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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Art History 101 Costumes


Hi everybody! Emily G here. I’m not writing so much for the styleblog anymore, but since Halloween is coming up and I had to dig through the archives myself to remember what costume ideas I’d rounded up last year, I figured I’d repost a few of the big Halloween posts I did this time last year. The original is here, although I don’t know why anyone would need to see it. Here’s the fourth and last one, fresh from the archives:

Halloween is getting closer! It’s, like, this weekend. I’m so excited! So here’s another roundup of potential costumes, this time inspired by that Art History 100 class you took freshman year. But nothing where you’re going to have to carry a giant picture frame around all night, we’re aware that bulky costumes get real old real fast. Here’s some figures from art who are still recognizable out of the frame:



ARTIST: Roy Lichtenstein

WORK: Any of his comic-inspired paintings (although the example we used is “Girl With Hair Ribbon”)


GOOD FOR: Women (or men) who have a lot of patience and don’t touch their face habitually

OK, MAC has posted a bunch of Halloween tutorials and ideas on their facebook page, and while they’re all pretty neat, this one is amazing. I have no doubt that if I were to attempt this it would be smudged within ten minutes, and the costume/hair parts look like a pain a half to procure, but still. That’s great.

Kahlo, Magritte and more, after the jump…



ARTIST: Frida Kahlo

WORK: The Two Fridas


GOOD FOR: Women with long, dark hair who were into Sienna Miller a couple of years ago

OK, I picked the costume example, taken at the LACMA costume ball (god I wish I could go to that), because it corresponded a specific painting. The heart/dress would take that one up to a higher difficulty level, but a less-specific Frida costume is super easy.

Just put your hair up, stick some flowers or wildlife in it and put on a bunch of flowy, organic-type stuff you have left over from that whole boho thing along with some big, long necklaces; the really recognizable part is the makeup, though, so strong unibrow and LOTS of blush and red lips.

Bonus points if you have a pet you can train to ride around on your shoulder (no hamsters) or coerce a friend into being the right-hand Frida.



ARTIST: Magritte

WORK: Son of Man


GOOD FOR: Men who already own a black (or dark blue or gray, really, who’s going to notice) suit

Just find yourself a bowler hat, a red tie and a green apple to hang in front of your face and you’re golden! Doesn’t matter what you look like, everyone looks the same with an apple in front of his face.


ARTIST: Picasso

WORK: Harlequins

DIFFICULTY: 9; I’m going to assume that because I can’t find a single costume picture on the whole internet that it’s a tough one

GOOD FOR: Someone who won’t be sad when 99% of people just think you’re a weird clown

If picking out and befriending the one art history major in the room is your goal, this is the one to do it with. Easily mistaken for your standard jester, the costume might be slightly more recognizable if you stick to the mustard/olive/red color scheme in the right-most paintings and make sure you get the hat right.

Actually, we’re gonna upgrade this one to a difficulty of 10, this sounds like such a pain. Here’s an easier one:


ARTIST: Andy Warhol

WORK: Andy Warhol


GOOD FOR: Skinny people who own black clothes

Whatever, Andy Warhol was a pioneer of living life as performance art. I feel OK using him as artist, work AND costume wearer.

This one is totally easy, just wear something along the lines of black pants, black turtleneck, black leather jacket, big glasses or sunglasses and white shock wig and walk around acting affected and taking pictures of everyone with an old camera. Maybe wear a scarf. Just don’t let anyone see your neck.


ARTIST: Edward Gorey

WORK: Gashlycrumb Tinies


GOOD FOR: A group of 3-26 people who always secretly (or openly) thought that goths looked pretty cool

I’d stop short of calling Gorey’s illustrations High Art with a capital HA or whatever, but they’re definitely recognizable and not super hard to do. Dress like you’re in a really dark Dickens novel and hang a tombstone off your back with your designated letter. The hard part is convincing other people to be the rest of the alphabet with you.

emily g | Oct 25 2010 8:48am | Uncategorized, from the archives | Comment 1

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