As Halloween lifts its head in the world context, costume and horror become part of an everyday ritual for some of us. Make that witch hat, prep those cat ears, reference those vampires.....all part of a millinery studio's to-do list. We see Halloween as a relief from the norm, nowadays. An instant flicker of submerged reality, an escape from our perceived complications. With TV helping us along the way and Comicon now part of some internal lexicon on the plane of popular culture, costumes are often our interpretation of who and what we want to be. Since we were little runabouts in ghostly sheets, preying upon neighbors for our intake of sugar, costumes have grown up. The inspiration for those counter personae now seems rooted in comic books, film, tv spreading wide and far the possibility of becoming anyone or anything, if only for one night.
Dracula's bride takes many forms. Space age creatures and heroes, from Groot to Wonder Woman now amble serenely through party or gathering or convention.
|Katy Kattelman and the author|
|Claire Fraser, The "Bat Suit " (courtesy of Terry Dresbach)|
Bela Lugosi made the cape a required part of anyone's proper Dracula wardrobe, from the 1930's onward, when the film was released. But capes and shrugs and stoles and wraps were a truly necessary element for centuries. It was cold. And so, back to Claire, in Outlander, and her Bat Suit.
|Fashion photography by Henry Clarke, 1960s.|
Claire's cape, as part of an outfit she whipped up (euphemistically) for herself to regress to the 18th Century has to translate from 1960's conservative styles to daily usage in the unsettling daily routines of the 1780's. Cape, as part of her "Bat Suit" lined with pockets, as handbag, kitted out to prevent inquiring minds from wondering if she were a witch. (Watch the series, and read the books for all the witchy references).
|Yvonne Craig as Batgirl and Burgess Meredith as the Penguin|
Capes lend a note of romance, mystery, and always, a place to stash your thingamajigs. Bela Lugosi didn't need to stash anything, since Dracula could transform at will. But with our modern penchant for carrying the world in our pockets and pocketbooks, a cape allows for hiding, protecting, and serves as a broad brushstroke in style.
Pity Claire doesn't go in for headpieces.