Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Thursday, 22 October 2009

All Hallows' Eve

Although I come across as a solar person who loves colours and happy endings, I have always had a slight fascination for the inexplicable especially during my "séance period". I grew up in a pretty boring town overlooking the silent countryside, so we had to spice up our long days with all sorts of weird stories, legends and amateurish medium activities. Besides I grew up in a superstitious family with my mum sticking anti-envy red patched into my pillow and taking me to the local witch to exorcise the eye evil that had turned me into a pest –- or so they claimed (my mum and the witch).
Commercial Halloween, however, is a tradition I only embraced relatively recently. In Italy (like in other Catholic countries) All Hallows’ Eve is the Day of the Dead, when a visit to the cemetery is well in order. So it is a remembrance day to commemorate dear deceased, without pumpkins, trick or treat, horror movies, or black & orange. 
Halloween these days is to me associated with London, pumpkin soup, Steve and occasional dress-up events. I am still unsure which party I will be attending on 31st October, yet but I know I want to watch Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas, both from the same director, and have been thinking long and hard of what would make a spooky costume whilst retaining a certain degree of *vampness*. After much deliberation, I managed to short-list five ideas inspired, as usual, by pop culture. I intentionally picked subjects which can be  easily adapted and personalised (some more than others) to make a unique costume.

Inspired by cinema: The Corpse Bride

For this Burton-ian outfit all you need is a corseted wedding dress to tier apart and spray paint. I appreciate this may not seem an easy find, but with a bit of luck you may get it  from an un-trendy charity shop for a little money. The make-up is quite basic: pale blueish face, electric blue eye shadow + Shu Uemura fake eye lashes and a few scars here and there. If you want to be painstaking, you could go as far as painting skeleton structure on your arms, but that's optional.

Inspired by Folklore: Frida Kahlo's painting
{First seen at Felino Felice

The talented Felino Felice put together a collection of skeleton costumes inspired by the Mexican tradition of El Día de los Muertos. This outfit is all about long skirts, bold prints, flowers and a skull-style make up.

Inspired by Art: A Magritte's Painting
A suite, a bowler hat, a little black dress, feathered eye mask, your face reproduced on a mask and Les jeux sont faits. Or just wrap a sheet around your face, kiss your wrapped-up man and you will be in Magritte's disturbing painting.

Inspired by Literature: Carmilla, the woman vampire
The woman vampire is essentially a femme fatale. So, be fabulous and pose the accent on a pale face, bloody lips and sharpened molars.

Inspired by mime: Pierrot, the sad clown
Pierrot is a sad clown, so his melancholic eyes are his most distinctive feature. He is traditionally depicted with a white tunic and loose pants, giant black buttons and a ruffled collar, but you can play around with traditions and come up with a feminine  version.
Fashion here comes handy as several labels have proposed Pierrot-esque designs.

I particularly like the idea of wearing a Pierrot-style dress. The one sported by Katie Holmes with puffy sleeves is very pretty indeed!

Credits: Vampire and Pierrot photos from We Heart It. Pierrot-esque clothing, left to right, by Fraubraun, Loeffler Randall, Bill Blass, thrushvintage, ad-hoc design for In Style cover girl Katie Holmes, and thrushvintage again.

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