It's August. Why am I already thinking about Halloween, it's not until the end of October? Well, there are a few reasons. 1 - I love Halloween and think about it a lot, probably way more than any normal person should. I start looking forward to the next Halloween on November first. 2- I make my own costumes. In my 32 years I have not yet worn a store-bought costume and I'm not about to start now. 3- My costumes are usually highly planned and intricately executed and need a lot of time to complete. Maybe I'll inspire you to make your own costume or maybe you'll just roll your eyes at how much time and effort I put into this, but either way I'm going break it down for you.
Picking a Costume:
This is probably the most crucial part of the whole process as it's the part where your fantasies can become your reality. Have you always wanted to be Batman? Halloween is your chance. But, and this is a big but, you have to know yourself. Not every costume suits every personality or body. I'm never going to be a Strawberry shortcake, and I've accepted that.
Devising a Plan:
Every good costume needs a good plan. I start with research, lots of research. Google Images is a great place to get shots of your costume from different angles and variations. Will you need studs or buttons? Is it blue or purple? This is when you start breaking your costume apart and determining what you'll need to make it work.
Once I've collected all of the information, I usually do a few simplified drawings that highlight all of the important elements of costume design and I jot down a list of everything I'll need to make it happen. Gloves? Shoes? Hat? Body paint?
This is why you've started early. First, you have to source your materials. Surprisingly, vinyl catsuits aren't that easy to come by, and you can just forget about Xena chest plates - you'll have to make those on your own. Good thing you've still got two months to figure out how.
I find online resources really helpful here as you can find some otherwise hard to find items, like the Frank 'n' Furter "Boss" tattoo. I would've never come across that in a shop.
Executing to Perfection:
You've finally gotten all of your materials and the time has come to put it all together: sewing, papier mache-ing, painting, gluing. Whatever it takes. If you've done all the prep work, putting things together should be relatively easy if you're not trying to develop an entirely new skill set as you're going along. This is where me sketches comes in the most handy. They're the blue print for creativity and authenticity.