UK Singles Chart was first compiled in 1952; since then there have been over 1200 chart toppers, so there are plenty of songs to choose from. Why not choose a chart topper to dress up as for the day?

Here are some of our favourite chart music fancy dress ideas…

1950s

It has to be Elvis, doesn’t it? Can you believe The King had no less than 21 UK number ones. The most recent was in 2005, but his very first was in June 1957 with All Shook Up. He stayed at the top spot for 7 weeks!

1960s

Can you guess? The Beatles, obviously! With 17 UK number ones, they were almost as big as Elvis. Their first was in May 1963 with From Me To You.

1970s

Abba had seven number one singles in the 1970s – and more importantly, they’re super fun to dress up as!

1980s

Madonna – it has to be Madonna, doesn’t it? She had six number one singles in the 80s and her look (in the 80s, at least) had 1980s written all over it!

1990s

Ooh, now this one is a toss up between the Spice Girls and Take That, both of whom had 8 number ones in the 1990s… but the Spice Girls are so much more fun to dress up as – and so much more instantly recognisable!

2000s

Westlife had the most number one singles in the 2000s, with 11 chart toppers. But unless you’ve several mid-20s Irish heart throbs to stand behind you crooning, they can be a little tricky to pull off… Next on the list is Eminem – and he’s a little easier to dress up as! Or you could always do an updated Madonna look, since she managed 5 UK number ones in the 2000s.

2010s

Hmm, this decade is literally only just half way through. So far the artist with the most number ones is Bruno Mars. Although he did go through a phase of wearing that funny hat, he’s a bit tricky to dress up as and everyone know who you came as. In fact, this decade doesn’t really have a fancy dress front runner… let’s hope things pick up in the second half!

Our 5 Favourite Fancy Dress Guinness World Records Comments Off on Our 5 Favourite Fancy Dress Guinness World Records

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Around this time of year, the Guinness World Records annual appears in the shops and we all marvel at what bonkers records have been set in the last 12 months. To celebrate this, here are our five favourite Guinness world records involving fancy dress:

Guinness-World-Records-Fancy-Dress

 

1. Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Spider-Man

On July 28th this year, 438 people in Sydney, Australia dressed as Spider-Man and got together for a bit of a gathering. All of the participants were dressed in the original blue and red Amazing Spider-Man costume.

2. Largest Toga Party

Another Australian record! This featured 3,700 people dressed in togas on February 24th, 2012 in Brisbane. Organised by the University of Queensland Union and Queensland University of Technology, the event was actually a celebration of the end of orientation week.

3. Most People Wrapped as Mummies

This record was broken in London on June 19th, when hundreds of parent bloggers attending the Brit Mums Live conference . 51 Mummies were wrapped in toilet paper – breaking the existing record by just one mummy!

4. Largest Drag Queen Stage Show

On July 26th 2014, the largest drag queen stage show took place in Columbus, Ohio – with 55 participants. This sounds like one that could be set to topple soon – surely we can rustle up 56 drag queens for a stage show?

5. Largest Gathering of Spice Girls Impersonators

Who doesn’t love a good Spice Girls fancy dress outfit? The great news about this record is that according to the Guinness World Records website, it’s still up for grabs! Could you and your friends claim this record for your own?

Two Decades of Toy Story! Comments Off on Two Decades of Toy Story!

Posted on September 07, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

toy-storyTwenty years ago, the genius that is Toy Story first showed in American cinemas. Can you believe that?

All three Toy Story movies are available on Netflix this month, starting with the first one being released this Friday, the 11th. Are you excited? We are!

When it came out in 1995, people were not sure about the idea of an animated movie. Would it be any good? Would it hurt our eyes to watch a cartoon for that long? Would it be believeable? Their doubts were soon blown out of the water by Buzz and Woody and the story of Andy’s toys. Now considered to be one of – if not the – best animated movies ever made, Toy Story is possibly the ultimate buddy movie and also achieved that rarest of things: two sequels that were just as good as the original, if not better.

With 20 years of viewing, people of all ages love Toy Story and it’s one of those classics you can sit and watch with the kids, and laugh as much as they do.  Why not organise a family Toy Story viewing this weekend, complete with Buzz Lightyear costumes, popcorn and – of course – a bevvy of toys on the sofa.

