Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dark Glamour: Halloween Fashion

I was a bit of a morbid child...
My dad loved horror movies, and I always wanted to watch them with him, even though I would close my eyes in terror through half the film. I also distinctly remember getting in trouble for hiding a copies of Dracula and Edgar Allan Poe's short stories under my bed to read at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. As a teenager I became fascinated by the goth kids I would see at the mall, coffee shops, and clubs. Needless to say, it was downhill after about 16 -- my dad nicknamed me Morticia, and I don't think I owned a non-black item of clothing for about 5 years. Of course by now I have LONG grown out of the notion that I need to belong to a certain style tribe in order to express myself, either fashion-wise or value-wise. Despite the clarity that comes with age (and the ever-present pull of the "real world"), I am still not-so-secretly obsessed with all things dark and macabre. It's no surprise then that Halloween is my favorite holiday, and what better time to indulge my dark fascination?

[I collect vintage Halloween postcards -- I wish I had this one. The owl perched on her head is too cool.]

Thanks to a tip by the ever-clever and informative Bobble Bee, I have become obsessed with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) online museum, particularly the current exhibition curated by Valerie Steele entitled, "Gothic: Dark Glamour." One of these days, I swear I am going to go all-out and splurge on an amazing, elaborate Victorian gown for a Halloween costume, but until that day comes, I will just have to be satisfied by looking through FIT's collection of Gothic-inspired fashion. Steele does a great job of putting the clothing into a historical context, with emphasis on mourning traditions, goth/punk music, and subculture fashion.
Here is a seductive sample...if you are in the NY area, check it out before it ends in February.

Alexander McQueen

Hooded suit and thorn necklace
Black silk crepe, satin, and silver Spring 2007, Sarabande collection, England

Mourning dress and hat
Black silk taffeta
1870s, USA
Lent by Evan Michelson, Obscura Antiques

Elegant Gothic Lolita ensemble with Angry doll
Black silk satin, lace, chiffon, faux bone, metal and patent leather
Fall 2008, Japan
Museum purchase, 2008.57.1

Evening dress
Hand-dyed silk gauze
Fall 2008, USA
Museum purchase, 2008.55.1

Bat belt buckle
Gunmetal with paste
Early 20th century, Europe
Lent by Collection of Mark Walsh Leslie Chin: VINTAGELUXURY.COM

Jean Paul Gaultier
Dress and neckpiece
Black striped silk and leather
Fall 2001, France
Lent by Lee Sheppard

Yoshiki Hishinuma
Evening dress
Black and burgundy polyester
Fall 1996, Japan
Gift of Yoshiki Hishinuma, 2007.33.1

Givenchy (Riccardo Tisci)
Evening dress
Black felt, silk tulle, wood, glass, and leather
Fall 2006, France
Lent by Givenchy


Emily said...

dark glamour...such a wonderfully eerie name! i love all these options, that black bat would be such a fun addition to an outfit!

Couture Carrie said...

I ADORE this post, esp. those voluminous goth dresses, and the Rodarte, of course. Great eye!


Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-these are gorgeous, particularly the last one!! I don't like horrors, they play on my mind too much, haha!!

WendyB said...

My memento mori jewelry should be right up your alley!

Anonymous said...

I was fascinated with horror movies and spooky things as a child too!

And those pieces are absolutely inredible! I love them all.

Savvy Mode SG said...

oh no too dark for me.

Savvy Mode SG said...

by the way, i tagged you. have a wondrful day.

Mariana said...

I love goth too! I think you would enjoy watching belly dancer Rachel Brice, I find her very edgy and punk. I just wrote a post about her on my main blog:


And thank you very much for the award for Art Deco.