Finally, the one night of the year when we can troll Lan Kwai Fong in a hideous outfit without anyone batting an eyelid is almost here. No, we’re not talking about Rugby Sevens – it’s Halloween, and we’re about to get dark and dramatic with our freaky makeovers. Whether you’re on a tight budget, or looking to go all out this spooky time of year, we’ve rounded up the best costume stores and makeup artists to help you make the most of it. Now there’s no excuse not to dress up!
Horror on a budget …
If large crowds don’t freak you out (well, you are heading to a Halloween party so we hope not), then Pottinger Street is packed with stalls selling all sorts of weird and wonderful costumes to hire and buy, along with more accessories that you can shake a witch’s broomstick at. Whether you’re going for the sexy look (Wonder Woman or Supergirl maybe?), or something more spine-tingling like a werewolf or a clown, you’re sure to find it here. Revelers on the skint side can also find wigs for around $70 to $150, feather boas for $15 to $20, and masks from as little as $12. A great place to head to if you left in until the very last minute to sort out your costume!
Pottinger Street, Central
Head to pretty much any one of Hong Kong’s bustling markets around this spooky time of year and you’ll spot a few stalls selling ready-to-buy costumes and accessories. Ladies’ Market, Wan Chai Market, and Temple Street Night Market are your best bet for finding fun costumes at bargain prices. The old classics like Wonder Woman, Super Girl, and Batman can often be seen hanging from the stalls along these markets, and more experienced hagglers have been known to get as much as 50 percent off the original price, so it’s well worth a shot! Keep an eye out for the amazing wig shops on either side of Temple Street Market too, as they have all sorts of fantastic styles and colours on sale for a bargain buck.
Ladies’ Market, Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, (near Mong Kok MTR Station, Exit E2)
Temple Street Night Market, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, (Yau Ma Tei MTR Station, Exit C, or Jordan MTR Station, Exit A)
Wan Chai Market, 258 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Kong Kong
Can’t handle the crowds? For a hassle-free Halloween, and an absolute steel of a price, hop online at Taobao.com and snap up an amazing and original costume to scare the bejesus out of your buddies. There’s a reason the name of this Chinese eBay-like site translates to “finding treasure”, because it’s jam-packed with weird and wacky get-ups at super cheap prices that you can have delivered in less than a week. From pirates and fairies, to action heroes and cosplay – not to mention a hilarious Sumo Wrestler Suit – you are literally spoilt for choice, and it’s amazing what you can pick up for under $100. There’s just one catch – Taobao is all in Chinese, so if you don’t speak the lingo, it can be a mission – it might be time to ask your local friends to help you out! Another thing to consider is that they aren’t too generous on the size front, so it’s always better to order big.
A shock to the wallet …
If you have cash to spend, then splurge on Matteo Party’s huge stock of 2,000 plus ready-to-wear costumes, with sizes ranging from infant through to adult XL. Costume prices range from around $400 to as much as $3,000 (yep, you read that right), and include all sorts of ghastly outfits – from your classic zombie and vampire, to the nightmarish inflatable clown (pictured above). There are plenty of accessories to complete your spooky look too, with shelves of face paints, wigs, and masks to choose from. It’s definitely not the cheapest option in town, but as the largest party supplier in Asia, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll find what you need to create an epic Halloween get-up.
Matteo Party, 20/F, Shun Hei Causeway Bay Tower, 492 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2342 8887
Another classic party shop with a huge selection of traditional costumes for sale and rental is Fortune Costume. Although the collection on their website isn’t very large, they have much more to choose from in their actual store, as well as smaller items which you can buy. You can pick up a costume for under $300, but those with a higher price tag and quality ranking can only be hired, with prices reaching up to around $900 for 24 hours. You can call ahead to double check and see if they have what you are looking for, or just pop into their store and see what’s on offer.
Fortune Costume, Room 202, 2/F, No. 23, Hillwood Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, (+852) 2367 5018
House of Siren Productions
If you really want to push the boat out this Halloween, then House of Siren Productions has an impressive collection of high quality, ready-to-wear costumes for rental. With a hire charge of between $1,000 and $3,000 for three days, it’s certainly not the cheapest option around, but you’ll score top points for effort when you rock up to the party in one of their dramatic ensemble – that floating mermaid could be you! As well as having a huge selection of stunning and unique costumes available for hire, they also house the only couture costume and headdress collection in Hong Kong, so if you’re looking to go burlesque, cabaret, or Moulin Rouge style this Halloween, then this is your ticket. Costumes come in adjustable sizes to fit all customers, and tailor-made ones can also be arranged by appointment. Be warned though, these can rack up to $3,500 after you’ve added all the necessary props and accessories – now how’s that for scary!
House of Siren Productions, LG/F, 64 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, (+852) 2530 2371