Celebrity Halloween Costumes Need a Reset

Celebrity Halloween Costumes Need a Reset

by Evan Ross Katz

We could spend the entire column discussing Selena Gomez’s kidney donor trying to feud with her or unpacking the fact that January 6 will now be the date of both the insurrection and RuPaul’s Black Butta album release or Mark Bryan borrowing a page from Caitlyn Jenner and saying he’s tried to "separated himself from the [LGBTQ+] community" because people now assume he’s gay or dissecting Adam DiMarco’s visible bathing suit liner that was helping to support his sizable derriere in the White Lotus season opener or Will Shape’s pubes in Episode 2. But we have too much to get to to spend our time being horny on main, so let’s get right to it.

The Stars Got Glam at the LACMAs

Like last month’s Wearable Art Gala, the LACMA Art + Film Gala (which celebrated its 11th year over the weekend) has started to pick up more traction through the years as events where stars really show out. Of course you have the Met Gala, but its popularity has almost suffocated its playfulness in a way that makes galas like these all the more interesting.

Kim Karashian in Balenciaga, of course. BLACKPINK’s Rose and Laura Harrier in Saint Laurent. Billie Eilish, Olivia Wilde, Jodie Turner Smith, Salma Hayek and Julia Garner in Gucci. But the look of the night goes to Quinta Brunson, who’s been on a serve spree since the Emmy Awards, wearing a strapless silk teal taffeta moiré Rani Zakhem gown to the gala. Working with stylist Bryon Javar has proven to be a savvy partnership with the pair mixing it up and not just giving us the same old, expected. Extra credit awarded for the sunglasses.

Celebrity Halloween Costumes Need a Reset

I think we’re at an inflection point around celebrity Halloween costumes. For starters, the pull of references has gotten so uninspired that we wound up with multiple dupes (Cardi B and Lizzo as Marge Simpson; Hayley Kiyoko, Janelle James and Mindy Kaling as Velma from Scooby Doo; Christina Aguilera and Janelle Monáe as Diva Plavalaguna from The Fifth Element). And look, that’s bound to happen, but outside of Addison Rae as Lady Gaga’s blood-soaked debut performance of “Paparazzi” at the 2009 Video Music Awards, Joe Jonas as the Flo from Progressive, and Ariana Grande and Liz Gillies as Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Lynch in Best In Show, the costumes on the whole were lacking inspiration.

I’ll give credit to Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel for paying homage to Home Alone’s Sticky Bandits, but that’s not exactly a deep cut. Same goes for JoJo Siwa as Draco Malfoy and Rachel Zegler as Pretty Woman’s Vivian Ward. But amongst this year’s crop, they’d be considered stand outs. Kylie Jenner as Elvira? Diddy as the Joker? Florence Pugh as Cruella de Vil? It was all so predictable. Why did no celebs dress up as Jamie Lee Curtis’ My Hand In Yours wind chimes made famous by Dorit on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Where was the mask made famous in the audience of the Wendy Williams Show that had her proclaiming, "What was that? James—"? And what about someone dressing up as Nicole Kidman and her pinstripe Michael Kors in the iconic AMC ad? That would have been a sure-bet slam dunk.

But I think the real inflection point is how many of these costumes were first seen via high-gloss, CGI-esque Instagram photoshoots. Some of these costumes never even made it out of the house, only to be memorialized via the grid. And that, to me, is missing the very point of the Halloween costume. While I’ll always favor a more DIY approach to costuming, for celebs who pull out all the stops, the real thrill for us, the public, is getting to see these costumes out in the wild. Imagine if Heidi Klum’s polarizing worm was strictly seen via a photoshoot. It simply would not have sizzled the same way it did on a red carpet where she was able to give interviews, and showcase the scale and intricacy of the work her team created.

There’s a crucial element of the Halloween costume that revolves around it being photographed and therefore perceived by others as opposed to something crafted entirely by a celebrity (and their team). As the Legends Only podcast observed, it’s giving Drag Race eliminated queen posting what she would have worn on the runway on Instagram. A lot of effort for little return.

'And Just Like That' Is Embracing the Paps

Photo via Getty

For some, the ongoing set leaks during filming of the first season of And Just Like That were a big source of frustration. Months before the series even premiered, many of the trios' much-anticipated fashions as well as certain key plot points (the return of Natasha, for instance) were revealed through paparazzi images. When an image leaked of Carrie Bradshaw in what many believed to be a Forever21 dress (that was later confirmed to be simply thrifted), fans of the original series were up in arms and thus began a now-familiar cycle of a new look dropping and, without a fail, a polarization of a fanbase who may like or may hate, but will never be without an opinion. What was never clear was how the production itself felt about these photos. Did it frustrate them, their lack of control? Or was this all part of a plan? Were they trying to throw us off the scene? Or basking in a renewed cultural interest around the gals?

For Season 2, which began shooting on September 21, similar questions were no doubt going to ping-pong through the SATC-turned-AJLT-verse, namely: Would production make more of an effort to conceal paparazzi presence? As it turns out, not only did we get our answer (they will not), but an even larger pivot thanks to the costume department’s official Instagram account, which is now regularly treating fans of the show to advanced looks at costume fittings and set photos.

Whoever is running it? Rush them an Emmy for captions like: “Coming out !!!!!! To the streets to the children to serve.” It’s a notable change in tenor — one that shows a willingness to embrace, and even lean into, the attention the show can’t help but generate. During a recent day of filming, Sarah Jessica Parker not only posed for paps, she wore a tote bag with hot pink tape strips featuring the names of Democratic politicians who are currently running for Senate and Gubernatorial seats in Tuesday’s midterms including Texas’s Beto O’Rourke, Florida’s Val Demings, Ohio’s Tim Ryan, Illinois Lauren Underwood, Colorado’s Michael Bennet and Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto (we’ll choose to ignore the type on her bag). Sadly, this appears to be property of SJP and not indication that Carrie’s making another go into politics after her brief tryst with city comptroller Bill Kelley at the beginning of Season 3.

Welcome to "Wear Me Out,"a column by pop culture fiend Evan Ross Katz that takes a deep dive into celebrity dressing. From award shows and movie premieres to grocery store runs, he'll keep you up to date on what your favorite celebs have recently worn to the biggest and most inconsequential events.

Photos via TikTok