Good Cryptkeeping - Bewitch and Bedazzle
While everyone else is losing their mind over the return of pumpkin spice lattes or perhaps a crisp feel in the evening air, I live in the Hellmouth, also known as Texas, and our autumns are typically denoted by the phrase ‘slightly less hot’. Nonetheless, it’s hard not to get kid-at-Disney thrilled when you start seeing the social media posts about leaves changing colors, or the local haunted house starts advertising that they’re hiring actors for the scare season. But the moment that you walk into the store and see the racks of costumes, pumpkin-scented candles and wreaths in every shade of orange and brown imaginable, you know it’s real. It’s fall.
It’s the season of the witch.
(Although my boyfriend would tell you that’s every day living with me, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The fall brings out the best in fashion, particularly for us creatures of the night; suddenly it’s not only acceptable but embraced to wear layers, stockings, boots and darker shades. We no longer have to face racks of pastels and floral print when we browse a clothing store. We can suddenly take our pick of dresses covered in bats, spiderweb-patterned leggings, orange striped socks, horror t-shirts, even at the most mainstream stores. So while we all revel in this annual boost to our skeleton-laden closets, this particularly Good Cryptkeeping is here to point out some fantastic accessories I’ve found that no chic creeps should be without!
First up is earrings; there’s no shortage of adorable horror earrings in the handmade jewelry market, but the ingenuity and creativity of many of the shops pushes boundaries to make themselves stand out from the rest. One such company is Precious Mutations who make custom mini Lego figurines into geeky earrings. I am particularly fond of the Jack Torrance ones, but they also have some from the upcoming “The Nun” film as well as skulls, dangling bloody eyeballs, and Edward Scissorhands. These are sure to get people talking when they see them dangling from your lobes!
Also rocking the Lego mini earring motif is Geeky Treats Boutique. Whether you want Stripe and Gizmo, Beetlejuice, Leatherface or Freddy Vs Jason, this shop has you covered with tiny versions of your favorite slashers. I love the itty-bitty Hannibal Lecters, who come complete with face mask and strapped to little dollies. The attention to detail on such teeny, wholesome figures is really wonderful.
Another company making their mark has moved past just earrings and also features adorable necklaces. The uniqueness of The Eclectic Bootique honestly put a huge smile on my face; many of the designs are created using colored pencils, permanent markers and other mediums and then heat-shrunk on plastic before being sealed to preserve and protect them. There are earrings of Leatherface, Jason, Michael, Freddy, even the masks from ‘The Strangers’, but I was quick to snag myself a pair of Xenomorphs. They also have some great necklace designs, such as Alice in the canoe while kid-Jason pops out behind her, or Regan hovering mid-Exorcism in your cleavage. The designs are super reasonably priced, with most everything in the shop under $15, and the quality is great; I get compliments all the time on my pieces when I rock them at horror conventions.
While most of the items at Diamond CC Kawaii Shop are not even close to my aesthetic, the two horror-themed items are pretty great; there’s an awesome slasher montage necklace, which is really cool, but the kawaii earrings of iconic slashers kills me. I can’t decide if I like the Jason or the Michael more, but they remind me of the Funko designs and they just look entirely too cute to be murdering any wayward teenagers, don’t they? They’re also super affordable at $5 a pair, which makes them a great snag for someone who likes their creepy a little on the cutesy side.
One of the coolest indie jewelry makers on Etsy right now is Family Skiner’s Style, who hand-sculpt weird and wicked pieces that may as a rule be a bit too macabre for casual wear on some people. How could you not want Predator masks for plugs if you have gauged ears, for example? Or one of their horrifying, glistening eyeball hair pins? The pieces are obviously made with a lot of love and skill, and they would definitely be a conversation piece in any setting. Remember, darlings, especially this time of year, there’s no such thing as ‘too much’!
Weird Sculpture also has you covered, with quirky and macabre necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more based on anatomical anomalies. If you want a pair of tumor earrings or a necklace of a severed tongue, this is your place. I really love this full-chest necklace, which looks like a typical spring flower piece until you take a closer gander. There’s also a ‘tooth fairy’ choker made of displaced molars.
If freaky hand-sculpted pieces are your thing, then Recondite Beasties may also be up your alley; these pieces are lightweight and easy to wear, but you are guaranteed to get some looks. I am personally in love with the Norris spider-head bolo tie fastener; it’s beyond cool, and a steal at $28 with free US shipping.
Psychotic Arts Studios doesn’t have a huge selection online (though their Facebook is a bit more robust) but their handmade handbags are pretty gruesome; the Ed Gein-inspired purse will certainly be the talk of the tomb this holiday season, and is the perfect size for a cell phone, small wallet and keys. These would be great to sling over your shoulder as you hit the haunted houses this year, in addition to horrifying any daywalkers who venture too close.
If horror-themed purses are your bag, pun intended, from Iron Fist, Sourpuss, Kreepsville and Loungefly you have your choice of mainstream manufacturers churning out eerie bags in every shape, size and pattern you could imagine. However, if handmade creations speak to you more, check out Love Pain and Stitches. You’ll have better luck following them on Instagram, where they post updates on upcoming items, fan photos with their bags, and news on production. A mother-and-son team founded this company of entirely handcrafted pumpkin-styled bags, primarily cross-body but they do offer variations on occasion. The bags are so in demand that they sell out within 5 minutes of being listed on the Etsy; they’re listed in batches once a month at a pre-announced time, and people set alarms and hit the refresh button rabidly to get their hands on one. They also vend at horror cons, which is likely your best chance to own a bag; at Midsummer Scream in LA this summer, they never had a line of less than ten people deep the entire time the convention ran except when they ran out of stock. They limit customers to one bag per event, due to the demand, and pre-orders on the etsy are nearly ten weeks in advance due to the detail and craftsmanship that goes into these bags. The variations are endless; the team used to create Jack Skellington and other bags but stopped due to trademark issues, so now each purse is an entirely original pattern of jack o’ lanterns, bat faces, tombstones, even the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Bags range from around $50 for the most basic, smaller models to a little over $100 for more elaborate and rare ones, but they easily go for twice that on the secondhand market and eBay. Owning an LPS bag is a status symbol for some goth/spooky fashionistas the way that celebs want the latest designer duds. After about seven months straight of trying with no luck, I was finally able to snag a jack o’ lantern bag thanks to a generous friend attending an event where they were vending. Mine is the traditional orange and black style, though they come in everything from standard pumpkins to matte black to holographic rainbow, and I could not be more impressed by the quality of it; it is the perfect size, holds everything without being bulky, sits perfectly on your hip, and it’s beyond cute. I plan to pick up another at Son of Monsterpalooza later this month, and I can’t wait to see which new designs they’ll unveil for the show. Follow them on Instagram to keep up with them; at around 53K followers, this family operated little spookshow is definitely making waves in the horror community!
Well, that’s it for this round, boils and ghouls. I hope you found some awesome new treasures to decorate your meat-suit with; after all, the time we spend above ground should be spent fabulously, and as long as you aren’t wearing the tannin necklace from “Rosemary’s Baby” I think you should be just fine with any of the beauties in this article. Until next time, stay spooky… and enjoy the first pumpkin spice indulgences of the year, you’ve earned them!