Monday, November 02, 2009

Wild Thing Costume

I take Halloween pretty seriously, and I always get bummed when I can't make my own costume and have to resort to something store-bought. This year I was inspired by the resurgence of all things wild, thanks to Spike Jonzes' movie. I knew there was no way to top the furry puppet/body suits used for the film, so instead I wanted to stick closer to the original Maurice Sendak illustrations. That meant a lot of cross-hatching.

I also turned my beverage contribution wild. I drew the bird-looking creature and slapped him on some Wild Turkey (you know, since they're both birds). Totally unrelated side note: I made sure my mouth was wide open for every photo taken, gnashing my terrible teeth.

The feet were the only pre-made part of the costume, they're actually Polar Bear Slippers that I sprayed grey. I wasn't sure if it would work, but the spray paint actually made the fur look extra thick and matted, instead of fluffy.

I painted all the "stripes" by hand on a cheapo shirt from Target. I was gonna leave it strictly brown, but looking at the original illustrations I realized how orange things really are.

I went to Joanne's and got some "Grizzly Bear Black" fabric that shed like CRAZY. I got help from Seamstress Francis (who made most of the tail and both my horns) and Seamstress Dooling, with their magical sewing machine and hot glue gun.

I used pieces of my pants to make the claws, which kept wilting as the evening progressed. The brown part was some reject felt that Seamstress Dooling found for super cheap at Joanne's.

The pattern on the pants was a true labor of love. I wanted something reminiscent of the shading that Sendak does. Sadly, you can't really see that kind of detail from far away, and there were a lot of people who didn't believe that I hand drew every scale. I used a "Magnum Sharpie," which made our entire apartment smell terrible. I am so sorry, roommates.

The worst part of Halloween is the next day, when you wrack your brain searching for another reason to wear a costume and join a wild rumpus. I'm still working on it.


erica said...

Awesome work on that costume! I love the rendering on the pants :D I take it you saw and liked the movie? I still haven't had a chance to check it out.

David Kantrowitz said...


Yeah, the film is very good. Go see it!

Justin said...