The first time I saw Lady Gaga’s video for Born This Way the thing that immediately popped into my mind was….what a freakin’ perfect costume idea!
And no, I’m not talking about the bra and panties she dances around in throughout most of the video. I’m talking about the “skeleton in a tuxedo” outfit she wears at the very end.
Yes, that’s Lady Gaga on the right, along with a male dancer. The nice thing is that not only is this outfit appropriate for Halloween (oooh, a scary skeleton!), but it doesn’t seem all that hard to pull off. All one really needs to do is put together the right elements, then project the right attitude.
It also makes a pretty awesome couples’ costume for any party or Monster ball you might be invited to — if your sweetie is up to it of course!
So without further ado, here’s a simple way to put together your Lady Gaga skeleton costume in time for Halloween.
As with any Gaga look, the tumbling, tousled candy floss cascades of hair she exhibits here are critical to making up the look – without it, you’re just a skeleton in a suit! If you’re lucky enough to have Rapunzel-length-locks then all you need is some bleach and some pink dye.
Otherwise, an inexpensive solution is to buy a long blond costume wig and some pink spray dye. In this scenario, you’ll want to scrape the hair back tightly and to one side. Tie the hair into an updo and spray the dye, covering those portions of the hair to achieve a streakier effect.
Finally, use plentiful hair pins to make sure the piece won’t slide out of the way. For supportive boyfriends, a little pink frost may deviate from the original look, but isn’t Lady Gaga all about personal deviations?
While the tuxedo theme of Lady Gaga and her partner are two of the easier parts of the costume to put together – both of you will need slim-fitting black tuxes and bow ties with a white shirt – the shoulder pads on Gaga’s outfit present more of a challenge.
If you can afford the designer duds, go for it – otherwise, try using something like styrofoam blocks to carve two larger shoulder protrusions. For real accuracy, you’ll likely have to detach the sleeves from the tux, cover the styrofoam (or perhaps cushioned, if you prefer to sew small pillowed pads) in fabric that matches the body and sleeves of the tux, then re-sew. This is an option for perfectionists only! For those willing to sacrifice detail for simplicity, adding a couple layers of shoulder pads to the inside of a jacket will give a similar effect.
Your local thrift shop can be a good source of inexpensive tuxedos and bow ties.
Or you can buy a ready-made tuxedo costume like this one:
Check out this YouTube video tutorial on doing skeleton-faced makeup:
While it doesn’t mirror Gaga’s perfectly, you’ll get a good idea of the techniques needed to achieve the final effect. For supplies, make sure you have non-toxic, water-based face paint – then go to town and set your inner Monster free!
For those who don’t like to go so heavy on the makeup, a skeleton mask should also do the trick. Just look for one that closely matches what she wears in the video and try to avoid a large mask that overshadows the rest of the outfit.
Voila! You’re all set to hit the town in your super-rad Born This Way costume!
photo credit: flossyflotsam