Through the years, Halloween has become synonymous with dressing up as the wacky and the wonderful, with people everywhere donning a range of costumes. From zombie dolls to provocative bees, each year seems to usher in a new level of creativity. Last October, Mode shared a quirky Youtube video detailing 100 years of Halloween fashion: starting with the traditional and ending with the outrageously innovative.
Public interest in folk tales and stories of witchcraft was still high at the beginning of the 20th century, with Halloween being a time for communities to enjoy all things spooky. Partly inspired by the asymmetrical draping becoming fashionable at this time, costumes would be long, layered and dark in colour, usually paired with a rustic papier-mâché mask, to add another element of creepy.
The 1930s signalled a time where costumes aimed at the mass market came into full force, with wearers no longer having to create haphazard ensembles at home. It also saw the first appearance of Minnie and Mickey Mouse as well as the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, both of which inspired a wave of Disney related costumes and paved the way for future Halloween obsessions with TV and character driven pieces.
Fashion in this decade exploded like an old pressure cooker, with electric colours, gingham checks and short shift dresses establishing pop art fashion. The relationship between the black cat and Halloween has long been established, yet subscribers to the modern cat costume, can thank the advent of the 1960s, when political and social liberation meant ‘sexy’ costumes were on the rise. Taking cues from Julie Neman’s Catwoman in the TV series Batman, women of this decade delighted in sexual freedoms that allowed them to embrace outfits that were once considered too risqué.
2000s: Celebrity culture
The late 1990s and early 2000s were flooded with costumes influenced by key pop culture epics. Plaid skirts and pigtails paid homage to Britney’s Spears Baby One More Time video, dazzling group costumes featured the union jack dress, low-cut animal print flares and a pastel slip-dress gestured towards The Spice Girls’ world domination. Cult classics became more than just commercially successful films, but launched a myriad of colourful and creative costumes ideas, fitting in with millennial fascination with celebrity culture.
When it comes to Halloween costumes, it seems as if they, just like fashion trends season after season, go through some sort of renewal, being constantly refreshed decade after decade: so what will you be wearing in St Andrews this Halloween?