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Hello there fellow Pant Pioneers!

Didn’t we have a pant-abulous, fanny-banner-tastic time at the Decima Editions Launch? Indeed we did :-)

Many thanks to Alex Chappel and David C. West of Decima Gallery for their indulgence and patronage, and for getting in my massive pants. Congratulations to the other Pant Participants, Ed Snatch, the Catchpole Sisters and Geraldine Ryan, and thanks to Marie and Lorna for being Pussy Power Babes. Big kissy to Mik the Skirt for coming along, all the way from Devon (lovely to meet his lady wife and two delightful children). Also thanks to Plark for bringing my two bored daughters along to watch me gallop around in enormous knickers. Luckily they were too bored to be completely ashamed of me, and little did they realise that they, as usual, are the major inspiration for the Pussy Power Pants... more of that later.

But first a quick explanation of the decorative motif which adorned the massive pants on this, their maiden voyage. Of course, Pussy Power devotees will recognise it as a scaled down version of the original (and best) “Snatched Back” Fanny Banner. “Snatched Back” has gone through a full evolutionary cycle now: it started as a humble fanny banner, I collaged and graffiti-ed it, photographed it, built a website around it, then scanned each section of it and made 4 x 6 prints and souvenir notebooks and ironed the images onto small souvenir knickers; I also ironed the images onto fabric, cut them out and sewed them onto elastic to decorate the massive pants, then people got in the pants and danced around. So that’s collage, photography (crappily done on my mobile), web design (of the cop-out-mac-iweb-using kind), merchandise design, needlework and finally performance art. That’s a whole lotta mileage out of one piece of work.

But why the massive knickers?

I was very keen that people should actually get IN “Snatched Back” somehow, literally get inside the work. I went down to Whitechapel market in search of big knickers and found some, but they were a disappointing 48“-50“ hips. I bought four pairs anyway and ironed some “Snatched Back” images on the front, painted some very authentic looking (if I say so myself) bloodstains in the crotches and wrote various legends on the back: “Pussy Power Bitch”, “Big Fat Pussy”, “Pussy Power Rag Week” and “The Curse of Pussy Power”. (I was hoping the Decima Dog choir would wear them for their performance but unfortunately the Pussy Power Period Pants were incompatible with the dogs’ clothes and tails. Never mind.)

The Decima Editions Launch had a fairground theme and I really wanted pants big enough to be their own freak show/fairground ride. So in the end I had to go online for enormous pants - the ones I found are 8XL (ie. XXXXXXXXL) and are definitely the largest manufactured in Britain. Nothing had prepared me for the sheer size of them - I was hoping for pants which would easily accommodate two people and when I got them out the box it was obvious straight away that these were Pant Perfection. I’d envisaged one person in each leg of the knickers but what actually happened on the day was a tandem arrangement which worked far better.

So I emblazoned the Pussy Power logo on the front of the massive pants and I made some stickers saying “I’ve been in the Biggest Knickers in Britain at the Decima Editions Launch 31 May 2008”. Of course I had the mini “Snatched Back” motif to go around the knickers but the back of them was looking quite bare - I needed something to write on there. Hmm, I’ve got knickers, and stickers, and..... hang on, HACKNEY WICKERS! So a limerick was inevitable...
“The thing about these Hackney Wickers
I’m told, is they’re wearing no knickers,
So why not try these?
They come to your knees,
And what’s more, you can earn yourself stickers!

That’s all very well, but why knickers in the first place?

Big knickers (aka ”Harvest Festivals“ - All Is Safely Gathered In) are of course associated with security, warmth, comfort, protection. Putting a huge pair of pants on a scantily-clad lady could be an act of comradeship in the same way as one might offer a cream bun to an emaciated woman. Also there was Felix and his Enormous Underpants in Viz comic - he had all sorts of adventures and came to the aid of a diverse range of people by putting his pants to use in a wide variety of unlikely situations. And I have a dear friend - let’s call him Jock - who reckons the attractiveness of a lady by the smallness of her pants (in that attractiveness is inversely proportional to pant-size) and I’ve been very keen to get him in a huge pair of knickers. But none of these was the main inspiration. It wasn’t even that Hackney Wickers wear no knickers - I only remembered that after I bought the huge pants.

No; it was the drudgery of parenthood. As a mother of daughters much of my adult life has been spent washing other people’s knickers. My girls are aged 17 and 12 - using a date duration calculator I worked their ages out as 6,398 days and 4,524 days respectively, giving a total of 10,922 days. Assuming one pair of knickers per child per day (this is probably an under-estimate, yes they wore nappies for the first two years of their lives but they probably used more than two pairs of pants per day during their formative years which more than makes up for it) that means I’ve washed, pegged-out and put away over 10,000 pairs of knickers, and that’s not counting my own.

In honour of this achievement I invite you to join me in a chant - all together now (to the tune of Guantanamera, as used in the best football chants):

TEN THOUSAND KNICKERS!
I’VE WASHED TEN THOUSAND KNICKERS!
TEN THOUSAND KNIIIIIIII-CKERS!
I’VE WASHED TEN THOUSAND KNIIIIIIII-CKERS! etc

Until next time, Pussy Power to y’all!

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Tags: Decima, Fanny, Festival, Hackney, Harvest, Knickers, Power, Pussy, Snatch, Viz, More…Wickers

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