The massive Halloween costume stores started to pop up all around New York late September. I was looking for some quick item for a show I was designing so I decided to just pop into a few to see if I could grab the item. While combing the racks and racks of bagged costumes I started to form a question that began to bother me greatly.
If a costume company is selling a character's costume from a well known tv show or movie, does the costume designer for that production get paid/recognition? (ie: There were about four or five different costumes for Eleven from Stranger Things and all I could think of: "Are the designers getting paid for her deign work for each of these being sold?")
My first stop was to figure out if designs for movies and tv shows had any legal protection. Here are a few things I found:
From what I could find, even if the character is copyrighted or trademarked, the clothing they are wearing can not be. The patterns or artwork on them could potentially be, but the clothing itself can't.
I also looked if I could find any information about if designers are involved in the creation of these bagged Halloween costumes of their costume designs. I couldn't find any information. I would be interested in learning what happens once a costume has been filmed; what rights do a costume designer have to any Halloween costumes of their designs.
Something that did come up in my research was collaborations between costume designers and merchandising and/or the lack-there-of. The Hollywood Reporter has an article from 2016 speaking with a few costume designers about merchandising fashion linked with the shows they designed for. It answered a few questions and just piled more in their places.
So, for now it seems like designers don't collaborate on the Halloween costumes of their designs that you can buy at these mega Halloween stores. If you want to be your favorite character from a tv or movie I would suggest learning about the designer a little, gathering photos, and thrift the items or looking in your own closet to pull together the look for the character. It is fun, eco-friendly, and maybe in some way a nod to the designers who created these looks to begin with.
This may be my hot take. What do you think?
History’s Halloween Costumes-Monster
and EdwaOn the first installment we learned about witch costumes. On this second installment, I wanted to focus on other monsters. Notably, vampires, Frankenstein's monster, and mummies. The trinity of Halloween monsters. Before looking at some historic representations of the three, let's briefly review the origins of each myth.
FYI: The green guy with bolts through his neck is Frankenstein's monster. Frankenstein was the doctor who created him. Read the book by Mary Shelley and all will be made clear.
One of the first vampire movies was the black and white silent film, Nosferatu. It was filmed in 1921 and is thought by many to be an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula by Bram Stoker. The movie also set a precedent that is believed to this day. In the movie, vampires are injured or killed by sunlight. No where in Stoker's novel was this mentioned; only that vampires are weakened.
The mummy curse is thought to have been perpetuated or created by the Victorians. There is no evidence that Egyptians believed mummies were cursed or could get up and walk around after being mummified. Supernatural explanations and spiritualism was popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes was a noted spiritualist during that time.
After researching the trifecta of costume monsters I have realized that although we see them as quintessential parts of Halloween, unlike witches, these monsters weren't as prevalent in Halloween dress up. Skeletons, bats, and black cats tended to show up more and much earlier in history when I was researching. Hopefully this is a jumping off point for anyone who wishes to do more in depth research into any of these three iconic monsters.
History’s Halloween Costumes-Witch
As autumn is right around the corner, I thought I'd take a look into some Halloween costumes and how they were represented throughout the history of the holiday as we celebrate it today (parties, trick or treating, pumpkin patches).
Witches were ranked as the #6 most popular Halloween costume of 2017 by Fortune Magazine. With America's history on witchcraft, witch costumes sounded like a fantastic idea for my first History's Halloween Costumes article.
American's borrowed "trick or treating" from the Irish and English in the late 1800s. Many tried to make the holiday more about family gathering and fun rather than tricks, ghost stories, and witchcraft. Although Halloween was meant to shy away from witchcraft, witches were still a very popular costume. From homemade paper mache masks to pre bought tutu miniskirts, here is a very brief pictorial history of witch costumes in America.