There aren’t many television characters who have rattled our imaginations the way Catherine Gale did when she made her first appearance on The Avengers in 1962. A lethal combination of brains, brawn, attitude and style, Steed’s multi-talented partner – portrayed by the beautiful and impossibly elegant Honor Blackman – is still considered one of the most important female television characters of the twentieth century. It will take a lot more than some leather breeches and a pair of kinky boots to do Mrs. Gale any real justice, but here are a few pointers that might help get you started:
Before you begin judo-chopping perfect strangers on the street, try your knife-hand at these four basics.
1 Flipped Bob
Brushed back and subtly teased at the top.
2 Cat Eyes
Again, this is to be done with a great deal of subtlety and restraint. There should be little or no makeup on the bottom half of the eye.
3 Beauty Marks
One on the forehead, two on the cheek. Get those mouches on!
4 A Cool, Confident Air
That uniquely poised, sophisticated brand of Cathy cool.
Advertising men say try ’em!
Breeches, tunics, jackets, waistcoats, dresses, boots, gloves, hats – one can’t have too many leather fighting pieces. Just remember not to put your skins in the washing machine.
And mock turtlenecks. Preferably ribbed and in black. I leave the degree of opacity entirely to your discretion.
3 Kinky Boots
Full length, half length, fully fashion calf length; brown boots, black boots, patent leather jackboots; low boots, high boots, lovely lanky thigh boots. You’re a puss in boots!
4 An Assortment of Fine Hats
Every secret agent worth her salt has got to own a decent collection of headwear, after all.
5 The Occasional Showstopper
To see the delicious look of surprise on their faces when they try to strangle you from behind and you promptly drop them to the floor. In a pencil skirt.
6 Eye Patch
Just in case one of your cat eyes goes wonky.
Go the Extra Mile
1 Move to Africa for a While
2 Get a PhD in Anthropology
3 Become a Bonafide Badass
4 And Then Write a Book About It
5 Find Yourself a Partner Who Annoys the Shit Out of You
6 Seriously Annoys the Shit of You
7 But Go to Bed with Him Anyway
8 Kink It Up
9 Move on to a Bigger and Brighter Future