If you love Halloween (who doesn’t?) and are interested in costume history than Dressed for Thrills is for you! Phyllis Galembo’s photography is haunting which is appropriate considering that the topic is Halloween costumes of years past, particularly those from the first half of the last century. Galembo obtained her collection through Ebay and other means. She photographs them almost as if the costumes are portraits of a time long ago era. Often they testify to racial, political, and cultural mores that are no longer considered, shall we say, politically correct. They also prove that people of yesteryear were just as invested in having Halloween fun as we are in 2013!
Along with the coffee table quality photos, Galembo explains how some of these masquerade artifacts came to be. Costuming to celebrate Halloween started to arise in the late 1800’s, by 1910 the Dennison Manufacturing Company of Massachusetts started to produce paper costumes. By the 1950s vacuformed masks accompanied by pajama/hospital gown like costumes made an impression on American culture – remember how you could not breathe through the plastic?
Happy Halloween reading!