Leave it to Vogue to come up with an alternative for those of us who do not wish to dress up as the walking dead for Halloween. Our “go to” little black dress can serve as a foundation for fun, if a little creativity is applied. Vogue.com called on 36 fashion designers to come up with some classy masks for fashion conscious creatures, who still want to wander through the weekend’s Halloween festivities in style.
What wonders a bit of lace, a few feathers or veil can perform when placed in talented hands. The designer masks that were crafted are worthy of any ‘First Lady’, fashion icon, movie starlet or rock star. Kate Spade and Prabal Gurung, were among the designers, who joined with big name fashion brand Dolce and Gabbana, Manolo Blahnik and others to feed Halloween fantasies. The “Masters of Disguise” Collection of masks, photographed by Olivia Bee, was modeled by iconic New Yorkers, including Vogue’s Hamish Bowles and Grace Coddington.
The masks are currently not for sale, but there are plans for a charity auction in the future. But they might just provide you with a few inspirations, if you’ve got Halloween party invitations for the weekend, but you’re not in a ghoulish or fantasy mood. Coco Chanel who added the moniker “little black dress” into the fashion lexicon, would certainly approve of some of the sophisticated creations that would certainly add a bit of mystery and sensuality to the Halloween scene.
Erdem Moralioglu simply used black lace and ostrich feathers to create a mask so stylish that I would even wear to cocktail party or an event any time of the year. “I wanted to create something that you would imagine seeing in a Visconti film,” Moralioglu told Vogue. Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen created a black pull over mask of tulle and lace that I would wear anytime I wanted to add an air of mystery to my LBD.
If I were in a movie star mood –a ‘la Audrey Hepburn — I would choose Maison Michel’s mask designed by Laetitia Crahay. “I was so excited about [this Halloween project]! I immediately thought of the Falbala lace hood that I created a couple of years ago for Maison Michel that Sasha Pivovarova had worn for a Maison Michel lookbook shot by Karl Lagerfeld, she told Vogue. “I got my inspiration from the Vogue covers from the 50s. They were often sumptuous and dramatic images of girls wearing hats and veils. I had also been thinking a lot about Diana Vreeland’s beautiful work at this time.”
And for men not wanting to sport an ax through the head or a noose around the neck, there were two creations designed with the elegant man in mind. Olivier Theyskens, modeled his creation, which looked like it was crafted from a white dress shirt. And Pat McGrath created a metallic-looking patchwork mask worthy of the Phantom of the Opera, which Vogue’s Hamish Bowles wore with just the right amount of personified intrigue.
My whimsical favorite was Kate Spade’s creation of an owl, reminiscent of Hogwarts messengers in the Harry Potter Series. Deborah Lloyd, president and chief creative officer of Kate Spade New York told Vogue,” I have always loved owls and have been collecting them with a passion for many years. We have designed many special owl pieces for our collections—but never a mask until now.”
There were also intricate offerings that would invoke an edgy attitude on any wearer. Olivia Bee, who photographed the masks made quite an impression in a Jean Paul Gaultier mask made with gold guipure lace with white feathers — think East Village Mohawk hairdo. Manolo Blahnik crafted a red and black mask made with pencil, Chinese ink, and Tombow markers on his sketchpad, which look like two crossed shoes. His inspiration he told Vogue “Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s Salome.”
View all these wondrous creations at Vogue.com and wonder who will be the lucky ones to wear them this Halloween weekend.