Get Your Costume On: Three designer divas share their secret sources!


Paging Joan Harris at PLAYCLOTHES! (Photo courtesy of Playclothes)


Determined to have a to-die-for Halloween costume this year? Looking for fabulous footwear to compliment your flirty frock? Want to mimic the Mad Men look, tear it up True Blood style, or flaunt your inner flapper a la Boardwalk Empire?

Let the pros help!  Three costume and fashion designers share their insider faves for your most creative costume ever!

Jill Ohanneson: “Someone Else’s in North Hollywood has lots of great pieces to make sexy Halloween costumes.  For wonderful vintage, go to Playclothes in Burbank to find pin-up girl bathing suits, fabulous Fifties wear, and Thirties chanteuse or gangster moll gowns.  And Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse in Hollywood has every shoe you would ever want. ” (Currently Costume Designer on NBC’s The Event, Emmy-nominated Ohanneson’s credits include Six Feet Under, Mousehunt, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and being Ms. Go Go’s sister.)


You love a man in uniform! (Photo courtesy of It's a Wrap!)


Karolyn Kiisel: “Wannabe fairy princesses, wenches, and can can dancers can find petticoats, sexy minis, and corsets by the boatload at  Beverly Hills Hosiery.  The downtown Los Angeles shop has been selling fishnets and lingerie pieces since the Fifties and the prices are ridiculously low.  Bohemian Crystal is the place to go for the final accessorizing of your costume.  Hippie beads to Swarovsky crystals, it’s all there. Ask for the little wax applicators behind the counter and a tube of E6000 and glitz up!  Right across the street, Berger Bead has the best selection of tiaras and crowns.  On Maple Street between 8th and 9th, a succession of shoe vendors display their wares outside on the street: unbelievable platform boots, metallic gold spikes,  and jeweled thongs, all starting in the $20 price range.  Finally, if you’d rather charge than create, It’s a Wrap! in Burbank has a great selection of ready-to-go costumes on the 2nd floor.”  (Kiisel is a fashion/costume designer and a Master Professor in the Fashion Department at Otis College of Art & Design.  She has created costumes for L.A. Master Chorale performances at Disney Hall and for the new opera The Tree.  Kiisel is also the owner/designer of Jacaranda, which Ms. Go Go relies on extensively for elegantly sexy date dresses!)


A fab find from American Way! (Photo by Jeri Batzdorff)


Jeri Batzdorff : “Most thrift shops do their best business before Halloween and some stores keep their most interesting items until then.  Most of the Goodwill Industries stores have a special “Halloween” section through October; my fave is the Van Nuys location.  The American Way Thrift Shop always has a long row of costumes.  They’re very organized and get new additions daily.  I also love shopping on etsy; there are wonderful handmade and vintage finds in every price range.”   Speaking of etsy, Ms. Go Go highly recommends Batzdorff’s own etsy site Costume Basement, which has a fun array of bargain costume components from harem pants to Betty Boop dresses.  (Batzdorff is an award-winning costume designer for Zombie Joe’s Underground and Limecat Family Theatre in Los Angeles and New York.)

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Someone Else’s –11024 Magnolia Blvd. North Hollywood 91601.  818.761.6627

Playclothes – 3100 West Magnolia, Burbank, 91505.  818.555.8447

Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse – 6920 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90028. 323. 962.0332

Beverly Hills Hosiery – 801 S0uth Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles 90014.  213.627.7705

Bohemian Crystal – 812 Maple Avenue, Los Angeles 90014-2281.    213.627.9554

Berger Beads Specialty Company, Inc. – 812 Maple Avenue, Los Angeles 90014             213. 627.9554.

It’s A Wrap!/Burbank – 3315 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank 91505.  818.567.7366

It’s A Wrap!/Westside – 1164 South Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles 90035.      310.246.WRAP (9727)

Goodwill Industries, Van Nuys – 14550 Victory Boulevard, Van Nuys 91411.  818.904.9131

American Way Thrift Store – 3226 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank 91505. 818.841.6013

Shoe stores galore  – Maple Street between 8th and 9th Streets, Downtown Los Angeles

Jacaranda (for upscale dresses and resort wear)

Costume Basement

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeri B says:

    What a great list of go-to go-gos! Hope everyone dresses up, down or sideways..thanks for including me, Happy Halloween!!! Jeri

    1. Thanks for your great contributions, Jeri! Ms. Go Go predicts a run on Valley thrift stores!

  2. margaret says:

    Love it. Thanks especially for the addresses.

    1. I wish I could go shopping this weekend!

  3. I think the newest halloween costumes are getting so sophisticated that we’ll be grafting skin soon…

    1. Whoa, that’s an eye-popping AVATAR costume, Havon! Thanks for the link! I wonder if there’s a way to combine that with Old Skool platform boots from the Garment District for a”Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” theme!

  4. margaret says:

    Giddy with excitement to see Jill’s name on the credits of a movie I was delighted to introduce my kids to yesterday: “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” Most Excellent.

    1. It still holds up, doesn’t it! I’ll pass on the attack of giddy excitement!

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