For the midnight hour

Create a femme fatale mood and dark elegance by mixing a vampire cloak with glitter and flowers, writes Deirdre McQuillan

(L-R) 1. Full-skirted dress, €630, Vinienne Westwood, Arnotts; gloves, €22.95, and necklace, €29.95, both Zara. 2. Sequin dress, €75, Verity at Boohoo Boutique,; shoes €80, River Island. 3. Jacket, €560, McQueen, at Brown Thomas; shorts, €235, Maje at BT2; top, €19.75, Forever 21; necklace stylist's own.

(L-R) 1. Full-skirted dress, €630, Vinienne Westwood, Arnotts; gloves, €22.95, and necklace, €29.95, both Zara. 2. Sequin dress, €75, Verity at Boohoo Boutique,; shoes €80, River Island. 3. Jacket, €560, McQueen, at Brown Thomas; shorts, €235, Maje at BT2; top, €19.75, Forever 21; necklace stylist's own.

Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 00:00

Dressing for the night may be on a lot of people’s minds this holiday weekend. It isn’t just the youthful Halloween revellers, the cloak-and-dagger witches and vampires who are mixing the magic with the macabre; those dressing up to go out on a date, or a midnight masquerade around An Samhain, become a little more serious and seductive in their nocturnal attire. Pitch-black clothes and bright-red lipstick are de rigueur.

Masked balls with their coded signals and frissons of expectation may be rare in Ireland these days, although there’s nothing to stop anyone adding a disguise for parties or spooky celebrations, even if it’s only face paint.

In the US dressing up at Halloween is a competitive, challenging sport; a fashion designer in New York last year dressed in white from head to toe as “a frozen asset” while another painted his body black and white as a tribute to Keith Haring’s drawings. What’s fancy dress but an excuse to adopt another persona? How about dressing up as a credit defaulter? Or a sub-prime mortgage?

This fashion shoot, with its theme of dark elegance, uses some of the swagger of a vampire cloak, and the frivolity of a plunging backline, to create a femme fatale mood. It’s a tribute to Frida Kahlo’s style though whether the Mexican painter ever juxtaposed shorts with the flowery headpieces that so characterised her self portraits is doubtful.

But Gothic glamour comes into its own as the winter nights draw in and its hard edge even pervades everyday street wear.

“I’m gonna wait till the midnight hour/When there’s no one else around”, goes the song – now’s the time for drama and seductive decoration.

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