tyrsalvia: (Default)
[personal profile] tyrsalvia
As a gothy person who loves ridiculous clothes, orange & black, skulls and skeletons, it seems like I'd be really into Halloween. It's not that I haven't tried. I like the Halloween aesthetic when its done well.

But it turns out that the actual holiday, I'm not so much into. The overwhelming number of parties means there's never critical mass going to any one event, leaving me with a wealth of choices where I can see maybe two friends each. Because it's a holiday, everything is expensive. Traffic. Disgustingly drunk people.

And then there's the costume issue.

I love dressing up in stripey stockings, acid green and royal purple, shredded black lace. But that's not a costume. For Halloween, you have to be A Noun.

You don't wear something you just like; you have to be A Nurse or A Witch or A Kitty. And of course these costume pieces are not at all likely to fit into your regular wardrobe, so you have to buy or make something you'll only wear just once. You don't want to spend too much money, so you're left dressed in some cheap awful piece of nylon with no pockets.

Similarly, I really like clothes and costumes. Going to a good party means i get to look at gorgeous people wearing interesting things. Going to a Halloween party more often than not means I get to look at cute people in awful costumes with bad stage makeup running down their faces.

Bah humbug, I say.

This year, we're working setup for our Burning Man party crew at Ghost Ship, a giant rave on Treasure Island. I'm pretty happy about this choice. Working on a party both gets you in for free, and gives you a sense of ownership in it. We'll have friends with us, and new friends made during setup, and a feeling like we helped make something awesome. Short of getting all my friends together at one event, this is the best kind of Halloween event for me.

I'm still not sure on costume, though. Fox had suggested I go as the Red Queen, since that's pretty close to stuff I'd want to wear anyways. I'm thinking about that, or about maybe trying to make a really good and comfortable pirate costume to be on theme. I could do either, and it would be comfortable and danceable and have pockets and come in handy on other occasions. Perhaps I should just wear something I like and make up the appropriate Noun after I'm dressed.

Friends, what are you doing for Halloween this year? What costume(s) will you be wearing, events attending, plans planning? Am I alone in this frustration, or does it hit you all too?

Date: 2010-10-17 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weezyl.livejournal.com
I have the same problem -- I love to goth out and dress up, and while one would think Halloween would be my gig, it's not. I have plenty of friends who enjoy the planning process and who are enormously clever and have great execution and humor. They enjoy it, let them run with it.

I used to feel anxious about it, but I kinda stopped a few years ago. Coming up with a great costume idea isn't my thing, but dressing myself up so that I exude fun and attitude? I can do that shit. And really, what's a party without fun people?

Date: 2010-10-17 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neuroptik78.livejournal.com
I'm definitely the same when it comes to dressing up nifty vs having an Official Costume.

I agree with Fox's suggestion - you as the Red Queen would be fantastic!

I will most likely be staying in on party night.

I'm OK with house parties with friends, but huge loud public venue parties are just too overwhelming sensory-wise. =/

Date: 2010-10-17 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thecolorblue.livejournal.com
last year i made myself a costume last minute -- i went as the ocean. this happened because:
1) years ago, i bought marine life finger puppets from ikea (yes, from ikea);
2) i have a big flowing blue dress that john has previously dubbed "water";
3) levi was at the fabric store and bought me some blue mesh and safety pins;
4) sarah gave me an octopus on our third date and i wore it on my head.

ok so the confluence of events meant that i had a costume that was freeish (at least, made from things i mostly already had and some scraps of fabric). maybe some people who saw me didn't "get it" as quickly as they'd get a witch or a kitty, but it was thematic so i felt good about it.

is there a theme that would work for you, that you could assemble out of all your already amazing costuming collection? say you took your skeletons and pinned them all over some clothes -- could you be a graveyard? that's just an example, but maybe there's something else that works for you.

i hope you have fun! we'll be at otherworld most likely, cuz that's the halloween tradition :P

Date: 2010-10-17 09:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrsalvia.livejournal.com
Indeed, I remember your costume last year! That was clever, and very you.

I think the big thing is finding a good costume that is obvious and has a simple description, and also comfortable, danceable, and has good pockets.

This means good tights or pants to avoid leg issues, no things attached to my head that would fall off, not too hot, not too cold, does not require any hand-held accessories. No giant wings that will poke people at parties. Must go well with combat boots for being on my feet all night.

Have fun at Otherworld! If we weren't doing this, that's where we'd be - really enjoyed their party last year.

