Do you want to bring Canadian spirit to this year’s Halloween festivities, but think a mountie or hockey player is too boring? You might look to cosplayer Zee Kay for inspiration.
For the past few weeks, the Toronto-based cosplayer has been debuting Halloween costumes on social media inspired by your favourite Canadian pop culture references. And no, we aren’t talking about boring old beavers or even a Tim Hortons cup — more like low-budget ’90s kids shows or beloved grocery store brands.
She walked us through some of the most nostalgia inducing get-ups, and they’re surprisingly easy to do yourself.
No Name Brand:
In a look best described as “Kill Bill meets No Frills,” Zee dons a yellow unitard to represent the supermarket brand — or lack-thereof — we all know and love. It’s got all of the elements: the font, the simple word-use and that signature brand of yellow. And of course the item itself — “costume.”
“The No Name ad campaign was everywhere and I was joking around with my boyfriend when I came up with the costume idea in the same style of the cheeky ads,” she said.
Zee even took the ensemble — and a friend wearing the “sexy” version of it — to its natural habitat of the downtown Toronto No Frills for a truly iconic photoshoot.
And if you want to do it at home, the instructions are pretty simple.
Ontario children of the ’80s might remember Téléfrançais!, the French-language TVO kids show, and especially its junkyard-living, talking pineapple Ananas. At the very least, you might know the “je suis un Ananas” meme
Well, a stock Halloween costume and a bit of paint can have you singing along to the obnoxiously catchy Téléfrançais! theme song.
Zee even shared the instructions for this one.
She says most of the costumes are made out of found items with limited sewing.
“I took a sewing course a few years ago, so now I at least know the basics,” she told HuffPost Canada. “[But] I usually opt for something simpler or with pieces I can already buy as I don’t have a lot of time to work on cosplay with my full time job and attempt at a social life.”
Another classic kids show, Zee say she’s particularly proud of how her interpretation of the late-’90s icon Angela Anaconda turned out.
“I love the look of it,” she said. “In photos, [it] just looks surreal.”
This one was as simple as a home-made mask, metallic bodysuit and just the right outfit.
Dream up a costume that will haunt your nightmares and help you explore Nana Bea’s backyard with the character Mona from the classic kid-Can-con show Nanalan’.
Zee says there’s something special about our national nostalgia for Cancon classics like Angela Anaconda, Ananas or Mona.
“It’s like belonging to a club — a Canadian club,” she told HuffPost. “It’s about recognizing something from your community. We have a lot of content coming from Canada and people make fun of it a lot, but I actually really enjoy a lot of it, no matter how low budget or weird.”
She says her next planned costume is the character Dot from beloved Canadian anime ReBoot.
“I love the character so much. I just think she’s so cool,” she said. “I am not looking forward to the green body-paint — that is the sole reason this hasn’t been done sooner.”
As for the future, Zee says next year’s Halloween plans are a secret, but people can expect another hit of Canadian nostalgia.
“I will probably have at least one dumb or quirky costume every year until my hands fall off,” she said with a laugh.
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