Vampire Fashion Sense and Evolution in Pop Culture
Vampires have always been in the media’s eye. The silver screen and has always loved this gallant monster. Hollywood has given us so many great vampire films and movies that date back to 1922! Vampires appeared in film as a ghastly ghoul like creature that, throughout the years has shape shifted into a desirable, enticing, and fashionable beast.
Vampires are usually perceived as gorgeous women with the power of a hundred seductions, or an attractive man, who will forever retain their beauty and youth. The vampire, however, was not always the seductive, and gentlemanly villain (or hero) that he appears to be today. As a matter of fact, early vampire films made this creature of the night an disgustingly horrific creature, that longed for beauty. A good example of this vampire is illustrated in Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens or Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. Count Orlock (based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula) was not a distinguished gentleman, and if vampires would have never evolved from this terrifying image, you would not see so many youngsters swoon over vampires, as they do today. Count Orolck’s fashion sense was mundane. He wore a long buckled shirt, and an occasional nightcap, an even wore something that resembled a monk’s habit. Instead of the long locks of hair, he was bald. This is how the vampire was born into popular culture, but it’s image was to change dramatically.
Finally in 1931, Count Orlock shape-shifted into Count Dracula. He transform into a suave, and very well dressed aristocrat who was personified by Bela Lugosi. No more was the vampire a monstrous sight, he was now very easy on the eyes with his black, slick hair, his enchanting mannerisms, and his flair for fashion. His thick and alluring accent was also mysterious, and seductive. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula is the most popular vampire fashion to this day! Along with the rise of the vampire’s fame, arose a new breed of vampire, that hadn’t been quite as recognized. The vampiress, this she-devil took Hollywood by the neck, making her an independent monster to reckon with. In 1953 Maila Nurmi made history by presenting the Vampira look. She was clad in a skin tight dress, pale skin, and jet black hair. She proved that the vampiress can have all the powers of seduction that her counterpart did, if not more. The evolution of the vampire was beginning…
Vampire evolution had a quick start, but began to slow down as the years progressed. Many new vampire movies and characters were being released, but many mimicked the Bela Lugosi fashion, or the Vampira look. For example, Morticia and later Elvira, were very closely linked to Vampira’s look.
That all changed in the 1980’s, when the the Lost Boys, a movie about young, teen aged, biker vampires became a big hit. This movie made a new vampire concept popular, and it won the hearts of many followers for years to come. The movie The Lost Boys presented a vampire that looked just like any other rock and roll obsessed teenager in that era. They wore stylish, edgy trench coats, leather jackets, and rode around in high speed dirt bikes. Did I also mention that they were all worthy of a Calvin Klein ad? For example, David, played by Keifer Sutherland wore a very fashionable mullet and had a single ear pierced. His bad boy persona; even though he played the heel was the object of lust to many a young girl. Yes, these vampires, including the vampiress were beautiful, erotic, and bad. The kind of bad you just cannot stay away from. Once again, vampires had been revamped.
It was clear to see that the vampire had powers of seduction, because it’s power over the silver screen was more than just fiction. This beast just kept flourishing, and adapting to what the public wanted.
With so many new vampires being bred, it was time that the pioneer in vampire propaganda rose again to claim his spot as the most loved and hated vampire of them all. 1992 marked the year Francis Ford Coppola reminded us all why Dracula was the vampire we all wanted peering out our window. Taking Dracula back to it’s Victorian roots, yet giving him a new look was easy. Gary Oldman gave life to a passionate, and strong willed Count, who would stop at nothing to claim what was his. This romantic tale of tragedy personified romance in every aspect of the word, even in the very clothing that they wore. Gone was the opera cape, and medallion. Replacing this attire was fashionably Gothic couture, deep rich velvets, and satin. Blood red nightgowns, and gloriously adorned dresses of lace and taffeta. The new Victorian garb worn by the vampires in this movie told a story in it’s own right. Notice when Mina is innocent, and pure, waiting her betrothed, how she is dressed covering up to the very neckline. Yet when she is the presence of her vampire lover, she wears plunging necklines, with her hair down. Shortly after the production of this movie, in 1994 to be exact, another very popular vampire film was made, also in the Victorian era; Interview with a Vampire. The clothing in these movies were a romantic Goth’s fashion nirvana.
Vampire’s took the media by storm, and their fashion continued to change. In some movies they wore industrial fashion, clad in vinyl and pleather gear. While a lot continued to have the look of the present time civilian. Vampires were already embedded in pop culture, however the media was never expecting the tidal wave that this next vampire would bring.
Twilight. Not much more need be said. Twilight introduced the vampire to many teens who would not even give these creatures a second thought. Twilight gave the vampire new power, and reach. It’s victims, now were not only Goth’s and horror enthusiasts. But teenage guys and girls who wouldn’t dare to watch movies like Nosferatu. Twilight infected the unsuspecting masses with it’s jean clad hero, Edward Cullen. The fashion that this new breed of vampire introduced was very much like it’s readers’. Trendy casual, with high fashion, low key clothing. This vampire didn’t even need fangs, much less a coffin or a lot of other things that were presumed to be vampiric necessities. Yet Twilight’s popularity grew, and with it’s popularity; grew a new found interest in this most desired beast.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that the vampire indeed is a seductive creature, who can transform and stand the test of time. It has seduced modern culture, and has evolved into many forms. The vampire will forever be lurking in shadows of entertainment and pop culture. Waiting and watching to take new form, and find new subjects. What will the next vampire fashion trend be?