creepy baby at Chelsea Market
It’s nearly too late now to get a costume together but I have a few last-minute ideas:
The woods at night. Black unitard covered with pairs of googly eyes of various sizes. Better get started on this one right now so the glue will have time to dry.
Yayoi Kusama dots obsession. Red unitard covered with white pompoms or felt circles, or white with red, or white with multicolor, or yellow with black. I kind of want one of these for wearing around the house this winter. It would improve just about all of the things I do around the house.
Noosha Fox. A good closet-shopping costume. Have you (or your girlfriend, if you’re a guy and not too burly) got velvet hotpants and a satin cape, or maybe a pink vintage dress and raspberry tights like she wore on that album cover? (I’ve got these Falke ones in rose and can vouch for their perfection, but surely others would do). Not having to shop for a costume leaves you more time to curl your hair. I’m including a photo for reference but the best way to get a sense of Noosha’s style is to spend some quality time at YouTube. Here she is on Top of the Pops in 1975, and here she is in the cape you see below on Australian teevee in 1976, and here she is on Top of the Pops again in 1976 wearing a straw hat.
You know, screw Halloween, I think you should dress like Noosha Fox pretty much all the time. It’s tricky in cold weather but you’ll just have to line your cape with something warm. Here’s a very Noosha-esque contemporary look from the Guardian for further inspiration. Click on the photo to be taken to a slideshow of more.
Somewhat-pretentious non-costume for a group of friends arriving at a party sans costumes: Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser, Vali Myers, Wolfgang Hutter, and Mia and Hubert Aratym in Vienna, 1952. OK, it is more than somewhat pretentious, but I think they look great — warm, too — and all you need is sweaters and black eyeliner.
Vintage anatomy guide. This requires only a flesh-colored unitard — so versatile! — and some fabric paints. Like Slim Goodbody, but you haven’t got time to paint yourself a whole suit, so you’d better focus on just the sex organs or the digestive system or whatever parts you fancy. There are some amazing illustrations over at 50 watts to inspire you. Click on the ones below to see loads more from Le Livre de la Sante, a 1967 French anatomy book. Don’t forget to attach, to your unitard, an index card that says les organes genitaux. If you’re ambitious you can identify each part.
Morgellons sufferer. It’s cruel to poke fun at the diseased but few people know what Morgellons is, so think of this as educational outreach. It’s a condition that causes terrible itching as mysterious, possibly alien, colored fibers emerge from the skin.
close-up of Morgellons fibers by Vitaly Citovsky/SUNY Stony Brook via the Guardian
No one knows what causes it or how to cure it, but if you dress as Morgellons, pretty much everyone at the party is going to learn what Morgellons is by the end of the evening, and that can only be a good thing. You’ll need a flesh-colored unitard — see, they are super-versatile — and some colorful bits of yarn and lurex thread and holiday ribbon and whatnot to attach to it. Joni Mitchell has Morgellons so if you have long blonde hair you can be Joni Mitchell suffering from Morgellons.
Bed-in. An ideal costume for a couple. Hair peace, bed peace! I’ve written about my enthusiasm for bed-ins before. Being a bed-in for Halloween requires much less of a time committment than an actual bed-in and all you really need is a sheet to wrap yourself in and a sign.