Thursday, October 22, 2009
to be perfectly honest, i am feeling a little disenchanted about halloween this year. i've put off posting this because i was hoping i could decide on something for myself before encouraging others to pick their halloween costumes. also, it doesn't help matters that none of the people around me are very excited for it. in fact, i had planned to have a halloween party at my house but then everyone said they wouldn't be able to come or had other plans, so i cancelled it. i still haven't decided what i'm going to be, but know i would regret it if i didn't dress up! so i am digging up old inspiration. here is a list i posted on livejournal last year slightly modified/updated for you guys!
1. remember that halloween is supposed to be scary. yeah, it might be fun to dress up as kitty or a doggie or a deer or joan holloway or edie sedgwick or whoever, but at the end of the day, there should be a touch of morbid dark humour to your costume. a friend of mine suggested going as sylvia plath with an oven over my head, and i thought it was hilarious! it could be stylish, and morbid at the same time! zombie overdosed edie sedgwick? now we're talking. i'm not denying that it's fun to have an excuse to dress in a way you wouldn't normally, but it is not just any costume party. it is halloween! the point is to be scary. it makes it more fun to dress over the top that way if you remember that it is HALLOWEEN.
2. CHOOSE SOMETHING. stick to an idea. don't wait until the day of to try and whip up a super great costume. (i really need to take my own advice here...) but try and be witty! do you want to be classic, like a witch, or a zombie, or a ghost? do it up! do you want to go as someone you admire but who still kind of freaks you out? that's fun too! (for the record that is kind of what i do every year; go as someone i admire a lot, who i think i could emulate well, but who still kind of freaks me out. it was so much fun to go as frida from las dos fridas, because that piece is heartbreaking but really morbid; she's cutting her heartstrings!)
3. recognizeability. think about how recognizable your costume will be, and hell, if you care whether or not people recognize you and your costume. last year i was the whore of babylon, and no one knew what i was supposed to be but i still got lots of compliments. i did prefer when i was frida kahlo and people came up to me and talked to me as if they knew me because of who i chose to be dressed as for halloween, so i think it is just a matter of preference.
4. dress weather appropriate. there are a million costumes i want to do but just can't because on oct 31st, it's usually pretty effing cold, especially at night. sometimes even snow! think about where you will be, how much you will be outdoors, etc and try and work some warm (or cooler) stuff into your costume
5. don't underestimate thrift stores, or online stores. etsy has some great resources for costumes, and ebay is always a treasure trove. i'm a huge advocate of thrifting; all three of my costumes above were results from thrifting for most of october. combine it with pieces you already have, borrow from friends, instead of spending a bunch of money on something you'll probably only wear once.
6. stumped for ideas? think of your favourite movie characters! a david lynch heroine, like laura palmer, has such potential for a great halloween costume. those are always fun. ask your parents what they went as, if they have any old costumes laying around. brainstorm!
7. dude, don't be racist. are "indian princesses" really a good halloween costume? or do you just want an excuse to wear your trendy minnetokas and wear your hair in braids? is blackface really a good idea in 2008? be creative, and don't fall back on outdated stereotypes.
8. have fun!
here are my ghosts of halloween past...
Halloween 2005: Sylvia Plath
Halloween 2006: silent film star Louise Brooks (complete with intertitles!)
oh how i love her.
Halloween 2007: Frida Kahlo in Las Dos Fridas
Halloween 2008: The Whore of Babylon (inspired by Metropolis and the Bible)
what is the best costume you ever came up with? what are some of the best costumes you've ever seen? do you think there are other suggestions that could be added to the list of halloween advice for feminists?