Friday, October 30, 2009

Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas - Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin was one of the most famous silent film actors of all time. Dressing up as this icon is a fun costume idea and chances are you won't find many duplicates at your Halloween parties. It is easy to do if you have the right components. Men can use a regular black suit. Women wanting to pull off this look could use a tuxedo jacket from her wardrobe and pair it over some straight leg black pants.

What you need
Bowler Hat
Tailored jacket and trousers
White button down shirt
Black or grey vest
Neutral tie
Male dress shoes or loafers or oxford for ladies

Tie your jacket with only one button in the middle of your chest. Your white button down shirt and vest should be sticking out from underneath the button. Charlie Chaplin was a clumsy character so you need to look a little disheveled. His bowler hat is another signature part of his look. You can find a bowler at a thrift store, costume store, or any discount clothing outlet.

Charlie Chaplin's makeup is very distinctive. All you need is some light powder to create a pale face and dark hues to create his brows, mustache, and eyes. Firstly start off with a clean face. Use a brush to apply the powder throughout. The paler the better. Next apply the gray shadow, or if you have brow makeup, to your brows to create a full eyebrow. Apply gently and working your way with more. The brows are strong and dark so if you want to be more bold use some black eyeliner. When you are finished with the brow you can move onto the mustache. Chaplin's mustache is not very wide, but it is dark. Use the gray shadow to create a base and then go over with some mascara and liner to make it fuller. The last step is your eyes. Line them heavily with a black pencil. They key is to apply liner all around the eye.

Charlie Chaplin had dark, disheveled hair hidden underneath his bowler hat. Men don't need to do much, but women bold enough to dress like a man, tie your hair into a loose ponytail and hide it under your hat. Secure loose ends with bobby pins to make sure your hair stays in place.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas - Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is a very popular costume on Halloween, mostly because powerful, superheroes are slim pickins for us ladies. You can find lots of pre-made costumes, however where is the fun in that??

You will need blue shorts or a skirt. Be creative and use something you already have. They do not have to be as short as the real Wonder Woman costume). Boy-cut bottoms work really well, as well as anything of the daisy duke persuasion. For the white stars on her short you can cut out start from white felt or even cardboard. Use fabric or double-sided tape to stick on your stars. For the top part of the body suit you can use a red tube top or bustier. If you don't have any, a fitted sleeveless shirt will do. Tuck your red shirt into the shorts.

The important part of the Wonder Woman jumpsuit top is the gold accents. This will be the most difficult to pull off. You can buy gold fabric and cut out a deep v design to place along your chest. Again you can use fabric tape. You will need a sturdy plastic like fabric which may be a bit harder to find. Of course since this is last minute you have other easier alternatives. Gold foil or lightweight poster paper can be found at a dollar or craft store. Cut out the v and make a belt that connects to your chest piece.

You can use this paper for the Wonder Woman cuffs on each hand. The harder poster paper is the perfect material to make the crown since it is bendable but sturdy. Cut out a long rectangle that points at the top. Afterward affix a red star in the middle. The tricky part is how to keep this band on your head. If you find an elastic band, you can paste the elastic to both sides of the crown in order to make sure it stays secure on your head.

If you have a pair of red boots lying around than you are lucky indeed, but if you are like me red boots aren't really your thing. Of course this shouldn't prevent you from being Wonder Woman, you just need to think outside the box. Try using red stockings or knee high socks. Pull the socks over over ballet flats so you aren't walking around completely barefoot.
Use the extra felt you have left over from the white stars in order to make the stripes on the boot. Cut out two long white stripes with a point at the top. These will go on the front part of your boots all the way down to the toes. The pointed part of the white felt should be at the top. Next cut out two smaller pieces of white felt long enough to fit around your calf. Connect these stripes underneath the pointed white stripe at the top of your boots or stockings.

Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas - Frida Kahlo

Last year while I was in Montreal taking a French course I had no Halloween costume ideas. I was actually thinking of not dressing up (blasphemy I know). But the morning before my school's Halloween costume contest I decided to go as Frida Kahlo. I had an hour to get ready. After digging though my closet, I was able to put together my costume and my impromptu ensemble ended up winning me first place (tied with a male nurse wearing a skirt).

What you will need
Colorful and flower clothing. Use the clothes you already have, anything Mexican inspired. Frida Kahlo had a very unique style and used lots of full and floral skirts and dresses. Put on a white blouse or a black cape. Put flowers in your hair and put on statement jewelry pieces. Costume jewelry is perfect. Craft stores have fake flowers connected to wire which you can easily affix in your hair.

For my costume I found a flowered Spanish style dress that I had gotten at H&M. Then I put on a pair of dangling gold earrings and a beaded red necklace. I used the fake flowers I had in my apartment and put some in my hair (not pictured below). This took me less than an hour to find and put together. If you have more time and planning you can achieve a much more fun in depth look.

Signature Brows
To create the eyebrows you will need brown eyebrow makeup (or brown eye shadow - no shimmer) and mascara. First take the brown eyebrow color and fill in your brows with a shadow brush. Apply a little at a time because you want to make it look as natural as possible. After you connect the brows take some mascara and go over the makeup with your brush, going upwards. Again less is more. You don't want it to be too overpowering.

For Frida's hair you can pull your hair up into a simple bun or create the braid around the crown of your head. If you know how to french braid hair it will be simple. Instead of doing a typical french braid you will do one along the crown.

