I love Halloween. I’m from San Francisco where Halloween is a huge holiday. Although I love it, I don’t think I’ve dressed up for 10 years. I never get the opportunity. It’s really uniquely an American holiday, like Thanksgiving. But, I still don’t understand. It’s so fun, why doesn’t every country celebrate?
- Soundtrack of the report
- Gypsy’s Curse
In America kids are raised getting dressed up and getting excited to go searching for candy. Although it has it’s roots in the catholic religion and all saints day is celebrated in France, people go to the cemetery here and bring flowers and clean up the graves. Yet all hallow’s eve, the eve of all saints day just doesn’t have an equivalent in France.
I was in Oslo, Norway once for a tattoo convention on Halloween, I didn’t bring a costume because 1) my suitcase was already heavy with winter clothes and tattoo equiptment. 2) I wasn’t sure that people would get dressed up. My doubts were confirmed, I saw some very few people dressed up in the down town area when we left the convention hall to have a late night dinner. But at the concert/tattoo convention, noone was dressed up. (Except the bands but I think it was their regular gimic)
I was invited back to Stuttgart by Melli the rock ‘n’ roll hairdresser (Melli’s dos n dyes) to tattoo her and all her friends. (The first trip was 4 days “a test” this time I was to stay 1 week). My first hint that there may be a possibility to dress up in Stuttgart was when Melli told me there was a Mexican day of the dead soirée. I had some ideas for a simple costume just in case, not too much stuff to pack, plus I was going by train so I had no weight worries this time. Stuttgart is lovely in autumn the colors were really more vibrant than I found in Paris.
The girls wanted to get dressed up. We started the evening with a walk through a candle lit cemetry and a great pumpkin soup at Jassi’s house. Melli and her friends had tons of crazy wigs. I borrowed a lavendar one. The girls wanted to do sugar skull makeup, I’ve done the same in San Francisco, so I thought I’d do something different. I was dressed as a rag doll but I ended up looking like a psycho clown! My friends said that with the costume I became the character. I guess I’m kinda a cameleon that way.
I helped Melli with her makeup while Jassi and Iris worked on each other. You will need some brushes and makeup sponges, and some theatrical makeup. Waterbased works best (black, white, red some other colors). Others are easier to use but afterwards your face feels all greasy and it tends to get everywhere.
- 1) apply the white base slowly starting with the forehead and working down and around until the whole face has a good matte, uniform layer.
- 2) use medium brush for the eyes and larger areas.
- 3) a fine brush for the details
- 4) you can add glitter, false eyelashes or sequins, (with the eyelash glue)
The internet is full of sugar skull images, make a file of inspirational images!
The girls did half their faces as sugar skulls which made it less scary and more glamorous (or a least one half glamour) Tons of people had painted Mexican sugar skull faces! There were tons of other costumes too. Tradition Mariachi suits, gypsy dresses, lace, flowers, scary clowns and cowboys.
Thorsten Schwämmle hosted the soirée
It was called “Fest der Toten” Day of the Dead in German. It was held at Die Röhre which is now closed and will unfortunately be torn down to rebuild a new train station which will cost the city billions of euro just so 15min can be shaved off other german destinations! (But that is a whole other story)
The evening’s music was truely Mexican. The words “Twangin’ Tijuana” were used in the publicity. Imagine lots of horns, exotic guitars and spanish lyrics. There were tradition dancers from Mexico City, folks that now live in Stuttgart. “Las Adelitas Tapatias” wearing multicolored ribbon decorated dresses, the costume of that particular region. “Lucha Libre”, masked Mexican wrestling by Karachoos. Burlesque striptease by Zou Zou La Vey, with lovely sugar skull makeup and a salloon girl costume. And the bands were The Fabulous Mezcaleros and Los Skeletors.
After 1:00 am the music stayed tradtional and a little too soft to stay awake. So we left and went to check out another soirée nearby. The Halloween Bash: psychobilly, rockabilly and rock n roll djs Jens-O-Matic and Frank Gasoline had the dance floor hoppin’. There were people dressed up as nurses, zombies, hillbillies, old time cab drivers, freaks, and frankensteins. Fake blood rubber hatchettes and passed out drunks were scattered like confetti.
Stuttgart is a small town. I couldn’t believe how many rockers there are there!
In the streets there were not too many people in costume, but maybe we were out too late or too early. The metro was fun with people laughing and appreciating our makeup and costumes and really in the spirit with us.
In France, Halloween has never really caught on and I don’t think it ever will. I don’t think the french think it’s fun or funny to look ridiculous. I think Stuttagrt might become my Halloween tradtion. Anybody wants to meet me there next year?
- Read more about Stuttgart: beer, pretzles and the tv tower.
And check the photo album of the night on Flickr.