Those looking for last-minute Halloween ideas would do well to take their cues from the SVA students who attended the Visual Arts Student Association‘s annual Halloween party on October 22: be crafty, not conventional, and skip the off-the-rack outfits in favor of making your own custom costume. “Sewing goes a long way, but hot glue can piece together almost anything,” says Rob Christie, a BFA Film and Video student and two-time best-costume award winner. “And make sure you have a good pair of scissors.”
This year’s party, which VASA co-sponsored with WSVA, the College’s radio station, took place at Metropolitan West, on Manhattan’s far West side. The festivities included dancing, games, a money booth and a hidden-pumpkin hunt, but as always, the main draw was the costume contest, a chance for students to showcase their senses of humor, talents and imaginations.
The entrants’ costumes ranged from extreme—BFA Film and Video student Andrew McGuire came dressed as yesteryear tabloid fixture “Octomom”—to clever—BFA Photography student Martin Mendizabal came as the Internet-famous “Ikea monkey”—to downright stunning: BFA Visual & Critical Studies student Rachel Temkin sported a homemade Thor costume, which looked good enough to have been swiped from a Hollywood set.
Finalists included BFA Illustration student Chelsea Rust, who came as a kawaii-inspired “American birthday girl,” which is influenced by the style of Japanese singer and model Kyary Pamyu Pamyu; BFA Animation student Jake Kaplan, done up as Frenchy, one of Grease’s Pink Ladies; Jovi Wang, (BFA 2015 Design), dressed as a traditional Chinese actor; and BFA Film and Video student Alexa Payesko, who came as a flower pot bearing a medley of fall blossoms. The top honor, however, was shared by BFA Visual & Critical Studies student Alli Golden and BFA Fine Arts student Forrest Meyer, who together dressed up as the SpongeBob SquarePants characters Mermaidman and Barnacle Boy.
The key to any great costume is acting the part, says Christie, who won his awards dressed as an evil witch in 2014, and as Ursula from Disney’s The Little Mermaid in 2013. “Be inspired by the costume you are in, channel the character and have fun. . . . What’s the point of a visual transformation if you’re just going to act like yourself?”