for this halloween edition shopping challenge, alex composes a costume for under $100. our talented muse fashions a klaus nomi look from menswear and dry cleaning hangers!
what was the inspiration behind your costume?
my inspiration behind this costume was klaus nomi, an influential singer-songwriter in new york's east village art scene during the 1970s. nomi, a countertenor, infused his operatic style and vocal range with synthesizers and experimental notes with the popularized new waves sounds of that time. equally striking to his bizarrely beautiful music were his highly theatrical cabaret performances. there, nomi was adorned in structural, geometric, dada-esque costumes that appeared to almost immobilize his movement, leaving him with restricted, subtle, torso/hand-led choreographed gestures. these costumes are some of the most imaginative creations i've seen; i would almost describe his character as an androgynous, intergalactic, post-punk, goth, baroque, harlequin, space pierrot clown.
what in current fashion is exciting you?
something in current fashion that is exciting me is seeing the creative and visual imprints that david bowie has left on not just the design community, but the world. i adore all of bowie's stage personas, however one i have always been drawn to is that of his glam rock era. he defied the standard definitions of male form by re-tailoring proportions with shapes that were distinctly female. he played with pairings/ combinations of various textures and materials, but within tasteful boundaries (metallics mixed with velvets, slick patent leather mixed with silky paisley prints, etc). to top off his sweet feast of wardrobe looks, he commonly paired them with sky-high platforms boots.
i'm seeing a lot of nods to his experimental looks in today's fashion, in both men and women. when i see hints of ziggy stardust, it makes me feel as though fashion is fully realized as it should be: unapologetically fun, and a visual message to the world describing what you are currently inspired by in life. i recently spray painted a pair of metallic platform ankle boots to a brighter shade of silver, and they automatically bowie-fy any outfit i have on; i feel more of myself that way.
how would you describe your style right now?
recently a stranger attempted to insult me by calling me "an s and m granny". i actually think that's a good description of my personal style right now. my sister, adrienne, even lovingly described it as "mad max meets little house on the prairie". what they're referring to is my way of adorning vintage dresses, jumpsuits, and sheer chiffon nightgowns, with zana bayne's post fetish leather pieces.
i'm personally not into bdsm (no judgment if you're into it), however i have loved the aesthetics of the leather bondage world since growing up across the water from san francisco's castro district. my grandmother worked at a secondhand thrift store in berkeley. i grew up entertaining myself there for hours in racks of vintage clothes. i never knew that at some point in life, i would marry the style of an assless chaps-clad leather daddy to a 1960s housewife in her powder room negligee, but i did.
what’s your strategy when shopping at beacons?
when shopping at beacon's closet, i try not to be limited to any preconceived notions on how an item should be worn and who should wear it. i believe tailoring and cinching can breathe new life to anything!
when trying to figure out how to create klaus nomi's costume, my biggest challenge was finding my own way to recreate his top. i needed an exaggerated shoulder span, as well as a structure to create his signature v-shaped front. i found an extremely large men's blazer with sturdy shoulder pads and wore it backwards. i secured the waist with a belt, in order to emphasize the cartoonish proportions. i then reinforced the v-shaped bib with leftover dry cleaning metal hangers.
i'm not a stranger to wearing clothes incorrectly, and i don't think others should be either. i think if shoppers look at clothing items as though they're discovering those pieces for the first time, they can make any outfit they desire.
alex wears: a jil sander men's blazer ($44.95), address diamond print pants ($16.95), tod's black and white fringed loafers ($19.95), white gloves ($10.95). total spent: $92.80