Ah, Oct 31: the day when creative types everywhere in the US bask in their eccentricity, and their one-time high school tormentors are probably content to wear a prefab costume found on a rack alongside “Sexy Credit-Default Swapper” and “Sponge Boob Square Panties.”
But intrepid Halloween folk know, prefab isn’t prefabulous. And current economic conditions make DIY costumes all the more worthwhile. I came up with a Piet Mondrian-inspired costume for Halloween 2009.
With tights already transformed into the right angular, primary-colored pattern synonymous with Mondrian’s work, I was good to go, except for one major snag. Despite having ordered it early in Oct, my Mondrian-inspired dress—labeled by various online costume retailers as a 1960s mod girl dubbed “Cherries Jubilee”—hadn’t arrived yet. (Pourquoi the name? Was the DeStijl art movement of the mid-20th century also a flaming dessert?)
In any event, I found the headband pictured in that link at Ricky’s for $3, as well as a great Mondrian-inspired ceramic pendant on Etsy for $5. But what to do about the missing dress at 6pm on All Hallows’ Eve.
It turns out that another one of my fellow fearless New Yorkers had gone all Mondrian on Halloween too. Caroline, also a regular at VBar in the Village late Monday evening last week, recounted her last-minute costume: a DeStijl look involving a white shift dress and electrical tape. A mad dash down Myrtle Ave to the Clinton Hill True Value and $2.68 later, AFS Halloween 2009 Costume was nearly ready to go—except for hair-and-makeup.
The cosmetic choices of the evening, an amalgamation of primary-colored and white squares were courtesy of my Duane Reade Dollar Rewards Card. But the hair! Ah, my hair as profiled in the photos is neither angular nor checkered blue and white—although it does have a nice red tint, in the DeStijl’in spirit. You see, fellow Halloween travelers, being the new media girl-comme [music] nerd that I am, I also had another dimension to my costume, I snagged a last-minute invite to Vice Magazine’s 15th Anniversary “Party Like It’s 1994” shindig in Williamsburg, featuring several bands including Bad Brains and Titus Andronicus who performed rock hits of that year. Ah, when Pavement was on the airwaves, thermal shirts were on my body—and my hair was done up in pin-curl buns in adolescent worship of Björk, the living patron saint of young female misfits the world over, as in her “Big Time Sensuality” video, released November 1993.
The song features her trademark early bubbly Europop as she travels in a flatbed truck through NYC—in what looks like the Upper East Side—or at least I told myself that when I lived up there. Fittingly, sad traditionally debonair neighborhood was my first party stop of the evening; that is, after helping a woman dressed as a granny find the right stop on the G train.
There, in my friend’s grand old Carnegie Hill house, I encountered fellow Mondrian patrons and a 2001 Academy Award-era Björk, complete with homemade swan dress. And I was off to Williamsburg. I did wander into the loft on N 10th St for a brief period around 1:30am; I’ll let Brooklyn Vegan do the Vice Mag concert review and pics and Titus Andronicus give their own first-person take on the $250K bash. More pertinent to this discussion, however, were the number of “Wow, Mondrian!” comments shouted in my direction whilst walking through Williamsburg and riding the L and G trains.
Oh, as well as the sweet girl who kept safe watch on my digital camera despite me leaving it momentarily at Bedford Ave Turkish café, Döner. So was this Halloween preferable to 1994’s, when I merely danced to Björk in my parents’ suburban Minneapolis basement? I should hope.
For one, Halloween 2009 was free of OK Cola.