The World of Foppish Dukes

Codpieces, pointy bras, Kraftwerk with muskets… he thinks he’s in a period drama. Don’t worry, it’ll pass. Just try not to look him in the eye

Illustration: Fat Roland

Forsooth, my liege. You may wonder why I’m wearing this generous hoop skirt, a feathery bonnet in the shape of a distressed flamingo, and a silk cummerbund fashioned into a spectacular codpiece. I’ve dabbed so much rouge on all four of my cheeks, I look embarrassed from every possible angle. This is because I have decided that my life is now a period drama. I now live in Regency England where everyone eats gout for breakfast and has pheasants for wigs. I’ve embraced the world of foppish dukes and sprawling mansions and flowing gowns and trains that actually go “choo choo”.

I’m also doing a lot of swooning. You have to swoon a lot in a costume drama. Especially if anyone mentions anything rude, like underskirts, britches or bodices. What even is a bodice? Is it a kind of garter? Is it those things you tape over your nipples? Can you snort it? I’d google what a bodice is, but we don’t have computers in olden times. I’m writing this using a quill and parchment, which was on offer at Ryman’s. If you look closely, my letter Ss look like curly Fs, like what they do on gravestones. But don’t get the two confused, otherwise you’ll end up with Tranf-Europe Expreff by Krastwerk from Düffeldors, and then where would we be?

Speaking of Krast… no, er, Kraftwerk, I’m using music to make me feel all velveteen and grand. I’m listening to new romantic bands because they were the period dramas of their period. You know the acts I mean. The Duran Durans, Spandex Ballet, Loads Of Seagulls. Their hair was made of angles, and one of them painted a stripe across his face before embarking on a spree of 18th century gun crime. In the words of ‘True’ by Spandau Bidet: “True true true / Ooby-dooby-doo / Girl you know it’s true / Da-ba-dee, da-ba-doo.” At least I think that’s how the song goes. I’ve never really listened to it.

Since the 1980s, music has lost its connection with high-class drapery. Grunge bands wore all sorts of tatty old rags, which they could then use to clean their filthy guitars. Hip hop acts wore clothes so baggy, everyone looked like melted denim candles. The only nod to decorum has been Madonna. Her pointy Jean-Paul-Ringo Gaultier bra is definitely something Queen Victoria would have worn, because Queeny Vic was very practical and could have used them as traffic cones when her Ford Fiesta broke down.

Period clothes don’t suit me much. The plunging neckline shows all 17 of my man boobs, and I don’t like corsets because when you lace them up, they squeeze your internal organs until you look like an hourglass and I don’t need an hourglass, thank you very much, because I’ve got a perfectly good stopwatch on my phone.

Period dramas are all about embellishment, which is a fancy word for fancy. Frills and frocks, courtiers and carafes. Modern techno music is the opposite of all that. It’s functional and motorik, which is a fancy word for motoric. Can you imagine Kragworp – sorry, Kraftwerk – dressed as 18th century dandies? Stood at their keyboards, brandishing their muskets? Keyboards which are pulled by horses? I say “stood”… they’re rakishly sprawled across pouffes. They’re all called Laurence De Plonkitune, and they’re forever chugging smelling salts to prevent them succumbing to the lead paint coating their synthesisers.

That’s a ridiculous image you’ve come up with there, dear reader, and it’s proof that techno has no place in costume period drama Queeny Regency choo-choo times. I’m feeling faint. I might swoon. Quick, hand this magazine back to your maidservant before my codpiece falls off.

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