You can't just slap on some cat ears, eyeliner whiskers, slutty spandex, and call it Halloween. That shit's for pussies (har har). You wanna be like Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls when she shows up as a green-faced, snaggle-toothed witch at the costume party and every other girl there is dressed like a hooker (with fuzzy cat or bunny ears of course) and they all laugh at her but you know what? She gets the guy! And wins their respect in the end! So this Halloween, no nurses or fairy princesses or naughty schoolgirls (save those for, like, a Tuesday). Take a tip from three of the craftiest ladies we know and get grotesque!
MERYL SMITH, NEW YORK
This is “Me Giving Birth to Myself” or “Me Being Born” or something like that. This is by far the hardest costume I’ve ever made, and the most blazingly sweaty costume I’ve ever worn—even worse than last year when I went as Timothy Treadwell from Grizzly Man being eaten by a bear and I stood outside the party the whole time sweating my ass off in a giant bear-fur suit waiting for them to announce the costume-competition results (I won).
It took about 20 hours to make this, but that’s mostly because it’s all handmade and I don’t really know how to sew. I used metal window screen to shape the stomach, boobs, and head and flesh-colored spandex for the rest of the body. The vagina is just folded-up fabric and glued-on hair. It’s funny how easy it is to make a vagina.
After I shimmied into the spandex and shoved in a bunch of cotton stuffing, I rubbed red blush on my face, put on a bald cap, and poured strawberry jelly and cottage cheese all over my head. Socks on the hands was the final touch.
I can barely walk in it, and the food on my face dries up and gets kinda itchy after awhile, but if I can make it to another costume contest this year I better win!
Photo by Tony Campbell
MISS PUSSYCAT, NEW ORLEANS
This is “Hairy People With Bathing Suits On.” It’s terrifying yet trendy.
There are three things that make a good Halloween costume: 1) You are in disguise and people don’t quite recognize you, 2) You can still talk to people and party (i.e., drink from a glass without having to take anything off), and 3) There are more than one of you. A group effort always impresses.
This is very easy to make. You get this stuff called wool crepe and spirit-gum it all over your face, legs, chest, hands, etc. It comes in all different natural hair colors. It looks great with swimwear or conventional modern clothing. And of course you can easily become a werewolf by adding nice fangs and eye makeup.
To test if this was in fact a complete disguise, I went to my local bar with my hairy cohort, Shopping Bear. Eric the owner did NOT recognize us, but he was preoccupied—there was a Saints preseason-football party going on. Maybe he thought we were Reggie Bush?
By the way, this stuff is really hard to get off—which is points for being a durable costume. Ironically, the day after the shoot, Shopping Bear started a new job at a hair salon. I’m not kidding! You can call Salon Diversions and ask.
Photo by Jonnie Craig
MARGARITA LOUCA, LONDON
This is “Surreal Mary-Kate Olsen in a Parallel Universe.” Instead of being horribly anorexic and eating nothing, she’s morbidly obese and has just eaten her sister Ashley (who’s half-chewed and covered in blood, trying to climb back out of her mouth).
I don’t know why I was thinking about her eating her own twin, but it was either that or Varg Vikernes being skewered through the head with a church steeple or Owen Wilson ODing (too soon for that one, I think).
How I made it is that I took way too many prescription painkillers and sat at home manically sewing a fat suit and giant mouth at 6 AM. The whole thing consists of wire, different fabrics, shitloads of polyester stuffing, and as much blood as I could keep in my mouth. I made an upper and lower jaw out of wire, hand-stitched the filling in place, and built up the gums, lips, and teeth in the same sort of way. I made very crude arms, stuffed them, and then pulled on the leggings and top and padded them out till I could barely move. I put latex and blood on my face, stuck the mouth contraption on, covered myself in more blood, and looked scared. Ta-da!