Fashion-Inspired Halloween Costumes

fashion halloween costume ideas

Photos: Imaxtree | © / DNY59 | Patrick McMullan | YouTube | Getty Images |

Clockwise from top left: Underage Model (Valerija Sestic), Condé Elevator, Carine Roitfeld, Hamish Bowles as Leo Mercuré, Skyler Morrison Berman, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

You were Tavi last Halloween, Karl Lagerfeld the year before that, and now ... you've got nothing.

Fear not, guys and ghouls. We've got a slew of fashion-inspired costume ideas to get those creative juices flowing, and not one of them involves Princess Bea's "toilet bowl" topper or a tasteless John Galliano reference. Here's to a haute haunting!

Underage Model: Even though the CFDA has told designers to only hire models who are 16 and up, some wily teens still manage to slip through the cracks. What better way to draw attention to this hot-button issue than with a costume that's stylish, topical, and political too? (Besides, Occupy Wall Street costumes will be a dime a dozen.)

What you need: Shave back the years with bouncy pigtails, baby-doll makeup, and playful, straight-from-the-playground costume jewelry. You're a model, so bust out a fancy (designer, if you have it) gown, but pair it with a Justin Bieber backpack stuffed with storybooks and a teddy bear. Fake braces show deep commitment to the cause, but smacking a lot of bubble gum will make the same point.

Condé Elevator: This gone-too-soon insidery Twitter feed may have given chatty fashionistas a fright, but it was a real treat in our books. Never forget.

What you need: Take the massive box your Ikea dresser/refrigerator/whatever came in and transform it into an open elevator-shaped frame. Cut out holes for your head and arms and trim the bottom so that you can walk around. For the "back wall" of the elevator, draw the Condé Nast logo, or affix covers from various magazines from the publishing powerhouse (Vogue, Allure, etc.). Now use white paper or poster board to make word bubbles for your favorite quotes, which you can stick near your head. Going down? Hardly.

Carine Roitfeld: This in-demand French fashion femme fatale has the cajones to wear sheer lace in her 50s (and look fabulous doing it), epitomizes effortless chic, and proves that sometimes unemployment is the best thing that can happen to your career. Surely that's worth a little Halloween homage?

What you need: Give your blown-out hair a center part, then add dark roots with a mascara wand (or just reschedule your highlights for the 1st). Self-tanner will help you score that bronzey St. Tropez glow, while sooty eye liner, a slick of lip gloss, and full eyebrows are also Roitfeld beauty signatures. If your arches are a bit thin, fill them out with a brow pencil or use individual fake lashes for a more dramatic effect. Slip on a black leather pencil skirt and a silky blouse buttoned just low enough to reveal a flash of a lace bra, then add killer heels. Accessorize with a designer bag, sheer lace mask, and a vintage copy of French Vogue.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's Burberry Body ad: Sure, there are Sexy Girl Scouts and Slutty Elmos as far as the eye can see, but is there anything hotter than this British babe wearing nothing but a trench? Not. Even. Close.

What you need: This one's fairly simple. Take one nude bodysuit (you could go naked, though we don't recommend it), throw on an unbelted trench, and keep applying lip plumper until you come close to scoring Rosie's pillowy pout. Carry a bottle of Burberry Body, plus a notepad to keep track of all those phone numbers thrown your way.

Skyler Morrison Berman: Rachel Zoe's baby is the trendiest tot in town thanks to a steady supply of mini Gucci and Missoni duds. Suri, you've been served.

What you need: Any costume that calls for a stroller (ideally pushed by your weight-lifting Rachel Zoe look-alike pal) pretty much sells itself. The idea here is to look as label-heavy as possible. Plain white long johns can be transformed into a Chanel onesie with a handy black marker, while a bib reading "Gucci Gucci Goo" will take just minutes to whip up. A newsboy cap, bow tie, and pacifier are nice last-minute touches, while a fur coat will keep you toasty and in character. Just try not to drool on it, kid.

Hamish Bowles as Leo Mercuré: Bowles's caterwauling performance on X Factor deserves an Emmy, but we're sure he'd settle for a Halloween shout-out. If only you had those golden pipes ...

What you need: Start by creating a Leo-style eye mask with black face paint, then add a jaunty fedora tilted to the side. You'll also need a suit with plenty of swagger—think black velvet or gold sequins. Finish it off with a microphone, then attach a marathon-style audition number to your back. Bonus points for bursting into "Oops! ... I Did It Again" throughout the evening.

Meanwhile, here's a Halloween costume we're not so thrilled about.