Behind The scene: What It’s Like to Design the Kardashians’ Halloween Costumes

Over the last couple days, the Kardashians have stepped out in a bunch of Halloween costumes. Kim Kardashian did four looks total (Cher, Aaliyah, Madonna, and Selena Quintanilla) and Khloé Kardashian and her boyfriend Tristan Thompson hit a Halloween party in an uncanny Daenerys and Khal Drogo look.

But the construction of these looks is actually quite involved. Here, the designers—because these obviously don’t come from any store—behind Kim’s Madonna costume and Khloé’s Game of Thrones couple look talk about what it’s really like to work on a custom celebrity Halloween costume, how much the outfits are worth (tens of thousands of dollars!), and how the Kardashians picked and commissioned their 2017 costume ideas.

KIM’S MADONNA COSTUME | Yousef Aljasmi, Moni & J

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How did the ideas for the costume come about?

Yousef Aljasmi: The idea to pay homage to Madonna came from Kim, as she knew exactly what she wanted. With no time to waste, Kim’s team immediately sent us reference and inspiration photos of Madonna wearing Bob Mackie at the 1991 Academy Awards.

Moni & J: Kim’s team informed us about her Halloween costume idea through vintage photos of Madonna’s 1991 Academy Awards red carpet look.

Courtesy of the designers

How did you first connect with the Kardashians?

Yousef Aljasmi: Our PR team in LA has worked very closely with the Kardashians throughout the years. Kim’s team reached out to Style PR for assistance with the costume and thought of Yousef Aljasmi, as we’ve designed for Kim in the past.

 

How much time did the costumes take to make? How many fittings were there?

Yousef Aljasmi: Once we were confirmed for the job, we had about 10 days to create Kim’s costume. After two fittings, Kim’s costume was perfected.

Courtesy of the designers

Moni & J: The timeframe was really tight considering we are based in Kuwait and manufacture in Lebanon, and needed it in LA for Kim’s fitting. My team worked hard & nonstop for five days. We didn’t have time to send the handbag for confirmation, so we designed the bag completely and sent it rushed. We are grateful for the amount of trust we were given.

What was involved in the construction?

Yousef Aljasmi: After reviewing Kim’s reference photos of Madonna, we knew the costume would require a mixture of fabrics and design elements. I used elaborate white Swarovski crystals, sequins, and hand beading to mimic Bob Mackie’s gown.

Courtesy of the designers

Moni & J: Our design team discussed the best materials we can use to meet Kim’s expectations. We chose a luxurious Indian satin fabric to create the body of the bag. We used over 2,000 Swarovski pearls in various sizes to fully embellish the bag. The strap was made of the same Indian satin fabric and a gold chain.

How far ahead did the Kardashians contact you?

Yousef Aljasmi: Kim’s team contacted my PR team about 10 days in advance from the fitting date. Kim was very involved in the design process from the inspo/costume idea and to approving certain design elements during production.

Courtesy of the designers

Moni & J: We were connected two weeks before Halloween. Kim was involved in sending inspiration photos, but we were given full trust to produce the handbag.

What’s the approximate value of each costume?

Yousef Aljasmi: Many hours of hand-beading went into creating Kim’s costume. The Yousef Aljasmi costume retails at $12,000.

Moni & J: Kim’s handbag by Moni & J retails at $2,700.

Courtesy of the designers

How were costumes shipped?

Yousef Aljasmi: I wanted to make sure the costume was safe and in our control at all times to confirm it will be delivered to Kim by the deadline. I sent an assistant to the states to hand deliver the costume.

Moni & J: We shipped the handbag through a private courier.


KHLOÉ & TRISTAN’S GAME OF THRONES COSTUMES | Bryan Hearns

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How did the ideas for the costumes come about?

Bryan Hearns: Jill Jacobs reached out to me about working on Khloe and Tristan’s costumes. I interpreted my own take on the costumes based on the inspiration photos I was given from Khloe’s team. To find inspiration, I revisited the show and studied it from a costume designer point of view.

How did you first connect with the Kardashians?

Last year, I had the honor of creating Kylie’s costume, so I’ve built a great relationship with stylist, Jill Jacobs. They loved what I did for Kylie and reached out to me about Khloé & Tristan’s costume. I was so excited to jump on board as it will be my first time working with Khloé.

How much time did the costumes take to make? How many fittings were there?

Creating Khloé’s costume from start to finish took about three weeks. I had two fittings with Khloé during the production process.

What was involved in the construction?

I treated the leather to give it the illusion that the costume is made of metal. To stay true to the authenticity of the era, I was committed to the technique and refrained from using a sewing machine. Everything was hand-sewn or grommeted together.

Courtesy of the designers

How far ahead did the Kardashians contact you?

I was contacted by Jill Jacobs three weeks in advance from the deadline. I sent Jill a few sketches to show Khloé. Khloé was very involved in the design process as she told me which elements she liked from the sketches and suggested changes to perfect her vision.

Courtesy of the designers

How were costumes shipped?

I packaged the costumes very carefully to make sure they would not get damaged. Khloé’s team picked up the costumes to deliver to Khloé.

Courtesy of the designers
Courtesy of the designers

Were there any special things done to unify Khloé and Tristan’s costumes since they went as Daenerys and Khal Drogo?

To unify Khloé and Tristan’s costumes, I used the same fabrics and design techniques such as painting and treatment the leather.

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