A History of Devil Horns in Fashion

a history of devil horns in fashion

Somewhere, somehow, in fashion, the devil has appeared horns and all. Devil horns in fashion are here to stay and we’re welcoming them in. In January, Simone Rocha presented her life-affirming couture collection for Jean Paul Gaultier and in it, we saw bustier cone bras subverted and turned up like little devil horns in red satin lipstick shades or fleshy blush hues. Rocha actually based the shape on rose thorns, but even live at the show there was talk amongst the audience of “devil boobs”. And there is some amount of devilishness to a bloody rose thorn. “The thorn from the rose has been interpreted as a new conical in the collection as well,” Rocha told me. “There’s a fragility to it, but also there’s a very sharp edge. From bud to decay, every stage is telling you something.”

The wedding dress that closed Vaquera’s fall 2024 show, which was themed around money and currency as a concept, seemed to fall into the category of horn rather than cone too. Last year, Julia Fox walked Luis De Javier’s show in a massive devil horned corset that shook the tabloids to their core.

But this is a concept we’re been warming up to over the past few years. Do you remember the hair horns craze of 2021? “If you’ve scrolled through TikTok lately, you may have come across a particularly striking hairstyle: little tiny sprigs of hair on each side of the head, maneuvered upright, sometimes in various shapes like hearts and stars, sometimes just like the devil. Meet hair horns.” Junya Watanabe fall 2021 showed a baseball cap with devil horns. And in 2022, we were gifted with the presence of the Home in Heven glass devil horn bag (I still want it).

Still, devil horns have existed for decades in the high fashion space. A few of my favorites: When Vivienne Westwood made her one and only appearance at The Met Gala in 2006, she wore her legendary horn tiara proudly. The same year, when she received her iconic dame title, the horns also topped her head. The style originally debuted in the Vivienne Westwood Gold Label Autumn/ Winter 2004-2005 “Exhibition” collection. There are two main styles of the Vivienne Westwood horns: the tiara, which sits on the top of your head and positions the horns near the temples, or the headband, which as the name implies, is worn like a traditional headband.

And how could one not expect Thierry Mulger to play with the iconography of the devil? Most on the mark for the theme was Thierry Mugler’s Fall/Winter 1988/89 collection aptly titled “She Devils”, which took the neon new romantic look and smashed it together with power dressing office culture, subverting it further with hair shaped like flames, slashed necklines, devil may care fascinators and 3-inch nail extensions.

Mugler had a penchant for devil horn shapes, especially on necklines of dresses. He littered horn motifs throughout his Fall/Winter 1998 “Lingerie Revisited” collection. Hailey Bieber recently wore one of the dresses from the collection, and likewise with Laverne Cox’s dress from Mugler’s Spring/Summer 1989 “Les Atlantes” collection.

Sometime in the ‘90s, Betsey Johnson started making these iconic devil face knit cardigans. And who could forget Jean Paul Gaultier’s fall 1993 devil horn beanie? Hats (or rather, headpieces) are definitely the most wearable way to integrate horns into your look, and that’s probably why there’s a crop of emerging designers doing really great things with horns on heads (!) right now.

I have been dreaming about the ethereally devilish horned hats from a handful of emerging brands that I covet. Delights World makes adorable little devil horned bonnets that speak so deeply to my campy vintage loving soul. The classic red is so stunning, but the different floral prints are a very whimsical and less literal take on the horned look. They’re all hand-sewn.

Sidera makes these incredible little deranged vintage-looking pillbox hats with architectural horns which are perennially sold out (I’m waiting to order one as soon as they return—the only question is, which color?). “Shook hands with the devil, asked him to send me the most perfectly fucked up little red velvet hat in exchange for 3 red roses, 6 drops of blood, and my favorite red lipstick,” recounts the description.

The world is on fire; burning even…so perhaps it’s expected that devil motifs are proverbially peaking. These are the pieces I would invest in now….Continue reading about the devil horn in fashion at our shopping newsletter partner, Doll Dealbook.

BTW. I use affiliate links where possible, which means I may get a small commission from things you buy. Thanks for your support. <3

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