She's spooky. She's sexy. She introduced a whole generation to a bunch of bad horror movies. Yup! We're talking about Elvira. I plan to do a series of posts here on different fashion icons that have influenced the goth aesthetic. And who better to start with than perhaps the campiest of them all, the horror hostess Elvira.
Actress Cassandra Peterson created the character of Elvira for a 1980s television show called Elvira's Movie Macabre, which aired B-grade horror movies each week. Elvira would introduce the films and provide comedic commentary, often featuring risqué jokes and double entendre.
The character's popularity soon expanded beyond the TV show. Cassandra Peterson co-wrote and starred in a 1988 feature film called Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. A second film, Elvira's Haunted Hills, was released direct-to-video in 2002. Elvira soon became a cult icon appearing in comic books, video games, and even pinball machines. And of course, she spawned a whole slew of merchandise.
Elvira's style is recognizable by her big hair and her tight-fitting black gown with a plunging neckline that reveals her significant cleavage. Elvira's iconic cleavage—which she often made references to in her own jokes—has become the focus for novelty items from mouse pads to salt-and-pepper shakers (both of which you can find in the VampireFreaks shop)!
You can channel Elvira in your own fashion any time you vamp it up and balance sexiness with silliness. One of the most important things about being a goth is to not take yourself to seriously. Another important thing is to not be afraid of extremes. Trying to decide between big hair, bold makeup, or showing some skin? Elvira says, why pick one? Goth is all about going all out and over the top. Experiment, see what you like, and most importantly have fun!