Real quick: the MPB Halloween Sew-Along starts this coming Wednesday!
If you'd like to join our Flickr group, shoot me an email (peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com) and I'll send you an invite (you can do this directly through Flickr if you already have an account there). Photos can be viewed by anyone, but only members can post or leave comments/questions. Of course we'll all be sewing different costumes most likely, but we'll be sewing them together -- or virtually together. Anyway, it will be fun. I'll have more info in the coming days.
Meanwhile, friends, is it me, or has Halloween become a very different holiday than when I was a kid? Or back even further...
I was in the New Jersey suburbs this weekend and everywhere you looked you saw these pop-up Halloween stores. They're in NYC too, half a dozen within walking distance from me!
I remember Halloween as strictly a kids' holiday. You went to a costume party or out trick-or-treating and that was it. Today Halloween is big business, and it's as much an adult holiday as one for kids, and there are all those sexy this and sexy that costumes. Halloween stores may be convenient, but where's the creativity in shopping at one?
I stumbled upon this pattern last week and I immediately thought to myself, Would any child today want to go trick-or-treating as a nurse? It would be seen as sexual stereotyping or just plain dull, am I right? Maybe if she were a zombie nurse...
I love looking at old costume patterns. They seem to reflect more innocent times, though they could be a little ethnocentric -- I mean, all those gypsies. Today, an "Italian Costume" would be a Versace jumpsuit.
Can someone please explain the fascination with little Dutch girls?
Historical costumes seem a little elaborate for a contemporary child, too Shirley Temple. Actually I think Shirley was both a little Dutch girl and an Eighteenth Century lady in a Heidi dream sequence.
Remember when a hanger on your head was enough to communicate the Space Age?
I don't have children of my own, of course, but I do see the kids in my neighborhood, and my sense is that the kind of things they want to dress up as has changed dramatically. I remember being a clown, a ghost, a French painter, and a railroad train conductor. Today, generic costumes like those don't cut it. Halloween has been branded.
Once upon a time you were a princess or ballerina. Today it's the latest hot toy or cartoon character. Blame it on TV, I guess, and mass marketing.
Who would even recognize a Pierrette or shepherdess? (And who is Priscilla?)
Readers, do you agree that Halloween is too focused on brands and TV characters, and just too commercial?
And what's with all those one-stop shopping Halloween mall stores? (Have you ever shopped in one?)
Don't forget to join the Flickr group!
(For you little Dutch girl fans...)