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From the homespun to the hip, costumes make Halloween a holiday hit
By Jennifer Yachnin
Daily Staff Reporter
G"et out the peanut butter, bed sheets and corn
yrup - it's time for Halloween.
Despite their age, many college students plan
to roam the streets tonight as seasonal ghouls
and goblins. Whether pleading for candy or bob-
bing for apples at Halloween parties, students
will be dressed to scare -- in everything from
elaborate hand-crafted costumes to the last-
minute sheet with eyes for holes.
"One of my options is to put on three masks
and be a totem pole, or I can take one kernel of
corn and stick it to my forehead and be a uni-
corn," said RC senior Zuzanna Ziomecka.
Last year, Ziomecka dressed as Irish Spring
soap, although few people understood her cos-
tume, Ziomecka said.
"I dressed in green ... had a pony tail and
bounced around talking with an Irish accent,"
Ziomecka said students stop wearing cos-
tumes when they realize their candy-begging
days are over.
"Once people no longer get candy, they real-
ize their costume doesn't have to be that good
- the motivation is gone," Ziomecka said.
But some students still roam from door to
door, in search of free chocolate and popcorn
"I'm going to attempt a werewolf costume,"
said LSA junior Allison Fong.
Fong, who plans on going trick-or-treating,
said she will wear brown make-up and use a
piece of white lambs' wool in her hair to look
"Last year I dressed up as a grim reaper-type
character and went to classes. I scared a lot of
people," Fong said.
Fong said she enjoys dressing up because "I
don't want to grow up, and there's free candy.
"Costumes are really last-minute at the col-
lege level. (Students) are so busy otherwise,"
Fong said. "When you're little, you know
months ahead of time what your costume will.
A number of students also attend Halloween
parties and dress for the occasion.
Engineering junior Brian Pine said he'll be
dressing up Hawaiian style - as "a good lei"
for Halloween parties tonight.
"The more daring will be wearing hula
skirts," said Pine, who will be dressing up with
two friends. The costumes will include "hula
skirts, Hawaii 5-0 shirts, with. flower patterns,
"The whole point is to have someone ask you
what you are," Pine said. "You tell them you're
a good lei."
A friend of Pine's came up with the idea "ran-
domly." Pine said he's going along with the idea
"because I'm a friend."
"People that spend hours getting ready for
anything ... will for Halloween, too," Pine said.
"People are creatures of habit."
Monica Ladd, owner of Fantasy Attic cos-
tuie shop on Main Street, said "it's a mixed
bag" about this year's most popular Halloween
"We do a lot of gangsters and we always do a
lot of medieval costumes such as Prince
Charming and kings," Ladd said. "Among kids,
M&M's are popular - especially green."
Ladd said that in past years, she has seen
many college students wait to pick a costume
until the last few days before Halloween. But
this year, things have changed.
"I think college students are getting more cre-
ative than in years past," Ladd said.
Ladd said costumes traditionally popular
among students include "devils and witches -
characters on the saucy side."
The trend this year is to imitate characters
from the cartoon Scooby Doo, Ladd said, adding
that she has sold many character wigs.
For students who don't have time to make a
costume from scratch, Fantasy Attic has a vari-
ety of "costume bags."
"We do a great costume bag," Ladd said.
"You wear your own clothes and add pieces.
The cost is less than $10."
Butterflies and cats are two such costume
choices, Ladd said.
"The strangest requests we get are the ones
where if you used two minutes of imagination,
you could probably (create) on your own," Ladd
Many students create costumes by throwing
together things they already own.
"Last year I went as Aladdin -my girlfriend
wanted me to," said LSA sophomore Atif
Haque. "I kind of had the outfit. I have these
huge pajama-, M.C. Hammer-type pants, and I
used a white T-shirt."
Haque's costume for this year remains unde-
"My immortal laziness still lives. I'll figure it
out Friday," Haque said. "I'll use something I
have around the house, something cheap."
LSA sophomore Katrina Sliwka will impro-
vise a costume with items she owns.
"My roommate and I are dressing up as
genies," Sliwka said. "It's for our own amuse-
Sliwka said her roommate came to her with
the idea on Wednesday.
"She has these sheer pants, and we'll proba-
bly just grab stuff from our apartment and
friends," Sliwka said. "I always go out on
Halloween. It seems a lot of people I've talked
to have gotten costumes."
Sliwka said costumes she'd heard of included
fairies, Austin Powers, Elvis, Superman, Spice
Girls and M&Ms.
Kimberly Bourdeaux, general manager of Jo-
Ann Fabrics and Crafts in Ann Arbor, said pre-
made costumes and patterns are selling at the
same speed this year.
"We have quite a few pre-made costumes
selling at the same rate as our patterns,;'
Despite the fact that the store sells a variety
of Halloween paraphernalia, Bourdeaux said
customers are more likely to pick up a pattern
and material instead.
"We are a store with fabric and patterns. We
cater to people who make their own costumes,"
Bourdeaux said most college students choose
not to make their own costumes because studies
and jobs take first priority.
"I don't think they have the time to invest in
it," Bourdeaux said. "I didn't expect to see a lot
of college students - money's tight and time is
Bourdeaux said there are several 10-minute
projects students can make with a fair amount
"(Julius) Caesar is really simple," Bourdeaux
said. "Drop a three-yard piece of white fabric
Stephanie Armstrong, a first-year student and member of the Michigan swimming team, chooses Tinker Bell as her new identity for Halloween.
