The Celts believed that the boundary between the living world and the otherworld became blurred on the night of October 31, causing the spirits of the dead to return to the earthly realm. It’s a special occasion to remember all the saints, martyrs, faithful, and relatives who have departed and a day to honor spirits and ward off the less desirable ones.
Through the years, people have dressed in extremely scary costumes to honor the Halloween tradition and scare away demonic spirits. But who needs costumes when we have fashion?
Quite frankly, some of the scariest things I’ve seen recently have been on the runways. During this past fashion month, I kept thinking, “Halloween has come early this year.”
Halloween was historically and inseparably related to death. For some, it’s the day to try to look as witchy as possible and dress in black, the symbol of darkness and death. But many of us don’t need the excuse of a holiday to wear fashion’s favorite color.
Black looks better than ever. There are many exceptional black creations in the market, both vintage and new. Some of the best are infused with a moody, sinister, mysterious, Gothic beauty that syncs with Halloween’s dark foreboding feeling and the current zeitgeist.
Almost no designer is darker than Demna Gvasalia, who catapults Balenciaga into a postmodern era where street meets couture, and comfortable fashion is high fashion. The designer works closely with the house archives, re-imagining the lifelong work of ‘The Master’ couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga but much of Gvasalia’s approach still stems from his initial purpose of creating subversive fashion.
One of fashion’s great iconoclasts, Rick Owens, is often called “The Father of Goth.”Rick’s designs are at once otherworldly, beautiful, and brutal.
Owens’ avant-garde designs toe the line between clothing and art. His collections are inspired by everything from brutalist architecture to Russian ballet. How many designers can make a puffer coat as dramatic and compelling as Rick’s?
Other creators who have routinely tapped into the darker side of beauty are Olivier Theyskens, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Simone Rocha, Gareth Pugh, and avant-garde Japanese designers Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto, and Noir Kei Ninomiya.
An article in “W” Magazine by Kristen Bateman on October 11, 2022, was titled, “Meet Noir Kei Ninomiya, the Experimental King of Dark Fashion.” As Bateman points out, Kei Ninomiya says he doesn’t just like black. He IDOLIZES black and is devoted to it.
Alexander McQueen was fascinated with history, hauntings, and ancestral curses, and he always drew inspiration from the dark and twisted. A gothic vision was always at the heart of Lee’s “Savage Beauty” aesthetic, and Sarah Burton continues the tradition.
More than anything, Halloween is a celebration of mystery, magic, and superstition. Masks are traditionally worn to avoid being recognized by ghosts. Back in the day, some would mask up when they left their homes after dark so the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.
Jan Haedrich, aka Mme. Mink was inspired by the glamour of Truman Capote’s Black and White Parties and the UBER Chic style of Elsa Peretti when she created this “ELSA” mask. Priced at $145, it is for sale at mmemink.com.
Spiders are believed to have assisted witches in casting spells, and eating a black spider between two slices of buttered bread is thought to give a witch great power. Some medieval superstitions say that if you see a spider on Halloween, it’s the spirit of a dead loved one watching you.
These “Lunch At The Ritz” earrings are five inches long. They feature vibrant gold hardware spider webs with wrapped and draped clear crystals with four creepy crawling spiders. Priced at $485, they are for sale at 1stdibs.com.
They are perfect for those times you want to light up the night.
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