Craig Lyall gets the lace on the shirt of matador costume adjusted by costume loft manager Ned Lemley at the Langham Court Theatre.

What’ll it be? Zombie, steampunk, binder full of women?

Star Wars and superheroes still dominate Halloween wear

What’ll it be? Zombie, steampunk, binder full of women?

Terrifying, trendy or topical – expect a host of bizarre looks to be out on the town over the next few days as another Halloween descends over the Capital Region and costumiers power through their busy season.

Ned Lemley didn’t think a young customer had much of a chance at realizing his costume dreams when he stepped into Langham Court Theatre’s costume loft hoping to step out clad as Louis XIV. But it turns out a fleur-de-lis cape and a few accessories from loft’s extensive collection of period garments added up to just the look for which the teen was striving.

“The next thing I knew, around from the dressing room comes this lad and it was just great,” said Lemley from the tightly-packed loft above the Rockland neighbourhood theatre.

Among the loft manager’s other most memorable customers: a young man who satisfied his desire to transform into classic comedienne Lucille Ball when he picked out a red wig and dress from the collection, and a teen who rented a tunic in his quest to become a Spartan and later crafted himself a breast plate, greaves and a helmet from a disposable turkey roaster.

That Spartan costume is now one of the many Halloween DIY additions to the inventory.

The loft is the home of original creations of all kinds – where Victorian and Edwardian period wear is the speciality – but the occasional trends still float through. Last year was the season of the pirate, Lemley said, noting 2012’s shift toward more glam looks, including the steampunk craze.

The Langham collection has been built from more than 30 years of local theatre productions and community donations. But a costume isn’t necessarily mandatory for achieving a dramatic look.

“A lot more people are doing makeup, a theatrical sort of effect instead of putting a costume and being a witch or a vampire,” said Michael Bice, long-time employee of Murray’s Trick and Joke Shop. “They’re not being your classic Frankenstein or Wolf Man.”

Bice has noted an increased interest in death make-up and latex prosthetics, of which Murray’s carries a wide variety – a trend he attributes to Victoria’s love of the annual Zombie Walk.

At the popular Victoria Costumes on West Saanich Road, Charlotte Rennison’s clientele aren’t as set on becoming the undead.

“It’s the same thing that’s hot every year: super heroes and Star Wars,” Rennison said.

While Scooby-Doo, Cookie Monster and the Victorian-era sci-fi fun of steampunk are on the rise this year, looks inspired by George Lucas’ seven-film series remain the those most requested by both guys and girls, young and old.

Though Rennison – known around the city for her impersonations, including a notorious Lady Gaga April Fool’s Day hoax in 2010 – has been taking special orders and sewing custom costumes since the summertime, she says there’s more than enough stock left for all those Halloween revellers who are waiting until the last minute to don a new get-up.

Like Victoria Costumes, Disguise the Limit in Colwood has a several-thousand-piece collection, which includes all the standard superheroes and movie characters, as well as quirkier pieces added via special request each season.

Dusty Hughes, an employee clad in Peter Pan attire, delighted one customer by this year sewing her a custom “sexy viking,” though when it comes to her own Halloween night garb, she opts to sport the classic witch look each Oct. 31. The Queen of Hearts and Little Red Riding Hood top the list of most requested standards this season, she said.

“Disney’s a hit this time around,” she added.

And among Rennison’s most entertaining visitors to her store: a group of men who dressed as Mexican bumblebees of Saturday Night Live fame and a classic Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels-inspired Dumb & Dumber duo.

“I like people who get creative with it,” Rennison said.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

BC Hydro to offer sale of Kings Road land to Saanich

Preserving land as park ‘a no-brainer,’ says neighbour

Victoria UnWined helps grant wishes for children facing critical illness

UnWined Vancouver Island raises money for Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon

Victoria teen with mobility issues stranded by stolen tricycle

The tricycle is described as customized light blue, three-wheeled tricycle with “white wall” tires

Saanich plants 60 trees to mark 60 years

Saanich Parks celebrates alongside National Tree Day, Sept. 26

Victoria’s Cool Aid Society unveils mural in celebration of 50th anniversary

The mural was created by Victoria’s artist-in-residence, Luke Ramsey

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read