You might imagine Halloween costumes to be considerably easier for celebrities, considering their above average wealth and probable access to a decent makeup artist or two. Still, some celebrities have truly perfected the art form, from Beyoncé to Heidi Klum. So what makes a celebrity costume exceptional?
For one, there’s something particularly satisfying about a very famous person dressing up as one of their own, very famous idols. Beyoncé has mastered the Halloween tribute, dressing in recent years as Florence Griffith Joyner, Toni Braxton and Lisa Bonet among others. Last year, Harry Styles sported a glittering Elton John costume, while Kourtney Kardashian looked indistinguishable from Ariana Grande at first glance.
Other costumes, meanwhile are boosted by the celebrity’s sheer physical similarity to their subject: Take Scott Disick as “American Psycho’s” Patrick Bateman, for instance, or Gigi Hadid as Sandy from “Grease.”
For some celebrities, it’s a total transformation that sets them apart. This is where Heidi Klum, often referred to as the queen of Halloween, reliably shines. Unafraid of dramatic prosthetics and months of preparation, Klum’s appeared at her annual Halloween party as Jessica Rabbit, Princess Fiona from Shrek, Lady Godiva (complete with horse) and, as pictured, one of six clones. Katy Perry’s no stranger to latex either: In 2016, she transformed into Hillary Clinton with the help of elaborate facial prosthetics.
While social media is especially fond of a meme-inspired ensemble, they rarely survive their first Halloween — how many will dress as Perry’s rogue Left Shark, for example, or Tom Hanks’ David S. Pumpkins in 2019? Conversely, some costumes have become timeless: See Beyoncé as Barbie in 2016, mirrored by Kylie Jenner two years later, or Cindy Crawford as Marilyn Monroe back in the ’90s.
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Like the rest of us, celebrities are partial to a bit of nostalgia. Outstanding throwback costumes in recent years include Lupita Nyong’o as Dionne from “Clueless,” featuring a comically oversized ’90s phone, as well as Cardi B as “One Hundred and One Dalmatians'” Cruella de Vil and Rihanna as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
Then there’s the costumes with comedy value. Last year, Chrissy Teigen perfected the royal wave as Queen Elizabeth II, with John Legend as Prince Philip. Zoë Kravitz wore pyjamas with her vampire fangs, clutching a blood-stained coffee cup (“Mornings suck,” she wrote on Instagram, further explaining, “night time is morning time for vamps guys.”) And Katy Perry’s comic looks aren’t limited to October 31 — after all, she attended the 2019 Met Gala after party as a burger. But in 2014, she hit the Halloween pinnacle: She dressed, simply, as a single, oversized Hot Cheeto.