Dress-Up Time: Six Costume Ideas From the Twisted Minds of KQED

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KQED staffers in a homemade Republican debate. (Photo: Christina White)

Halloween is a serious holiday for those who love pretending to be someone else, and many of us here at KQED are no slouches when it comes to dressing up. After the popularity of last year's "Six Cheap and Easy Bay Area Halloween Costumes," we decided this year we'd do another costume guide, but not be so strict with the Bay Area connection. After roping in some of the most creative folks in the building and racking our brains, this is what we came up with. (And we're quite proud, though some of us shouldn't be...)

Emma Silvers as Rosie the Riveter
Emma Silvers as Rosie the Riveter. (Photo: Christina White)

Rosie the Riveter

At an event in Richmond a few months ago, over a thousand women dressed up as "Rosie the Riveter," the powerful female icon created during World War II to motivate hundreds of thousands of ladies working in the factories while the men were off fighting overseas. If you missed the event but want to celebrate the accomplishments and sacrifices of American women 70 years ago, grabbing a few items from the back of your closet or your local thrift store makes it easy.

What you'll need:
• Dark blue button-up shirt and slacks
• Red bandanna (preferably with white polka dots), knee socks and lipstick
• Kick-ass attitude
Manuel Ojeda and Benjamin Castle are just waiting for their moment
Manuel Ojeda and Benjamin Castle are just waiting for their moment (Photo: Christina White)

Republican Debate

We all know them: people who basically need their costume ideas handed to them. For whatever reason -- a lack of creativity, laziness, procrastination -- they just can't seem to get themselves together before the big night. Why not unite them all for one concept that just about anyone can get behind? A nice suit, a gray box with a logo and a microphone made from a straw, and you can make anyone look practically presidential. It's up to you if you want to impersonate a real front-runner or create your own dark horse candidate; the field is wide open. Just make sure you have enough people so you can take over the party.

Marie K. Lee and David Marks can't seem to agree on anything
Marie K. Lee and David Marks can't seem to agree on anything. (Photo: Christina White)
What you'll need:
• Cardboard boxes
• Black rope
• Straws
• Jumbo cotton balls
• Grey paint
• Black paint
• Paintbrushes
• Printout of presidential debate signs
• Dark suits
• Red ties
• Unstoppable drive
Debbie Jue as the Log Lady from 'Twin Peaks'
Debbie Jue as the Log Lady from 'Twin Peaks.' (Photo: Christina White)

The Log Lady

Sadly, 2015 was the year actor Catherine Coulson died at the age of 71. Though she began working with David Lynch as an assistant director on Eraserhead, she would enter our collective consciousness as the Log Lady in Lynch's Twin Peaks, which TV Guide lists as one of the 50 greatest television shows of all time. Coulson's character was one of the best parts of the show: if you're not familiar with her, she looked like a librarian who shopped at a thrift store, and carried around a log that spoke to her. (Yes, it was weird as it sounds.) This costume is a tribute to a fantastic television character, and hopefully will inspire people to check out the show.

What you'll need:
• Red glasses
• Brown wig
• A crazy button-up brown sweater
• A log (or in this case, log pillow)
• A list of cryptic messages
Christina White taking a business call between Dreamforce panels
Christina White taking a business call between panels at Dreamforce. (Photo: Debbie Jue)

Tech Conference Attendee

You've seen them around; heck, you've probably been one on a few occasions. Attending a conference is such an overwhelming experience that you actually become something else just by doing it. No one can just be themselves when attending a conference -- the badge stays on through the whole thing. But it's best to embrace the switch anyways, especially since conferences are the equivalent to vacations for many of us.

What you'll need:
• Lots of lanyards with badges and some electronics
• Laptop bags
• Some nicer work clothes
• A constant desire to get a drink
The author, as a rabid San Francisco sports fan
The author, as a rabid San Francisco sports fan. [Click to see working gif.] (Photo: Christina White)

Rabid SF Sports Fan

Well, the San Francisco Giants didn't make it to the World Series and the 49ers are looking like they need a complete overhaul (front office first, please), but that doesn't mean you can't let your fandom fly by painting your face, ripping off your shirt and letting loose in the Mission District. And since burning furniture seems to be par-for-the-course when it comes to celebrating big wins in San Francisco, why not strap on a burning couch for flair? (Click on the photo to see a GIF of the sports fan in action!)

What you'll need:
• Cardboard box
• Facepaint (probably need more than just cheap makeup crayons)
• Construction paper
• Sweet beer gut
Tim Olson is playing a logical set of jams
Tim Olson playing a logical set of jams. (Photo: Christina White)

DJ Spock

Does everything need to be explained? Can't some things just exist?

By the way, if you think this is good but you're not a Star Trek fan, you might appreciate what Tim did for a costume back in 2013.

What you'll need:
• Turntable
• Historically accurate Star Trek uniform
• Pair of headphones
• Vulcan ears
• A desire to be bereft of emotion

This story would not have happened without the help of creative thinkers Christina White, Marie K. Lee, Debbie Jue, Tim Olson and Kristin Farr; thank you for sharing. Also, we'd like to give a special thanks to our models: Emma Silvers, Benjamin Castle, David Marks, Joshua Maloney and Manuel Ojeda.