Halloween 2006: Let's Do the Time Warp Again!

There's quite possibly nothing more romantic than dressing up as incestuous siblings and going out to gay bars.  That's why Dani and I are still together after all this time.

This year we were Riff Raff and Magenta from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Yeah, I know.  We thought about being Frank and Columbia, but it was too cold last year, and I didn't know if we could tolerate wearing little more than lingerie and attitude, so we went with the slightly more "minor" characters.

Somewhere during the final stages of putting together the costumes together, Dani proclaimed, "If nobody recognizes us in these outfits, I'm going to feel really stupid."  Well, we didn't feel stupid.  Hell, we were famous.  Starting from the time we got out the car to head to the block party and all night long people were like, "Riff Raff!  Magenta!"  Everywhere we went there were people singing "The Time Warp" to us.  This happened at least once every ten minutes for the entire night.  It isn't often that I'm right, but it was nice to have the point driven home over and over and over, even if it was in the form of strangers singing to us.

Riff Raff

Riff has always been my favorite character, even though Frank steals the show at every turn.  Though understated, Riff is a fun guy.  He's full of secrets.  Like how he wrote all the songs in the production, for instance.

Here's a breakdown of the costume:
Jacket - Bought from a thrift store in my neighborhood.  Since we were pressed for time, mine lacked tails and wasn't pinstriped.  We didn't have any black buttons on hand to replace the gold ones, so I painted them black with some of the paint we used on the Halloween decorations last week.   I would have liked to have made it a bit more "distressed"-looking, but didn't really know how to go about this.

Shirt - An old white dress shirt that was already stained enough that I wasn't the least bit worried about what happened to it.  It should have had some blood stains on it.  Never got around to that either.

Shoes - Riff's shoes are actually black and white spats.  I just wore a pair of black ones I had on hand.  I think they're the same ones I wore years ago for the Matrix Reloaded costume.

Lady the Pug - I don't know how she got in the shot.  You can't go anywhere without her following you.

Riff's other hump (besides Magenta) was carved from a piece of foam rubber I had handy for packing eBay junk.  I didn't fix it in place.  The jacket was large enough to just drape over it and hold it there.  I had far more trouble taking it out than keeping it where it was supposed to go.

You can see some of the painted buttons on the jacket here as well.

The gloves were a 99 cent pair from Wal-mart.  I just cut the fingers off along with most of the wristband.  You can see the fresh fuzzies on my arm.

This is spirit gum and spirit gum remover we bought from our local magic/costume shop, Magic, Etc.  We also bought several sections of fake hair, but we ended up not going this route.  The hair came braided, and it stayed somewhat wavy after being unwound.  Being plastic, ironing or flattening with other implements wasn't practical, so we ended up buying a wig at the last minute and cutting it up for strands to glue on my head.

Yes, I shaved everything.  This is the least hair I've had above my neck since before I was born.  It's an OCD dream because, from another perspective, it's also the least dandruff and dust mites I've had on my head.

I actually shaved it really, really short about three days earlier so I could get used to it.  However, on the Saturday we suited up, I shaved the regrowth again: first with beard trimmer, then with the sideburn trimmer on my razor, then with the electric razor itself, then Dani did it with cream and a blade razor.

It took a bit to get used to.  For some reason my scalp felt too small for my skull.  I have no idea why.  And it's really annoying to pull my shirt over my head one it starts to grow back because the stubble grabs the fabric and hangs on like sandpaper.

Dani applied spirit gum and glued on bits of the wig while I watched tv.  This was the most relaxing feeling I've ever had in my life.  It probably took about 30 minutes to complete.

I wish I had a close-up of the final product.  Dani really nailed it at the foremost part of the hairline on the same latitude as my temples (she wasn't to that point in the process in this picture).  It totally looked real.

You can see I'm already wearing Riff's shirt in this shot.  It would have been impossible to get the t-shirt I was wearing over my head without ripping off the hair (unless we cut the shirt off ER-style).  I had problems with the hair getting into my jacket throughout the evening, but I would say only ~5% of it came off by the end of the night, >9 hours after it was applied.

Ideally I would have liked to have streaked it up with grease/dirt (or simulations thereof) to better match the color and perceived texture of Riff in the film.  Again, no time to experiment.

This was a standard Halloween kit bought from Wal-mart.  Riff required yellow and a little white to give him his characteristic sallow, jaundiced look, plus a bit of red around the eyes.

Magenta (ironically?) has a coat of white which I put on Dani, then she blended a bit and put some face powder on top of that.

Also pictured are a set of false eye lashes for Magenta that we ended up not using.  Dani found another pair in the cosmetics dept. instead of this costume pair.


Magenta is the obvious counterpoint to Riff.  Butler, maid.  Brother, sister.  Lovers.  Okay, that got a bit weird.

Here's the breakdown of Dani's Magenta:
Fishnet Stockings - From Hot Topic (of course).  It's hard to find an appropriately gaudy pair anywhere else.  Magenta just wears regular hose in the movie, but fishnets seem more appropriate.  Dani has on regular ones underneath the fishnets.

Maid's Hat - Maid from scratch.

Apron and straps - Maid from scratch.

Mini-dress - Bought from Wal-mart.  Dani bought several versions and returned the ones that didn't work.  The white collar and cuffs were made from scratch and tacked on later.

Shoes - Come on, if she didn't own something that would work among all the ones in her collection, then there had to be something seriously wrong.  These, like my shoes, were from the Matrix Reloaded costume a few years back.

Make-up - The white face cream was from the cheap kit mentioned in Riff's section (above).  Everything else was already on hand.  I bought a tube of black lipstick for Dani years ago and made her dress goth just for fun, and she still had it.  Her nails aren't polished in this pic because she did that in the car on the way to Liz's party.

Here's a very un-Rocky version of Dani making the apron from scratch earlier in the week.

Eye-lashes - We started out with the cheap costume pair pictured above, but they didn't work very well.  The "real" pair from the cosmetics dept were much better quality.

I wanted Dani to add mascara to put the look over the top, but she was annoyed enough with them already.  I thought she was going to end up in the emergency room when she took them off in the car at the end of the night.

The wig was sort of a mullet-looking thing we picked up from the costume shop, but Dani turned it around backwards and the new position made it flare out sideways somehow.  It did require a bit of trimming to get the look closer to the look seen in the movies, however.

Coincidentally, she had almost the same haircut in high school.  Here's the photo she had on her school ID:

And the fact that the background is magenta?  That's just creepy.

And here's a little elbow sex at ya!

Happy Halloween!

Alexplored 10/28/06.  All images and text copyright 2006 Alexplorer.