Thu, Oct 21, 2010 - Page 13 News List

Who are you wearing this Halloween?

Ximending has stores for all your Halloween needs, including costume rentals and special effects makeup

By Catherine Shu  /  Staff reporter

With latex, airbrushes and pigment, the special effects makeup artists of Hdco. Ltd can transform you into a character from your favorite film.

Photo courtesy of Hdco. Ltd

This Halloween, turn Ximending into your dress-up box. The area boosts two blocks lined with costume rental shops, as well as one of Taiwan’s top stage and special effects makeup suppliers.

Run by the same family for three generations, Hdco. Ltd (花莉) at 40, Hankou St Sec 2 (漢口街二段40號), tel: (02) 2381-3220 (call 0963-007-211 for English service) has supplied Taiwan’s movie and TV industry with makeup since the 1970s. The company began offering special effects makeup services last year. Hdco. Ltd’s artists recently worked on Z-108, a zombie movie that is being filmed in Ximending, and will host workshops at the Kaohsiung Movie Festival (高雄電影節) demonstrating, among other things, how they recreated the Pale Man character from Pan’s Labyrinth with a hand-sculpted silicone mask and body prosthetics.

Hdco. Ltd also offers plenty of options for revelers. For Halloween, the store will provide makeup services on Oct. 29, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 (reservations are not required but suggested). Hour-long sessions start at NT$1,000. Popular requests include gory, realistic injuries built with latex and oozing with stage blood and pus. Fantasy characters from popular movies are also available: You can transform into a member of the Navi tribe from Avatar, with facial makeup starting at NT$500 (nose and ear prosthetics are extra) and full body makeup applied with an airbrush at NT$3,600. If you would prefer to be an elf or hobbit from Lord of the Rings (or Spock from Star Trek), a pair of readymade pointy latex ears are NT$500. Other supplies include the full range of Ben Nye stage makeup.

For the rest of your Halloween gear, walk a few blocks over to Hanzhong Street (漢中街) between Chengdu Road (成都路) and Changsha Street (長沙街). The neighborhood’s shops stock a wide selection of costumes, dancewear and accessories. Costume rental prices vary little in the neighborhood and are reasonable — most outfits are between NT$300 to NT$800 per day.

Details:

Most costume stores on Hanzhong Street are open from 9:30am to 8pm on weekdays. Dancewear stores close an hour earlier. Quanguo is closed on Sundays.


Two of the biggest stores are Quanguo (全國) at 168 Hanzhong St (漢中街168號), tel: (02) 2388-7198, and Qinglong (青龍) at 137 Hanzhong St (漢中街137號), tel: (02) 2331-4989, across the street. Both stores have plastic binders filled with photos of their offerings if you don’t feel like digging through their well-stocked racks. Quanguo’s staff is friendly, and the outfits themselves are clean and well maintained. Standouts include a section filled with kimonos made of shimmery, luxurious brocades and traditional Chinese robes covered in lush embroidery. Cartoon character costumes are also available, including Mickey Mouse and Doraemon outfits.

Qinglong’s costume selection is similar, but its stock of tight, sequined mini-dresses (perfect for re-enacting South Korean pop group Wonder Girl’s hit music video for Nobody) and costume weaponry stands out. There are also plenty of sexy outfits for women — sexy police officer, sexy sailor, sexy nurse.

Xinfeng (薪豐) at 146 Hanzhong St (漢中街146號), tel: (02) 2389-4680, is pint-sized, but differentiates itself from its neighbors with beautiful traditional Asian clothing, including brightly colored Korean hanboks and elegant Chinese qipaos.

Yijibang (衣級棒) at 2F, 150 Hanzhong St (漢中街150號2F), tel: (02) 2375-8951 is up a frighteningly steep flight of stairs and as crowded as an overstuffed high school theater costume closet, but its selection is diverse and rental fees are lower than competitors. Costumes include rows of captain’s jackets with gilt braid and tuxedos, real uniforms from some of Taipei’s top high schools, white sequined suits (perfect for paying homage to Las Vegas’ recently closed Liberace Museum), Mighty Morphin Power Ranger unitards and many, many crinolines.

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