Behind Hocus Pocus’s Iconic Costumes

When asked to conjure up the “most popular Halloween movie of perpetuity,” Google will present you with three faces: those of Winifred, Mary, and also Sarah Sanderson (as played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and also Sarah Jessica Parker) in 1993’s Hocus Pocus. Directed by Kenny Ortega, the movie about 3 resurrected 17th-century witches is a precious seasonal reward forever reason. It’s a trustworthy movie the whole family can watch (and also in fact delight in). It’s also a tradition that’s hard to avoid– it makes a charitable 30 appearances on Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween this year.

HOCUS POCUS, from left: Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, 1993, © Buena Vista/courtesy Everett Collection

And other than their objective to, oh, suck the life out of all the kids in Salem, the movie’s hags are relatively tame. There’s no blood or gore, and also the witches are both comical and glamorous. Emphasis on that particular latter quality– which was brought to life by outfit developer Mary Vogt, that crafted the Sanderson siblings’ looks. For the past 38 years, Vogt has been the sartorial designer behind standards like the Men in Black trilogy, Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, the Naked Gun films, as well as Crazy Rich Asians. Basically, it’s clear Vogt knows exactly how to dress exciting personalities.
So we reached out to Vogt herself to get all the information on these remarkable outfits. Find out exactly how Midler influenced the vibrant looks, what Disney princess influenced Sarah Sanderson’s look, and also more.
Buena View Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
The actors’ individualities had a huge influence on the costumes.
” On Hocus Pocus, we were really fortunate. We had the fantastic supervisor Kenny Ortega, who was a performer … Kenny was terrific due to the fact that a lot of supervisors do not intend to do anything too weird or outrageous. But not with Kenny.

” When I talked [to him] about my vision for Bette, I said, ‘You can not place her in some black witch clothing. You need to put her in something that’s colorful and also fun and also has a little shimmer to it.’ And the other ladies as well– Sarah Jessica was a kid phase actor, as well as there was Kathy Najimy. But Bette was the main one. So when I did illustrations as well as talked to Kenny concerning it, he reacted, ‘Now let me talk with Bette, because this may not be what she was considering.’ So he talked to Bette, who claimed, ‘Well, of course. I’m not going to put on a black gown.’ She was great, Sarah Jessica Parker was superb, therefore was Kathy Najimy. They all got along so well with each other, and also they simply clicked.”
The zombie personality was indicated to appear like one more famous Halloween personality.
” [Zombie] Billy Butcherson, oh, my God. One of the childhood stories I constantly suched as was that of Ichabod Crane from The Tale of Sleepy Hollow, which’s what that personality advised me of. So his outfit is quite like a black-and-white drawing I had of Ichabod Crane in an old kids’s storybook. It was a 17th-century layer and boots.”

Buena Panorama Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
The icons on Bette Midler’s dress were purposely created to be obscure.
” I began with [the costumes for] Bette. She was going to have red hair in the film, so I assumed environment-friendly would certainly look good with red. I constantly think eco-friendly as well as purple together is a terrific mix. So we determined to do Better in eco-friendly with purple as an accent, together with some signs.
” Signs are always complicated to do since you don’t intend to accidentally utilize some old symbol that’s evil. So we did the symbols on her bathrobe from the rune alphabet– as well as some from Stonehenge– and afterwards we added a line here and there to see to it they were indistinguishable. Virtually like plant circles.”
Among the witches was motivated by a Disney princess, while another was inspired by bakers.
” Sarah played the little model … She was more like a Sleeping Elegance princess. That’s what I was choosing– even more like a witch princess. And then, Kathy was a lot more like an alchemist, the one who was always mixing the remedies. So she appeared like the cook witch– she was busy doing points. Her outfit was suggested to resemble a witch baker.
” I checked out a great deal of storybook recommendations. Arthur Rackham– that is an unreal illustrator I truly like– I made use of a great deal of his things. And also Goya, a Spanish artist, did a collection called Los Caprichos, which are actually weird Spanish Inquisition illustrations. My inspiration was a combination of fairytale and also Los Caprichos.”