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WESTSIDE / COVER STORY : Adults' Tastes in Costumes Can Be Downright Horrifying

October 27, 1994|JOHN BUZBEE

More than a few Halloween celebrants this year want to dress up as O.J. Simpson and his murdered ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Several Westside costume shops are refusing to oblige, however.

Georgia Dowell, owner of the Dressing Room in Westwood, said she had been getting up to seven calls a day from customers looking for O.J. and Nicole outfits.

"Bad taste doesn't describe it," she said. "It goes much beyond that. It's hard to believe, but this is a town that sells Jeffrey Dahmer trading cards."

So goes the fast-growing adult Halloween costume trade. Grown-up Halloween partyers increasingly want to look the part, but sometimes their requests cross the line.

Ursula's Costumes in Venice is also turning down requests for O.J. and Nicole wear. For customers with more traditional tastes, owner Ursula Boschet is doing a brisk "Gone With the Wind" business, partly for people going to a party with that theme.

Renaissance costumes, which rent for $50 and up, are also popular, she said.

Some of the most sought-after adult costumes this year are simply large versions of things kids want to wear--an Arabian prince and princess or Capt. Hook, for example.

Adult costumes also lean to the romantic, such as Antony and Cleopatra, or risque, as in the case of French maids and Playboy bunnies.

Belle Fisher, owner of Robinson Beautilities in Venice, says her most popular adult costumes are Scarlett O'Hara, which rents for $30, and Freddy Krueger, $50.

Fisher is also turning down O.J. and Nicole requests, but she does offer costumes of John Wayne Bobbitt, the Virginia man whose wife last year attacked him with a knife and cut off his penis.

"We'll do him," she said. "We think he's funny."

Halloween is too much fun to leave to the kids, says sociologist and Halloween guru Fredrick Koenig of Tulane University.

"When I was a kid, it was a children's holiday. The children made war on the adults," he said. "Now the adults have taken over, probably because it was so much fun when they were kids."

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