FADE TO BLACK
Black is back: it’s official. And not a moment too soon. It’s all Hallow’s Eve, of course, so what better moment to channel some dark inspiration from the Metropolitan’s appropriately timed new exhibition: “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire.” It’s the 19th century, natch. A century presided over by an iconic Queen and Empress - Victoria - who spent the majority of her reign dressed to mourn her beloved Prince Consort, Albert. 1815-1915 was a hundred years when death was so fetishized it virtually kept the dress couturiers in business alone. Would you have looked better in ‘full mourning’ or ‘half-morning’? Go see if death becomes you; Happy Hallowe’en from Leon Max and MaxStudio.
I had mixed emotions as I looked at the calendar this month and found that my favorite Holiday, Halloween, would fall on, by far, the scariest, most confusing and ultimately most expensive days of the week- Wednesday.
Known as hump day to those of you working a 9-5 for none of the reasons that you wish it was called that, Wednesday is the furthest day away from the weekend and therefore the most taxing when it comes to party Holidays. The most notable dilemma after figuring out what to wear, is of course trying to figure out when to where it! Then having to decide what to wear for all SIX of the nights of parties.
While some may find this taxing, I like to think of it as a challenge to change my point of view when it comes to my closet. What was once a belt, could now somehow be appropriate as a costume… namely as Jodie Marsh, if anyone in America knew who she was, because if there is anything that is requisite in a Halloween costume it’s that it has to be sexy. This year I had to somehow come up with 6 different costumes for the 6 nights of the week, Friday – Wednesday, that Halloween will be raging this year for a range of parties that could only happen in The City of Angels.
Friday night there was the Kandy Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion with performances by LMFAO and Diddy, over 1,000 scantily clad girls in flammable underwear and of course Hugh Hefner surrounded by not so virginal youths in vampire teeth- all irony seemingly lost on the surrounding party guests. Saturday, it was a Brit night when I picked up shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood and headed over to the star of Revenge, Ashley Madekwe’s Halloween party at Hyde with her entire cast including fellow Brit Josh Bowman dressed as “Where’s Wally”. Sunday, just when we were in the mood for a movie and some takeaway, we dressed again and it was up to the hills for Paris Hilton’s Halloween bash at hers with none other than the Swedish House Mafia djing. Monday saw an Eyes Wide Shut meets CBGB’s Rock n Roll Masquerade Ball at the very first Midnight Vulture Social Club at Vignette on Melrose with ghoulish burlesque shows and on Tuesday… even the wicked rested.
Coming up with costume ideas in a town where you are most likely to be standing beside the person who immortalized the character you are dressed as on the big screen can be exhausting so I’ve come up with my own recipe for Fancy Dress: A little naughty and a little nice with a dash of cheeky all wrapped up in designer clothes that has yet to fail me.
This Halloween Night I plan to don a pair of black and gold platform Charlotte Olympia shoes, a sexy pink Agent Provocateur underwear set complete with hold ups, just barely covered up by a beautiful hand painted vintage kimono held together by a corseted Dolce and Gabbana belt and topped off with my favorite fancy dress accessory- a huge pink Care Bear head.
Where I’ll go, I still don’t know as the destination and host of the party invitation I have is kept is spookily under wraps like a 1990’s rave in Manchester to add to the fear factor. But whatever is in the works, you can be sure that if it’s in Los Angeles and it’s on Halloween it’s going to be hot- and I don’t mean the temperature.
Contributing Editor: Margo Stilley
This was the year the Day of the Dead went supersonic. In Mexico two days of ceremonial for the ‘Dia de Muertos’ is par for the course. For the rest of us one outfit a year is enough, with little thought of a thousand year old Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. Maybe she was raising the bar this time? Maybe it was because it fell on a Monday giving everyone the excuse for three nights of partying (and three different costumes)? Or maybe it was just the need for a bit of escapism? Whatever. Everyone was far too busy dressing-up to care. In New York, for the social-fashion A-list there was only one party to be seen at; Allison Sarofim’s. She threw a ‘Cabaret’ theme party which brought a taste of the inflation-friendly Weimar Republic, and the Kit Kat Club of the famous musical, back for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Lynn Wyatt and Jamie Johnson. Bianca Brandolini d’Adda cosied up to a banknote-covered Giambattista Valli, Hamish Bowles channeled Marlene Dietrich. You get the picture. Downtown things were naughtier; Prabal Gurung was cross-dressing in heels (of his own design, natch) for his ‘Sisters’ bash (and sisters meant of the Kardashian or Olsen kind). Meanwhile Dree Hemingway stuck out as an original in a backless French maid’s outfit in a sea of Wonder Women and Black Swan-style ballerinas at the Boom Boom Room. Nothing terrifying about that. In Beverly Hills blonde billionheiress was the name of the game; Petra Ecclestone went for sexy Jessica Rabbit while BFF, Paris Hilton arrived as cartoon character She-Ra. That coupling? Now that’s scary. Meanwhile in London a derelict Royal Mail sorting office in the West End became the venue for the flash ‘Squat Monsters Ball.’ Invitations arrived with a text and directions to the secret location. 30 sound systems, 200 djs and 18 hours later it was time for it to be shut down. Even the Aztecs might have been impressed by that.
Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen
Photo Credit: Patrick McMullan