This year I almost went as Natalie Portman in Black Swan for halloween. I was going to make the whole ballerina costume and do the sfx make up so that I was in mid transformation into the bird, with the scaly skin and feathers sprouting and whatnot. It would’ve been cool, but I’m glad I decided to go with my other choice, a Fembot from the first Austin Powers.
So right off the bat, I refused to do this costume unless it had working parts. Otherwise I’d just be another girl dressed in a slutty costume on Halloween. Big deal. Either I was going to make a mechanism so that the boob guns popped out when I wanted them to, or they were going to spark, or spray smoke. There are 2 fembot costumes in Austin Powers, the metallic silver one that shoots bullets from the boobs at the guards, and the pink nightie one that sprays sleeping gas from the boobs- I decided to go with the sleeping gas.
A few weeks before halloween I gathered some reference stills from the movie and headed over to Hollywood Wigs on Hollywood Blvd to get the wig made. I had to buy a plain wig and have them style it for me… I felt weird about doing this because I usually make every part of everything all by myself for my costumes. I should preface this story by saying that I recently herniated 2 discs in my neck and have been trying to take it easy… So I opted to have them take care of the wig to get that off my plate. They did a great job matching it up to the photos. I should write them a nice review on yelp.
While I was on Hollywood Blvd I popped into one of those slutty lingerie stores and found the perfect pair of metallic pink undies. It was a very common metallic material too and I knew I’d be able to find it at fabric stores – I’d have to use the same fabric on the nightie and gloves. A couple days later I found that material at My Fabric Planet on Lincoln in Venice, and also picked up the sheer silk fabric and some fluffy white boas – not the real feathery ones, but the kind that’s just got the fluffy stuff – I have no idea what it’s called.
The pink fluffy stuff on the Fembot’s costume is a very very light pink… I couldn’t find any boa’s that color so I had to dye them. It was pretty quick and painless. Boa goes in water, drop about a cup of pink rit dye in, slosh it around, rinse it out, hang it and blow dry it, and you’re done. Perfect color.
Next up was the hardest part – making the nightie. Fun fact: I hate sewing with a sincere passion. Everything about it frustrates the crap out of me and I usually end up doing a very shoddy job because I just want it to be over and I rush and mess it all up. That being said, If you were to grade me on my sewing of this nightie, I’d probably get like… a C+. What I AM good at, is making look ok in the end, so that you don’t notice all the poor craftsmanship. But anyways, I got it sewed. I used a bra for the top part and covered it with the metallic pink. Then I attached the sheer bottom part (not easy). Finally I hand sewed the boa to the bottom of the sheer part. I also sewed the gloves… but I’m not going to talk about that because I did a remarkably bad job with them. I’d give myself a D on the gloves… I feel ashamed about the gloves…
All this while I’d been looking into how to do the smoke gag. I researched a bunch of mini foggers that are around 4-5 inches long and have a decent spray of fog that comes out of them and work on a remote system. This would be something I’d have to rent and that’s not cool… They run about $130/day which is just not in my budget since I’ll need it at least 3 different nights. To buy, they’re almost $1000 – again, slightly out of my range. So I started looking up how to make something on my own – I researched model train parts, e-cigarette cartridges, and finally magician tricks – which is where I found Pure Smoke, a device magicians use to make it look like smoke’s coming out of their sleeves. So I ordered it. It was sort of expensive, but with my line of work, I’ll totally use this for something in the future, so it’s ok. Here’s me with the device after I figured out how to split the smoke in two.
To make the guns I actually cut up a couple of crayola markers and used aluminum tape to cover them. I had these speaker stands that I wasn’t using anymore that had these screw on plates that held the speakers. I unscrewed them and mounted the markers to them and inserted them into the bra. Then I hand sewed the rest of the fuzzy boa stuff onto the bra.
I mounted the Pure Smoke device in the band of the bra in the back and ran the trigger down my arm into my glove. I covered the tubes with mole skin… you totally couldn’t tell anything was there. The smoke canister fit right in the bra top and I had a tube splitting the smoke into two smaller tubes that then fed into the guns. When I hit the trigger in my glove, smoke came out of my boobs. It was perfect.
We went to a huge Halloween party in downtown LA. There were lots of people there – probably over 100. About 10 minutes after we arrived the DJ got on the speaker and said they were going to announce the winners of the costume contest. I didn’t think anything of this because I had JUST gotten there and there were so many great costumes… but then I hear him say, “Did we see a FEMBOT walking around somewhere??” A Fembot!? That’s me!! And they gave me this awesome handmade trophy. THEN, they gave best male costume to my friend Robbie who was Barf from Spaceballs, which is the costume that Toby built for him. SUCCESS ACROSS THE BOARD!!
Halloween is on Wednesday and we plan to attend the giant Halloween carnival in West Hollywood. I will surely post our pictures from that!