Tuesday, 5 October 2010

My style icons: Morticia Addams

It's Halloween this month, and I love Halloween, so many posts will have a spooky feel. Who better to start off with than the Woman Who Has It All?

The look: Long black hair, flashing eyes, long nails, porcelain skin and a wiggle dress fit for a funeral.

As style icons go, I’m willing to bet that Morticia has had more influence than Lily Munster. She definitely has on me; I first dyed my hair black at 19 and am still trying to break the habit. Although Vampira slinked her way across the screen first, Tish is older. Charles Addams began drawing a slender, black-clad, morbid lady in his New Yorker cartoons in the 1930s. (In fact, Vampira came into being in the 1950s after Maila Nurmi wore a Halloween costume inspired by the elegant Addams ladies to a party.) Whether the ladies were intended to be a 'character' or were all of a type I don't know, but when the television series came into being they were distilled into one brunette beauty, Morticia Addams. Several actresses have played her on stage and screen, but the first screen Morticia was Carolyn Jones

Thinking of words to describe Morticia, ‘slinky’ springs to mind, and part of me wonders if that’s where she scores over Lily M - that and a decidedly more intelligent and appealing husband. After all, Lily wins hands down on the hair front with her dramatic streak of white, and Yvonne de Carlo was a real beauty, but a pink empire line dress is never going to beat a tight black number, so for pure style Morticia wins.

At first glance, Morticia doesn’t seem to be of any era, but that’s the power of a slinky black dress. In the 1930s, she’d probably have worn a bias-cut, and her hair in the drawings does have a hint of a wave, albeit longer than was fashionable. Come the 1950s and she’s in a wiggle dress with hair pre-empting 1960s trends. This lady’s look has staying power!

2 comments :

  1. Ha, mon cher will be after you if you keep that up ;)

    Ah, Gomez! I plan to do a post on him in November. I will be celebrating Movember with features on moustachioed men.

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