I love my parents for never buying us those pre-made halloween costumes in a bag at the store. Though looking back, I desperately wanted one, particularly the yellow Belle Disney princess dress with the plastic princess shoes, I wanted it bad, alas Belle was out of the budget. Nor do I recall ever once setting foot in a “Halloween store” as a kid. Nope, instead we’d spend hours utilizing our creative imaginations and crafting together a homemade costume from things we had around the house, and if we ever bought anything for our costume, it was from the Goodwill. Over the years I took my costuming quite seriously (the only way I know how to take things) and would stay up late the night before Halloween sewing, cutting, painting and perfecting the character I would become on October 31st. Cruella Deville stands out in my memory as one of my all-time favorite costumes. I’ll never forget, I was in 9th grade, I found the perfect dramatic faux fur coat at the thrift store, wore a long black dress with pointy toe heels, I then took the rat comb to my shoulder length mane, parted it down the middle and backcombed each side into a massive wild shock of hair. I then sprayed with that stinky colored hair spray, one side black, and the other side white. I powdered my face white, used my mom’s eyeliner to draw on severe angry eyebrows and painted my lips red. I remember looking in the mirror, and seeing Cruella herself. I practiced bolting through the door, staggering down the hall, and shouting “puppies!”! Cue the song “cruella deville, cruella deville, if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will!” I wish I had a picture to show you, I’m sure there is one kickin’ it in an old scrap book in the attic.
Some of my other favorite costumes were, Marilyn Monroe (London’s costume this year, stay tuned for the post), Betty Rubble of the Flinstones, 80’s Barbie, Cinderella and even Veronica Corningstone. Yep, as in Veronica Corningstone from Anchorman, and Dave was Ron Burgandy, to the T. Over the last few years though, we’ve gotten a little lazy at our costume game. However, with last year being London’s first Halloween, she rekindled that ol’ Halloween spirit that I used to know. So I found a red t-shirt and stitch witched it to the high heavens, then painted little white polka-dots all over it, added a belt and some frill to the trim and made her a pair of ears with a bow on it, and I tell you she was the cutest little mini Minnie Mouse you’ve ever seen. I drew a big black dot on the tip of her nose and penciled in a few lashes to the corners of her eyes, to look at her seriously took my breath away. Of course we were twins, and I was the big minnie, and not near as darling.
So on to the iconic Grace Kelly, actress and princess of Monaco, her style so perfectly personified in her name. She truly was the epitome of Grace and elegance. Summer and I dressed up as several characters in our video for our theme song “i’m a girl”, but our favorite looks of the video were hands down Audrey Hepburn (see Summer’s post here) and Grace Kelly. This year we decided to recreate these looks for a Hollywood inspired theme.
Being the rather goofy gal that I am, channeling my inner grace took a little work…
1. HAIR & MAKE-UP: We called upon the talents of our friend and make-up artist Miho who transformed my hair into Grace’s signature shape, smoothing the hair back and then curling the hair upwards and then rolling and pinning it into and elegant roll at the nape of the neck. It took a few bobby pins and a lot of hair spray. She then created a soft look on the face, with a subtle clean cat eye and a pink pout.
2. BLACK BODYSUIT: I found this black leotard in the girls section at Walmart and bought it in a larger size. This is always a great trick, finding an adult leotard or bodysuit is tricky and usually expensive, this however was really quite cheap, and basically fits like an adult small. The bodysuit gives the upper body that timeless sleek silhouette with the collar bone revealing neck line that she is known for. Honestly I have been wearing it as a part of my wardrobe ever since finding it for this costume. That Grace Kelly was on to something with the bodysuit, such a great piece!
3. HIGH WASTED FULL SKIRT: In the music video I was wearing a very full tulle skirt, which was dramatic and amazing. With fashion trends bringing back the tulle skirt this season (does it ever really go out?) You just might be able to find one. This time around we found a gorgeous vintage gold shimmery skirt that had the perfect amount of fullness and volume, perfect for spinning and swooshing around… ever so gracefully of course! Our friend Chikka who took the photos, kept instructing me to “play with the skirt”. How could you not!?
4. WHITE GLOVES: A dainty pair of white gloves just screams (quietly) Grace Kelly. We found these at a Vintage store. Whenever wearing a lovely little pair of gloves, you already feel like a different person. I did however find myself removing them often while handling the Loo. Keeping them pristine as Grace, was not an easy task with the children around, nonetheless a Grace Kelly quintessential!
5. PEEP TOE HEELS- I dug through my closet to look for the daintiest and most feminine pair of black peep toe heels I could find. Luckily I had these buried in the back. I think the key is to keep them classic and sleek, as opposed to clunky, chunky or platform. Any clean classic black or nude heel will do the trick however.
6. ACCESORIZE: I wore a pair of large classic black sunglasses for our little shoot, however you would also be in character to ditch the shades and wear a string of pearls around your neck.
Lastly, to truly personify the Princess of Monaco takes a little practice, so no slouchy shoulders, lift that posture, elongate that neck and elevate your gaze with a subtle smile and twinkle in your eye. And Grace didn’t just walk, she glided across the floor, the fullness of the skirt following her every move. Go ahead and try it! Before you know if, you’ll have found your Grace!
: ) Brooke