The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

When I was growing up, I thought Elvira was the coolest undead broad around. She was wickedly funny, had a Ronnie Spector beehive for days, and let’s be real, the woman has a seriously banging body.

What’s not to love about this sinfully seductive ghoul?

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Several years ago, I had the ah-mazing opportunity to interview Cassandra Peterson, the woman behind the iconic pinup. Everything about it was kept top secret, and rightfully so. As you can imagine, there would be some mass hysteria among her growing fans if anyone knew her of her whereabouts. However, Cassandra was one of the most sweetest women I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend an evening with. We spoke about her encounters with Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, and the memoir that I kept begging her to write and publish.

It was truly one of my favorite interviews of all time.

The ageless Cassandra Peterson
The ageless Cassandra Peterson

So when I found this slinky black dress during one of my thrifting adventures, I fell in love. I mean, just look at it. I could easily be a macabre mistress. All I needed was the hair (which I could easily achieve if I wake up and don’t brush my hair/slather on coconut oil/empty out my hairspray), and pat on some Manic Panic Virgin White Powder from my teenage goth years.

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For about $12 bucks I believe, this dress was as va-va-voom as it could possibly get. And would you believe it was from the very modern Madonna for Macy’s collection? I wasn’t going to take it home with me, because really, when will I ever have a moment to wear this? But friends thought I was crazy for leaving this behind. I went to the thrift shop the following day and sure enough, it was still on the hanger, waiting for me.

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I have yet to rock it, but with Halloween approaching, it could be my own take on the Elvira costume. And the lady herself sells plenty of accessories to make your Halloween devilishly delightful. The sleeves aren’t certainly the same as the real thing, but let’s just say the other assets work. And with Elvira’s fabulous hair, people will get the picture.

How will you be daring this Halloween?

Being an ’80s Baby at Culture Club

I’m not really a big fan of the ’80s. The fashion was, well, loud. The makeup was, well, loud. And aerobics was very, very loud.

Jane Fonda and her leg warmers.
Jane Fonda and her leg warmers.

But I don’t loathe the ’80s completely. It gave me a lot of things I adore. Like the music. All of it.

Madonna's "Dress You Up" single was my first record.
Madonna’s “Dress You Up” single was my first record.

Blast some Duran Duran, Boy George, Poison, Quiet Riot, Queen, A-Ha, or anything from that decade and I’m hitting the dance floor. I’m going to sing my lungs out. I’m going to be a hot sweaty mess.

But I adore it.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Therefore, it made perfect sense for bestie Francis and I to hit up Culture Club, Manhattan’s former official dance club to all things 1980s. Sadly, Culture Club has since closed and no place of its kind seems to exist. Such is life in NYC.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

For the occasion, I wore a vintage Rebecca Minkoff bejeweled red dress that made me feel like a groupie on the Sunset Strip.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

You’ll have to go easy on me because finding this exact same dress online was near impossible. Besides, do you really want to hurt me?

Pre-party selfie.
Pre-party selfie.

I found this piece at a West Village thrift store and I couldn’t find too much info on it. However, discovering pieces from the 1980s is pretty easy online as it’s a relatively recent decade, in comparison to older eras, like the 1960s and anything before that. That’s why I have some other ideas that I would totally rock…and you should, too.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

For a sizzling look from the ’80s, try these: channel your inner Pretty Woman with this extravagant ball gown for $69.95, be a glamour goddess with this cut-out number for $20, flaunt your big…hair with this curvaceous dress for $59, or get physical in plenty of lace for $125. Or, you can have fun on Etsy or even eBay finding lots of other fiery ensembles.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Hasta la vista, Culture Club! You were a blast to party with on a star-studded night.

RIP Culture Club.
RIP Culture Club.