Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Unlikely Horror Icon: Annie Wilkes

UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery, holding books by her own favourite author Margaret Atwood Hand holding copies of Margaret Atwood novels in the woods
We couldn't do an Unlikely Horror Icon in 2017 without a homage to Stephen King. It's a no-brainer for any horror fan!

I may not be a horror film fan like Helen (due to my dislike of viewing simulated torture) but I have always loved horror books, and I remember the day I got my mum to sign a special library slip to allow me to graduate from age appropriate Goosebumps to Stephen King books at age 10 or 11. I had a YA horror book club subscription in primary school and an unhealthy preoccupation with ghosts. Don't assume I skipped the Point Horror stage, of course, as Helen and I swapped these books even in high school. (In fact, these books were so formative for me that if you name any title and I could describe the 90s cover even today. And those early L.J. Smith books...? *dreamy sigh*)

Stephen King is a whole other level though, and a stand-alone author for me in that I didn't read any of his contemporaries. It was all Stephen King. My favourite book was Misery, with the antagonist Annie Wilkes in it. In short summary (no real spoilers), the book is about an author named Paul Sheldon who has a serious car crash and is rescued by his self-proclaimed "number one fan", Annie Wilkes. She nurses him back to health to hear about his character's next escapade but becomes incensed when she discovers that the latest instalment (on his person at the time) actually kills off the main character, Misery. Annie injures Paul to keep him with her so that he can write Misery back into the story and he then makes multiple attempts to escape. I won't ruin the end.
UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery
This book (and film) spoke to me for a few reasons but mostly it was Annie. She's a super fan, and demonstrates, in an extreme way, how fictional characters can become very real to people. She's na├»ve and innocent in some ways, and is devastated by Misery's fictional death. But she is also incredibly dangerous and unpredictable, and can turn in an instant. The film adaptation led to Kathy Bates winning an Oscar for her portrayal as Annie Wilkes. She's superb.

Annie has a very distinctive outfit, which is actually youthful, demure clothing but looks frumpy on her. It's not too out there, though. I'd say it's definitely an Unlikely Horror Icon, rather than costume, as I realised I've actually worn a different version of this outfit on the blog before. For this one, I changed it up to be a little frumpier than my Dr Martins spin. A dark green and grey colour palette, high collar and a pinafore are all a must to nail this look. I skipped the large crucifix necklace she wears because I don't wear crosses but I added in my favourite Karen Smith key earrings (because she locks him in, geddit?) The neat, childlike under-turned bob with hair slides complete the look. Oh, and creepy overly enthusiastic expression.

I didn't say it was an attractive look.
Kimberley from Wardrobe Conversations blog in green turtle neck top and grey pinafore as worn by Annie Wilkes in Misery UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery
Top | Warehouse
Pinafore | Oasis (very old)
Shoes | Clarks
Earrings | c/o Karen Smith

My final accessory was, of course, some books by one of my favourite authors, Margaret Atwood. She can be assured that I would not give her the Annie Wilkes treatment if we were to meet... honest.
Kimberley from Wardrobe Conversations dressed as Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery novel, holding a kitchen knife and looking menacing

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