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In Crowd Costume of The Year: Nicola Formichetti and Posse—Gaga, Zombie Boy, and Possible Special Guest

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The fashionable career of Racked contributor Payton Wang began in a typical retail situation—at an independent punk-hippie-run costume/gift shop in Athens, Georgia. Daily tasks included: fighting for air in a cloud of incense, vacuum-packing $10.00 wigs, occasionally sporting a penguin costume (fondly called Pay-Pay at the time) and, oh yeah, coordinating hundreds of costumes for the local mega-Greek weekly themed "socials." Here, Payton channels those ideas that went unworn into a series of Halloween How-Tos.


If you're hip with the in crowd, and are looking for that Halloween costume that oozes cool just as much as you do, then we've got the costume for you. Play in the Mugler clique for a night and join the confusing matrix that is this dynamic trio—Nicola Formichetti and posse are fashion and pop culture's "it crowd," and now, we're going to show you how to dress like them.

You and a pair of friends (a third friend has the option to join, after the jump) have your choice of three major players in the cool equation—The creative mastermind behind it all, Nicola; his muse/simultaneous creation (and Halloween's most popular costume since 2008) Lady Gaga; and the brand's own muse/fresh face of the modeling world, Zombie Boy!


Nicola Formichetti:

Being as effortlessly cool as Nicola Formichetti is a difficult look to pull off. More than a costume, this is an aura. Anyone can wear mostly basics and black, be into pandas and play it coy, but few can be an artistic and fashion mastermind while staying genuinely minimal and socially reserved. For this cool-crowd's ringleader, we recommend wearing one of his signature looks, but most importantly, studying his demeanor.


Zombie Boy:

Rick Genest is undoubtedly the attention getter for this popularity trifecta. This costume would be easiest for a guy to pull off—the simple use of a bald cap, some tattoo pens, anatomy and bone stencils, and some faux leather pants would do the trick. But there's always the creepy, scary-in-the-spirit-of-Halloween option of a tan body suit on a girl with tattoos drawn on. Once you get past the terrifying packaging that comes with the territory of purchasing a bald cap, this costume is easy. With options from printable temporary tattoo paper for the non-artists, and easy stick on fake body jewelry (spike for the bridge and captive ring for the septum), you'll be Zombie-Boy-ified in no time.

Since zombies in general have been a cool costume since Night of the Living Dead, The Walking Dead, and what have you, you'll be the coolest, most innovative one in the bunch—besides Zombie Boy himself, of course—whose tattoos don't go away at the end of the night (unless he covers them in Dermablend again.)

Lady Gaga:


There are two directions you can take with your Lady Gaga costume: The completely normal but considered ironic/somehow genius Gaga (which would involve you wearing your normal clothes and sunglasses and just having lots of body guards) or over-the-top but ironic/somehow not over-the-top at all, more expected/old Gaga. Whew. No matter what costume you choose, falling in your too high and unnecessary shoes (we have located a prime and reasonably priced selection at and pretending like it didn't happen is a must for this look. We have some clothing options for different Gagas, but seriously, anything goes. If Lady Gaga wore a J. Crew cardigan, it would make headlines. (She must be a genius.) Finally, anything you wear or do must have deep purpose and meaning, from social commentary, human rights, artistic freedom or even claimed homage to someone you are borrowing ideas from. A Lady Gaga imitator must think quick on their feet, above all else.

Disclaimer: does not advocate the use of hosiery and/or undergarments as suitable coverage for clothing. Apparently fame lends immunity to public indecency citations, but for those of us who are not celebrities, imitate at your own risk.

Bonus Costume:

Doughnut Chart

Forget her alter-ego, Jo Calderone. An embodiment of Lady Gaga's half-mermaid/half-human lovechild, who would come into being from the graphic, thrust-heavy intercourse mermaid Gaga had with a hot barn guy in one of the You and I videos, is someone we would like to see join this group. The heritage of this child is actually very simple to understand, but we are using it as an excuse to have a doughnut chart anyway.

If we could predict Lady Gaga's take on what this child would look like, which we probably can because her every move is carefully calculated resulting in something that seems to no longer surprise the public, then this costume would involve fresh fish from the local market, nudity, those Paul Schietekat scuba stilettos Jessica Simpson tweeted about one time, graphic stick-on gills, blood, and some high-priced designer accessories—and maybe an umbilical cord/belt combo. (Or it might wear what Lil Kim wore to the VMAs that year Diana Ross felt up her boob.) This love child would also probably come from an egg, we would assume. Have fun dragging that egg around all night long. Non-celebrities also don't have slave-boys to carry around their egg, post hatching.

With so many options, so much cool to wrap your mind around, and so little time until Halloween, this costume is an arduous task for three or four friends. But, we anticipate, based on the success of the originals, that if executed correctly, the sheer popularity that will result is worth all of the effort. Keeping up appearances takes dedication.—Payton Wang

Picture 1: On Gaga: "Future Rockstar" 18 to 24 month costume, $33 at CooCooCity; On Nicola: Baby panda bear costume, $22 at; On Rick: "Happy Skeleton" toddler costume, $30 at Spirit Halloween.

Picture 2: 1. Black 3/4 sleeve blazer, $130 at Topshop; 2. James Perse cotton tank, $65 at Net-a-Porter; 3. Corsican ram skull, $65 at Design Toscano; 4. Chan Luu onyx skull wrap bracelet, $270 at Net-a-Porter; 5. Rag & Bone black skinny, $176 at La Garconne; 6. Ilaria Nistri Roque denim leather vest, $405 at You, He, She; 7. Alexander Wang classic muscle tee, $80 at Net-a-Porter

Picture 3: 1. Nude body suit, $36 at; 2. Rubies semi-permanent tattoo pens, $6 at Amazon; 3. Biohazard temporary tattoo, $3 at Sticker Giant; 4. Bald cap kit, $35 at Clown Antics; 5. Artool scale skull template stencil, $26 at Amazon; 6. Fake captive ring, $15 at; 7. Fake spike piercing, $4 at Sears; 8. Junya Watanabe faux leather pants, $420 at Barneys.

Picture 4: 1. Agent Provocateur thong, $130 at Net-a-Porter; 2. Band-Aid flexible bandages, $9 at Walgreens; 3. Comme Des Garcones cardigan, $432 from Far Fetch; 4. XTREME 8" heels, $52 at Discount Stripper; 5. Reference mouth; 6. Tom Ford "Daphne" oversized sunglasses, $470 at Jade24; 7. Betsey Johnson fishnet tights, $20 at Bluefly; 8. Blonde wig, $19 at Totally Costumes
· All Halloween Posts [Racked]
· Everybody's Talking About Zombie Boy Rick Genest on the Catwalk [Racked]
· Nicola Formichetti's Seven-Foot Panda Bear Made it to FNO [Racked NY]