Here is some great Toy Story trivia to help get you in the mood:

  • The animation team perfected the movement of the toy soldiers by gluing a pair of trainers to a piece of board and trying to walk around on it!
  • In early versions of the script, Woody’s love interest was to be a Barbie doll – but Mattel, the company that owns Barbie, declied to have her in the film as they thought it would be a flop. They obviously changed their minds after the success of the first film, since both Barbie and Ken appear in later movies.
  • Whenever a character blinks, their eyes bline one after the other, not together – keey an eye out for that one when you’re watching! (see what we did there)
  • All of the cars have a November 1995 number plate – because this is the month the movie was released.
  • Many people will know that Disney animated movies usually have a hidden Mickey head. In Toy Story, it is in the form of a “giant watch” clock on the wall in Andy’s bedroom.
  • Just below the back of Buzz’s waistband, you can see the Disney registration trademark. (pause buttons at the ready!)
  • Andy’s last name is Davis – but we only know this because the actress who voices his mum is listed in the credit as “Mrs Davis.
  • At the beginning of the movie at Andy’s birthday party, Sarge is looking through binoculars at the partygoers, you can see that all of the children are the same character model as Andy, just with different skin tones and clothes.
  • The carpet in Sid’s house has the same pattern as the carpet in the hotel from the movie The Shining (ask your parents if you don’t know)
  • When Sarge looks through his binoculars for the first time, they are upside down
  • Woody tells Buz that his “laser” is just a “light bulb that blinks” – but when Buzz tries it out, it does make a single red dot – so it must be a laser rather than a light bulb!
  • In some scenes, Andy’s mum’s minivan has a sunroof – but in others, it doesn’t.

Enjoy looking for these in the movie!

To infinity, and beyond!!

Back to the 90s – A Guide for Men Comments Off on Back to the 90s – A Guide for Men

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Back to the 90s-

 

The 1990s is a great era to choose for a fancy dress party, whether you’re throwing one or going to one.

If you’re going to a party and you’re drawing a blank, costume wise, let us help you fill in the blanks…

Mr Blobby
Remember when Saturday evening TV meant Noel’s Houseparty, gunging and Mr Blobby? Back when entertainment was entertaining!  This costume is instantly recognisable and loved by all! Two very important questions though: how good is your impression, and can you remember the words to his smash hit number 1 single?

Ali G
His movie came out in 2002, but Staines’ most famous export first appeared on our screens in 1998, as a small part on Channel 4’s The 11 O’Clock Show. Sharpen an eyeliner pencil; you’re about to draw on the most contrived beard of all time!

Mr Motivator
Don’t pretend you don’t remember Mr Motivator! This costume is really only for people with the confidence to pull it off – since it’s really only a lurid spandex onesie and a bum bag. Mr Motivator was all over our screens in the arly ’90s, motivating us to get up and active with his workouts on GMTV.

The Mask
Remember The Mask? Released in 1994, it was hugely popular and was one of the movies that helped catapult Jim Carrey to fame. Of course, as well as that iconic yellow suit, you’ll also need some green face paint… and to practise saying Smokin!! a lot!

The Tango Man
From 1992-97, Tango ran a series of ads where an orange man walked up to a person drinking a can of Tango, and slapped him around the face. You know when you’ve been Tango’d was soon being said to people holding cans of it all over the country.

Whatever you dress up as, have a fantastic time reliving the amazing decade that was the 1990s!

Back to the 90s – a Guide for Ladies Comments Off on Back to the 90s – a Guide for Ladies

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Back to the 90s-

 

The 1990s is a great era to choose for a fancy dress party, whether you’re throwing one or going to one.

If you’re going to a party and you’re drawing a blank, costume wise, let us help you fill in the blanks…

A Spice Girl

Whether it’s Sporty, Scary, Posh, Baby or Ginger, you can’t go wrong with a spice girl costume. The quintessential nineties outfit.

Miss Buzz Lightyear

Everyone loves the Toy Story movies, and this can be the perfect costume. Instantly recognisable and super fun, this costume is worth the extra little bit of bulk!

Belle from Beauty & The Beast

If Disney princess is more your thing, don’t worry; Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991. Remember the little dancing tea cup, the candle stick… and of course,Belle in that beautiful golden dress!

A Baywatch Babe

Really, all you need for this is a red swimming costume, isn’t it! Baywatch was in its heyday in the 1990s. Remember Pamela Anderson, David Hasselhoff, and all those excuses to do a slow-motion run into the sea! Now’s your time to join in!

Mrs Potato Head

Did you know there was a Mr Potato Head Show in the 1990s? Mrs Potato Head is probably better known for her appearance in Toy Story in 1999. Either way, Mrs Potato Head is a great fun 90s costume.

