Hey, Barbecutie

A Brief History of Unsuccessful Halloween Costumes

Posted on: February 19, 2011

Finally, in the fading days of February, the dust has settled well enough for me to reminisce about 31st October. I love Halloween without rhyme or reason. It tingles with memories of the first proper time off since coming back to school, shops full of black and orange tacky cardboard accessories, and bowls full of monkey nuts, even though nobody ate them. We lived in a house with a big shadowy garden, surrounded by huge evergreen trees, our forest, casting strange shapes, becoming unfamiliar and suitably spooky after 9pm. Racing around the strange perimeter, burning fingertips with a sparkler, dressed as a witch, usually. (How things have changed.)

More recent Halloweens have involved less time off, more alcohol, and equal amount of themed sweets. I also enjoy using the term “ghosties”. On Halloween evening, it’s best to find yourself on the upper deck of a bus through London, watching the mentalists and ghouls in costumes wandering the streets below (though I suspect you’d see it any day of the year, around Shoreditch, most likely). I don’t really like dressing up, and yet I have a compulsion. For an event I love, I need to celebrate with the whole of my heart. However, in past years, my plans have been thwarted by circumstance – work, lack of suitable plans, cold feet… Here are some costumes that might have been:

1. Unicorn

Yes, I’m still bitching about this.

2. Rosie the Riveter

An eternal symbol of female strength and gender equality, not to mention looking pretty natty in the headscarf. But can you cope with an evening of pulling the same gun-flexing pose all evening?

3. Low-era Bowie

It seems that once you hit 16, your costume is supposed to be less traditional and more sexy/scary. A sunken-cheeked, heroin-eyed, beautiful and damned apparition, the Thin White Duke balances androgyne sexuality with an eerie gaze deep into the abyss.

4. Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club

Because there’s nothing more terrifying than a bitchy rich girl with issues. (See also: Winona Ryder in Heathers)

5. The green Beatnik alien from this Pan’s People video

Two things: I have the Monster Mash on my ipod year round, and Pan’s People were fucking mental.

Of course, it’s never too early to start planning this year’s Halloween extravaganza. In the past, I have made the mistake of going too obscure (hence my Louise Brooks costume being transposed into Kelly Osbourne), so this year I’m going mainstream…

Lichtenstein!

Columbo!
Columbo!


This…thing!

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2 Responses to "A Brief History of Unsuccessful Halloween Costumes"

Where did u find the Lichtenstein look? Seems like its on a runway do u know what designer it is? I would like to see the rest of the collection.

I think it’s from a collection by Fam Irvoll, from last spring/summer. I found it on Tumblr, that glorious procrastination station…

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