October 31, 2018

A Poster Halloween

Rating: G

Halloween has a tendency to sneak up on you. Suddenly, it’s the big day and you haven’t given any thought to a costume. We’re here to help with 5 shockingly easy, vintage poster-themed costumes you can probably pull together with what you already own.


Loïe Fuller by Jules-Alexandre Grün, ca. 1901 c/o Scorpio Collections

Loïe Fuller is one of the most important figures in the history of dance. In fact, many historians claim that her first performance marked the beginning of Modernism. And, if you own a bedsheet, you can be her for Halloween! It’s even easier than the tried-and-true bedsheet ghost costume, because you don’t even need to cut out eye holes.

Difficulty Level: 0
Historical Street Cred: 99


Ambassadeurs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892 c/o Wikipedia

Aristide Bruant was a fierce kween who took the Montmartre cabaret scene by storm. He also invented RBF (Resting Bitch Face). His signature outfit is a black coat, black hat, and red scarf, all of which you probably already have somewhere in your closet, or which you can buy at H&M for $5 on the sale rack. Added bonus: because this outfit is 100% chic outerwear, you’ll be warm and stylish while Trick-or-Treating.

Difficulty Level: 2
Historical Street Cred: 85


Jane Avril by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ca. 1899 c/o Amazon

If you have a small child, you probably have some sort of plastic or plush reptile stuffed into some corner of the house. Enter your new favorite Halloween lewk: black skirt, black shirt, feathered hat, and one giant stuffed snake pinned to your body.

Difficulty Level: 5 (because the feathered hat may be a stretch to locate)
Historical Street Cred: 85


Toulouse Lautrec by Peter Max, 1966 c/o MoMA

For anyone who was ever involved in high school theater or who has attended a Renaissance Festival, this costume is for you. Whip out your old grease paint and play with some light & shadow while turning yourself into Toulouse-Lautrec himself. Then, take advantage of your office’s color printer, and print out an enlarged version of the title of this poster before taping it to your favorite bowler hat. One basic black suit later, and you’re a Pop Art masterpiece.

Difficulty Level: 10 (due to makeup application and X-acto knife skills)
Historical Street Cred: 85

Added Bonus: Because Jane Avril and Toulouse Lautrec were besties, combine this costume with our previous look and you get an epic couple’s costume!

3-Phébus_Paris_Sam (1)

Phébus by Pal, ca. 1899 c/o Le Bibliothèque Nationale de France

For anyone out there who wants something a bit more polished (and who has access to basic dancewear), we suggest becoming Pal’s Columbine. A commedia dell’arte character dating back hundreds of years, she appeared in dozens upon dozens of posters, typically alongside her sometimes-lover Pierrot. Here, he’s jilting her for the love of a motor car, leaving her sad and lonely with nothing but a bicycle to keep her company. And hey, if you’re going to be single and lonely on Halloween, you might as well look fabulous doing it.

Difficulty Level: 15
Historical Street Cred: 100

If you try any of these looks (or make up your own poster-themed costume), please tag us on Instagram for a chance to get a shout-out from us!