La Muerte Retro Goddess dress. Photo Credit: Hot Topic/Rogers and Cowan.

La Muerte Retro Goddess dress. Photo: Hot Topic/Rogers & Cowan.

Let’s begin by admitting this: any apparel tied-in with a film is almost always, as a rule, decidedly unstylish and better left off as a collector’s item showcased on a wall. Star Wars dresses? Lame (unless you’re the Rodarte sisters). Twilight T-shirts with “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” plastered above (or below) the accompanying actor’s photo? Unacceptable if the wearer is not in junior high school. And then there are those infamous baseball caps featuring the logos of comic book superheroes, which for the most part should only be found on the heads of participants of Comic-Con or children.

Such things cannot be said about the new collection The Book of Life from fashion retailer Hot Topic, which happens to be based on the upcoming Guillermo del Toro and Jorge Gutiérrez movie. The kooky collection inspired by the animated comedic-adventure film (which features the voices of Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman, Gabriel Iglesias, Diego Luna, Kate del Castillo and others) includes a variety of eye-catching street wear that pushes the boundaries of fast fashion, with an emphasis on bold prints and strong hues.

Flirty separates define the eight-piece, limited-edition line, which is heavily influenced by the film’s theme of the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). A button cardigan embroidered by sugar skulls, for example, is one of the highlights — and at $39.50 has the benefit of looking much more expensive than its price. Having found its way to the shelves of the American retail chain on Sept. 15, each item, which was created in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, is priced between $29.50 (an ombre tank dress) and $49.50 (an embroidered floral off-shoulder dress that calls to mind the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo).

“The beautiful costumes and striking scenery in The Book of Life provided the perfect inspiration for a collection that celebrates Mexican culture — past and present — with a bit of rockabilly style our customers will be really excited about,” Cindy Levitt, senior vice president of merchandising and marketing at Hot Topic, said in a press release.

Another of the collection’s most stunning pieces is a mid-length red dress ($49.50) that hugs curves in all the right places. Bright enough to be spotted from miles away, it’s guaranteed to get heads snapping in the wearer’s direction; “sumptuously sizzling” is the operative term for the La Muerte Retro Goddess dress.

The Book of Life is going to be nothing short of a spectacular visual feast,” said Roz Nowicki, executive vice president of global sales and retail at Fox Consumer Products, in a press release. “Hot Topic captured the same artistic spirit and successfully translated quality graphics and animated costumes into a wearable fashion collection. This partnership contains something really special to excite and engage fans around the globe who wish to express themselves in such a festive and fashionable way.”

Besides the exclusive fashion collection, Hot Topic is also offering a range of Book of Life T-shirts, jewelry, accessories and fragrances at its 653 stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, and also online at

One can only hope The Book of Life, which lands in theaters Oct. 17, will be half as good as the fashion line.

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