Tim Burton

Autumn is always a bewitching time of the year. We love the sudden, somehow always unexpected, chill in the air, picking out the coolest new school supplies (a bookworm's Christmas!), and watching the leaves transition from a summery green to warm orange, golden yellow, and deep crimson. Aside from the fresh pencils and leaf peeping, there is, of course, another reason we adore fall: the fashion.

This season, we found ourselves truly transfixed by how many of our favorite shows featured a very spooky aesthetic. We spotted zipper-accented and stud-embellished leather pieces, corsets festooned with straps, buckles and chains, and lots of gothic beauty looks (think: powdery pale skin worn with black lipstick). When we put all of the above together, we suddenly realized this the darkly delightful trend seems to be inspired by an unlikely fashion icon-Tim Burton.

On the off chance that you're not quite as familiar with Burton's oeuvre as we are, it's important to know that all of his amazing films have gloomy glamour in spades. Burton's characters inhabit a darkly elegant world that is both threatening and docile. They creep through fog-ridden cities lit only by moonlight, dressed in relentlessly formal garb, and many seem to have lost a limb-or more-along the way. In place of the phantom body part, Burton equips his stars (both earthly and animated) with menacing objects like scissors, jack-o-lanterns, and bones. They're also outfitted with other edgy elements, such as oversized sooty eyes, skinny pinstripe suits, and gothic black lace, resulting in a shadowy sophistication.

We were quite amused (and pleased) to note that many of the season's best head-to-toe looks could have been pulled directly from Burton's costume department. At Lanvin, Alber Elbaz showed black-and-white striped frocks and ghostly-pale faces-two of Burton's signatures-that echoed the director's cinematic stylings. The color palette at Comme des Garcons was similarly austere and seemed to reference Edward Scissorhands via the bondage-style straps on dresses and pants. We particularly loved the way Roberto Cavalli gave his models high collared-dresses and top hats fit for a post-mortem gala, a la Corpse Bride. The final proof that our Tim Burton theory was correct came when we saw the divine Rodarte show, where the Sisters Mulleavy showed cobweb tights paired with spike-encrusted heels (so Beetle Juice).

With these designers and our director in mind, we looked high (Fleet Street) and low (Halloweentown) in search of the perfect bone-chilling Burtonesque products for you. We began with this Ostrich Feather Bolero ($125) from Topshop to bring you warmth on those chilly autumn evenings. Next, we chose French Connection's Tudor Silk Dress ($198), which is ideal for gallivanting with friendly ghosts and spirits. Jean-Michel Cazabat's gray rosette-covered Floral Mouna Flats ($455) and Devotte's corset-like Lace Up Boot ($475) will allow you to remain stylish at all times-even while fleeing from headless horsemen. We couldn't resist adding the Large Stone Ring ($133) by Yves Saint Laurent because it gives an eerily glamorous touch to any finger (be it skeletal or flesh). Finally, for a hint of formality so necessary for a Burton-inspired look, we found Chapeau Claudette's Multi Flower Top Hat ($46.50, on sale) from ASOS. -Madison Robbins

Runway images courtesy of FirstView.
EXPLORE: Currently Channeling, Lanvin, Rodarte
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