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The ultimate guide to dressing like an architect for Halloween

From Le Corbusier to Denise Scott Brown

Watch the video above for even more architect costume ideas, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles and Ray Eames.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated with the most recent information.

In the last few years, architects have done quite the dance in the mainstream cultural consciousness—Pharrell designed some shoes with Zaha Hadid, Brad Pitt is pointing at things in close proximity to Frank Gehry, and Kanye practically (thinks he) is one.

So, basically, it's about time people started showing up at Halloween parties dressed as Le Corbusier. From the famous modernist's round spectacles to Zaha Hadid's proclivity for the swoop, dressing like an architect is all about pulling off a signature look, and this is the guide to show you how.

Whichever of these geniuses' costumes you use, remember to keep your tone quixotic, your facial expression thoughtful, and, when your friends admit they don't know who you even are, your demeanor aghast.

Costume: Le Corbusier, legendary Swiss-French modernist


What you'll need: A double breasted, yet perfectly, tailored suit, long tobacco pipe, mean upper lip, a crisp white pocket square, and a pair of stark oval glasses to match the withering stare you'll probably have to practice beforehand. Le Corbusier, known for both flashes of brilliance, an aesthetic colonialism, and, arguably, the modernist legacy, should always be pared down rather than turnt up. Just don't forget the bald cap.

Vintage-inspired round eyeglasses, $9.95.
Straight stem wooden smoking pipe, $20.99.
Paul Smith ‘Micro-Dot’ silk bow tie, $125.
Reusable bald cap, $1.76.

Costume: Zaha Hadid, Pritzker Prize winner

Late Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in her London office, UK, circa 1985. (Photo by Christopher Pillitz/Getty Images)
Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in her London office, UK, circa 1985.
Photo by Christopher Pillitz/Getty Images

What you'll need: Since Hadid was the godmother of parametric design, anything you put on your body needs to meet the following criteria: Does it look like it was harvested from your fifth grade field trip to a crystal farm? Is there an inherent "swoop" to the design? If yes, then that object is perfect. Hadid, who has a predilection for designers Elke Walter, Issey Miyake, and Yohji Yamamoto, once stated her preference for, "very modern pieces" because "they don't need the sort of care that antiquities do." You're also going to want to top off the outfit with purple lipstick.

Issey Miyake Wave Maxi Dress, $2,320.
Saks Fifth Avenue.
NARS Audacious Lipstick in “Fanny,” $34.
Agmes Jean Cuff, $680.
Yohji Yamamoto embossed zip sneakers, $946.

Costume: Anonymous Was a Woman

Pearsons Magazine

What you'll need: This is, in fact, a two-person costume. Make sure the person standing next to you is far more famous than you, but possibly less sleep deprived. A great lifehack for this costume is using a purple eye shadow palette to paint sleep-sapped circles under your eyes. Make sure to keep your hair up in a tight top knot and stay away from expensive fabrics that might draw attention away from whoever is standing next to you.

Costume: Daniel Libeskind, master planner of the new World Trade Center site in NYC

Daniel Libeskind poses at the construction of the Academy of Jewish Museum in October 2011 in Berlin, Germany.
Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images

What you'll need: This is the perfect costume for anyone who is blithely unaware that all his or her friends are talking bad about them behind his or her back (or sometimes, in front). This costume, which hinges on the "cool dad" aesthetic, isn't like the other totally lame starchitect costumes. Daniel Libeskind, who considers himself to be different, doesn't mess with bow ties and bespoke tortoise-shell eyewear. A hybrid of both Trinity's outfit in The Matrix and de facto cater waiter attire, Libeskind pairs a clean black turtleneck with a simple leather overcoat. However, it is imperative that one brandishes their feet with black elk skin calf-length cowboy boots—with minimal stitching because, come on, you're still an architect.

Missani Le Collezione reversible leather jacket, $699.
Men’s basic turtleneck sweater, $24.99.
Omega Seamaster dial watch, $2,839.72.
R.M. Williams Archive Boots, $595.
Need Supply

Costume: Adolf Loos, pioneering modernist and author of Ornament and Crime


What you'll need: A respectable member of fin de siècle Austria, Loos famously stated, "It is all about being dressed in an inconspicuous manner." Loos firmly believed in not standing out, and thus posited himself as Vienna's first proponent of normcore. For this costume, he would want you to just wear some regular clothes, be chill about it, and totally not freak. Just like Loos says, "Individual clothing is only for people with limited intellectual capacity."

Hanes 3-pack V-necks tees, $11.49.
Vans Old Skool white black sole sneaker, $55.
Urban Outfitters
Carhartt beanie, $9.99.
Vitaly Basel x Gold leather watch, $200.

Costume: Denise Scott Brown, principal at Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates

Denise Scott Brown, receiving an award at The Lilly Awards at Playwrights Horizons in June 2013 in New York City.
Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Lilly Awards

What you'll need: Let's be honest, you just wanna wear comfy clothes, carry around a hot toddy, tell everyone they look nice, and be in bed by 8 p.m. Denise Scott Brown, who avidly refers to herself as architecture's grandmother, is the reigning first lady of postmodern theory and wears really cute sweaters with funny shapes. You're going to wanna play fast and loose with cardigans, goofy brooches, floral patterns, and spectacles.

Confetti Knit Shawl Collar Sweater, $118.
Pigeon enamel pin, $10.
Colorblocked carryall bag, $29.99.
Vintage Silky Printed Square Scarf, $10.
Urban Outfitters