Yesterday we spoke about Morphsuits, which has been one of the crazes to hit the costume and fancy dress market over the past year. Today we look at another popular, but perhaps more traditional look for Halloween, the Black Cat. In fact, a black morphsuit is a great base for a cat style character (if you are brave enough!)
A popular Halloween character, the cat has a major role in the spooky season as a Witch’s familiar, although how familiar possibly depends upon who’s being the witch. Traditionally, of course, the black cat is the one most commonly associated with Halloween and females (although Cats musical aficionados might argue Mr Mistopheles also has a claim).
Although there are some fur-based hire outfits available, these might be hot in the close confines of a party so something a little lighter may be favoured. There are black catsuits and unitards on the market in materials from stretch-knit and lycra to PVC, but you could just as well improvise with black leggings (or skirt and tights) and a suitable top. Also new this year are some fabulous petticoat dresses (the one shown on the link has been accessories for a French maid, but imagine it with cat accessories), an ideal base for a cat costume. Add an ‘Instant Cat’ kit (usually a pin-on tail and ears on a headband) and you’re virtually there. You’ve just got to decide what to do about your face.
There are several cat-masks around, from elaborate glittery Venetian-style affairs to ‘face-bops’ (ears and a nose, sometimes with in-built cat miaow) which leave the eyes and mouth free (ideal for Trick & Treating as they do not impede your vision at all, and kids can wear them too). There are also ‘flyaway’ domino eye-masks to maintain the air of mystery. If you go for make-up, you can be minimalist at a minuscule cost with an eyeliner pencil –cat-flick-up make-up, Amy Winehouse-style, about the eyes and some drawn of whiskers can prove passable. If you want to make a bit more effort, use your liner to colour your nose-tip black, draw a line from the nose to the lips and create some symmetrical black dots either side of this line. With some white face paint and a thin brush, draw out your whiskers from these points and, since you’ve got the white brush there, put a few white strokes above each of your eyebrows as an extra touch.
If you want to go for a full face effect, a stylised design might work better than a totally black look. This means creating areas of white contrast around the eyes and the muzzle to counterpoint the black base which you’ll be using to cover any other exposed skin – great fun when it comes to removal time!
For additional effect there are, of course, a wide range of novelty contact lenses on the market, including slit cats-eyes in various colours. Despite some people’s reservations about these lenses, they are apparently quite safe if used properly and, of course, add a very distinctive touch to your cat disguise. One tip though – make sure they are cleaned before and after use (it’s best not to share!) and try to avoid getting make-up on them as this can cause irritation.
Finally, if you’re a blonde going Black Cat, a wig is probably preferable to trying to spray your hair black, which can be a messy business – it depends upon the length and cut. – but can create some interesting effects if you’re going for a more ‘tabby’ look.
So, if you have decided that this year you are going to wear a Cat costume, why not take a look at our range of cat accessories, we stock everything from cat whiskers, tails, ears and some brilliant feline gloves.
The Black Catalogue (and others)
If you’re not doing-it-yourself and are wanting more than the basic black cat, there are a few off-the-peg outfits available. For example Catwoman has a whole array of incarnations from the simple stretch-knit and mask kit seen in the TV Batman of the 60s/70s to Tim Burton’s PVC fetish feline played by Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (1992). Halle Berry’s 2004 Catwoman was a crop-topped street-fighter-style crusader and we’re waiting to see what Anne Hathaway makes of the role in the forthcoming Dark Knight Batman movie next year.
For the more creative wanting to build on the basic cat kit, and not just for Halloween, there are the Egyptian Gods Sekhmet and Bast (or Bastet). Here you can combine a cat costume with a full-on Cleopatra look and accessorise according to which goddess you want to be – Sekhmet was in charge of Love and Fertility (the original Sex Kitten), whilst Bast was involved with War and Retribution, so a warrior look with appropriate weaponry could create a stunning impression.