Thursday, October 29, 2015

Spooky Shows for Stylish Folks

I love Halloween

And, because I love it so much, I wanted to pull together some of the movies and T.V. shows that I find inspiring for Halloween.

None of these are horror, though. I love horror films - terribly unladylike of me, I know - but they are rarely something I watch on Halloween unless I find a particularly interesting one on T.V. Instead, I tend to watch media that's aimed at children, but with a spooky bent, and this list reflects that. So, if you're looking for some aesthetic inspiration for your autumn looks, curl up with a mug of spiced cider or hot chocolate and enjoy.

Over the Garden Wall

This miniseries is a newer find of mine, and it's full of style, cuteness, and a big ol' dash of creepiness. There's an old-fashioned look to it that I find very satisfying and inspiring, especially if you're into a very Victorian-inspired style or mori girl. The  muted color palette reminds me of vintage cartoons, and each episode's length makes it easy to watch if you're on a tight schedule.

Hocus Pocus

Say it with me now, in your best Bette Midler impression: "I put a spell on you, and now... you're mine."

This movie is eternal, I swear. It's one of the Halloween movies for me. Was the early 90s a great time for fashion? NO. But was it a great time for watching three ladies ham it up. This movie has Doug Jones, big musical numbers, talking cats, and a story that's both kid friendly and appropriately frightening.

And, thankfully, their witchy costumes are delightfully lush. They gave each of the witches a different personality and look. I mean, look at this:

This movie is fabulous and fun from top to bottom.

The Addams Family

The look of this movie will probably be most inspiring if you're on the goth end of things, with its many hues and textures of black, black and white stripes, and general spookiness. I'd say you could easily watch the old TV show, read the comics, or watch either of the movies to get your fix.

If you're a fan of the gothic tropes of decadent aristocrats in a crumbling house, this is a fun way to address those tropes.

Edward Scissorhands

This is the most candy-colored Halloween movie I could think of. With 90s suburbia as a backdrop, this movie is like exploring the world outside the Addams house in the Addams Family world.

But it still speaks heavily to the outsider in all of us. Ever felt different, like you didn't belong (and, really, which of us who is into alternative fashion hasn't)? This is a movie for you. Equal parts Gorey-ish and suburbia-sweet, you should definitely watch it if you haven't yet.

Do you have any Halloween traditions for movie or TV watching? I'd love to hear about them.

Friday, October 16, 2015

13 Halloween Questions Tag

I got tagged!

1. Favorite Halloween song?

Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens. I have been known to get this song stuck in my head and go waltzing about the park. By myself. Usually while I'm walking alone. At night. I promise, I'm not really THAT creepy. Or, at least, I try.

2. Witch or Vampire?

I've always been more fond of vampires.

3. Favorite thing about Halloween?

Seeing children dress up and getting to dress up myself. When I was in high school, I developed a great fondness for dressing up because I usually worked at my fast food job on Halloween. This was mostly because an adult in costume is instantly something between a hero, a celebrity, a confidante, a kindred spirit, and real magic. I love being able to dress in ways that I like and get that reaction from children.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Scrapbooking my Fashion Life

Last winter, I decided to spend some of my snowbound time scrapbooking my favorite Lolita outfits and other pictures.

I actually have had several scrapbooks going in my life. I have one with life experiences, one for a bicycle revamp project, one for DIY projects, and one for my outfits. The fashion one is probably the fanciest, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

With that in mind, here are my ten tips for the scrapbooking Lolita and other alternative fashions.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Inspiring Ladies from History: Katie Sandwina

Ever seen Mister Rococo?

I first saw this short film ages ago, and I adored it. If you liked it as much as I did, then you should probably look into the life of Katie Sandwina.


Katie Sandwina (1884 – January 21, 1952), born Katharina Brumbach in Vienna, Austria, was a circus strongwoman.


Katie Brumbach was one of fourteen (or possibly fifteen or sixteen) children born to circus performers. She showed an aptitude and strength early on, and performed with her family. By her teenage years, Katie's father would offer one hundred German marks to any man in the audience who could defeat her in wrestling. No one succeeded, but she did meet her future husband in one such wrestling match.

After defeating famous strongman Eugene Sandow – by lifting 300 pounds over her head – Katie took on the stage name of Sandwina in reference to that. She worked in the United States with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for many years, until she was nearly 60. One of her standard performance feats was lifting her husband (who weighed 165 pounds) overhead with one hand.

Sandwina was also described as being a great beauty and very feminine. Even after she retired from the circus and started a family tavern with her husband, she apparently kept her nails painted.

Katie Sandwina died in 1952 from cancer.


A lot of the way that people talk about – and often think about – femininity is as exclusively “soft” or “fragile.” If we take anything away from Katie Sandwina’s life, it’s that we can be girly, beautiful, and powerful if we want to be.

And me? I love that idea.

I hope you find Katie Sandwina as interesting as I do. Because I'm a history major and a history nerd, this is something I want to do on this blog every so often. Most of the inspiring ladies I want to talk to you about are not going to be fashion icons, but they are going to be women who I find fascinating and who I take inspiration from in my understanding of the clothing I wear and the way I think about gender presentation.