The Flavorpill Guide to DIY Pop-Culture Halloween Costumes: Music

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Halloween: It’s always more complicated than you want it to be. Even if you’ve got your plans set, it’s a struggle to find the perfect costume — without resorting to the same crappy, overpriced, pre-packaged getups everyone else will be wearing. Thankfully, just as we did last October, Flavorpill is helping you out with a series of easy DIY costume guides tackling various pop-culture realms. Don’t worry — there’s no sewing involved.

In the first installment, we’ve taken on music’s biggest personalities and controversies of 2011. From the characters bloggers love to argue about (Lana Del Rey, Odd Future) to signature styles by the year’s most famous pop stars (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lady Gaga), we’ve got you covered with ideas your friends only wish they’d had.

Indie blogosphere talking point Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey makes a great costume — mostly because Lana Del Rey basically is a costume, donned by a young lady named Lizzy Grant as an attempt to revitalize a stalled music career. Considering that her entire look and songwriting style is calculated to fulfill dudes’ fantasies (come on — a slow, seductive number called “Video Games”?), this Halloween fashion choice is practically guaranteed to get you laid.

The costume:

Blonde seductress wig — $12, Wholesale Halloween Costumes

Pink rose crown hair wreath — $35, Etsy

Smoky kohl eyeliner — $12, Sephora

Tokidoki Cromatico Eyeshadow Palette in Adieu — $19, Sephora

NYXX Matte Lipstick in Pale Pink — $5, Cherryculture

Tyler, the Creator at the MTV Video Music Awards

Decades from now, hip-hop fans, your children and grandchildren will be asking you where you were when OFWGKTA’s Tyler, the Creator won Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards. Instead of just telling them the story, why not have a photo for posterity of you decked out like the most underdressed and unexpectedly emotional Moonman recipient of 2011?

The costume:

Rainbow Swirl tie-dye T-shirt — $17, BeWild.com

Cat fabric iron on — $1, blujay

Army green cap — $10, e4Hats.com

Astronaut tank figurine — $5, Opentip.com

A healthy arsenal of goofy and incredulous facial expressions

[Image via Best Week Ever]

Well known for her sartorial risk-taking, Nicki Minaj caused a stir by showing up at the recent iHeartRadio festival with a fried chicken wing around her neck. If you’re not shy — and hot pink is your color — then this may be the costume for you.

Nicki Minaj, with a side of chicken-wing necklace

The costume:

Pink ballerina costume — $23, TrendyHalloween.com

Lady Gaga Blonde & Pink Wig — $20, Blue Sabre Costumes

Gold chain costume necklace — $6, Amazon

Chicken wing — prices vary by location and meal choice, KFC

Palmer Prism Tempera Paint in Fluorescent Pink — $3, Create for Less

Lady Gaga as Joe Calderone

Nicki may have raised eyebrows with her chicken-wing jewelry, but Lady Gaga is still the reigning champion of WTF wardrobe choices. After slyly posing as her male alter ego, Jo Calderone, in Japanese Vogue Hommes, she went public with the look in her “Yoü and I” video and sent Jo to the VMAs in her place. If you feel like gender-bending this Halloween, this is a pretty obvious pick.

The costume:

Mens black suit pant — $30, Target

Mens black suit jacket — $60, Target (or, even better, borrow these items from a guy you know)

Hanes white crew T-shirt (3-pack) — $8, Dollar General

Cool Dude Greaser Wig Adult — $33, Linens-n-Things

Wet ‘n’ Wild black eyeliner pencil (for the stubble) — $1, Amazon

Cigarette — everywhere, prices vary

Jay-Z and Kanye West: a timeless bromance

By far the most hyped hip-hop album of the year was Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative opus Watch the Throne. So why not celebrate popular music’s greatest bromance by teaming up with your own best pal and mimicking this fairly simple look from their “Otis” video?

The costume:

Hanes white crew T-shirt (3-pack) — $8, Dollar General (decorate as needed)

New York Yankees cap — $15, Amazon

Levi’s 527 Bootcut Double-Faced Jeans — $25, Dillard’s

Nautica Relaxed Fit 5-pocket Jeans in Moonlight Wash — $35, Zappos

Wet ‘n’ Wild black eyeliner pencil (for Kanye’s goatee) — $1, Amazon

4′ x 6′ American flag banner — $46, Amazon

Kreayshawn in the video for “Gucci Gucci”

The last thing you want to be this Halloween is a basic bitch, so why not opt for a Kreayshawn costume? We are really surprised that we couldn’t find any major retailers selling a pre-made Kreayshawn getup this year. The good news is, you can basically just recycle your old Amy Winehouse costume (from back when it wasn’t in terrible taste) and pile some junk on top of it!

The costume:

Child Minnie Mouse ears deluxe — $10, Costume Hub

Wet ‘n’ Wild black eyeliner pencil (the cat eyes will totally make the costume) — $1, Amazon

Gold square bamboo earrings — $8, Hot Topic

White cropped T-shirt with black design — $30, Etsy (this one has Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon!)

Black Bone & Wood Bead Cotton Cord Necklace — $16, Amazon

Womens light-wash jeans — $8, Target

Temporary tattoos — various prices, Tattly

Zombie Kurt Cobain

In case you haven’t noticed, between the ’90s nostalgia that’s engulfed pop culture over the past few years and the recent 20th anniversary of Nevermind, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana are almost as popular now as they were in the early ’90s. Celebrate this resurrection (or register your disapproval of those who would keep exhuming poor Kurt for the purpose of demeaning tributes) with a Zombie Kurt outfit.

The costume:

Green mohair cardigan — we’d go the ratty, vintage route, like this $28 Etsy find

Grunge Guy Wig Mixed Blonde — $13, Cappel’s

An old pair of jeans, with shredded knees

Zombie makeup kit — $5, Amazon

Thom Yorke at Occupy Wall Street

A few weeks ago, rumors flew that Radiohead were going to play Occupy Wall Street. It never happened, although Jeff Mangum and Talib Kweli showed up last week. But if you were one of the many disappointed fans who didn’t get to see Radiohead rock out among radicals, why not dress up as what Thom Yorke might have looked like if he had chosen to protest capitalism.

The costume:

Black Halloween bowler hat — $5, Buy.com

Chestnut Hill Men’s Long Sleeve Dobby Button Down Dress Shirt — $6 – $22, Buy.com

Black Emo Adult Wig — $13, Amazon

Wet ‘n’ Wild eyeliner pencil — $1, Amazon (obviously your own natural stubble will work, too)

Occupy Wall Street sign of your own making — check out our gallery of photos from the protest if you need inspiration