Fall Forward Edition

By Griffin Miller

While the kids are busy carving pumpkins, morphing into superheroes, and trolling for annually sanctioned goodies, the rest of us are poised to open the creaky, cobwebbed door to our own Halloween hocus pocus. My personal Book of Magical Spells suggests getting freaky with décor, footwear, sophisticated sweets and other grown-up pleasures. Let the ghoul times roll!


My pandemic parting gift was, among other things, dark undereye circles and obnoxious bookended eye crinkles. Sure, I could face the newly vital world caked in makeup and/or dark glasses, but I opted instead for a bewitchingly effective potion: Theraderm’s Peptide Repair Eye Crème created by Dr. James Beckman, a plastic surgeon and biochemist. I know results vary, but hey, after just a couple of weeks my wrinkles are abating, and my circles no longer make me scream in horror. Eerily excellent. Info:


Seasonal socks are, in my opinion, a wardrobe must. Without frolicking leprechauns, bunnies, elves and such cavorting around our feet and ankles, holidays would lack the playful je ne sais quoi that sets them apart from the rest of the year. At Lavely, socks are made to jettison savvy silliness into the stratosphere. With a nod to those of us looking forward to raising a glass to Halloween, their I’m Just Here For The Boos Socks with their tipsy ghosts will absolutely put you in the best of “spirits”. Info:


With a stylized wink to Maleficent’s headpiece, Shaping Ideas’ Tea Light Cement Candle Holders are my latest decorative obsession. The design, both elegant and mysterious, is the perfect table ornament for a Halloween feast, while the caste stone—manually cast—is a study in old world craftsmanship and sumptuous earth tones. I strongly suggest ordering in multiples, as two or more of these sculptures present beautifully dramatic shadow play in a darkened room once you light your favorite votives. Info:


Let the little one’s stock up on gummy bears and chocolate bars, we have better things to do with our sweet tooth (or fang…no judgment here), like, say, designer caramels. More specifically, Hilliard’s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Caramels, a devilishly dense, rich confection teeming with a taste that adheres to the season’s innate pumpkin spicery – as well as the company’s candy making wizardry -- from its iconic caramel recipe to its dark chocolate coating and caramel drizzle. Scary good. Info:


Some like it hot, some prefer cold… scented yes or scented no. The way to indulge tired eyes via the Huggaroo Gem is totally subjective, yet wickedly rewarding. In keeping with my New Yorker’s passion for all things noir, I first fell for the oversized eye mask in black. Still, the lavender-scented blue version beckoned. Microwaved and wrapped around your head, either one has the potential to lull you into meditative nirvana; with the gel ice pack, bloodcurdling migraines are but a bad dream put out of their misery.


Most people I know like their ribeye medium rare or rare. Then there was the “well-done with ketchup” dude I once dated. Briefly. Bottom line: everyone wants their steak their way, even after the outdoor grill is put to rest. Luckily, the George Foreman Contact Smokeless Digital Smart Select Grill was seemingly dreamt up by a mad scientist/ culinary savant to reinvent indoor grilling. It reduces fat, cooking time, and in clean-up, angst. Beware, though, its superpowers are addictive. Info:


As any oenophile will confirm, vino a la Halloween must be a deep, seductive (blood?) red. Nonnegotiable. With this mandate in mind, I choose Errázuriz MAX Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, from Chile’s semi-desert region of inland Aconcagua Valley. Consider sipping this aromatically intense wine laced with black fruits and spices by moonlight, preferably in a Transylvanian castle overlooking a foreboding forest. Other good options include the Hamptons, Manhattan or anywhere good spirits convene. Info:


Just when you thought it was safe to put your glass down, the spine-chilling reality of this simple act hits: wood surface/no coaster. Potential outcome: Nightmare on Coffee Table. But why settle for Coasters 101 when you can have something fiendishly unique? Built Quilt has come up with a collection of coasters—available either round or square—crafted from wood fragments into quilt-inspired designs, like my choice, Windblown Star Square Bamboo Coasters. Genius hostess gift. RIP white rings, RIP.


Forget the candy corn, traditional as it may be. There’s something far more flavorful to sample this year: YUMS’ Chicken & Waffles, the latest addition to the company’s line of Sweet Series sneakers. Founded by street artist Tex Moton, YUMS (You Understand My Style) celebrates his iconic pop culture gestalt by melding his trademark passions: food and footwear. The colors on the new entrée’s uppers are boldly autumnal while the bottoms are sheer graffiti joy. Seminal soles meet irresistible soul food—sweet. Info: