A most ancient festival, Halloween is one of the most exciting events of the year for modern creative souls. The lines between our world and the afterlife become blurred and the only thing to do is to gear up in costume to frighten off the more evil of the spirits which will be returning to Earth for the night*. It’s not all bad news though since sweets, pumpkins and parties will be in abundance- and when have we ever passed up the opportunity to get dressed up?
In the pages of the Fashion section this issue, you will find some ideas for Halloween styling. Halloween is a time for everyone. Outgoing people will jump at the chance to show off their costume creations but more inspiring is that the fun of the festival is so infectious that even the shy among us will get in on the act too. Whether you’ll be bobbing for apples, fighting over who gets to keep the ring from the barn brack, desperately searching for some children to bring trick-or-treating, chowing down on colcannon in a cobweb-filled kitchen, staying in and snuggling your dog who is afraid of the fireworks, having ‘Hocus Pocus & chill’ with bae, heading to a haunted house party, or all of the above, chances are you’ll be wearing a costume.
In recent years, there has been a welcome shift in focus for women’s Halloween costumes. Ladies seem to have moved on from their ‘sexy (insert profession here)’ phase and into a much more sophisticated and skilled arena. Fancy dress has become an art form for the masses, with the make-up artistry and consideration put into outfits having reached staggering levels of intricacy in recent times. This blossoming of creativity undoubtedly adds pressure to the designing of a costume: however, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The stakes have been upped, and the increased challenge of coming up with a cool costume only makes the drama of the whole situation more fun.
To stay true to the roots of Halloween, keep your costume on the scarier side of the scale. Costume inspiration can come from anywhere though: virtually everything can be transformed into a costume version. Anything is possible for the night that’s in it. A pressing issue recently though has been the factor of the ‘disrespectful’ costume. Halloween costumes are such a serious business now that there has been increasing backlash at the cultural appropriation that comes with certain costumes. Anti-‘blackface’ movements are sweeping the internet, and Native American-inspired Pocahontas costumes have come under fire too. Whatever you choose to dress as, keep your look outrageous, but outrageous for the right reasons. There is also the option of collaborating on a group outfit- it can be a really fun group project for the crew to have a themed look. Of course, choosing what to dress up as in the first place is always the hardest part. Ghosts, witches, zombies, jelly beans, plastic-surgery patients, characters from your favourite book or film… the options are endless! The main point of the festivities will be to have fun, so don’t get bogged down in the stresses of trying to come up with an outfit. Instead, embrace the whole situation as a creative endeavour. The other main point is to avoid vampires and ghosts, so there’s that too… Happy Halloween!
* True story. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
- Emer Slattery, Fashion Editor