Naturally, if fashion were a holiday it would be most obviously be Halloween. (The couture ateliers probably revel in Labor Day celebrations, though.) With all of the fantastical subject matter from Meisel and Walker lensed editorials to the alien-like mythical creatures we laud as the supermodel, it’s the one day a year the freaks can run wild and clothing has no boundaries. Still, that doesn’t mean procrastination isn’t the plague of our existence, and probably yours too. We’ve come up with some super simple—simply spooky—costumes that are do-it-yourself friendly and last minute panic-proof.
THE HOT TOPIC: Raf Simons vs. Hedi Slimane
While the Halloweens of years past may have been abound with vampires versus werewolves and the like, this year’s biggest rivalry (if you can call it that) was the fashion face off at the Spring/Summer 2013 Paris shows between the new inductees at Dior and Saint Laurent. Even if the drama was a media fantasy, most fall into either Raf’s or Hedi’s camp as a loyal fan. The menswear-gone-womenswear designers are at the forefront of modernity, impacting not only their inner circle of fashion fans but also the way people dress as a whole. It’s fitting, then, that walking to the closet, it should be relatively easy to find some basic pieces to create a couple costume fit for the current gods of fashion.
What you’ll need: A blue collared shirt, plain black sweater, slim black trousers, gladiator-style sandals or Dr. Marten’s oxfords
Accessories: Grab a “Jil Sander” paper bag and Diet Coke, famously Raf’s favorite drink.
DIY: During the finale of his Dior ready to wear debut, Raf sported a 1996 Helmut Lang denim jacket with red painted stripes on the back. A super quick and simple do-it-yourself project!
1. Grab a denim jacket you already own, this project won’t damage it and you can restore it after Halloween. Thrift a jacket if you don’t have one in your closet.
2. Buy a roll of red duct tape, you can find it in most office supply stores.
3. Create three horizontal stripes, starting from above the bottom seam of the jacket. They should be placed about a tape-width apart, but gauge the gap using the size of your jacket for the best result. You can see a photo of the jacket in full detail here: Helmut Lang 1996
What you’ll need: A black shrunken blazer or band jacket, skinny (important!) trousers or jeans, a white button up shirt, a skinny tie or scarf, black oxfords or pointed band boots.
DIY: If you weren’t born with the always-youthful genes of Hedi Slimane, a mask will have to do for Halloween. This was also done for Raf’s costume, but can be tailored to fit any mask you’ll need.
1. Find a photo of Hedi Slimane to your liking, here’s the one we used: Hedi Slimane mask photo
2. For any other photo, using a photo editing software, like Adobe Photoshop, paste it onto a canvas with the dimensions of a piece of printer paper: 8.5 × 11 inches, 300dpi
3. Using a thicker photo paper, print out the image. If you are using traditional paper, just paste the photo onto a piece of cardstock afterward.
4. Cut out the photo, leaving out any white space.
5. Use tape to adhere a stick to the back of the mask to hold it. We used unsharpened pencils, but chopsticks or popsicle sticks would also work.
6. Cut out eyeholes if you desire, we left the masks without them.
If you’ve got even more friends to join in on this costume, you can dress up as pairs: designer and model. Look at runway images for inspiration. The Saint Laurent look should be easier, a black and white skinny suit, loose ribbon bow tie at the neck, a large black floppy hat, and finish off with a black cape. For Dior, there are a myriad of options to go for. Use whatever items you already have; a cinched waist and volume at the hips in the style of 1950s Dior New Look is the safest route to go. Add a birdcage veil to finish the look, they are usually found inexpensively at fabric and craft stores.
THE COLLABORATORS: Donatella Versace and Rei Kawakubo
Designers are both the directors and the characters of the fashion world. While they might provide us with the wardrobe, they’ve proven to be icons in their own right, far from fading into the behind the scenes background. With all the recent hype of the Margiela x H&M collection coming next month, we looked back to their past collaborators for some costume drama.
What you’ll need: A sparkly dress, preferably with a vintage handkerchief Versace-esque print
Accessories: A blonde wig, gold jewelry, killer heels, a queenly attitude
DIY: Create a mask, like the Hedi Slimane costume
This costume is deceptively simple but makes a definite statement, especially because Donatella is such an iconic fixture in fashion. Break out that Versace for H&M dress from last year and put it to some good use for Halloween. Sell the garment, and make sure you express how much better everyone at the party would look if they were wearing Versace.
What you’ll need: A black dress, longer black pleated skirt, clunky black flat shoes, oversized black motorcycle jacket or sweater
Accessories/DIY: If you don’t already have a black bob, cut your hair now! Or, a less drastic option, get a Cleopatra style wig.
Comme des Garcons is an iconic brand, revolutionary in both its design and approach to business. Rei Kawakubo is at the center of this conceptual giant, with quiet confidence. Odd, oversized but simple basic pieces layered in an interesting way can definitely make this outfit work. If anyone asks, just answer in the most confusing and indirect way possible. (They should know better!)
THE SCARIEST IN CHIEF: Anna Wintour and Anna Dello Russo
Thanks to a book, a movie, a documentary, her own track record, and the magazine she runs, Anna Wintour is the force in fashion. Thanks to Tommy Ton and her penchant for more is more is not enough, Anna Dello Russo is the star of street style. These Vogue editors, these two Anna’s, make great for a Halloween costume. Their looks are recognizable, easily achievable, and filled with character. Enough to spook an intern, or a minimalist.
What you’ll need: A fur coat, printed dress, Chanel-style suit, strappy nude low heels, an ice cold stare
Accessories: The iconic bob, sunglasses to shield you from lesser beings, a copy of US Vogue magazine, preferably September
ANNA DELLO RUSSO
What you’ll need: The most obnoxious dress you own, in shining gold or black latex
Accessories: All of them! Gold cuffs, rhinestones, turquoise, necklaces for days
DIY Famous (or infamous) for her fruity choice in headgear, Anna’s most often worn hat is a pair of cherries sitting atop her head. Grab a headband and it’s easy to create your own.
1. If you’re this last minute on your Halloween costume, the dollar store has probably put up Christmas decorations for sale. Pick up two oversized gold ornaments, a headband, fake flowers (for the leaves), wire, and hot glue.
2. Hot glue the two gold ornaments on the headband a bit to the side, the two cherries should touch. (Ours was falling apart a bit, since we only had tape.)
3. Using some wire and stems cut from the fake flowers, attach the stems to where the ornaments would normally hang from. We used pipe cleaners for this, much easier, but they don’t hold up very well.
4. Attach two large leaves to the top where the stems join.
5. Add a veil and start offering fashion lessons to the unassuming public. Carrying around a boom box with a permanent loop of “FASHION SHOWER” would be a nice costume addition.
Fashion & Fright: More Inspiration
Using fashion as inspiration for other last minute costumes is the easiest way to go, even without any DIY projects. Layer up with clashing prints, daisy embellishments, and go as a Prada Fall 2012 clown. Going further back into history works even better, Hussein Chalayan’s collections are consistently appropriate for a space age cyborg and vintage McQueen shows have an unfailing about of darkly romantic inspiration for costumes. Usually the theatrical makeup of those more dramatic shows can be easily replicated at home, with a sinister black robe providing the rest of the look. For some new takes on old spooky classics, check Karl Lagerfeld’s unchanging style for Vampire inspiration and Marc Jacobs’ controversial Met Gala look for a risqué witch look.
Within a day of creative thinking, we went from no costume to nine! Now we just need to choose a final look. If you’re really pressed for time, you could dress up as Martin Margiela and just skip the party! Let us know what you’re going as this year. Happy Halloween!
By Iris & Daniel