 

Whatever you’re dressing as, make sure you have a great time!

Celebrate Women’s History Month Comments Off on Celebrate Women’s History Month

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

s HIstory Month!March is Women’s History Month; there are bound to be loads of great events going on all over the country to celebrate.

A great way to celebrate is to dress up as your favourite woman from history. Here are a few suggestions:

EarhartAmelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic. She also famously disappeared in 1937 during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I was the last of the Tudor monarchs, and famous for bringing a period of peace and enlightenment to England. The country thrived throughout her reign, despite many having misgivings about her abilities as a queen.

Pocahontasdownload (2)
Made famous by the Disney movie, Pocahontas was a real woman, princess of the Powhatan Tribe. She helped to establish peace between her tribe and the colonists.

Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great was Empress of Russia and widened the country’s boundaries during her reign. A very powerful Russian Empress, she was of course feared by many and incredibly strong.

Queen Victoria
“We are not amused!” Victoria was Britain’s longest ruling monarch (soon to be surpassed by our current Queen Elizabeth II). The sun neverset on the Victorian British Empire, and she was known for being very tough and in control.

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale was a nurse during the Crimean War – a time when there was really no such thing as a nurse! She is famous as the founder of modern nursing, and for not listening when men said she couldn’t do something!

 

Can you think of any other women from history who would be great to dress up as?

 

 

Win a 70’s or 80’s Fancy Dress Costume of Your Choice Comments Off on Win a 70’s or 80’s Fancy Dress Costume of Your Choice

Posted on February 23, 2015 by Karl Young

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National Storytelling Week Comments Off on National Storytelling Week

Posted on January 28, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

s National Storytelling Week!

 

This Saturday marks the beginning of the fifteenth National Storytelling Week. From 31st January to 7th February we will be celebrating the most ancient art form of them all. Everyone loves a good story; it’s something we learn to enjoy at a very young age, and which never leaves us.

National Storytelling Week celebrates all sorts of stories; from telling people how your day was, to biographies, to children’s books or even TV dramas. Storytelling is something everyone gets involved with, and is something that enriches every culture and every life.

National Storytelling Week takes part in schools, museums, hospitals, and even care homes each year. If you’d like to hold your own event, you can contact the Society for Storytelling and they will send you a pack.

What sort of storytelling event could you put on?

Grandparent Storytelling

If you have children, get them together with a group of their friends and have grandparents take turns in telling stories about their childhoods and how they were different. Children love hearing about “the olden days” – even the 1980s is “the olden days” these days!

Fancy Dress

Our favourite idea, obviously – have a party and get everyone to dress up as their favourite character from a story.  This gives you a massive scope for costumes, since every single character you can think of is a character from a story – Batman, Wonder Woman, Peter Pan. Fairytales, children’s books, heck, you could throw a Hunger Games party – Hunger Games is a story!

Consequences Party

Invite friends over and play a huge game of consequences. Remember that game from childhood, where you write the first line of a story, then fold over the top and pass it to the next person to add their line. It’s a great way of making up a really creative story and having fun, and can work with all age groups.

Put on a Community Play

The most important part of National Storytelling Week is the storytelling part of it. It’s a great chance to hear stories – both made up and real-life, from those around us. Fancy dress is a great way of immersing ourselves in that story; a community play can be a great way to get to know those around you, as well as learn new skills – and dress up!

10 Last Minute Fancy Dress Ideas for New Year’s Eve Comments Off on 10 Last Minute Fancy Dress Ideas for New Year’s Eve

Posted on December 31, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

10

 

That week between Christmas and New Year just sort of disappears, doesn’t it! You spend most of the time trying to figure out what day it is, with New Year’s Eve being some mythical date somewhere in the future… and then before you know it, it’s December 31st, you’re going to a party tonight and you’ve just realised it’s fancy dress!

What can you do?

There’s always the option of doing a Wednesday Addams: “I’m a homicidal maniac; they look just like everybody else” – but frankly, that is a cop out and although you might think it seems really cool… all of your friends who have gone to the effort of putting a costume together will not be so impressed!

Here are a few last-minute ideas to get you through that fancy dress party tonight:

1. Put your pants on outside of your trousers, make a mask from a piece of material, and a cape out of a sheet or duvet cover  – and make up a silly super hero name! Who says you have to be one of the ones the comics have already thought of? Think outside of that box, and be your own superhero!

