I celebrate the dress up aspect of Halloween all year, but I still decided that I wanted a Halloween costume, not one that was too costumey, and preferably one from the 1920s. I am firmly convinced that the 1920s and 30s were the golden era of Halloween costumes. Beautiful paper dresses,many hand made, with charming appliqués where popular.
Witches, bats, cat's, jesters and clowns where all common themes.
and some pin ups apparently stuck with their swim suits, and the ubiquitous pointy cap:
Still one of the most popular halloween looks in the 20s and 30s was a simple dress with Halloween themed cut outs, as worn by this charming lady (I love that her cat is in the photo).
This type of dress is what I wanted for myself and what I found last year from the amazing Etsy shop Guermantes Vintage, she specializes in rare items from the 20s and 30s and is a bit of an expert in Halloween dresses and costumes.
My costume is a beautiful witch dress. These photos are from last year, when I had the blog on hiatus. My dear husband is very sweet about taking pictures but I wanted to give him a break as these pictures from last year are just fine, and of course I plan to wear the dress quite a bit this October. I don't wear it as a costume, I just wear it about (and yes I wear it to work too.)
It's not paper but its some kind of shiny fabric with a big pilgrim collar and paper cat cut outs.
It's meant to be one size fits all so its quite loose and I cinch it with a black ribbon at the waist.
Rather then that pointy 20s dunce cap/witch hat I added a pretty fall floral clip from Chatter Blossom.
I also pinned on a black cat brooch from Mrs. Polly's lucite. (Sadly my cat has lost one of his eyes, but I've decided that just makes him match up with one of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe stories so its all good.)
The best thing about this dress though is that it reminds me of one of my favorite films. The silent classic, Haxan, from 1922. It was made as a documentary but is really a horror film and exploration into the history of witch craft. It contains some of the most beautiful , and spooky, images every captured on film.
Haxan can be viewed in its entirety on you tube and also Hulu. It's a cinematic classic that has had a profound influence on film making. The critically acclaimed 2015 film The Witch definitely owes a debt to Haxan.
Here's to celebrating Halloween all October long!