Armstong made her selection at Fantasy Attic on Main Street.
across your shoulder and tie the waist with a
rope or cord.
"A mummy is easy, too. Take strips of fabric
and tie them together. It's a costume that can be
made without having to use a sewing tech-
nique," Bourdeaux said.
Bourdeaux said an M&M costume can also
be easily made by fusing two round pieces of
fabric together with special tape and an iron,
then drawing an M in the center.
"I think you look out of place if you don't
dress up," said LSA sophomore David Karp.
Karp said that like many other students, he
probably won't have a costume until the day of
"I won't put much thought in the process,"
Karp. "I think some people put the same cos-
tume together year after year."
Jerry Vibber, Toy Department Team Leader
for the Ann Arbor Meijer, said M&M costumes
appear to be the most popular item for kids this
year, but even adults are trying to get into the
Vibber said he would suggest those short on
ideas go as "the most popular Halloween char-
acters of all time: Freddy Kruger or Jason"
because the costumes are easy to put together.
Vickie Sadler, adjunct lecturer and costume
draper for University Productions and the
School of Music, said make-up effects can be
easily achieved at home.
Blood, Sadler said, can be make by using a
combination of corn syrup and, food coloring,
and scars can be achieved by adding creamy
peanut butter to the face.
"Scars can be done more with drawing,"
Sadler said. "You can use nose putty or scar wax
for a 3-D effect."
Sadler warned against the dangers of heat,
"Wax can be used on the skin and can be
removed ..but if you get really warm, it will
melt with you," she said.
For make-up, Sadler suggests students try the
easiest route first.
"It's easy to get kits at drugstores, quick little
make-up kits for one kind of design," Sadler
said. "They're fast and inexpensive."
But if you're going to wear make-up, beware
of the downside.
"Glitter around the eyes can be a problem
because it's made with so much metal," Sadler
said. "Gel (containing glitter) is safer because it
puts a protective layer around the glitter."
.The closer to the eye you put make-up, the
more careful you need to be, especially people
with sensitive eyes.
"(People with sensitive eyes) may try to think
of something else," Sadler said. "Bronzing pow-
ders can give the same shimmery look."
If you're going to buy items like spirit gum
for attaching props such as hair, be sure the per-
son you're buying it from knows how to use it,
"Make sure if you're going to buy a product,
you know how it is to be used and how to prop-
erly take it off," she said.
One of the more prolonged problems can be
the staining of skin, Sadler said. "The biggest
problem I've seen people have is where they use
really intense colors and stain their face."
This can happen when traveling from the cold
outside to a warm party, Sadler said. The pores of
your skin will react and colors will set into the
skin or soak in to the point that they stain. "The
dye in the make-up will dye the your skin," Sadler
"It's a good idea several hours before to
have a good moisturizer on your face because.
it will soak that in instead of the dye," said.
Sadler, who added that wearing a skin-colored,
foundation underneath intense colored make-
up can also help cut down on the dye that is
It's also a good idea to avoid using lipstick,
anywhere but the lips, Sadler said.
"When people want a really bright red, they'll
often grab the lipstick," Sadler said. "It w
originally made to stain the lips and it still h
so much dye in it, that it will stain the skin."
It's also safer to use new products, rather than
something sitting in the back of a drawer, Sadler
To keep a costume price down, be original
said Rob Mardegian, assistant manager for
Spencer's Halloween store in Briarwood Mall.
"Go cheap, be original," Mardegian said. "Go
with something bland. If you go as something
from a movie, expect to pay a lot."
Mardegian said students looking for inexp*
sive Halloween costumes should remember dur-
ing Halloween "prices get jacked up".
Masks from the movie "Scream" have been
one of the most popular items this year,
"At Fairlane (Town Center)there were some-
thing like 50 people in line," Mardegian said.
Freddy Kruger and Jason are also big sell-
ing items, despite their high price, Mardegian
Business School students Katy Fiske a0
Sabrina Martinez are attending the Business
School's Halloween Dance as Dr. Seuss's
"Thing One" and "Thing Two."
"We saw it and said, 'That would be great,'
so we bought the costume," said Fiske, who was
shopping for blue face paint with Martinez.
"We've spent more money than time on the cos-
LSA first-year student Catherine Haynes said
she is dressing up with her Kappa Alpha Theta
"We're dressing up as a pledge class as
Playboy bunnies," Haynes said. "It's fun. I
haven't dressed up since I was a little kid."
Haynes said the costume involves ears and a
tail and she will wear a skirt. "I think people
dress up, but they don't make it a big deal," she
A spooky ticket usher at Lorch Hall stands outside the theater where 'Gremlins' played last night.
Costumes are a popular sign of the season at Ann Arbor. Many students wait until today to
assemble their outfits of choice.
Scared of things that go bump in the night?
Still need a scary style? Easy ideas abound
Your fears may all be in your head
who doesn't," Himle said.
Rational fears prevent people from
0 Traditional Ghost - Need: one
sheet. To create: cut out eye holes.
Julius Caesar - Need: one sheet,
cord or rope (and a trendy haircut).
To create: drape sheet over shoulder
-anitA at wait it rfr
By Heather Wiggin
Daily Staff Reporter
there's nothing uniquely human about
fear" Casnri said. "Pt humans are
But fears do not always emerge
after a snecific incident: they may
Fake gore and wounds