Impossible Outfit: Halloween Edition

Dear Paper Doll,

Happy Halloween! I am gearing up for an annual costume ball, my favorite party of the year. My friends and fellow party attendees take this event very seriously, and everyone takes their costumes to the next level.  I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten quite creative over the years, but this year I want to go all out; I’ll spare no expense! I am looking for an ensemble that’s extravagant, attention-grabbing, haunting and unusual. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you,

Cleverly Costumed


Dear Cleverly Costumed,

A Halloween costume party: delightful and spooky! Dressing up in something you wouldn’t normally wear and conjuring up a completely unusual style – Paper Doll approves mightily.  I have a few attention-grabbing ideas for you… from the “fantastical, ghastly or eerie” section of the Yale University Press fashion closet.

1: Giorgio Armani, spring/summer 1990. Photograph by Jacques Olivar, courtesy of Giorgio Armani. 2: Christian Dior Haute Couture, French (founded 1947) by John Galliano, British (born Gibraltar, 1960). Dress, autumn/winter 1997-1998. Photograph: Peter Lindbergh. 3: Vivienne Westwood, British (b. 1941). Ensemble, autumn/winter 1997-98. Dress of silver duchesse satin printed with birds, flowers, and aquatic motifs; jacket of black velvet and black satin with gold-plated and simulated pearl jewelry. Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood. 4: Nimai-do gusoku rmor with dark blue and red lacing. Edo period, 18th century. Iron, wood, leather, gold, and lacquer. Okazaki City Museum, Aichi Prefecture.

1. Embrace the spirit of the holiday by donning a dress adorned with creepy spider webs.

2. Will there be dancing at this Halloween party?  If so, you could really shake a tail feather in this dramatic piece.

3. This snake- and sea creature-covered gown brings out just a hint of the macabre. Pair it with a necklace made from vials of potions, and you’re costume-ready for a Tim Burton film.

4. You may have to take a pass on bobbing for apples, but there’s no question that this traditional Japanese suit of armor will be a conversation starter – particularly handy since your friends probably won’t recognize you.

Regardless of how you choose to masquerade, I hope you have a hair-raising time!

Trick or treat,


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Categories: Design, Fashion, Yale ARTbooks

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