Think your Harriet Miers’ eyeliner, a feather boa and granny panties will pass muster for Halloween this year? Have you no sense of homo decency? The clock’s ticking so fire up that hot glue gun, sister.
For some touched by a peculiar grace, this time of year is the highlight of the calendar — a bewitching moment of transformation, regression therapy and cocktail-fuelled mayhem. To get you inspired, here are supreme costumiers who ramp up the glamour and wit quotient each year.
Who: Illustrator and publisher Ian Phillips and partner Grant Heaps, wardrobe assistant at the National Ballet Of Canada. The pair has been dressing up in outlandish Halloween outfits for seven years.
Highlights: A giant pair of jeans; living sock monkeys that required 120 pairs of socks; Christian, possibly Mormon proselytizers.
“The giant pair of jeans were great fun,” notes Phillips, “because we got into Vazaleen — two for the price of one — and we won first prize. Getting on and off the streetcar was not an easy task. After getting chased down Alexander St by dogs, a police officer helped us into the back of a cab.
“With the preachers, everyone thought we were real. We received death threats and some local prostitutes offered us blowjobs and told us not to worry, that Jesus would forgive us.”
This year: They’re debuting their outfit at the Vazoween party at Lee’s Palace on Friday. All they’ll admit is: “Pink and soft.”
Coming up: Look for Phillips on Sat, Oct 29 at the Toronto Small Press Book Fair at Trinity-St Paul’s (427 Bloor St W) launching his latest Pas de Chance handmade book, Faux by Derek McCormack, which comes incased in a fake snowball. Heaps is busy making sure the Santo Loquasto-designed costumes for the National’s Swan Lake are ready for the Wed, Nov 16 opening.
Who: Writer and costume designer Christopher (David) Richards. He’s been orchestrating a Halloween group outing with a revolving membership for more than 15 years, going back to his infamous drag troupe The Boho Girls.
Highlights: Past themes include the Femmes Noir (screen sirens in all black and white, including makeup), the Twirling Endoras, the Gabors, whores, fairies and last year’s all-red spectacle. “Our beauty is cyclical,” says Richards. “One year we’re gorgeous, and the next year… woof! Last year was very fine. I say no more.”
This year: “Lock up your sons Saturday night, we’ve got nets.”