When’s the last time that you were really inspired by something? Perhaps a piece of music that sent chills down your spine, a performance that brought tears to your eyes or jaw dropping art that rendered you completely and utterly awestruck? I am talking can’t-get-it-out-of-your-mind, truly, deeply INSPIRED. This happened to me two summers ago when one of my besties and I managed to nab tickets to one of the final days of the McQueen Exhibit at the Met.
We trekked into the city during the dog days of summer and were met with an impressive line that snaked around the museum and down 5th Avenue — hinting at just how special the exhibit was. Boy was it ever. From start to finish, it was a drama filled, heart pounding, visual and sensory delight. I LOVED the dresses, including the ethereal “Oyster Dress” second from right:
And, we became entranced by the videos that accompanied many of the pieces — such as the dress that was spray painted by robots during one of McQueen’s many memorable fashion shows (the video of the spray painting ran on a continuous loop above the dress and both can be seen in the photo below). But, by far, my favorite part of the exhibit was the “curio cabinet.”
More than just a “cabinet,” the photo above only tells part of the story. In reality, it was an entire room of dark cubbies filled with outlandish accessories and dresses. Completely mesmerizing. In the days following my visit to the Met I knew that I had to find some way of creating a similarly haunting display for my upcoming Halloween party. Below you can see my very own interpretation of the McQueen curio cabinet rendered from an old bookcase. And with that, “McQueen Halloween” was born.
Here, I feel I should pause to say that I live on a street that is frequented by many a trick-or-treater. On several occasions we have hosted Halloween parties in our garage, such that party goers can see and feel the excitement of the crowds on the street. I have a standard issue, two bay garage, and my set designer friend (among others!) helps me transform it into a fun little venue for Halloween. In this particular year, the McQueen inspired curio cabinet became the anchor for the decor. I filled it with quirky things like antlers, spray painted barbies, skulls, butterflies, a faux foot (wearing Manolos!) and topped it with a loaner stuffed white peacock named Harriet (thank you, Dovecote!). Finally, I loaded it up with LED lights so that it would glow mysteriously at night:
At the center of it all, an homage to the man of the hour: My copy of the McQueen retrospective, “Savage Beauty,” displayed with a few faux book spines that I had made up and taped to old text books.
I dubbed this party “Charli and Cal’s Spooktacular” in honor of my kids and sent out invitations from Rifle Paper Co. Here, the image from the invitation enlarged and hanging in my garage for the festivities:
The scene in the garage:
Featuring oddball drink accessories
And candy for the adults from my favorite, Vosges.
Haunting guests (Grateful for having a friend who works in the bridal biz and can pin a “Bride of Frankenstein” on a dress form at a moment’s notice!)
Lights and paper lanterns strung from the ceiling:
An extensive “Tricks and Treats” buffet…
Including a “Ghoulry Bar” complete with skull and cross bone rings, candy necklaces and Nerd’s Ropes
Creative cookies thanks to Dough & Co.
And some of my family members’ favorite sweets, such as Kit-Kats…
Chocolate covered pretzels
And some blasts from the past…because I always feel a bit nostalgic on Halloween.
Simple paper goods in the colors of the night were set out for the buffet of finger foods:
Meanwhile, outside on the driveway…
Tables and heat lamps for the little ones
…And the adults.
Love these deep orange roses with the sparkly spiders!
And -best of all- the Waffle Cabin (all the way from Rutland, Vermont!) was on hand to churn out their sweet, warm and crunchy waffles! We branded these “Charli and Cal’s Wicked Waffles” for the party.
My friend built this nifty little stand for the Waffle Cabin to use as their workspace and we capped it off with a fun painting of a “Wicked Waffle Eating Werewolf!’ Because…why not? It’s Halloween!
A bunch of yummy waffles…all lined up and ready to go!
(One helpful hint: If you are considering having Waffle Cabin cater your next party, make sure they come with a generator because having 3 commercial-use waffle irons cranking simultaneously is like running half a dozen or more hairdryers at once! Needless to say we blew more than one fuse during the course of the night.)
Finally, “the Mummies” left with some fun treats…
Guests made their way out into the night past our spooky arrangements of black roses, peacock feathers and sparkly sculls.
And then, just as quickly as this festive scene appears…
By the next day it’s all gone. The only hint that a party had taken place here is the silly souvenir that I hung on my garage wall (OK and maybe the spooky bride!):
I wonder if the Wicked Waffle Eating Werewolf will re-emerge one of these years?!?! Oww-oww-owwwwwwwww!
Photos by Laura Ricciardi and McQueen photos courtesy of the Met.
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