Haute Halloween: Last-Minute Diva Costumes

Ladies, if you haven't settled on a Halloween costume yet, there's no reason to settle for one of those pre-packaged drugstore deals. Why not dress up as one of the most iconic divas of all time? From Tina Turner to Grace Jones, these beauty icons have such instantly recognizable signature styles, your costume will be a surefire smash. Take lots of pictures!
ESSENCE.COM Oct, 26, 2010

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Ladies, if you haven’t settled on a Halloween costume yet, there’s no reason to settle for one of those pre-packaged drugstore deals. Why not dress up as one of the most iconic divas of all time? From Diana Ross to Grace Jones, these beauty icons have such instantly recognizable signature styles, your costume will be a surefire smash. Take lots of pictures!

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Josephine Baker was one of the first Black sex symbols of the modern age. Create her iconic look with a spit-curled flapper wig, smokey eyes, and heavy accessories. Banana skirt, optional.

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Tina Turner has one of the most iconic looks of all time! With her wild rocker hair and fire engine red lips, this private dancer will be a hit at your Halloween party. Don’t forget super-high heels and a short mini…Tina was all about flaunting those gorgeous gams!

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As Dominique Devereaux on “Dynasty,” Diahann Carroll rocked one of the most iconic looks of the ‘80s. Recreate her look with huge, hot-rollered hair, contoured eyeshadow, and a sparkly, Bob Mackie-esque dress. Don’t forget the shoulder pads!

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Sade’s look is not only easy to create at home, it’s super-chic! All you need is a slicked-back ponytail, powdered skin and crimson lips.

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A Pam Grier costume will surely bring the house down! Go for a sassy fro, huge hoop earrings, a cleavage-baring top and hip-hugging bellbottoms.

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Erykah Badu has rocked a zillion looks, but her signature style will always be the mile-high headwrap and slinky, African-print dresses. What better costume for a sexy Halloween party?

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Grace Jones’ androgynous, alien-punk look sparked a zillion trends in the Eighties. To work the look for Halloween, sculpt your hair into a faux high-top fade (if it’s long, tuck it behind a veil), multicolored eyeshadow, and a body-baring avant garde ensemble.

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Billie Holiday’s signature style—think slinky, 1940s-style dresses and gardenia-strewn hair—is great inspiration for a Halloween costume. To reproduce Lady Day’s pre-war glamour, don’t forget to enhance your brows with a pencil and paint your nails scarlet red.

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Janet Jackson’s style has undergone several transformations over the years, but we’ll always love her “Control”-era crimped hair and key earring! To complete the “Miss Janet if You’re Nasty” costume, rock khol eyeliner, maroon lipstick, huge hair and an all-black ensemble.