365 days 365 costumes
Life can get a bit mundane sometimes. You know that feeling… same shit, different day. It can be easy to take yourself too seriously, forgetting along the way that life is meant to be lived and if you don’t step out of your comfort zone you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten, or something like that.
Mary Helen Saba could be like any other 20 something year-old Sydneysider except for one thing, she has given herself a personal challenge- to dress up in fancy dress every day for 365 days.
This slightly crazy yet refreshing idea has led to a strong following on her blog and an interview on Sunrise. She has dressed up as Jim Carrey, Britney Spears, Gangnam Style PSY and even Mary Mother of God. In a world where we tend to judge people on what they wear, Mary has taken the quiet pleasure we get from fancy dress parties (and pretending to be someone else) and brought it out into her everyday life, even wearing the costumes to work when she can.
So how and why did this designer decide to make and wear a different costume everyday for a year? It’s bad enough getting up every morning and having to decide what to wear that day… So here we introduce you to a woman who brings a whole new perspective to what it means not to be an outfit repeater.
Hometown: Sydney. I grew up in Burwood and Greenacre.
How (and why) I came up with the idea: I love costumes. My friends have always dubbed me the costume queen for the amount of effort that I put into every outfit I’ve created over the years. This love even affected my everyday style so much so that a workmate once commented: “Mary, for you, it’s like every day is costume day.” Even before I started this blog I wouldn’t throw out an item of clothing or a prop if I thought I’d be able to use it for a costume.
Basically, I’ve been preparing for this my entire life (watch this space…in five years I’ll be on ‘Hoarders’). Most people have regular hobbies – reading, writing, dancing, playing sports – but I always received most enjoyment from creating a really funny costume. I get a sick satisfaction from a person approaching me to tell me how cool my costume is.
The idea originally came to me last Christmas. Every day for the last week of the work year, I decided to get into the festive spirit by dressing up in an array of green and red clothing. One day, I overheard a few colleagues discussing which of my outfits had been their favourite. It was the first time I realised how much my crazy antics (which bring me personal joy and help keep my creative juices flowing) also entertained the people around me.
I then thought of The Uniform Project, where a girl pledged to style a black dress differently everyday for 365 days as an exercise in sustainable fashion, and it all just came together. When I joked to them that I was going to start a blog where I would dress up differently everyday for a whole year, they thought it was hilarious. And just like that, a blog was born.
Favourite costume to date: I have a few- The Little Mermaid, all of Halloween week, Tutankahmun, Andy Samberg.
Future costumes to come: The Exorcist, Fembot, Sailor Moon, Wonder Woman.
My motto is: Everything’s better in costume.
My biggest influences: The Internet.
We enjoyed watching you on Sunrise, were you surprised to received this media attention? Yes, I had always hoped that my blog would get popular amongst other costume enthusiasts, but this well surpassed that.
What I am listening to right now: Macklemore’s The Heist, a self-made Disney playlist (nothing like Disney to bring joy to my heart) and the Jungle Giants.
Life is: What you make it, don’t be afraid to do something crazy if it brings you happiness.
Next big step: Appearing on Ellen. I found out that she was coming to Australia the day after I appeared on Sunrise. Fate? I’d like to think so.
People should pay more attention to: What’s going on in their city, new experiences are awaiting you to find them, you just have to start to look!
Mary is taking suggestions for future costumes and will continue to do so until she completes the challenge on June 27, 2013.