Scare up a great Halloween costume
Dressing up as Aladdin’s Princess Jasmine for Halloween is one of Emoryann Childers’ favorite childhood memories. The purple outfit, and many others crafted by her creative grandmother, inspired Childers’ career as a costume designer.
“It always made me feel special to dress up,” Childers says. “I think everyone likes to be someone else for a day. We always had the best Halloween costumes. They were homemade, but they were professional, and that got me interested in learning how to sew and making my own costumes.”
Childers learned to sew at age 12, and won a 2015 Suzi Bass Award for outstanding costume designer in Georgia Ensemble Theater’s “My Fair Lady.” The awards recognize excellence in Atlanta professional theater.
Awesome costumes make sense
When brainstorming Halloween costume ideas, Childers says make sure other people know the character that you’re going for when they see you.
“You want to do something unique, but you also want to do something recognizable,” the Sandy Springs resident says. “It’d be annoying to have to explain to people all night who you’re dressed up like.”
Year round costume places such as Eddie’s Trick Shop have thousands of choices for a memorable Halloween outfit. The store on Marietta Square sells more than 1,000 costumes around the holiday each year, says general manager Sue Puschak. Eddie’s is already in the spirit with creaky wooden floors and sounds from the film “Corpse Bride” overhead.
Spooky makeup ideas
Takumisa, the cosplay alias of a Manga comic book fan living in Vinings, says makeup is key to the overall character of your costume, adding that makeup tutorials for several fictional personas are available on YouTube.
“If you just have a plain face, it won’t really bring your face to life because your face is what expresses the emotions of the character you’re trying to portray,” she says.
Takumisa regularly attends cosplay conventions, including Anime Weekend Atlanta in Marietta, the largest anime gathering in the Southeast. Her name mixes two manga characters: Takuto from the series “Star Driver” and Misaki, a heroine in “Maid Sama!”
“I love portraying characters physically, emotionally,” Takumisa says. “I love acting out as the characters. It’s an amazing feeling to become a character you love so much that you can actually bring it to life.”
“[Costumes] just give everybody the opportunity to be what they want to be for that day, that night,” says Puschak, who has worked at Eddie’s for 26 years. “A lot of people who are conservative, they may go [in] a total different direction from themselves.”
She also says it’s best to shop around and get a feel for the costume you want to wear.
“Go somewhere where you can try it on, because nothing’s worse than ordering something and you get it two days before Halloween and then it doesn’t fit right, or you don’t like it,” Puschak adds.
Eddie’s staff can demonstrate how to apply makeup. “We’ll make sure you know what you’re doing before you leave,” Puschak says.
‘Show your geeky side’
Takumisa and Childers say YouTube and Pinterest are great resources for costume ideas arising from movies, TV, games and books.
“You don’t have to stay [with] the old traditional Halloween theme like choosing to be a zombie or a Frankenstein,” Takumisa says. “You can be anything you want. Don’t ever be embarrassed to show your geeky side.”
Also visit Goodwill, thrift shops and even your own closet to find pieces to accent your costume. For reliable zombie characters, rip up clothes and pour fake blood on them. To transform into a princess, buy an old bridesmaid dress and glue on feathers or glitter. And have a photo handy of the character you want to portray, Takumisa adds, including all sides of the costume so you don’t miss anything.
“It’s all about finding, gathering,” Childers says. “You don’t have to necessarily build from scratch.”
Eddie’s Trick Shop. 70 S. Park Square, Marietta. 770-428-4314. eddiestrickshop.com