By Mick Swasko, @mickswasko
1:29 PM CDT, October 30, 2012
Benny Torres didn’t mind how many people took photos with this year’s costume. In fact, he insisted upon it.
The 27-year old from Noble Square was, however, surprised at how much attention his “Che Guevara T-Shirt” costume got after he posted it on Reddit’s r/Chicago, where it quickly rose near the top of the submissions on the subforum of the link-sharing site. The costume was simple, and cheap he said. He cut a hole in a red T-shirt, and kept a beard from running a recent marathon--the facial hair had co-workers commenting he looked like the former Argentine revolutionary. With a little foam, he emulated the iconic T-shirt commonly worn as a political statement, and let people “wear” him for photos.
“It just seemed like a piece of pop culture just known enough that people would smile at it,” he said.
And they did. Co-workers at his downtown marketing firm instantly recognized the apparel, and clamored for pictures. When he went to parties later, he said there was just as much buzz.
“Chicagoans seem to get it, maybe it’s the hipster element,” he said.
Torres wasn’t the only one getting attention on the web for a unique costume. Chicago designer and part owner of Wicker Park’s “Corsetiere” boutique Heather Garry, 28, of Humboldt Park, had a hand in helping a few friends with their outfits--so much so that she barely spent time on her own this year.
“I’ve been making costumes for my friends for a while now,” she said.
One, she said, was inspired by an obscure reference to "The Simpsons," the leggy dancing can of Goya brand beans from "The Simpson’s" Bumblebee Man show. Since nothing even close existed in stores, she used a combination of foam, fabric, irrigation tubing, stencils and “a lot of hot glue” to put the costume together for her friend Tavi. It was another hit on r/Chicago.
“The reactions we got were completely out of this world,” she said.
Another odd one? A “BearSharktapus” she put together for another friend. It’s described as a giant bear head and body, with shark teeth and a fin and tentacles for arms.
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