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Rock Star-Inspired Halloween Costumes

From David Bowie to Nicki Minaj, a guide to recreating 12 classic rocker looks

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Lady Gaga is the queen of the costume, constantly reinventing her image and our notion of what makes for an acceptable ensemble. Like Perry and Cyrus, there’s a lot to choose from here, but Gaga’s outfits are undoubtedly the strangest. At times, they’re all skin with a little lace or latex, and at other moments, they’re so covered that they’re borderline chaste.  While all of Gaga’s looks make for fun dressing up, this one is perfect for Halloween in its eeriness. Completely envelop a dress and headband with pale yellow ribbons and make sure you have the hair color to match. Cake all your remaining skin in white powder, the better to make your bright-red lips and blush pop, and voilà! Crucial to this look is the ghostly demeanor: stay in character, making sure not to smile – and if anyone asks what you are, say you’re a monster. 

By Kiran Herbert

Robert Smith

Paul Natkin/Wire Image

Robert Smith: 1987

For the first-wave Goth deeply committed to maintaining a daily dark aesthetic, Halloween might seem a bit redundant. Yet, Robert Smith's look is emblematic to many as the most definitive of 80s shadowy glamor –it's begging to be sported on this very holiday, by Cure fans and randoms alike.  You need the same wig you'd need if you were dressing up as fellow Dark Prince Edward Scissorhands: something black, tall, and rat-nested. From there, liberal smears of black eyeliner, and a simple black shirt and pants combo will suffice, but pay attention to footwear: Smith's love of LA Gear sneakers was infamous.