Alexia Lazou Capturing the City

Alexia Lazou

Capturing the City

During the month-long festival ‘architecture08’, Conran & Partners, Brighton held a competition called ‘Capturing the City’. The idea was to photograph unusual views of Brighton that celebrated the built environment.

As the Duke of York’s is my favourite building I decided I would become the cinema and so made a papier mâché hat featuring the legs and balcony. My Boyfriend Peter photographed me with the cinema in the background and one of our pictures made it on to the top ten shortlist.

The Simpsons Movie – 27 July 2007

2007 saw the release of The Simpsons Movie. The Duke of York’s held a special gala charity opening night when the audience was invited to dress up as their favourite Simpsons character. I was never what you would call a fanatical Simpsons fan. I was only introduced to it properly some years after it was first aired and yet visually I had always been intrigued by Marge. As a youth I sported curly blue hair and secretly wished that one day I would wake up with the same gravity-defying beehive. If only someone would invite me to  a suitable fancy dress party…but they never did. And so my ‘inner Marge’ waited.

As soon as I saw the advert for the Duke of York’s event I knew my chance had come! I busied myself with the making of a costume I had prepared over and over in my head for years. ‘Yellowed up’, I called a taxi and arrived at the cinema to be greeted by My Boyfriend Peter and his camera. It was a surprise for him too as he had not seen any of my preparation. After some terrifying minutes on stage (where I feared that the bright lights would reveal my robust underwear) a cheer from the audience pronounced me as wearer of the ‘Best Costume’ and I sat down to watch the film as proud as any Oscar winner. Of course then, as cinema-going ladies of 1910 were duly requested, I kindly removed my ‘hat’.

The Dark Knight – 25 July 2008

Summer 2008 and once again the Duke of York’s announced a gala charity premiere, this time ‘The Dark Knight’, the latest Batman adventure. Well, I’ve always preferred the ‘pants-over-tights’ look Batman I watched as a youth to any modern rubbery versions but of course, the special screening came with the obligatory ‘Dress as your favourite Batman character…’ tagline and I couldn’t buy my ticket fast enough.

It was the film ‘Batman Returns’ which sprang to mind. It was right up the alley of an animal-loving female like me, who enjoys a bit of sewing and it offered up the purrfect costume for any ‘woman’ to get her claws into…

At last! I could become…The Penguin!

As the owner of a voluminous fake fur overcoat, a black velvet hat, big nose, pointy chin and long dark hair, I often spent the winter months being ridiculed for my resemblance to the aforementioned ‘bird’. Now I would have my revenge…

After a rummage through my wardrobe I rustled up a suitable outfit, ran up a pair of PVC flipper-mittens (flittens?) and stuffed a pillow down my ‘pants’ – I was The Peng…oh, I mean ‘and then I put on loads of make up – I was The Penguin!’

Going out dressed in my own winter garb shouldn’t have been too much of a problem. Except it wasn’t winter, it was July and one of the hottest, sunniest days in the history of weather. I couldn’t get a taxi because I couldn’t get in a taxi, so off I waddled down Elm Grove. At the bottom I was met by My Boyfriend Peter with his trusty camera (who nearly fell over laughing at me) and I made my slow, swaying way to the cinema.

Once again there was a throng of fine and colourful characters – and yet, once again I was deemed worthy of the title ‘Best Costume’, even though it felt like ‘it was just something I threw on…’ I squeezed along the row and sat down to watch the film. Of course then, I courteously removed my ‘fat’.

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