Sunday, October 13, 2013

10 Halloween Costumes for Fashion Nerds


Givenchy Spring Summer 2014, Glitter mask by Riccardo Tisci, "Japanese computer nerd’s interpretation of a tribal mask, created by extraordinary make up artist Pat Mcgrath by hand-applied glued crystals to create a jeweled face" source. You don't have to bedazzle your face, get a plain white mask, cut it into a chisel cheek shape, put some netting over the (square) eyes and don't forget to make the lips a contrasting color, for the rest of the outfit wear something black and flowy. If you have gages then get some shiny jewel ones, this is one of the few costumes that "require" gages. See more examples at the source.


This is a really great iconic dress, this is something you can easily make for Halloween, but it's use is not limited to Halloween. All you have to do it find a white dress, paint a lobster on it and tie the waist with a red ribbon. Make sure to have some green blobs to represent the seaweed and you are done. This dress was designed by Esla Shiaparelli and Salvador Dali as a surrealist object. What is Halloween besides a celebration of the surreal anyway? See how it's done on The Velvet Highway.


This was one of Tim Walker's most memorable editorials, it was a collaboration with Tim Burton for Harper's Bazaar September 2009. Go to the link to see the other examples, I chose this one because it seems to be the most doable for the average person. You need a red wig exactly like the one above and the makeup is crucial, make sure to cover up your eyebrows. Make a little cape out of tulle, you don't have to really sew or anything just safety pin it to your dress. The dress in the picture is Dolce & Gabbana, in case you're curious. All the other stuff, you probably have; tights, shoes. You may have to get some gloves. A really fun accessory would be an abused umbrella like the one above (an easy DIY).


It is a challenge to dress up as someone who's big dream is to never wear the same thing twice. However, the icon has worn the cherry hat multiple times, and I think it has come to really symbolize Anna Dello Russo's sense of style, here is what she had to say about it.
During the fashion tour, manypeople asked me why I was wearing

my cherry or watermelon hat.

Why not? I have carried the summer’s cheerful spirit on my head. source
Admittedly, recreating the cherry hat might be difficult but here is a diy (at an idiotically named blog) to inspire you. You might also want to try the gold cherry hat if that seems easier. Personally, I like the gold one better anyway. You have a lot of freedom with the rest of the costume but I do think that a long blondish wig like her hair would really add a boost. Also if you think the cherry idea is stupid she has plenty of other inspiring iconic outfits.


Unlike most of these, David Bowie is actually a popular Halloween costume, whether it's the Labyrinth, Ziggy Stardust or one of his more casual outfits. Labyrinth is the most iconic though, blond 80's hair, glittery suit white gloves, tight grey pants, excessive makeup, and I think I spotted a baby (doll) under the arm of one of the people doing this costume. That was a genius touch, really adds a bit of zest, there is no way you will be mistaken for a random 80's rocker if you walk around with that, especially if you manage to dig up one that has a stripped onesie and burps. There is no doubt that Lady Gaga will be a popular costume this year but you can be Gaga as Bowie, so I guess it will be a twofer fashion icon costume. 


Louise Brooks from Pandora's Box, the quintessential flapper of the 20's. She is dark, enigmatic, tragic and her haircut is one of the most iconic haircuts ever. For the costume you will need that black bob, a black veil, a black dress and dramatic makeup, if you are doing Lulu. This might seem like an odd choice but the costume will be improved very much if you go around quoting her.

"If I ever bore you, it will be with a knife" 
"Every actor has a natural animosity towards every other actor, present or absent, living or dead"
“When I went to Hollywood in 1927, the girls were wearing lumpy sweaters and skirts … I was wearing sleek suits and half naked beaded gowns and piles and piles of furs” 
“I learned how to act by watching Martha Grace dance and I learned how to dance by watching [Charlie Chaplin] act”

There is the classic cheesy Egyptian/Cleopatra costume but why not surpass the cliche and dress as Michele Lamy. You can read about her on Rocaille and also on W magazine. Everyone knows about Rick Owens but not everyone recognizes his wife and muse. Here is a short video "A little Bit Eternal" so you can get a good look at her.

Lamy has an awesome sense of style and her look is often quoted without giving her the credit she deserves. In the video and photos she wears all kinds of things but the costume should have all the signature elements of her style; henna fingers and black nail polish, big silver jewelry with lots of crystals and geometric shapes, black and grey flowing clothing, black headdress, black line down forehead with otherwise neutral makeup. I am not sure how you would do the teeth but I'm sure there is a way, but I guess if you had all the other stuff it would be enough.


James st. James of the Club kids/ Disco bloodbath/ Party Monster is a fascinating character. There are so many options for how you can carry this out. You can dress as  in any of the costumes Seth Green was in in Party Monster, like the triclops troll or the psychedelic  harlequin giraffe. You can dig for images of him from the 80's. You can be contemporary androgynous James st. James. You can even be Lady Gaga as James st. James. The above costume is a really good one though I don't know what exactly it is supposed to be. I like the idea of gluing flies to your face.

 Here is a video to inspire you further. Any one of the cast would be a great costume, really, but I think St. James had the best ones.


Daphne Guinness. Here is another icon who has hundreds of possible outfits to use as a costume. I have noticed a few elements that are reoccurring; white shirts while everything else is black, combination of structured and unstructured forms, big blingy jewelry, she seems to love anything with feathers. So you have a ton of options to play with but to be a convincing doppelganger, you need to get the hair right, the most challenging but crucial part of the costume. This may involve clip in extensions, a wig (bride of Frankenstein wig might be a good one to start with), tons of back combing, chignons, hairspray and dry shampoo. .


I thought that Thome Browne put on a really great show with his creepy nurses and I have been nearly disappointed with how little I have been seeing of them on the inter web network. I love them, aesthetically but the show itself was original. I don't seem myself  attending runway shows but I wish I attended this one. Here is a brief description of what actually happened from The Man Repeller (go there to read more).

We waited another twenty minutes until an army of well heeled, doily sock wearing nurses emerged from behind a set of doors in white architectural dresses and two pieces. Their faces were cloaked by small, circular rimmed, reflective sunglasses and their hair, which was teased out was contained by nets. Each nurse resumed a position at the corner of her room, just next to a small white station boasting a pill jar and set of medicine cups. Slowly, the nurses began removing pills from the jar, putting them in their cups, and distributing the “medicine” to members of the audience.
 So, this costume would be pretty easy to do. Get some structured white clothes, as you can see from the pictures you have a lot of freedom. Try to find something with ridiculously large hips, for best results. Find round white rimmed glasses. Go crazy with  dry shampoo, I mean really insane. Get a hairnet, admittedly this might be the hardest part, finding just the right type. This is also the accessory that will definitely separate you from the Joker as Nurse, because he did not have one. Latex gloves are essential and do not forget the red lipstick, just smear it on, but don't go too wild with the eye liner (again you don't want to be mistaken for the Joker as Nurse). White face is optional. Of course to really put the whole thing together get yourself a tray, some little cups and pass out mike & Ike's to the other people at the party*, solemnly, in complete silence.

*by the way they pass out little pills (not candy) in cups, in Party Monster during a hospital themed party, I wonder if Browne was referencing this in any way.

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