Arts & Leisure

Squid Game, go-go boots, fairies

“SQUID GAME” costumes are hugely popular, but hugely difficult to get this Halloween season (Netflix).

By Zia Zografos

The usual cast of creatures are on the prowl in Orange County’s Halloween costume scene, but there are some hot, new, character-inspired costumes people cannot get enough of.

The Netflix show “Squid Game” premiered in September and has since broken records as Netflix’s biggest series launch ever. The show has inspired copycats of the horrifyingly whimsical cast of characters.

(“Squid Game” is a South Korean “survival drama” TV series on Netflix, revolving around people desperate for money who play a children’s game in which losers are killed).

RENAISSANCE garb at the Halloween Boutique in Costa Mesa (Orange County Tribune photos by Zia Zografos).

Gasoline Alley in Orange is one of the only costume stores in Orange County that carry Squid Game costumes. Donna Saucedo stated that they have been in high-demand.

“We had Squid Game, and they’re all gone. Every time I put them out, they’re gone within seconds,” said Saucedo.

Saucedo also mentioned a few statement pieces are being snatched up by anxious kids looking for the perfect costume. Go-go boots for 70’s inspired costumes are moving off the shelves in droves.

“Cowboys, pirates, and fairies- a lot of fairies. Anime is huge with kids. ‘The Addams Family’ is another big one this year … Oh, Go-go boots. We’ve sold one 100 pairs of go-go boots already. [People] freaking love those things,” said Saucedo.

Halloween Bootique in Costa Mesa, which is open year-round, sees its sales skyrocket every year during October. The unique boutique specializes in period costumes inspired by the Victorian and Renaissance eras. Plague doctor masks and staffs take up an entire wall in the store’s display panels this year.

Jennifer Perkins, the manager of the shop, stated that their period pieces and props have been flying off the hangers due to their accessibility for customers.

“We have a lot of props, many of which we sold out of…clown props, and anything BIG,” said Perkins. “I found that people find it easier to carry around one big thing compared to multiple small things. Historical stuff too, like the Victorian, Renaissance, all that vibey stuff with bright colors is nice because you can easily mix and match.”

SEVENTIES-INSPIRED costumes at Gasoline Alley in Orange.

Commercial stores like Party City and Spirit Halloween have both seen similar trends as to what kids and adults alike have been gravitating towards this year.

Anne Stuck, an employee at Party City in Anaheim, has to break the news to hopeful customers that fan-favorite costumes are sold out county-wide.

“Money Heist went really fast this year,” said Stuck. “All of the animal onesies sold out very fast too. I’ve been getting a lot of questions for stuff we don’t have, like Squid Game. Every other person has been coming in like ‘Do you have Squid Game?’ And we just don’t have any Squid Game stuff!”

Stuck was surprised to see which costumes were being popularized, and which were not, for this year in particular. “WandaVision,” which premiered in January, has held its status as an underrated costume idea.

“I haven’t gotten [WandaVision] as much. Which is weird, because I feel like it was extremely popular this year. Another is the incarcerated ones- many people have been buying those,” said Stuck.

Nathan Gonzales and Avery Gutierrez echoed this sentiment over at Spirit Halloween in Fullerton. Being one of the only Spirit Halloweens still open in the county, the store had been nearly picked clean by patrons in the run-up to Halloween weekend.

“It’s definitely been the police officer and inmate costumes,” said Gonzales. “Which is interesting, because [inmate costumes] are the ones we have the most of at the end of the season. We never sell out of those, but this year we sold out,” said Gutierrez.

Whatever the costume plans customers excitedly shout about in costume stores, there is an unmistakable air of anticipation around this year’s spooky season emerging out of the wake of the pandemic.

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