tricks aren't only for kids

It was raining softly outside this morning, and my first thought was: that poor little toilet paper ghost is going to be all melted!

Yesterday when walking through the Boltons near home - a lovely eye-shaped island, surrounding a church, of large white mansions - I suddenly came upon this image. Then I felt, rather than saw, the movement of a child, running into the huge house.

When I told Mr. Dot after, he said 'they must be Americans' because - and this part I never got - Halloween really is perceived as an American holiday here, altho it came from British/Celtic culture originally. Curious, I started googling, and the very first article, in the Independent, caught my eye: Trick or treat: Is Halloween another tacky American import or a bit of harmless fun that boosts the economy? (I swear: that is all one title: longer than most of mine! But it's a good read.)

Because it's raining, and because I have work to do at home, I'm not out trying to shoot trick-or-treaters, as I know there will be, at best, a few stragglers (I do hope number 5, the Boltons, gets someone appreciating their efforts!) Instead, I've assembled some blurry/spooky shots taken at the V&A: a weird juxtaposition of events, the opening of the ceramic exhibit upstairs (which Mr. Dot's friend wanted to see), and, in the lobby, a fashion-week related event.

And it got me thinking, how lovely a tradition Halloween is. I mean, what is fashion, anyway, but expressing ourselves creatively. And Halloween is that one time of year when we can really go nuts, even if we're no longer children. The funny thing about the Brits is, they might not do Halloween, but they LOVE 'fancy dress' parties, which is really the same thing.

As a kid, I gave a lot of thought to my daily 'outfits', but we thought all year about our Halloween costumes. Some years I wanted to be pretty, all fairylike, but other years.. one year I went as a tramp. Why? What was I thinking? (One year, just after college, I went as a different type of tramp. Wore tight jeans, low cut top... sadly, no one got it). My favourite costume, for sure, was as a Geisha, in a pink silk kimono my dad had brought back from Japan, one of my favourite items of clothing. I wish I knew where it is, but I can remember so clearly the raised gold embroidery of the dragon... beautiful memories.

Are you dressing up this year? If so, what are you going as? If you'd like, send me a jpg, I'll post it. Hope wherever you are in the world, you're not getting tricked, but are, instead, getting lots o' treats.

Thank you to an anonymous 'girl in Finland' for sourcing this wonderful ceramic girl: the artist's name is Kim Simonsson and the ceramic girl is actually quite large: almost the size of a real little girl. Wonderful, wonderful work.

Actually if you got this far, you deserve to see a much better post: check out thats so rad today, it's such a hoot! (& the last shot, when I took the first shot I hadn't focused it, so I used a glass filter. This was the first result that came up & I kept it because it feels so spooky... kinda like 'the scream' by Munch.)


Cafe Fashionista said...

That last photograph is truly frightening. Even though I know it's the same as the first photograph, the blurred effect is terrifying.

I always made toilet paper ghosts when I was younger. Actually, at one point in time, my mother left the house and returned home to an abode sans toilet paper - I had used every roll to create toilet paper ghosts - two boxes full of them. Oopsie! :)

Have a splendrous Halloween, darling! :)

Cristi Silva said...

Oh wow, beautiful photos!!! I have no idea what I am going to be for halloween... My son dressed up, it was super cute.. I had to post about it.

Have an awesome halloween!!!!


StyleSpy said...

I haven't dressed up for Halloween in years, I just kind of lost interest and I get my costuming itches scratched with my regular wardrobe. But I think my last costume for my last Halloween was my best -- I had a bias-cut gold satin floor-length dress, I painted my hair, nails & skin gold, wore gold false eyelashes, and carried a small toy plastic shovel that I had spray-painted gold. I was -- can you guess? A gold-digger!!


Style Odyssey said...

i've been trying to post, but keep losing DSL internet signal....ahhh, Paradise, lol! trying again (poaching someone's wireless- whoever they are, i'm grateful!)

as you know, i'm also an American ex-pat. here in the caribbean (and probably all over), children don't trick-or-treat. sometimes someone will host a grown-up halloween party. and the private school has its annual fund-raiser halloween "parade", where the kids dress up and vie for prizes.

as for us, it's saturday night as usual: homemade pizza and a movie. in honor of hallween, we're watching "interview with the vampire".

so there you go- caribbean halloween. like everything else here, it's very low key!

Anonymous said...

I passed the Boltons this year on my way to a party and I have to say it looked to desolate.
I remember when I was younger and the Boltons was THE trick or treating place to be with so much candy I didn't know what do to with it!
It seems as if a lot of people are moving back to their homelands and the London Halloween scene is slowly slipping..
Either way my little brother had lots of fun apple bobbing in our house with his friends and watching the rocky horror picture show!
Nicky :)

p.s. I dressed up as a siamese cat with my friend Lucy this year it was so much fun because we got to design the outfits ourselves, use a sewing machine somewhat successfully and have much fun in the process! They turned out really well with huge puffy skirts and wire tails
which we made courtesy of the Peter Jones florist wire and some fluffy stuff which to my mom's dismay went everywhere! Sorry to keep blabbering on I will send you an e-mail later!

Anonymous said...

Hello there.

I stumbled across your blog following links in street style blogsphere and was amazed to see pictures of Kim Simonsson's statues. I love the pairing of the picture of Kim Simonsson's ceramic girl and the fashion lady. They seem to belong together in some wierd way. And Simonsson's statues do fit to Halloween, the black eyes make them ghost like, don't you agree.

Best regards a girl from Finland

dot said...

Oh thank you, Girl from Finland! I see this just popped in & happened to be online. Hope you see this & see my thank you for finding my blog & commenting & also telling me the artist, as I hadn't jotted it down & didn't know how to find out (apart from going back to the show, which I will). I loved her work, and yes, I found it spooky, too, and also couldn't get over that I had randomly taken those two shots within literally five minutes of each other: one upstairs @ the ceramic exhibit, the other, the minute I walked down the stairs and stumbled on the fashion event.

Ms. Spy: You don't happen to have a shot of that GOLD DIGGER costume, do you? It sounds brilliant! I once tried to do a 'jap' on vacation - did that season's required jewish american princess outfit, including too much make up, did my nails red (which today, no self respecting jap would be caught dead in - japs don't do irony) and made a sun reflector out of tin foil... no one got it. People that didn't know me just probably assumed I WAS a jap, albeit a sweet polite one. One guy chatted me up for a while, then asked why I didn't come in costume.

Nicky Nicky Nicky!! Brilliant comment. TELL ME you've taken pictures & are posting your outfits! such fun.

Erika: (cafe fashionista) I didn't know that was a tradition- my mom was a nursery school teacher & I thought we'd done all the crafty things in the book. These were so simple, so cute.

Rad: well you know. I love that post so much, I added a link! ; )

& last but not least: dear Miss Odyssey. It somehow never occurred to me that as an American ex-pat living in a British owned island, of course they wouldn't do it there. We had pizza too, but you made it yourself! COOL.

Thanks to you all for your comments!! xoxo