1- Bend forwards so it falls evenly and gathers at the front of your head.
2- Section your hair from behind your left ear until the middle of your head (the center part).
3- Divide this section into 3 more sections and start doing the french braid along the crown of your head.
4- Tighten the braid and make sure it is close to your head and not loose.
5- Braid until you reach your other ear. Now you can pin your hair into place and create a bun.

Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas - Beyonce & Sasha Fierce

This video has already become one of the most iconic videos of our time. Just ask Kanye. The costume is pretty easy (especially if you have long hair). If Justin Timberlake can do it so can you.

What you need:
Black Leotard (you can cut off one sleeve if you'd like to make it more authentic to the video, but you don't have to).
Nude tights/ pantyhose/ or leggings
Black Gloves

For Beyonce's arm piece you can be creative. I went to the dollar store and found a kids toy armor that goes around your hand and up your forearm. You can take something similar and spray paint it black, apply some studs and metal accents and tah have the arm piece.

For hair and makeup check out Sasha Fierce below.


Beyonce's alter ego is pretty easy to do. Chances are you already have many of her fierce looks in your closet. Beyonce seems to enjoy the not wearing pants for this album, which may make some modest folk blush. You don't have to go with the leotard look, although it will make it more authentic. Use your creativity and you can play around with the look.

What you need:
Leotard or shiny leggings like these from American Apparel.
Tall boots
Any tops that are black, shiny, and form fitting
An asymmetrical black jacket or leather jacket.
Go to a dollar or craft store and find whatever studs and metal accents you can. Be creative. Affix the studs to your leotard. Create harsh angles. Use shoulder pads to create a severe shoulder.

You may remember the fringed glasses in Beyonce's Diva video. You can make these glasses yourself. At a craft store find some fringe and glue it to the top of a pair of cheap glasses (dollar store find). Afterward cut the fringe into the shape of frames.

Beyonce's Single Ladies look has a lot of volume at the top of her head. You will need to section pieces of your hair and tease the top portion. Johnny Lavoy explains how to get the Beyonce look.

The defining look of Sasha Fierce makeup is essentially a really smoky eye. Johnny Lavoy explains how to get this look.

Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas - Betty Boop

There are a myriad of Betty Boop costume dresses on the internet, but you don't need to buy one if you already have a black or red strapless dress. Chances are the dress you already own is not as provocative as Miss Boop's dress, however you can sew it temporarily to create a shorter hemline.

What you need
To look like Betty Boop you will need a black or red strapless dress. It has to be somewhat form fitting in order to pull it off. If it isn't short enough you can shorten the hemline temporarily by sewing it up a few inches. Sew by hand so the stitching is easy to remove later. If you are lucky enough to own a top hat, you can finish off the look with a cap and cane.

You can make the Betty Boop garter by sewing a piece of yellow fabric together and using double sided tape to make sure it sticks on your body. Felt is cheap and works well. After you make your belt, cut out a red heart and sew it to your yellow garter. Yellow lace is another option you can use for the garter. A craft store should carry both the felt and lace.

You could always buy the costume jewelry for Betty Boop at any party store;

But you don't have to. All you need is some yellow earrings and a yellow bangle.
Betty Boop has a pin curl style, very prominent of the time. You don't have to buy a wig in order to get the look, but you will need the time in order to set the pin curls yourself. Check out Hair Boutique for a step by step instruction guide on how to do the curls yourself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jean Paul Gaultier For Target

Jean Paul Gaultier is set to create a collection for Target's Designer Collaboration series. To be a part of the series he has to choose a muse. Designers before him, like Anna Sui, chose the girls of Gossip Girl, and I must admit I wasn't CRAZY about many of the character's outfits. Alexander McQueen's line was more simple and rock and roll, makes sense since his inspiration was Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit. Gaultier chose a more common muse, the American woman:

Jean Paul Gaultier for Target pays tribute to the American woman, celebrating the forces of style both past and present in American pop culture, the retailer said (the cut).

I have to admit I'm excited to see his collection, mostly because I'm curious how his vision will mesh with a tribute for the American woman. His Spring 2010 ready to wear collection was edgy and forward looking, like many of his collections are. A surprise to me was the multitude of overalls that appeared, from wideleg to skinny leg. Could there be overalls in this new collection? Probably something more wearable like a jumper.

On a different note, Gaultier wouldn't be Gaultier if he didn't use the current trend of the moment, lingerie.

With a line aptly titled, "The G Spot," it is certainly reminiscent of a style icon he has styled in the past. Who could forget those pointy bras, bustiers, and straps. Many people have been saying that Gaultier is borrowing from his famous Madonna looks he designed for her Blonde Ambition tour. I found these Jean Paul Gaultier sketches on The Ultimate Madonna.

Now it seems doubtful that he will be creating any cone bustiers for his American woman inspired Target collection, but a girl can hope. Just admit it. You've always wanted a cone bra too, especially at affordable Target prices.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Her Morning Elegance

I find myself watching this video over and over again. It is beautifully shot and most probably one of my favorite music videos.

Soon she's down the stairs
Her morning elegance she wears
The sound of water makes her dream
Awoken by a cloud of steam
She pours a daydream in a cup
A spoon of sugar sweetens up

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
As she goes in a store
With a thought she has caught
By a thread
She pays for the bread
And She goes...
Nobody knows