“Why don’t you stay for the night? Or maybe a bite? I’ll show you my favourite obsession…”
Fancy dress obsession that is.
Halloween is fast approaching and I’ve been saving this look for such a wondrously themed occasion. Now, I’m not classing myself as a seamstress, Rocky Horror super fan or make up aficionado, but this is what I managed to cobble together as a self taught novice and D.I.Y disaster zone, who spends all of her life watching tutorials on Youtube and not interacting with the outside world. My costume is a tribute, rather than a replica, of my favourite Franks’ from stage and screen.
There is a careful balance of hard “masculine” and soft “feminine” in all of the Frank-N-Furter’s looks, follow that idea and you can’t go wrong. In essence, this costume really falls down to two things: fishnets and makeup. It’s pretty easy, wearable and you can substitute most things out for something else you already have to complete it.
Except fishnets, got to have fishnets.
There are MANY iconic Frank-N-Furter looks: the opening look with the cape, the lab look with the green apron and pink gloves, but I went for the leather jacket. It’s not one that is done as often and I had an old faux, leather jacket about to be thrown out (it went all weird and flaky, ew.) Want not, waste not!
For the basic costume you could use:
A black skirt/shorts (if you aren’t comfortable going out in just your pants. It’s ok, I wasn’t!)
Black fishnet tights/stockings & suspenders.
A plain, black tank top/t shirt -OR- a dark coloured corset of your choice.
A dark pair of high heeled shoes (remember gang, comfort is key) – OR – a dark coloured boot.
Frank wears A LOT of black, so black is the best colour scheme to go with. However, personally, I also added red just to spice it up a bit. It’s all a bit vampy and gothic with a touch of burlesque about it. Ooer Matron.
I ordered my corset on Amazon and the trick is to go by the measurements and not by your dress size. As a first time corset buyer, I was utterly confused and panic-stricken. It totally made me wonder why the hell I was doing this. I made the decision to go by the measurements rather than my dress size and it was most definitely the right one, as it fit much better than the next size up would have. However, if you are ordering online, try and do as much research as you can (scroll mindlessly through the reviews until you get the picture of whether it fits to size or not.)
Accessories make an outfit and Frank is never seen without them. Your key ones are:
A short, oversized string of pearls.
A leather jacket (which I customised).
You could also add sunglasses, a feather boa, a garter, a leather bracelet, an anklet, earrings… the list is endless.
Frank has his own customised jacket. In the film it’s laden with patches, badges and chains. In the theatre it’s covered with fringing and has his name printed across the back. Now I didn’t have all the embellishments from the film, but I didn’t have any fringing either, so here’s where I got creative! I went to the craft store and found a few bits and bobs for £1 each. A packet of fake studs, some strips of red diamantes and some paint brushes. I also found some white fabric paint and a chalk pen (which weren’t £1, but I decided to splurge).
I was inspired by the stage show I had recently seen, so went ahead and sketched out the name Frank across the shoulders with my chalk pen. I then followed the instructions on the pot of paint and went ahead, filling in my font. Once it was dry, I gave it a quick iron and hey presto, all done.
I already had a small bottle of fabric glue, so began to stick my studs and diamante strips to accent the lapels (and attempted that hard/soft balance), and for good measure added those signature red lips to sit in the centre of my lower back.
Here’s where things get tricky. For ease, and a plethora of reference photos on google, I went with the Tim Curry stylings, but each Frank has their own make up look. All, however, seem to compromise of a heavy, OTT eye and a statement lip. Also, false eyelashes are a good shout, but not compulsory.
I did all of my foundation and concealer as I would have done usually. I also did the same contour routine as per (get rid of the double chin, separate my jaw from my neck, y’know) but just went a little heavier and darker, blending it out well.
I have done a step by step of how I created the Frank eye make up. It’s simple but takes a lot of time and precision, just do you and to the best of your ability. You can do it, just don’t give up!
A concealer (Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in ‘1 Fair’) to prime my eyes.
A matte black eyeshadow (Mine is so cheap its unbranded. I also added a little bit of ‘Darkside’ from the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, which gave it a sparkle but you really don’t have to).
A matte, cream/gel eyeliner or eye colour (Maybelline Eyestudio 24Hr Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in 01 Black).
Black mascara (Clinique High Impact Mascara in 01 Black).
A matt highlight at least one shade lighter than your skin tone (A mixture of ‘Chandelier’ and ‘Heiress’ from the Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour Kit. A concealer will absolutely work too, but I’ve found something sturdier, like a cream, is the easiest to work with).
You don’t need to use the same products, but just to give you a better idea of what I used, I’ve included the brands. It’s also good to have a blending brush (just a small fluffy-ish one will do), a tapered blending brush (if you can get your hands on it, even one of those little eyeshadow sponges will do) and a couple of small brushes for the fiddly bits.
1. After priming your eyes, because all this make up has got to stick to something, cover your entire lid with your black powder, running it through the brow too. Don’t worry if it’s not opaque… Tim’s isn’t, so ours doesn’t need to be either. Blend from the tip of your eyebrow to the outer corner of your eye so you have around edge. Once you’re done, bring a little down the inside of your nose, stopping roughly at the bridge.
2. With your smaller/eyeliner brush use your black eyeliner to line all the way around your eye, giving yourself a slight wing on the outer corner, if you can, and also bringing it out to a little point in the inner corner too.
3. Once you’re happy with the shape, using a smaller brush, cover your eyelid in your cream/gel liner, finishing in the crease. Make sure you get as clean a line as possible. This make up look is very harsh and theatrical looking, much like Frank himself.
Draw on a thin eyebrow with the same black eyeliner, following the shape of your natural brow. Try to give it a concerned little curve upwards in the inside and an inwards curve on the outside. Run any left over eyeliner on your brush through your eyebrow, connecting your drawn one to the rest of the colour in the inner corner, and on any sparse areas.
4. Finally, and possibly most importantly, comes the “carving out” of your final shape. Using your matte highlight and a small brush, begin to sharpen up all those outer lines. Make sure the line you have made down the side of you nose is straight, sharp and stands out by accentuating the edges with your highlighter. Also make sure the curve around the outer corner of your eye stands out and cuts and clean line. Once you’re happy, add some mascara and you’re done.
Well, that’s it I guess. Just a few ideas that I managed to throw together at the last minute. For anyone wanting to make up their own costume or looking for a bit of inspo for the spooky season, I hope this helped in some way and gave you some terrible thrills… like a SCIENCE FICTION, DOUBLE FEATURE…