Snowdown 2017: Intergalactic will be upon us in less than two earth months. Will you be ready with a variety of fabulous costumes when the time come to peel back your human face and show your true form? It will be good timing and a welcome party to help us shake off this particular planet’s problems for a few days.
This year’s theme is excellent as always – broad enough to support all the creativity your throbbing, exposed brain can muster but specific enough that ideas can be corralled and dominated like so many Tribbles.
Whether your character will pronounce herself Queen of the Galaxy and take over the planet or be one among a swarming mass of identical aliens, we need to start thinking.
The same considerations in choosing a Halloween or any other costume apply here: What do you want to feel like? Bizarre, funny, powerful, scary, sexy, creepy? Will you be a being of your own invention or an established character? Use the time before Snowdown to have fun researching and getting ideas. Watch some current and old sci-fi movies and TV shows; read some books. You may certainly cop bits and pieces from any spacey looks that “speak to you,” and if these ideas are in a mysterious alien tongue, or received as a telepathic vibrations, bonus points for authenticity!
Inspiration for space, planets and other intergalactic-themed action can be found in film, TV and movies, particularly vintage ones. The ’50s and ’60s saw loads of aliens and strangers-taking-over in pop culture and film (the amazing 1993 book “The Monster Show,” by David J. Skal attributes this trend to the social and political fear of communism – extra scary because the intruders look just like us!)
If you go vintageSometimes the costumes from vintage eras are simpler and easier to put together or make, as opposed to some of present-day Hollywood’s sculptural, complicated and impossible-to-buy-or-duplicate costumes. Also, vintage depictions of futuristic themes are incredibly charming and innocent. The fashions and styles of those gallivanting through the future cosmos 50 years ago have strong shoulders, no collars, lots of shimmery and metallic materials, wrist gauntlets and wrist-communicators, capes, belts and chest plates equipped with space tools and flashing buttons, among other things. Antennae were common even on humanoids, and no space traveler was complete without a robot or tiny furry alien sidekick.
“The Jetsons” had great 1960s-space-style. I love Judy’s tubular, rolled dress hem and have copped this specific detail for my own costume. “Futurama” is a brilliant animated show with lots of “everyday” kind of intergalactic streetwear as well as excellent aliens and hairstyles.
Sometimes intergalactic characters were so far into the future or into the cosmos, they have spun back to primitivism, like on “Planet of the Apes,” “The Time Machine’s Morlocks” and “Eloi” or “Barbarella,” so keep some faux leopard fur to try along with the silver sequins.
Going as an established characterDressing as a specific or established character like a “Star Trek Enterprise” crew member, a Conehead, any of the “Dr Who’s,” or someone or thing from “Star Wars” – anything with a very exact look – the hard part will be procuring the exact items needed. This will most likely send you online where you can buy a licensed version of the costume (manufacturers have to pay a licensing fee to whoever owns the character. This is one reason why this type of costume can get very expensive, regardless of quality). This type of costume is great, most everyone will recognize your character and you can get all dramatic in your behavior and do some classic Trek-era Shatner over-enunciation, or some “Dr Who” quotes.
Specific intergalactic-themed characters can be found in books and literature, as well. These will be less visually-specific with more room for creativity than something from a film but still a rich reference point from which to start. “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” series by Douglas Adams and H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” come to mind here as rich literary fodder for creative costuming.
And speaking of H.G. Wells, your Steampunk costumes or accessories from Snowdown 2015 can definitely be worked into Intergalactic Snowdown 2017, no? Goggles, devices, guns and gauntlets are necessary in hyperspace. More re-tasking of previous Snowdown parts can include last year’s ’80s theme! The 1980s had so many style details that looked alien: the strong shoulder pads, gold and silver lame and sequins, tight leggings and jumpsuits, new wave glasses and asymmetrical shirts can be intergalacticized for this year’s party.
At Style Fetish, we usually support the DIY aesthetic. Look through your closet though the eyes of a fabulous creature from another dimension to see what parts and pieces you already have to build on. Use tin foil, bubble wrap, loose shoulder pads, gold or silver spray paint and glitter added to existing garments and accessories, metallic leather and vinyl. Hang onto old Christmas decorating materials like tinsel to use.
We will return with more Style Fetish columns of ideas and inspirations for Intergalactic Snowdown. We will discuss interstellar hair and make-up, super-simple ways to get Intergalactic while preserving your dignity at your serious office job, and more. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas or comments you may have regarding this years Snowdown theme!
Heather Narwid owns and operates Sideshow, a vintage and modern clothing store for men and women located in northeast Durango. She respectfully asks that NO-ONE dress as those revolting creatures from Avatar, UGH! Is she the only one who was super-grossed out by those things?