Thursday, October 11, 2012

DIY Costume ideas

DIY for the most unique costume By S. Derrickson Moore LAS CRUCES — Got costumes? You’re gonna need them. We are now entering the dress-up portion of Full-Tilt Fiesta Season, so be ready for at least a month of occasions for costumes, including the third-annual Zombie Walk, Oct. 27 on Main Street downtown, Halloween, Día de los Muertos events Nov. 2 through 4 on the Mesilla Plaza, the Doña Ana Arts Council’s Renaissance ArtsFaire Nov. 3 and 4, and assorted fiestas, balls, haunted houses and other events around the territory. And don’t forget private parties, trick-or-treating and assorted last-minute gatherings that will call for some kind of effort. If you’re stymied, don’t despair. I’ve been through at least three generations of childhood costume needs (mine, my son’s and my grandson’s) and two decades of enthusiastic adult costume occasions here in southern New Mexico. You can produce some memorable get-ups with a limited budget and a recycling philosophy. Here are some basic guidelines to help you create your own one-of-a-kind costume. • Play dead. Living dead, that is, and help the planet live at the same time by recycling. It’s easy to zombify any old costume, or personal or thrift shop cast-offs. Just tear, rip and add a little gauze and zombie blood (available commercially, or make your own with a mixture of gray and red makeup or acrylic paint for your clothes). • Go vintage: The 20th century produced some of the new millennium’s most popular costumes. The ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s are particularly popular now. Search closets (your own, your parents’ and grandparents’) and area thrift and secondhand shops. • Recreate your favorite character, and keep spinning. The Wizards of Oz’s Dorothy, for example: Start with a pair of glittery ruby red high heels (purchase or make your own by mixing white glue and red glitter and painting a pair of old shoes), put your hair in ponytails, add a blue-and-white checked something or other (apron, shirt, shirt) for the basic Ms. D. Then add makeup and accessories. Werewolf Dorothy. Frankenstein Dorothy. Add fishnet stockings and a gingham mini-dress to become Sexy Dorothy. A layer of ragged gauze and some red-gray paint and you’re Mummy or Zombie Dorothy. • Buy the hat: It may be all you need to make the costume work. Get one of the popular character toppers at shops and you can wear it after Halloween, too, or spin it indefinitely. (See above: Become Rasta or Angry Bird zombie, mummy, etc.) • Get the mask: Just like the hat, it may be all you need to inspire infinite possibilities. Get a mask of your fave (or least-fave) politician, wear your old tux, a striped prison suit, or … come up with your own political commentary. • Add wings: Invest in a good pair and you can create an angel or fairy version of any old costume or pair with your favorite nightgown or white outfit for a more glam or ethereal look. Angelitos are always welcome at Día de los Muertos events and processions, and at RenFaire. In fact, angels are always welcome everywhere. • Pirates: All it takes is a patch, a scarf, a cardboard or rubber sword and a willingness to say “ARRGGG” a lot. • Good sports: Wear a jersey, team T-shirt or appropriate practice sweats and equipment. Print out a photo of your favorite sports idol, attach elastic to wear as a mask or glue on cardboard and mount on a stick to carry, and be prepared to sign autographs for fans or cope with disgruntled foes. • Ghosts: There’s nothing wrong with the classics. Find an old white sheet in the linen closet or a second-hand store, cut out a pair of eyeholes and you’re good to go. For chic haunts, consider a haute couture spook: start with a patterned designer twin sheet and accessorize with jewelry, belts, a cute little hat, great shoes and maybe some artfully draped cheesecloth. S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at (575) 541-5450

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