Thursday, 29 October 2015

Black Cats and Bats and Spiders: Vintage-Inspired Halloween Style

Halloween is almost upon us, and it is time for some elegantly seasonal vintage style, with the photos from my collaboration project. I'm so excited!

My co-designer in this Halloween collaboration was Casey, who blogs at Noir Girl and you may also know from her delightful vintage outfits on instagram.

When Casey and I teamed up, we decided our goal was to make some elegant and stylish vintage-inspired outfits with subtle Halloween themes. After getting some basics in place, we went away to independently sketch outfit ideas drawing inspiration from the 1920s to the 1950s. I already shared on instagam and the email newsletter some of the designs that didn't make it, but we ended up deciding on one each from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s to make.

This first is 1950s inspired and a spider web theme. Ever since I saw the photos of Nora in the hat I made for her, where the decoration showed up in silhouette through the hat brim, I had been wanting to make another hat that made use of that idea. My aim with this hat was for the spider web detail and the spiders to be barely visible from above, then appear when the light shone behind.

By making the shapes from white felt, and covering the top with organza, they stay nicely hidden at first.

With the sun behind, they appear! I won't lie, I'm feeling pretty smug about how that turned out!

Casey's fitted black wiggle dress has just the most divine details on the bodice, and a sheer over-skirt representing the spider web.

Next up, a 1930s-inspired cat outfit. We went with a black-white-and-grey rather than a more traditional black cat, but it gave us more shades to play with in the outfit, and I'm happy that we did.

This has got to be the chic-est cat costume I've ever seen! If I do say so myself, since I sketched the original idea, but really it was Casey's amazing work that brought it to this fantastic conclusion. That little jacket is to die for!

The hat is inspired by a few different little round tilt hats that I've seen photos of, and I've been aching to make one for a while. Velvet cat ears on top add a little twist to the look, and a plaited fabric bandeau holds it in place comfortably.

I have saved my favourite until last. This design of Casey's caught my imagination from the very beginning, and although the outfit evolved through the design and making process, it remains my favourite. By a mile. And I really do like the other ones.

Our 1940s number takes a bat as it's theme, in a quite abstract way that is elegant but distinctly spooky. Maybe even villainous.

The forties halo hat is the basic style beginning for this hat, with the halo frame around the face developed with sculpted felt shapes reminiscent of the folds of the bat's wings.

Casey's super-elegant black suit pairs so perfectly with the hat, with it's stylish back buttons, perfect kick to the skirt, and subtle bat-wing sleeve detail.

Let's also take a moment to enjoy the photography and stunning autumnal backdrop, and how beautiful Casey looks modelling her own and my creations.

Thank you Casey for your amazing sewing, the fun and inspiration collaborative design process, and helping me make my Halloween hat dreams come true in a way I couldn't have achieved on my own.

Don't forget to hop on over to Casey's blog to see more photos and hear her side of the story.

I'd love to hear what you think! Would you wear a subtle vintage look as a Halloween costume alternative or even just out and about in October?

P.S. For the record, Teacup makes an adorable Evil Bat Queen, but I didn't get any photos of that, sadly.


  1. Oh my that last hat!! o_o Absolutely stunning. Great looks for Halloween I'd say :)

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like that one, I'm very proud of it! :)

  2. I would wear the cat outfit any day of the year! Just gorgeous,and the cat details are so subtle.

    1. It is very wearable, isn't it? If you check out Casey's instagram, she wore the jacket and shirt to work and looked very stylish!

  3. What an amazing collaboration! Such a great and exciting idea to do this. All three hats and outfits are really marvellous. I can see the cat one being really wearable for many occasions. The spider web hat is so clever, it works so well!

    1. Thank you Kate-Em! I'm really glad every time I do a collaboration, so I will have to keep coming up with excuses to do so.

  4. My love for both of these breathtaking Halloween inspired hats is off the charts! The whimsy, creativity and imaginative work at play here is both wildly inspiring and incredibly festive. Fabulous work, dear Tanith!

    Big hugs & joyful start of November wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you Jessica! I had a great time working with these themes with Casey. I will have to do more Halloween hats next year!

  5. that black hat is totally amazing some day I need a hat like that

    1. Thank you! I will probably be listing it on Etsy before this Halloween rolls around, so I'll let you know!


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