During my previous years as a costumer, I often planned elaborate Halloween costumes. Most people automatically assumed I had a huge stash of elaborate costumes, but the majority of the time I came home from work and wanted to anything but sew after a full day in a costume shop or backstage. Many costumers will attest that this is the case and I’ve addressed it before in a previous post about common myths surrounding the costume industry. After a full day of sewing or mending and laundering clothing, the last thing I want to do is come home to complete more sewing. So, unfortunately many of my brilliant Halloween ideas never happened. But, rather than let them never come to life, I’ve decided to bring them into reality with the following style sets utilizing clothing and accessories from sustainable and ethical fashion companies. As I’ve found, Halloween costumes can have an influence on style beyond my expectations.
One of my elaborate Halloween plans was to dress as the legendary master who instructed Beatrix in “Kill Bill: Volume 2.” I had planned on asking various hair and make-up co-workers for help with a wig and facial hair as well as adapting men’s commercial patterns to create the full-on Pai Mei look. My former boyfriend at the time was planning on joining me with a yellow jumpsuit and black stripes to partner me as Beatrix. Unfortunately the stamina to complete this costume dwindled when I realize just how much it would take, and the thought found its way into the list of Halloween costumes gone by. Luckily, I’ve found some great structural outerwear and black and white clothing and gold accents to bring the style of Pai Mei into a modern, layered fall outfit perfect to weather the chilly outdoors this Halloween season!
Yet another costume I imagined that involved partnering with an ex-boyfriend. In order to dress as the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend from the animated series “The Venture Brothers,” we purchased yellow vinyl for boots and began planning ideas for Monarch wings, but unfortunately our theatre engagements kept us too busy to make this into our Halloween costumes. Pink fabric and sloper patterns still remain in my fabric boxes along with a pair of white go-go boots. I’m still holding onto these items in the hope it will be constructed into a costume now that it’s not my main career focus. Although Dr. Girlfriend, the girlfriend of the Venture Brothers’ nemesis, still remains unfinished in my fabric containers, it can come to life with the help of this style set. Using pink and white as the main focus with a few mint and brown accents, I was excited to make this costume idea into fall fashion.
After dressing up with ears to be a cat and mouse with a former roommate, I kept my ears after deciding I wanted to be Minnie Mouse. After all, a circle skirt and blouse with Peter Pan collar and puffy sleeves couldn’t be that hard? Well, unfortunately all I managed to get was the red and white polka dot fabric and a couple of possible skirt patterns. Perhaps I may be able to be Mickey Mouse’s girlfriend and sidekick, but for now, I’m using playful red and yellow patterns on modern clothing and shoes to emulate this cartoon character. A few gold and brown accessories help take this cartoon costume to a more sophisticated and modern look while maintaining Minnie Mouse’s playful spirit.
I’d like to think that eventually one day all of these costumes can finally come into fruition. Perhaps now that I’m no longer a professional costumer, I can find the time, energy, and interest in completing the ideas I have. While costumes are usually seen as a way to become a character, I find they give me character for style. When it comes to fashion, character and personality are what ends up making a style memorable and significant. Thankfully I have costumes to remind me just how unique fashion can be.