By Caleb Lunetta
Signal Senior Staff Writer
Remove the accumulated clutter on top of your costume chest, brush off the dust that has been building over the last year and start pilfering through your various outfits and uniforms because the Santa Clarita Valley is once again beginning preparations for Halloween 2021.
Following an All Hallows Eve last year that was either largely restricted, or even canceled altogether last year, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, local adults and kids alike are gearing up this year with an intent, it would appear, to make up for lost time.
“Even though social distancing is in order, it doesn’t mean that we have to cancel Halloween altogether,” said Reena Newhall, owner of A Chorus Line on Cinema Drive in Valencia. “We are ready with our fellow Santa Claritans to get out and have some fun.”
Newhall’s store has long been a primary supplier for local costume and dance participant’s needs all year round. But much like previous years, they transition to a Halloween outfit haven, with people placing orders as early as the late summer in preparation for Oct. 31.
“This year may be different, but what better way to let off some steam after many months of being cooped up than by getting dressed up and living your alter ego,” said Newhall.
From humorous to creepy, classical to bizarre, and complete set to accessories, A Chorus Line staff are being joined by local experts from holiday-themed businesses across the Santa Clarita Valley in advising and helping people find their best outfit.
However, how do you know what you’ll need or even what you should be?
2021’s trending costumes
While the classic costumes, such as vampires, ghosts and ghouls, remain extremely popular with their customers, and influx of new media over the last year has — as it has done in year’s past — altered many people’s desire and wants with regard to Halloween costumes, according to outfit sellers.
“I think a lot of kids right now are looking for more game-type costumes,” said Katherine Rodriguez, a manager at the Party City located on McBean Parkway in Valencia. “(And for women) I think right now it’s Black Widow, the Marvel superhero.”
With regard to the games, Rodriguez said she was referring to a handful of popular video games, such as “Fortnite” and “Call of Duty,” that kids are pulling off her store’s shelves. And while women are strongly responding to the Scarlett Johansson superhero movie released earlier this year, she said many men are sticking with the classical “Scream” mask or other horror icons.
Newhall said A Chorus Line is also seeing a lot of demand for a mixture of the classics as well as the hottest new superheroes, with people coming in for Michael Myers masks or the popular Harley Quinn, Riddler, Black Widow, Spiderman and Venom costumes.
A Chorus Line Manager Jana Einaudi agreed that those types of costumes are big hits with customers this year — saying that she sold roughly ten Michael Myers masks in a single day earlier this month — but also said people are searching out the classics.
“Angels, devils and vampires — those are popular every year and they don’t go out of style,” said Einaudi, adding that people buy costumes and make sure to save them for future costume parties or even Halloweens. “But other trends like ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ … also Cruella De Vil.”
Also, with 70s and 80s nostalgia saturating the most popular television shows on the most popular streaming services as of late, everything from disco dancers to “Stranger Things” are being purchased for people of all ages.
“With a regular costume, we always try to accessorize it to make it better, more interesting, more ‘new,’” said Einaudi. “So, with just like customizing it, we’ll have a couple different styles of costumes, and maybe one style won’t fit right, but there’s another way that we can put it together.”
DIY or store-bought
Anyone who takes their Halloween costume seriously year after year knows that come the end of summer, the changing of leaves and the sight of pumpkins the inevitable internal question will be asked: “Do I make my own costume, or do I buy one from the store?”
There are a number of factors that play into making this decision year after year, but one of the most important is your budget, according to the experts.
“If you’re working on a budget, we usually would recommend that you use some pieces that you have at home because the clothing pieces are going to be a little bit more expensive,” said Einaudi. “Some people will see a display and they’re like, ‘I want that,’ and then we’ll sell the whole display. And then we have some other people that want to go really elaborate, and then there’s the people who come in for a couple accessories.”
As Einaudi said, options are available everywhere and people at stores are looking to assist you, but the ultimate decision, she said, will come down to you.
“We’ll see if you have any ideas, then if not, we kind of give you a general idea of where to find things in the store,” said Einaudi. “Then we usually want you to take a look and see if something catches your eye, whether it be an accessory or a costume or a theme.”
Assisting both the DIY and shop-goers alike, makeup help and various other knick-knacks — such as contacts, blood capsules, even fake scabs — can be found at various locations throughout the SCV, as well.
“We try to help with application of 3D makeup and special effects makeup,” said Beth Culhane, sales manager at A Chorus Line. “We help mostly with application, but also better blending and shading for a more realistic effect.”