Toronto
3 min

All dressed up

We all know what ghoulish cover girl Bitch Diva will be doing to celebrate Halloween this year: watching her mouth.



Or at least that’s what she’s been told to do as co-host with Georgie Girl as Dame Edna of Masqueraid 2000 on Sat, Oct 28.



“I think she is aware she was over the top last year,” says Michael MacDonnell, president of the Church-Wellesley Community Business Association and chair of the event. “It will be cleaner – as much as you can with Bitch Diva.”



MacDonnell says the street party, on Church between Wellesley and Maitland from 8pm to 11pm, is aimed at attracting a broad range of people (as in people with children) and that Bitch Diva’s potty mouth upset some of last year’s spectators.



“I think any of the drag queens forget they’re in the street. They’re not in a club,” says MacDonnell. “When they’re on the street, I’d like to have them less profane.”



The Halloween plans of other Toronto homos are more mysterious – though costume designer Christopher Richards’s costume idea is no less profane. He’s going out on the town as the Whore Of Babylon.



“It’s going to be a lot of hanging gardens. Lots of jangling coins,” says Richards. “I’ve got a bucketful of coins I can glue onto a corset.”



Not all costume designers get so excited about the primary pagan holiday. David Boechler, who designed the costumes for Brad Fraser’s musical, Outrageous, says he doesn’t partake at all.



“I’m happy to dress other people. I’m thinking of going out in Montreal as bar trash,” Boechler says from backstage at Theatre New Brunswick in Fredericton. He’s there designing the costumes for the show Song For A New World.



“But I’ve always felt I could write a book about what not to do. I remember once, all these guys were putting on Wolfman stuff: latex and fur and hair on their faces. And they were surprised when nobody flirted with them. That’s what not to do if you want to pick up men.”



Chris Tyrell, Jim Searle and Gary Kammerer of the fashion studio Hoax Couture (114 Cumberland Ave) have come up with a costume idea that’s both spooky and easy to get out of. It works so well, in fact, they’ve been wearing the same outfits for more than 10 years.



“We wear silver Spandex masks,” says Tyrell. “They’re tight on our heads, so they take the shape of our faces. We make photocopies of each other’s faces and carry them around on sticks. When people ask who’s who, we hold up the masks on the sticks.



“We wear black suits because we have to be fashionable. You can rip off the Spandex and you’re out of costume. It’s eerie because you’re a humanoid, but you can’t tell who it is.”



This year Halloween falls on photographer David Hawe’s bowling night with the Judy Garland Memorial Bowling League. He and his friends will be wearing old Dominion grocery store uniforms.



“On the back they say, ‘Mostly because of the meat.’ We got them at a yard sale. They’re long things, polyester with steak pins,” says Hawe. “We’ve got three different coloured wigs. They’re huge, like three wigs put together.”



Musician Nash The Slash has been doing Halloween performances for 25 years. This year on Sat, Oct 28 at 9pm, he’s at the Grand Theatre (1215 Danforth Ave, tickets $20 at the door). He’s never performed out of his trademark mummy look, though he often varies costumes.



“I’ll wear white tails and a top hat, or the splatter look, like a demented lab assistant, or an Arab outfit. I know that’s not politically correct. I’ve never done drag in the bandages, though. I haven’t got the legs,” he says.



At the Halloween show, ” I preside over the costume contest. The winner one year was a dead ringer for me and it turned out to be my mechanic. He didn’t say a word so I didn’t know it was him.”



Mayor Mel Lastman, who will be presenting the costume prizes at this year’s Masqueraid, did not return calls concerning what he will be wearing for Halloween.