2. Collect up all the discarded chocolate wrappers from the floor (don’t pretend there aren’t any down there!) and fix them onto your jumper; you can go as a box of chocolates! This one has an added bonus: if there really are no wrappers lying about, you have the perfect excuse to eat what’s left of the Christmas chocolates, in order to make a costume!

3. A toga! Grab a sheet from the airing cupboard, and follow these simple instructions:

 

4. Raid your wardrobe. Do you have a suit? James Bond! Some leggings, vest tops, bangles, necklaces? Madonna!  A black dress and some safety pins from the sewing kit? Liz Hurley! It’s highly likely that you have the makings of a passable costume in your wardrobe already!

5. Olaf from Frozen. This is easier than it sounds, and super trendy at the moment. Find a white top and trousers. For a girl, you can make a tutu with a piece of elastic and some netting if you like. (if you don’t have any netting to hand, a net curtain will work at a push) On the white top, stick two or three large black dots – you can cut these out of cardboard or similar. Draw sticks on the arms… to be Olaf’s stick arms. You can make a simple Olaf mask from a paper plate, cutting out eye holes and a smile for the mouth. Simple!

6. Be a zombie! This is perhaps the most simple of all. All you need is some old clothes, a bit of make up and some fake blood. Who doesn’t have those things hanging around the house? Tear holes in your old clothes, make them dirty and dusty and apply fake blood liberally. For your make up, you can go as simple or as gorey as possible, depending on the time and resources you have available.

7. The tin man. Everyone has some of that ridiculously wide foil left over from the Christmas turkey! Wrap yourself up in it, and you can be a tin man, a space man, all sorts. You could even pad it out a bit, and go as a pinball – genius!

8. Draw or print off a “decepticon” logo (from Transformers) and wear it over a normal outfit. You’re a robot in disguise! Obviously, this is only to be used as a very last resort as it’s along the lines of Wednesday Addams and a bit of a cop out!

9. If you have blonde hair of around chin length, use gel or hair spray to stick the front of it up on end – and voila, you’re “Something About Mary!”

10. We saved the best for last… go to the shop and buy some balloons. You need lots of either green, purple or red ones. Blow up as many as you can, and tie them to your clothes to form a bunch of grapes. Genius, right?

 

So there we have it. Ten last-minute fancy dress ideas for New Year.

What have we learned from this? Next time, order your fancy dress costume from Fancy Dress Ball well in advance of the party!

Fancy Pretending to be a Time Traveller? Comments Off on Fancy Pretending to be a Time Traveller?

Posted on December 03, 2014 by Fancy Dress Ball

Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day! (1)

 

Next Monday, 8th December, is Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day.

What do we do on Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day?

… pretend to be a time traveller, of course!

The idea is that we all pretend to be a traveller from a different era for the day – and you can choose any era at all!

The obvious choice for this is Dr Who… but which Doctor will you be?

Or you could be…

  • Marty McFly
  • The Terminator
  • Fry from Futurama
  • The Traveller from HG Wells’ The Time Machine
  • Colonel George Taylor from Planet of the Apes
  • one of Bill and Ted

Of course, you don’t need to be a character from a movie or TV show; you could just be a normal, common or garden time traveller who’s never made it onto the screen. You could choose to be someone from a utopian future where everyone lives forever and there’s no illness – kind of like the future of Bill and Ted where everyone wears those cool glasses and weird pastel outfits. Or perhaps someone from a dystopian future where things have gone really bad and society has broken down, it’s every man for himself and you don’t go out without a gun.

One really fun idea is to be a time traveller from the past – a mad scientist who’s accidentally figured out how to travel into the 21st century. You could dress as a 19th century scientist who’s been fiddling about in his workshop and accidentally opened a door into the future – spend all day flummoxed by automatic doors, traffic lights, mobile phones… everything, really! This can be really good fun, especially any time an aeroplane flies over. Imagine how someone from the past would react to a TV – probably by answering it back, or attempting to look behind it to see where the people are. Steampunk costumes are great for this sort of character – Steampunk is a genre of science fiction inspired by the newly industrialised civilisation of the 19th century and featuring steam powered machinery.

You don’t even need to be a scientist – you could be anyone, from any era, who has unwittingly ended up travelling through time to the 21st century. The world is your oyster!

This is something you can have great fun with, especially if you and a friend opt for the “we can’t tell anyone we’re from the past/future; they’ll think we’re mad!” thing. Have fun with other friends, work colleagues and the general public by being completely confused by revolving doors, jump in fear whenever the tannoy speaks in a shop or train station.

 

 

 

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