I was actually going to dress up as a female peacock bird this Halloween, as inspired by a rare, educational trip to the zoo; but I never got the time to put that costume together, and also I began to want something a little more ghostly; so in the end I decided to be a Victorian Child.
I thought of dressing up as a Victorian flower girl, and coming up with some tragic story about that imaginary wedding. However, as none of my vintage flower wreaths worked very well with the dress, and the hat rather fitted the outfit much better; I decided to be an independent eccentric child ghost, and put my doll Adela in a basket to be carried around. The end result is a little Tim Burton-ish.
The Mid-Century vintage hat, which I had fallen in love with when I tried it on in Oxfam recently, is probably my favourite element of the costume – with its wonderful warm colours and textures, and that big satin bow in the back (rather special for a top hat, I am sure!). It had been badly damaged, however, and the lining and some of the sewing had come apart in addition to the straw structure having fallen in around the crown. It took me half of Tuesday to mend and restore the hat, putting in plastic foam to strengthen the structure and resewing the lining into place. I think it was absolutely worth the work – and the bonus is that it is now really, super warm from the insulation I have put in!
JEG and I shot the photos in town in the Dublin Trinity College on Halloween day. Here are a few selections.
We were going to go to a friend’s play later in the evening, but while we were in the cafe having tea I got quite upset – jealous that other people have parents, I suppose – and in the end we were too late for the show. But we got a good muffin in the cafe, and it was a Halloween muffin, with a sugar pumpkin on top of it, which makes up for us not having carved a pumpkin this year.
I was also reading my new Edgar Allan Poe book, which contains many poems and short stories that, surprisingly, I had never come across before. In spite of the title of this collection from Penguin Popular Classics, Spirits of the Dead, the short stories in the book are not the most gothic of Poe’s works, but many are rather more satirical than ghostly. So far my favourite is the first of the short story section: “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether”, about a most peculiar madhouse in southern France.
(I am also going to put up this look for Lookbook.nu’s Halloween costume competition, and hopefully some people will like it.)
(Hat: vintage [maybe 1950s] by Condo Model, England/Paris, thrifted from Oxfam
Dress: vintage 1960s homemade acetate wedding slip, thrifted
Top: altered from a nightgown
Shoes: black faux suede low-heel Mary Janes with cut-outs, Office
Basket: thrifted from Oxfam)
(Photos by JEG)