Gothic Council Rules on Halloween Costumes
There's a pretty sharp divide between goths over Halloween. While all of us can agree on the sanctity of the holiday, and many can trace our current interests back to an obsession with the 31st of October and all the hoopla that surrounds it, the actual mode of celebration is hotly debated.
Some believe that Halloween belongs to us, since black and skulls and spiders are things we adorn ourselves with all year long anyway. Therefore we don't dress up in costumes so much as just wear the finest of what we already own. Others, and we're included in this category, believe that we owe it to the holiday to craft an amazing non-goth costume to shine in.
Which is the real eel though? To answer that we summoned the Gothic Council. Joing us this week is fashion designer Batty, blogger at Night's Plutonian Shore Sarah Fanning, living historian Morrighanne Burns, stylist Carol Dauemer, webmistress of Morticia's Morgue Becky Plexco, our EBM activitist Jason Hebert, doll maker Ugly Shyla, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, and DJ Martin Oldgoth
Gothtopia: How do you feel about goths who dress in their usual garb on Halloween? Are they phoning it in?
Batty: I don't think they are phoning it in. For a lot of goths it's probably easier, and cheaper to "shop your own closet" for Halloween. While I always dress more fancy for Halloween or in some sort of period style ball gown, it's never really a specific costume, it's just a fancier version of my normal dress. However I think it's also fun to dress in specific costumes, I don't think there should be rules for Halloween for goths or norms. However, I do find it irritating that "that guy that dresses like a giant joint or a lewd piece of male anatomy" is the one that wins costume contests every year. I think goths should have our own category, because really we win, hands down.
Sarah Fanning: Not only is it easier and cheaper, the stuff we have in our wardrobes is of better quality than the garbage sold as costumes. Besides Halloween may as well be Goth's day. And as such we should be ourselves exactly as we are and celebrate it; just like moms celebrate their parent status on Mother's Day.
Batty and Toby Rider
Morrighanne Burns: Scotland and some parts of Ireland have celebrated Halloween for a very long time. We're probably a bit less commercial than the United States but it's slowly getting there. Trick or treat is called guising here, a play on being in disguise. I usually dress as something completely hideous for Halloween, for me that is anti-goth so this year I'll be wearing bad fake tan and nasty clothes. When it comes to themed events, goths can use their wardrobes or fabulous creative skills (like Batty) to make beautiful outfits, sadly Halloween for the masses is about tatt and tacky. Thank goodness for club nights and decent venues where like-minded folk can appreciate brocade from nylon.