Today's the day to be as weird as you want. Dress up as your heroes or worst nightmares. This year I opted for hero.
When inspiration hit to dress up as Lucille Ball for Halloween I was surprised I'd gone all these years without being her. I couldn't be just any Lucy though. I wanted to be Lucy from the Hollywood episodes which are my favorites.
I recreated her disguise from the episode 'LA at Last' which ends with her famously catching her nose on fire. How does she get in that predicament?
Freshly arrived in Hollywood Lucy, Ethel, and Fred head to the Brown Derby to look for stars.They spot William Holden and Lucy starts sneaking peeks at him. Tired of gawking fans William decides to turn the tables. Lucy finds herself embarrassingly being stared at over a booth median by William. Later on back at the hotel Ricky comes home to tell Lucy that he met William Holden on his movie set and he wants Lucy to meet him. Lucy puts herself in disguise hoping that she's not given away. Comedy ensues and she inadvertently lights her nose on fire.
For all the laughs you can watch the episode here.
There were never any I Love Lucy episodes in San Francisco but I have a feeling she would have gotten herself in a lot of trouble had she visited.
I bought fake vintage glasses and added additional bedazzling. The wig is a Lucy style available online. Luckily the scarf was a necessary costume accessory as ultimately it's what kept the wig on my head. The scarf was it's own challenge. In the episode her hair is completely covered by the scarf but it was too difficult to style that way with the wig. I opted to sew a slightly stretchy piece of cotton fabric in a long tapered rectangle and wrapped around my head starting from the back. The earrings and shoes I already owned. Fake eyelashes were a must.
The nose! The dress!
For the nose I used an air drying kids clay. I started with white and pigmented it with gouache. I made two so I could light one on fire. For the key costume detail I scoured Etsy for the perfect Lucy dress in my size. Since the dress I bought didn't have a black tie made a "pearl" necklace out of some faceted glass beads. I realize out in the wild my costume is the meme of 50+ years ago so I added the shows logo to my lapel. Why am I wearing pants? Lucy was actually wearing a house coat with pants. This episode and outfit is so iconic there was even a hilarious Barbie made wearing the disguise.
Lucy is engrained in my childhood. Growing up I dreamed of playing dress up in her closet so you can imagine what a treat it has been to flit around in vintage. It's been fun doing research on the ground breaking lady. A fun nerd fact I learned is that Desilu produced the original Star Trek.
In case you've forgotten what my real nose looks like it's right here.
My Ethel and photographer for the day was Gritchelle Fallesgon. Thank you Gritchelle! I really feel like we had a Lucy adventure in SF. For a moment I could imagine what it felt like to be the real Lucillie Ball. The one who worked long hours and I'm sure exhausted her body for a laugh.
I love ya Lucy!
Photography and photo editing by Gritchelle Fallesgon