24 & Counting…

by Sally Steele

It’s almost Halloween, my favorite holiday of the year. Regardless of where I live, I spend all day into the evening scanning for celebrants in costume, any old costume will do. Living in San Francisco, we have our own unique daily costume parade, one of the reasons we love it here.

Skeletal Couture. This post has nothing at all to do with the BMI (body mass index) controversy that has been floating within the fashion scene for the past five-or-so years. Tim Burton…now are you interested? Who else could say this, “People told me I couldn’t kill Nicholson, so I cast him in two roles and killed him off twice.” Edward Scissorhands is my favorite movie of all time.


Tim Borton, timburton.net


Tim Burton says it best when describing the evolution of his work, “It wouldn’t be so bad, you know? … It’s pretty snazzy.”

Taylor L. White: “Burton has proved himself a maverick visionary bent on pushing the boundaries of weirdness, whose appeal has stemmed from his keen ability to make the cheap and cheesy appealing.” Weird, cheap & cheesy, ok, if that’s what Tim Burton is, then weird, cheap & cheesy is my new middle name. Everything Burton fascinates me including his retrospective show at MOMA in 2009, photos below…in the spirit of Halloween, humor me?


Photograph by Tim Walker, timwalkerphotography.com

















Photograph by Tim Walker, timwalkerphotography.com

















Photograph by Tim Walker, timwalkerphotography.com

















Photograph by Tim Walker, timwalkerphotography.com














Seriously, skeletal fashion has manifested itself in some, uhm, eye-popping creations.

Elsa Schiaparelli was the innovator here, with her Circus Collection from 1938. In her first collaboration with Surrealist painter Salvador Dali, Schiaparelli and Dali produced a body inspired black crepe dress with anatomical padding beneath.


Salvador Dali and Elsa Schiaparelli’s Skeleton Dress, seaofghosts.com


“Paris was tripping all over itself” trying to navigate DSquared  Nappa Spine Heel Ankle Boots.


Dsquared Boot, angapunk.blogspot.com














The skeleton motif has been dusting itself off and reassembling as shown in several recent style seasons by designers including Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Christian Lacroix and Rodarte.



Riccardo Tischi/Givenchy, inspired by Frida Khalofashionfame.com



Inspired by Frida Kahlo and “her three obsessions – religion, sensuality, and human anatomy,” designer Riccardo Tisci‘s of Givenchy strutted an unusual Fall 2010 Haute Couture Collection. “The dominant theme was the human anatomy with column dresses appliqued in crystals and pearls to mock the frame of the skeleton, zipper pulls were made of little bones, and a porcelain belt mimicked a spinal column.”



Delfina Delettrez design, stylehive.com



Fashion ingenue, Delfina Delettrez, 4th generation heir to the Fendi empire describes her jewelry collection as the, “alphabet of her generation.”  Her collections are everything from Gothic, to playful, and in between. She uses gold, silver, iron copper, Tuscan marble, Capodimonte ceramics,  exotic wood, glass crystal, gems, leather, and bone, to blend her love of anatomy and nature into fanciful, wearable art, with equally evocative descriptions. One piece cascades into, “infinite drops of rubies, like little drops of blood.”


What are we to draw from these fashion statements? There’s a kid inside each of us, and that kid, whether celebrating Halloween, or working as a designer in Paris…is forever just a kid, in a veritable candy store. Happy Haunting…did you spot Tim Burton in the photo above? How many ribs does a woman have? (answer is in the title to this post)


images: Tim Burton/MOMA retrospective photographs all by Tim Walker; seaofghosts.com; angapunk.blogspot.com; fashionfame.com; stylehive.com


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