Wednesday, 29 October 2014

haunting

Sometimes when it gets to Halloween, I wish to be temporarily blinded whilst walking through the high street as I pass the repetitive, tacky and abrasive festive displays. Whether it is a bright orange pumpkin template staring at me menacingly as I make my way through town or a poorly draped dark grey cobweb, this holiday is, commercially at least, all-pervading. We live in a world where everything is commercialised. It is difficult not to be acutely aware of this. Festive holidays are marketed to within an inch of their life, as if everyone would just stop celebrating Christmas if Clinton’s got rid of their fake snow scene taking up the shop window. I am not being a Scrooge about the holidays themselves, simply the aesthetics of them.

The matter is not helped by the fact that once you turn thirteen and are too cool for school for children’s Halloween costumes, the only women’s costumes available are grossly sexualised. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with wearing these costumes, but it becomes a problem when there are literally no other options available. If you suddenly become extra lazy as you adapt to the colder weather, like I do, then going out of your way to find an adequate costume that is not marketed as a “Halloween costume” seems like unnecessary effort. If I could afford Moschino I’d dress as Barbie, because we all know how horrifyingly terrible that collection was.

Left to right: Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander McQueen, Ann Demeulemeester, Tom Ford, Yohji Yamamoto, Balenciaga

If you don’t want to dress as a bunny/nurse/sexualised and appropriated member of another culture, take inspiration from designers. Many of the Spring/Summer ’15 collections had surprisingly dark undertones,with brands like Yohji Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester conjuring up images closer to death than to the rebirth of Spring: perfect for Halloween. To paraphrase Mean Girls, “In girl world, Halloween is the one day of the year where a girl is allowed to dress like a slut pretentious fashion freak who wears charity shop gowns that are actually inspired by Alexander McQueen and no one can say anything about it."

Top row: Phoebe English SS15
Bottom row: Yohji Yamamoto SS15

Yohji Yamamoto's helmeted bride is probably the most memorably ghostly image from fashion month, but many other designers also explored the dark underbelly of fashion, sartorially speaking. Take Phoebe English's SS15 collection for example, blending the heavenly with the haunting. The clothes were created through manipulating netted fabric and experimenting with oversized pieces.

happy halloween



Emilio Pucci black pants
£370 - theoutnet.com


Heel boots
fashionunion.com



Cat headband
£3.88 - fancypocket.sg



The go-to costume if all other ideas fall through, is of course, the cat. This is the least controversial and most simplistic. Buy a pair of cat ears from Topshop, Claire's or the 99p Store (depending on your taste/budget) to accessorise an otherwise ordinary all-black outfit. You can get away with this look even if it is not Halloween because cats are cool and cat ears are a trendy accessory. Alternatively, Halloween is really just the best time of year to wear whatever you want. It's an excuse to wear fancy dress even if it is not conventionally spooky and you plan on staying in. You could dress as an iconic celebrity, book or film character or just your everyday angsty teenager who writes blog posts about how tacky Halloween shop displays are.

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