Spooky...and stylish: Our favourite ghost whisperer gets us inspired
When we think of October, several things come to mind. The beginning of autumn: sure; the leaves falling off the trees: very picturesque; the drastic shortening of daylight with the clocks going backwards at the end of the month: sad and depressing, actually - please let's not think about that! But if you're anything like me, then I'm sure that right now you're not just admiring the colourful early-autumn foliage gathering in the streets. Right now, you're starting to think about this year's Halloween theme. Vampires? Werewolves? Or not at all supernatural? What's it to be?
As I was going through potential Halloween styles for this year, it just occurred to me that this time my hopeless TV series binge-watching might actually bear fruit. A few weeks ago, don't ask me why, I decided to start (binge) watching 'Ghost Whisperer' again, a TV show I first stumbled upon when I was still living in Italy and that I never really followed till the end. Until this autumn. I know, you're still wondering why I would start binge-watching now a series whose finale was first aired in 2010. Well, if the glamorous Melinda Gordon has taught me anything, there is no such thing as coincidence and as Halloween is fast approaching, a drama series where the line between the world of the living and the dead is often blurry may be a true source of inspiration. As is our Melinda. There's so much that I find interesting about her character and her world. So let's get to know her a bit better and see how she can turn around our Halloween plans.
A bit of mythology
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the 'ghost whisperer' bears an interesting resemblance to the mythological figure of Charon. Who's that? In Greek mythology, Charon is known as the 'ferryman of the dead', it's the guy (well, he's a god really) who waits for your soul to reach the underworld, where it helps it cross a river, sometimes called Acheron, other times Styx, representing the dividing line between our world and the world of spirits. But isn't that what Melinda does?
Although operating on the surface of the earth and not below it, more specifically in the small yet fancy town of Grandview (New York), Melinda helps the souls of those who have unfinished business with the living cross over into the 'light', where they will finally find peace and happiness. She does exactly that and she does it for free. While Charon requires that you a pay a fee for the crossing - which is why in the Greek world, if your family loved you enough, they would put a coin in your mouth after you died - Melinda wants nothing but to finish in time to go back home to her husband Jim (who wouldn't?).
More importantly, whereas Charon is often described as this grumpy old man with eyes like 'furnaces on fire', unkempt, ungroomed, untidy and all the 'un-' you may think of, Melinda Gordon is simply gorgeous. She breathes style. Everything about her, from her clothes to her quirky antique shop full of wonders, leaves us spellbound. To the point that you actually wonder if she hasn't confused the crossing into the light with a runaway show. But we simply love her. She reminds us that although frightening, the encounter with death can be celebrated and still handled with elegance and style. With the emphasis on her business, her friends and family, and the 'light' as everyone's ultimate destination, this show is as much about life as it is about death. And this has got Halloween 2017 written all over it.
Melinda's wardrobe: costume ideas
I would never suggest dressing up as Melinda – now that would be weird! There are, however, some general styling tips that we can take home with us. First of all, spooky and elegant are not mutually exclusive. Whether it's a classic black or blue dress or a two-piece outfit with trousers or skirt, Melinda never fails to deliver this glamorous yet other-worldly 21st century fairy kind of style. Simply type 'Ghost Whisperer' or 'Melinda Gordon' on Pinterest and you will find tons of ideas to get inspired! If you really want to take it to the next level and make Melinda's life (and business) your own for one night, why not go for a true 'antiquarian' (i.e., an expert in antiquities) attire? This way, you might be the employee of the month at Melinda's antique shop!
Aside from clothes, there's really one aspect which I consider key to becoming a ghost whisperer for one night, and that is the 'other-worldly' look that we can often see on Melinda's face. She may not have eyes on fire like the mythological Charon, but she's still a seer, a human portal between worlds, so I've been thinking about possible ways to replicate this. And in doing so, I've come across this fabulous brand called 'Face Lace'. From minimal eye adornments to bigger skull masks, they provide you with the ultimate super stylish no-fuss Halloween face stickers, where there's no need to go extremely bizarre with the make-up. Simply browse their shop and select different product categories to see all the options available to you. You'll see that in most cases they recommend applying a light base before putting on the mask, such as a light pale effect with a dark eye shadow. I think this is the best eerie look we can achieve while still retaining Melinda's elegance.
Melinda's antique shop: party ideas
As I said, Melinda Gordon is also an expert in antiques and her shop in the town square is the perfect combination of glam and vintage. So how to turn this source of inspiration into the perfect Halloween dinner party?
First, let's not forget that there is no Halloween without pumpkins. If you're looking for something a tad more glamorous than the traditional Jack-o'-lantern or you're not into carving or you simply can't be bothered, take a moment to consider all the options that spray paint opens up to you. Here's for example a beautiful composition achieved with gold spray paint topped with hints of different colours. All you need to do is make sure you've got enough newspaper to cover the surface you're working on before you start all the fun!
Perhaps even more glamourous is this spray-painted ribbon pumpkin. In this case, after spraying your pumpkin, you just choose your favourite ribbon, cut it to length and wrap it all around, adding floral pins or anything else you might fancy! The possible colour combinations of spray paint and ribbons are practically infinite.
However, if, like Melinda, you also want to add a touch of vintage to your gathering, it might be time to turn to some other fruit as well. That's right. It's not all about pumpkins. What about apples, for instance? Ever heard of 'apple bobbing'? It's a traditional game that used to be played at Halloween, when you would gather around a basin full of water and try to bite into an apple floating on the surface. Although probably out of fashion, there might be some ways to revive this tradition and turn the apple into one of the stars of your Halloween dinner table. Check out these apple tea lights, used as the sweetest centrepiece. Simply carve into your apples about an inch deep and take out the pulp, then put the light in. If you want your fruit to look fresh for longer, you can use lemon juice or saltwater as a preservative. Apart from decorative purposes, you could go a bit cheekier about it and even make your very own Apple Bob Cocktail.
With this invincible, Melinda-inspired mix of spooky, stylish, traditional and glamorous, you can be sure you've got everything you need to keep all evil forces away from your Halloween party. The only thing that might still be haunting you the following day is your hangover: but for that, nobody has ever needed a ghost whisperer.