Well-known female author Anaïs Nin is hardly recognizable in this very eccentric yet creative costume!
We’re not sure when this photo was taken exactly, only that it was at the “Come as Your Madness” masquerade Halloween party organized by Nin’s friends Renate Druks and Paul Mathiesen. In her own words, Nin described her costume:
I wore a skin-colored leotard, leopard-fur earrings glued to my naked breasts, and a leopard-fur belt around my waist. Gil Henderson painted on my bare back a vivid jungle scene. I wore eyelashes two inches long. My hair was dusted with gold powder. My head was inside of a birdcage. From within the cage, through the open gate, I pulled out an endless roll of paper on which I had written lines from my books. The ticker tape of the unconscious. I unwound this and handed everyone a strip with a message. (Diary 5 133)
Meanwhile, the “Come as Your Madness” party was said to have inspired filmmaker Kenneth Anger to create the short film “Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome” (1954), in which Nin played the character Astarte. The film’s ’78 Eldorado Version may be viewed in its entirety here.
Like these random vintage and/or pop culture photos? Check out other stories from our Overly Descriptive Title series in the Lomography magazine!