Plus, Martha recalls some of her most memorable costumes.
roy lichenstein art
One of Lichtenstein's most famous works, "Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But..."
| Credit: © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

I've always loved the artist Roy Lichtenstein's work, so I decided to dress up like one of his comic-book women. I wore an amazing platinum-blond wig and outlined a plain white shirt with black stripes. Red half-gloves, a bright-blue scarf, and exaggerated makeup added the more cartoonish touches.

From the time I as a little girl, I have loved dressing up for Halloween. Every year I look forward to devising my costume-some years the look is elaborate and the ensemble itself is extraordinarily complex, like when I was Fairy GrandMartha or the Spellbinding Sorceress. For those getups, I worked with the editors, makeup artists, costume designers, and seamstresses to execute some pretty ambitious designs.

Other years, though, my costumes are virtually thrown together at the last minute: made from simple drugstore ingredients, my own cosmetics, and kitsch. Wonder Woman was such a costume. Looking at the risqué photo now, I am embarrassed that I went out in public! Last year, my costume was a spontaneous response to a Halloween party with the theme "dress like Prince on Prince." It took a bit of pondering, but I finally figured out that the hostess meant the recently deceased musician and performer Prince, and Richard Prince, a contemporary photographer and painter, who redefined the concept of "artistic ownership."

I knew most attendees would wear purple for Prince the singer. But I found Richard Prince's nurse series intriguing, because many were bloody-just right for Halloween, and the costume could be created by a quick visit to a good New York City drugstore. His works Surf Safari Nurse and Wayward Nurse were perfect for a do-it-yourself costume, although I admit I had my makeup artist, Daisy Schwartzberg (@bydaisymakeup), drip liquid blood all over me and my uniform. The red prescription contact lenses (I have colored contacts in many colors) helped complete the look. I was tickled to win first prize that night: a silver bowl filled with gorgeous purple roses.

martha stewart halloween costume lichenstein
Credit: Dominik Tarabanski

A costume I particularly remember as dreadful was the "surfer girl" outfit I wore to one of Bette Midler's Hulaween Extravaganzas at the Waldorf Astoria to benefit the New York Restoration Project. I dressed in a sexy but thick wet suit with flippers and a mask, and carried a surfboard. I hailed a cab, but the surfboard would not fit. So I had to walk 40 blocks, and it was a warm evening. I arrived drenched in sweat, exhausted, and miserable. And the surfboard! So heavy!

martha stewart halloween costume lichenstein behind the scenes

This year, I paid homage to the artist Roy Lichtenstein, reimagining one of his iconic characters. While photographer Dominik Tarabanski and I discussed the portrait, my makeup was done by Mark Edio using Make Up For Ever at See Management and hair styled by Stefano Greco at Bryan Bantry Agency for Mr. Smith. The graphic set design was created by Grace Hartnett. The entire costume was very easy to create and wear: a white blouse (mine: Anne Fontaine Armantine Shirt), anklet stockinettes with stripes, navy slacks (mine: Rene Lazar for Shari's Place Cotton-Blend Pants), gloves (mine: Wing & Weft Scoop Leather Gloves), a scarf, and a fantastic wig.

halloween costume accessories necklaces sunglasses

Pictured here, a tray of oversize accessories was set out for the shoot. I accessorized with Manolo Blahnik BB Navy Suede Pumps, Rebecca de Ravenel x Johanna Ortiz "The Flora" Earrings plus the Carl Link Necklace in Red, Nathan Chain Necklace in Matte Milk; Nathan Necklace in Red Glassato Finish, Nate Necklace in Yves Blue, and Amore Heart Link Necklace all by Diana Broussard. With help or without, good costumes can be fabricated from basic items. My philosophy for dressing up is simple: Be silly, exaggerate, and go way out!


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