This Christmas are you on the naughty or nice list? Perhaps you are like my favourite super-villains Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. These BFF’s may fight on occasion, but they who are both wild women where naughty and nice coexist. The idea of being a wild woman is very appealing.
This fall I spent a lot of time photographing my idea of wild women in costume. Here’s one of my muses, Elissa, in FeeFiFoFun’s classic Harley Quinn costume by Rubies. Elissa needed very little direction to channel a little naughtiness. I think she evokes the freedom many women felt around age eight. Full of sassy and of confidence and of curiosity.
Costumes of Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy
The above costume is specifically for DC Comics Harley Quinn. Formerly known as for Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel, Harley was 2016’s most popular female character worn at fandom conventions, as well as at Halloween.
The backstory has Dr. Quinzel as a respected psychologist and Poison Ivy as a botanist called Pamela Isley. I overlook that Harley is in a dysfunctional relationship with bad boy, the Joker, and that Pamela was poisoned by her former fiance. Nobody is perfect. My friends see past some of my questionable choices too.
Harley and Poison Ivy are popular because they are smart, funny, confident, sexy and playful and BFF’s. Fans also love the costumes.
Female Harlequins were originally masked actresses in the 16th century Italian commedia dell’arte. In 1992, the writer of the animated Batman series was home sick and looking for inspiration. He watched this Days of our Lives episode, falling in love with Harlequin as a perfect sidekick to the insane Joker.
Harley was only written for one episode, but the voice and character of actress Arleen Sorkin gave her life and made an instant hit. Here’s Arleen at work before there was a Harley.
Video Gaming’s Influence on Harley’s Costume
Poison Ivy’s costume has pretty much stayed the same, but Harley’s has changed throughout the years. The ornate Italian costume was simplified to black, red and white for the 1992 animated Batman series, making it easier for the artists to render. With the arrival of gaming and feature films, the costume entered the 18+ adult realm. Consequently, Harley appears in a game wearing a maid-like costume or in this year’s movie release, Suicide Squad, release wearing a t-shirt and sequined tap pants. However, many cosplayers stick with the tried and true form fitting jumpsuit.
Whether naughty or nice, or a little bit of both, there’s a Harley costume for every personality and body type. Merry Christmas.