La La Land Costume Walk-Through


In honor of the Oscars this weekend, I thought I would share this costume walk-through.

After seeing La La Land on New Year’s Eve, I was enamored. Beautiful instrumentals, captivating cinematography, elaborate dance numbers, Emma Stone’s eyebrows, the list goes on. I was particularly drawn to the costumes; the contemporary take on old Hollywood glamour (the swishy skirts!) was magical.

The costume I liked the most?

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Ryan Gosling with a keytar. I immediately wanted to do a couple’s costume of Mia and Sebastian from this scene. With months and months ‘til Halloween, and no news of an iconic duos party coming up, my boyfriend and I decided to play dress-up at UPB’s semiformal instead.

————————–Costume Break DOWN————————–


Red button up? Check. White tank top? Check. Mustard pants? Khakis will have to do. Clothes for this costume were easy to find without needing modification. The hardest part of Sebastian’s costume was the keytar.

Mini keyboard from Amazon
Flat bat or old guitar hero guitar handle from Goodwill
Red tape
A sharp knife lol 

After I got the mini keyboard, I went to Goodwill to try and find an old guitar hero guitar that I could smash the handle off of. This was as close as I got.


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I think it’s for sports?!??!?!?!?!?
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I cut out one of the sides of the flat bat, leaving a little C shaped cradle. After a ridiculously long time, I gave up trying to make it even and set the keyboard into the cradle.

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I taped the keyboard into place using the red tape, then proceeded to cover the rest of the bat with the tape. I made a little angular handle out of the tape, too. Ta-daaa! This keytar is ready for playing.

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Yellow dress
Black fabric paint pen
Needle and thread
Tacky glue

This outfit required more. Much more. I hate yellow, but it was the outfit that she wore in the scene. So it goes.

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I thrifted this yellow dress at Goodwill for less than $5.00. I know it’s ugly! But I saw its potential in the color and length, and the way it swished! All it needed was a quick hemming, square neckline, chopped sleeves, and sketch-like, black flowers.

First, I put it on inside-out and had my roommate cut it at my knees, making sure to leave at least a quarter of an inch for hemming. I then drew a new square neckline with a crayon, and outlined the sleeves to be angular and short. I took it off, did the snipa-snip along the crayon lines, and tucked them under and secured it with tacky glue (since I was too impatient to sew it).

For the neckline, since the dress was a little big, I cinched it by sewing in and out sparsely and tied to secure.

After the cut was right, I got to work on the pattern. Using a black paint marker, I practiced the whimsical, sketchy flower design on Emma Stone’s dress. Once I had mastered it (enough), I started sparsely painting flowers on, making sure to stick a piece of cardboard to separate the layers of dress so that it didn’t bleed through to the back.

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All done dress!


Blue and white paint
Glitter ($0.98 at Walmart)

Since Emma Stone wore blue heels at the party scene, I decided to transform shoes I already owned instead of buying completely new ones. I got these shoes from Plato’s Closet in the summer because I thought they had character, but I never wore them because the green didn’t go with anything I owned #impulseshopper.

I didn’t take before pics, but I quickly googled “green shoes silver point” and they immediately popped up. To preserve the silver point, I put some painter’s tape over them, then painted the body of the shoes white so that the blue would pop instead of being dull.

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I covered the shoes with modge podge and coated it in glitter. After letting it dry overnight, I put a top coat of modge podge to seal them so glitter wouldn’t be all over the floor (because we can’t do that anymore!!).
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There you have it! What a waste of a lovely night.

La La Land will be coming to Grafton the last week of March. 3/29-4/1 Go. See. It. I know I’ll be at every showing. Follow us on social media to see what’s playing this week in Grafton! 

Send movie suggestions to @harmlette on twitter with the hashtag #moviethriftre if there is a costume you would like me to make a walk-through for!

Written by Leigh Taylor Harmer


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