Slaying the first ever Halloween Harris costume contest

This past Saturday, the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted the first-ever costume contest at Halloween Harris. The contest, one of SGA’s initiatives to bring students together, was a big success. The S&B’s Quan Minh Tran spoke with winners of the contest, Mary DaVega 21, Pratik Karki 20, Reed Winter 21, James Msekela 20, Ben Lim ’19, Talera Jensen 19, Julia Schafer 18 and Jane Jordan 18 . All photos contributed.

Mary DaVega ’21 as Barbie.

S&B: Tell me about your costume?

Mary Davega (Barbie): The doll box was made of a cardboard, teal satin fabric, tulle detail and good ole’ acrylic paint. It cost about $25 and four to five hours to shop, create the box, and to get dressed, get the wig looking right and beat my face to perfection.

What inspired you to dress as Barbie?

MV: Barbie’s entire image is based on the Anglo-centric male ideal of beauty: skinny, white, able-bodied, blonde, cis/straight and tall. I decided that for one night, I would reclaim this image to shock people in a sensationalist and lurid way. The day before Harris I remembered Beyoncé was Barbie a few years back, so I think in my subconscious I was trying to be Beyoncé.

How was your costume received?

MV: My friends were all elated to see my costume. When the results were announced, I like to think I gained a lot of clout. My girls were all very supportive, hugging on me and calling me queen almost to an excess.

Pratik Karki ’20, Reed Winter ’21, James Msekela ’20 and Ben Lim ’19 pose as Teletubbies.

Did the Teletubby costumes match up with your personalities?

Ben Lim (Teletubby): We did it randomly, but it turned out our personality matched the Teletubbies. Reed is the youngest one in the group, like Po. The loudest and obnoxious one is Tinky Winky, and that’s James. I’m like the goofball. And Pratik is the weirdo.

What went into creating the costumes?

James Msekela (Teletubby): We bought the costume online. And we had to tape pillows to our stomach to make us fatter so it would look more like the Teletubbies.

How did you pick your costumes? 

JM: It was like a spur of a moment decision … It conveys our group’s friendship and camaraderie. You can see that each of us is actually from different race[s], and [things like that] didn’t happen by accident.

Can you share a favorite moment from when you were in costume? 

Reed Winter (Teletubby): Our friends loved it. The best part is when we went to Walmart, and saw regular people’s reactions and took pictures with them. We have no regrets.

Talera Jensen ’19 as Björk.

What was your costume and how did you make it?

Talera Jensen (Björk): My costume is a replica of the famous swan dress that the musician Björk wore to the 2001 Oscars. I made it with a few yards of tulle, some cotton fabric, stuffing and an elastic band. I also patterned rhinestones on the bodysuit underneath. The black wig I just had lying around, I also wore heels and tried to style my makeup like hers. It took several days over fall break to cut and layer the tulle into the band and sew the swan head. The total cost of materials was around $50.

Why did you pick Björk? 

TJ: Björk is an artistic visionary and one of my biggest inspirations. I actually first thought of the costume because I have a huge poster of her in my room.

How did people react to your costume?

TJ: Reactions to my costume were very positive, even if people didn’t recognize the reference (“Are you Black Swan?”). Many people were bewildered when I explained to them that I made it myself. One of my friends even said he would drop out if I didn’t win the contest.

Julia Schafer and Jane Jordan, both ’18, as Napoleon and Kip Dynamite.

What’s was your costume and how did you craft it?

Julia Schafer (Napoleon Dynamite): We were dressed as Napoleon and Kip Dynamite from the movie Napoleon Dynamite. We did a lot of thrift shopping, and then got the rest of the pieces from Amazon.

How did you settle on the Napoleon and Kip Dynamite?

JS: We’d been planning on wearing these costumes for months before Halloween. [Napoleon Dynamite] is one of our favorite movies ever.