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Before anyone gets clever, we know that Idris is possessed with the soul of the TARDIS, and we know that dressing like the TARDIS just involves a cardboard box and lots of blue paint. Let’s assume that we know that you know this, and move swiftly to the matter at hand, shall we?
Idris is dressed like the barmaid of a seedy Victorian inn, in London’s East End, or rather, the careworn china doll of a Victorian barmaid. She’s pretty and brittle, poised and delicate, but also filled with energy in all directions at once. Get the wide eyes and doll-like posture right, and you’re well on the way.
1: Hair – brunette and lots of it. Up in a big beehive cascade that seems to blow up from the top of your head and run down your back.
2: Top – Here’s where things start to get tricky. Probably this is not a costume to commence now if you want to wear it to this year’s Comic-Con, as it’s unlikely you’ll find a bodice and skirt that match Idris’s closely enough, unless you are insanely lucky. So the thing to do is examine the fabric used, especially on the bodice and sleeves, and then find something similar, and make it yourself (especially all the leafy bits). Failing that, find an olive green, open-necked blouse and have at it with a gold pen.
3: Skirt – thick velvet, like the curtains in an old vaudeville theatre, with frills. This might be easier to find, assuming there’s a healthy bohemian element in your town that keeps the thrift stores packed with items. Failing that, take an actual curtain and commence hemming.
4: Boots – tan laceups, if possible. Anything that looks suitably Victorian and robust.
5: Accessories – well makeup, really. Suranne Jones has quite pronounced eyebrows (haha yes it IS pronounced “eyebrows” etc), so darken yours, if needed. Then you need to give yourself a dollish makeover, all rouged cheeks and white skin and red lips. She can’t look like a normal modern day lady in a raggedy dress, that’s the point.
And once you’ve got all this, practice… talkinginadisjointedRUSH… with lots of word (term, expression, chat, conversation) association and a few quizzical faces, together with the odd angular pose, and you’re basically there.
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic