Why Halloween classics can be your October fashion inspiration. By Sarah Magliocco.

There are hundreds of cinematic titles that are hailed for their fashion merit, from Breakfast at Tiffany's to Clueless, but rarely does a horror movie make the list.

Horror movies boom in popularity at this time of year, as Halloween approaches we seek inspiration for our costumes or the titillating thrill of a scare from our screens.

However, these movies hold more importance than just being the influence for our costumes, as the iconic wardrobe choices hold cultural context and often give hints to the era the film is set in or the traits and beliefs of the character.

From Scream to The Craft, these blood-soaked slashers and psychological thrillers are laden with fashion inspiration for our day to day wardrobes too. Many iconic Halloween movie looks are relevant to current trends and have sartorial longevity that doesn’t wane when the last pumpkin gets tossed on the compost heap.

Here are some of the season's chicest Halloween films, and the key trends they offer year after year.

Rosemary’s Baby

Dubbed a cursed movie thanks to the fates that befell many of the cast members after the movie aired, Rosemary’s Baby has gone down in history as one of the most beloved psychological horrors of the 1960s. Mia Farrow’s iconic pixie cut is one memorable style element of the film, but her character’s penchant for a babydoll cut dress and pastel hues doesn’t go unnoticed either.

Rosemary's Baby. Photo: Getty

Loewe, creatively headed by Northern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson, paraded a small selection of candy striped micro-mini baby doll dresses down the runway for Loewe’s S/S23 show at Paris Fashion Week last month, with celebrity fans like Emma Chamberlain singing their praises.

The pastel blue and white colour scheme is a huge factor in the film and on the runway, with the shades representing Rosemary's innocence in the first hour of the film. Baby doll dresses, which generally speaking are short dresses with an empire waist and sometimes lingerie-style components, have a political history in women’s liberation and performance art.

They emerged first as nightwear in the early 1900s, just after women were released from the confines of corsetry, but were not given their moniker until the 1940s. In the late 1950s, the silhouette was the hallmark of brands like Balenciaga and Givenchy, aligning it with a break away from the entrapment of the traditions women were expected to live up to during that decade.

Loewe. Photo: Getty

The mods adopted them and their popularity boomed, and with Rosemary’s Baby costume designer Anthea Sylbert wanting a distinctly 60s aesthetic for the film (to lure people into a false sense of normalcy as the film began) they became a feature of the film’s wardrobe.

Ginger Snaps

This body horror from the turn of the millennium is not exactly known for being a flawless blockbuster, but it’s sharp feminist narrative and portrayal of sisterhood make it a must-see for the late 90s nostalgia alone.

The film makes an unconventional comparison between becoming a werewolf and womanhood, with sisters Ginger and Brigette grappling with both in their own ways. Traditionally, werewolf films have focused on men facing the change from human to beast, but Ginger Snaps flips the trope, aligning the lunar cycle of werewolfism with the menstrual cycle.

Valuable but kitchy feminist commentary aside, the movie’s wardrobe of grunge separates that the sisters clearly picked up in their neighbourhood thrift shop and goth shop at the local mall is the perfect backdrop for the story.

One of the most iconic scenes in the film is when Ginger begins her change, and starts brimming with confidence as she struts down the hallways of her school wearing layered chokers, a low rise skirt, and peasant style blue top with her new signature blonde streaks running through the front of her hair. While this look is synonymous with the film, it’s little sister Brigette’s subversive style that slays, for want of a better word.

Chopova Lowena. Photo: Getty

Long tartan skirts with ragged lace petticoats, oversized dark knits and chunky coats are the most hardworking elements of her style, and the long swathes of tartan combined with flashes of silver jewellry are reminiscent of Chopova Lowena’s, who had their debut show at London Fashion Week this year.

The brand has become world famous for their skirts, which feature tartan attached in dramatic pleats to a heavy leather belt using carabiner shackles. The Bulgarian and British brand’s S/S23 show was a nod to teen angst that Ginger and Brigette would approve of.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Simone Rocha completely stole the show with her S/S23 collection at London Fashion Week, which featured hallmarks of her design like a white and airy colour palette and layered fabrics.

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Monstrous tulle collars swallowed up the neck and shoulders of models that strutted their way down the runway – many wearing ballet-style shoes, another huge trend this season – which were styled playfully and ethereally, much like costume designer Eiko Ishioka’s Oscar winning work in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Simone Rocha. Photo: Getty

Simone Rocha’s work could be compared most to the wedding dress worn by Sadie Frost in the film, which was a layered behemoth of white lace and chiffon topped with an oversized collar that is reminiscent of Jurassic Park’s dilophosaurus.

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To recreate the look, dig out the prairie collars from seasons past, or invest in a new statement piece from an independent Irish designer like Aisling Duffy.

The Love Witch

Elaine is one of the most iconic fashion icons of modern cinema. While that might sound dramatic, her aesthetic is a pastiche of the best of the psychedelic 1960s and a generous splash of 90’s whimsigoth to accent her witchcraft.

If you haven't seen it, The Love Witch is a 2016 comedy horror that has garnered a cult following, and is like a mix of fellow surrealist cult classic Donkey Skin (2005) with a twist of Sabrina The Teenage Witch. While Elaine attempts to secure love in her life through nefarious means, including infidelity and murder, she slays in a series of unforgettable looks that include Savage X Fenty-worthy lingerie, vintage Gunne Sax dresses and occult symbolism.

Marni. Photo: Getty

The Love Witch is the ideal last minute Halloween costume, easily recreated with a slick of electric blue eyeshadow, a bouffant hairdo, and a red shift dress, but if you want to incorporate Elaine’s whimsical stylings into your A/W wardrobe, look to her oversaturated colour palette to make the statement.

Choose a primary coloured dress with a hemline Mary Quant would be proud of, and combine it with stacked costume rings and heavy winged eyeliner. For inspiration on your colour palette, look to Marni’s S/S23 show at New York Fashion week, who’s retro-futurism look and bright shades of red, cobalt and yellow felt fresh and forward thinking.

Scream

Drew Barrymore's Casey Becker is an unacknowledged and under-appreciated style icon. Normcore is making a comeback – alongside its polar opposite maximalism – as a result of the looming threat of global austerity on the horizon.

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The simplicity of the clean girl aesthetic has already begun to entrap a generation in the normcore genre, and with classic styling comes inspiration from one of the most classic horror films, Scream. The iconic opening scene sees scream teen Casey Becker become one of the first victims of Ghostface’s killing spree, all while wearing a simple cream cable knit jumper and blue jeans.

For clean, simple but elevated looks, Copenhagen Fashion Week is the one stop shop. For neutrals, no one did it better than Aeron’s SS/23 show, which presented every texture of beige imaginable but managed to make it interesting.

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Designers like Acne Studios and Stella McCartney always have stunning, neutral toned knitwear available, while newly trending brands like Paloma Wool offer more affordable options to fashionistas.

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Meanwhile Irish knitwear designer Gabrielle Malone’s home studio in Kildare crafts some of the most sublime knits in the country – with her 'Wave’ camel cardigan featuring in the wardrobe of the very stylish Carrie Bradshaw in the first season of HBO’s And Just Like That.

The Craft

Two words - Nancy Downs. While all of the film coven’s four witches have individual style credentials, Nancy’s distinctively gothic look is an emblem of the hit 90s film. Still as relevant as it was in 1996, a huge part of the appeal of the film is its iconic wardrobe, complete with PVC, school girl uniforms and lashings of Catholic iconography.

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Costume designer for the film Deborah Everton took pride in pushing the concept of the school uniform as far as she could, a feat that would not be done as well again until a decade late when Gossip Girl first aired, and used the Catholic ethos of the school to influence Nancy’s aesthetic, with lashings of ironically worn rosary beads and crucifixes.

Blumarine. Photo: Getty

Blumarine’s S/S23 collection represents the most literal modern interpretation of Catholic symbolism on a runway, with distressed denim and hardware embellished crucifix shapes dominating the collection. Meanwhile, Versace’s S/S23 show was a carous of gothic black and purple lace, and was all about contrasts, as The Craft is.

Versace. Photo: Getty

While the 1996 film might depict the juxtaposition of light and dark, good and evil, the balance of energy, Versace aimed to represent the duality of woman. "I have always loved a rebel. A woman who is confident, smart and a little bit of a diva.

She wears leather, studs and frayed denim and she has enough attitude to mix them with chiffon, jersey, and a tiara," said Donatella Versace of the collection. The irony should not be lost that Versace’s Medusa motif lines up with the recurring snake symbolism, and literalism, in the film.

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The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RTÉ.