Spooky Aesthetics: “Interview with the Vampire”

Happy (almost) Halloween, Collectors! Today I’m going to share with you a costume inspired by one of my favourite literary blood-suckers: Lestat de Lioncourt from Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.

Warner Bros
Warner Bros

I’m a big fan of the novel and the movie, and it wasn’t too long ago that I remarked to a friend, with a tinge of regret, that there weren’t enough cosplayers paying homage to the decadent aesthetics of Lestat’s undead lifestyle. 

“Why don’t you do it?” said my friend.

I thought about it, and came to the conclusion that I was destined to create a Lestat-inspired costume for this Halloween. Now, my favourite scene in the film is one where Lestat’s ornate and embellished overcoats and waistcoats are nowhere to be seen, and he’s stripped down to a flowing white shirt.

You know what scene I’m talking about.

Warner Bros
Warner Bros

Yes, that scene, which still gives me chills whenever I think about it. I like that Lestat gets a little messy in this scene, and as my experience sewing eighteenth century waistcoats is extremely limited, I decided to model my costume after this appearance, since it would be the simplest to complete in the time I had.

How To Get The Look

  1. The shirt–I decided to go with a gender-swapped look, rather than attempt to find a man’s shirt that would fit me and not drown me in extra fabric. I went through local vintage shops and thrift stores until I found a shirt in the right colour with just the right amount of frills. I paired the shirt with a black underbust corset to create a silhouette I was happy with, and to replace Lestat’s waistcoat.
  2. The trousers and boots–I purchased a pair of Vera Wang leggings at Kohls, which gave the appearance of riding breeches that I wanted. Really, any tight black leggings would do. I wore a pair of black leather riding boots that I already owned, to give a eighteenth century aristocratic feel.
  3. Hair–luckily, my hair is a similar colour to Tom Cruise’s was in the film. (If you’re lacking golden blonde locks, here’s a wig from my favourite wig shop). To achieve Lestat’s style with my own hair, I slept with foam rollers, then brushed and teased with a comb to get desired frizziness/volume, and later tied it back with a black ribbon. For a wig, you could probably brush out the curls a bit and do the same.
  4. Blood and fangs–I’m really picky about vampire fangs for a costume. The ones I prefer, the Scarecrow Small Custom Deluxe Fangs are a bit pricey, but you can order them on Amazon for about $10 cheaper than you can get in any costume shop. Now, it’s not a vampire costume without a little blood, but I’m wary of putting costume blood on my face as I’m allergic to a lot of products. So I made my own.
    IMG_5464The fake blood I used is in the cup pictured on the left. To create: I did one part water for 3 parts Nesquik strawberry syrup. I then used cocoa powder and corn starch to thicken the mixture, and used food colouring to achieve the desired color. (Note: you may have to heat the mixture to get the corn starch to thicken properly). The mixture will be sticky. So, be warned.
  5. Makeup–My Nordic blood gives me a pale pallor, but to really embrace my undead side, I contoured my face with a dark grey powder, and also powdered my face with a pale white powder. For eyeshadow, I only used the barest of espresso brown eyeshadow to contour the crease. I thickened my eyebrows slightly with a brown pencil, as Tom Cruise has some fantastically full eyebrows in the film. Lastly, black mascara. A lot of it.

To complete the look, I splattered some of the fake blood on the cuff of one of my sleeves, and strategically dripped it on my face halfway through the photoshoot, to make it look like I had just finished dinner. Then the Collected Mutineer and I went to some of the spookier locations near us to wake the undead. Unfortunately, we had to make do with twilight lighting, as to try to capture images in the dead of night would have resulted in dark, blurry photos, at best.

Enjoy the product of our hard work in the gallery below! This is a fairly easy costume to put together, and one that can be accomplished even when working a full-time job. Pair your Lestat with a Louis and Claudia and don’t forget to scare your neighbours. 😉

-The Collectress

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