Also, thanks for the graveyard idea. I like it! Not sure I'll do that, but I will keep that stashed in the memory banks. :}

Styling Halloween

Date: 2010-10-17 05:34 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Ive been disappointed by many costumes on halloween because it looks more like a sad masquerade than what i'd expect to be in keeping with a historical holiday. Everybody knows its either about the dead revisiting, saints getting tips, or pagans demanding something to sacrifice. So why am i seeing nurses, monkeys, comic book heroes, and hollywood monsters, for instance? What happened to the sense of mystery that gave halloween it's birth? Is teletubby gonna scare an angry ghost? Are the lost gods & goddesses gonna be appeased by kids getting sick from too many gummy ghosts?

So a Noun is an excellent parody of a parody on tradition. But i rather we find a way to legally scare the hell out of ppl. Its a good freindly way to remind us of the narrow context of our existence.

Re: Styling Halloween

Date: 2010-10-17 09:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrsalvia.livejournal.com
Interesting thoughts. I see your point - it's hard to enact the ancient tradition of scaring away evil spirits if you're dressed as a sexy milkmaid or something.

Date: 2010-10-17 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trinsf.livejournal.com
Well, last year I was helping facilitate Reclaiming's Spiral Dance in the city, so that didn't need any special clothing. This year, I will be out of town, at an academic conference. So, I'm dodging the issue again.

Date: 2010-10-17 02:06 pm (UTC)
hel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hel
For Halloween, I just wear whatever extra wild stuff I can't usually get away with wearing to the grocery store, and when people ask what I'm supposed to be, I just smile and say "I'm me."

I love Halloween, bad costumes and all, because for a day or weekend or so, everywhere I go has the 'come as you are, let out the parts of yourself you hide' feeling that I love so much at some of the alt-whatever events. Everywhere turns into a strip off your everyday masks and show your soul Bacchanalia, and I love it.

The comment about how being a sexy nurse doesn't really honor the historical meaning of the holiday kinda got me thinking. To me, the modern holiday is about letting out whatever sides of yourself you normally keep hidden, whatever you'd consider your "dark" side. I think for a lot of women, especially in this society, their sexuality is their "dark" side, and so dressing up as a sexy nurse could be a really subversive thing for them.

Date: 2010-10-17 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dcart.livejournal.com
I feel very much the same way. And I think that what you point out is worse here than the other places, I've lived. Though maybe it's not worse, but just bothers me more because I'm older. Either way, I've taken to not going out on Halloween the last few years. I'm not likely to go out this year.

Date: 2010-10-17 09:22 pm (UTC)
arethinn: glowing green spiral (Default)
From: [personal profile] arethinn
Last year I wore my Hogwarts uniform, which being in the fandom I am is something I use multiple times. This year I may just wear faery wings, but again, when you're me that's something you make multiple use of (and collect too many of, erm).

I'm normally on at-home duty on Halloween itself, which is usually fine by me. Last year there was a "party" at Rabbit's Foot Meadery, which we frequent and are part of a VIP-members club at; dunno if Mike's planning a similar event this year. ("Party" was a smaller event than that might imply, but they did cram a lot of people in their limited space.)

Date: 2010-10-17 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrsalvia.livejournal.com
I like wings, but I'm always afraid I'm going to poke people with them (or knock something over). I do like the idea of making a Hogwarts uniform, though. *ponders*

Pictures?

Date: 2010-10-17 10:26 pm (UTC)
arethinn: glowing green spiral (Default)
From: [personal profile] arethinn
Yeah, I wear child-size wings on longer straps sometimes for that reason. They are kind of a liability.

Hogwarts: Umm... last picture in this post, although it doesn't really show much (shows off [livejournal.com profile] fiendish_thingy a lot more)... or this rather unflattering one on Facebook (taken at the aforementioned Rabbit's Foot party).

Date: 2010-10-18 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kittymink.livejournal.com
I was the Red Queen last year! very basic costume and nothing to do with the Burton movie, red bridesmaids dress and a tiara, it was great though. had a great time. I might make this dress (or another one) into some pirate-y this year. idk what I'm doing this year.

Date: 2010-10-18 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whittles.livejournal.com
For the second year in a row I am moving over halloween. This makes dressing up for it feel very exhausting and improbably. This makes me very sad. I really want to carve pumpkins and decorate my house. Hopefully next year.

Date: 2010-10-20 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roboturtle.livejournal.com
I'm thinking about wearing the Link costume I made for Comic Con (but never got around to wearing there), but I have to find boots! The ones I had were totally uncomfortable, but I don't see myself wearing knee-high brown boots (the rest of the year) and don't wanna spend a lot of money. Not having a lot (or any) money to put into a costume this year is kind of deterring me from wanting to dress as anything at all. Spencer and I have a rave to go to, and I love dressing up, but I'm really at a loss for ideas.
Every year (especially right after Halloween) I'll get an idea for a costume and say "I am totally going to be ____ next year!" and then around September I promptly forget said ideas.

Date: 2010-10-20 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrsalvia.livejournal.com
LJ post about your ideas for next year?
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