Donald Trump's Hair Costume
Recreating the most iconic head of hair on the planet
By Rob Cockerham |
The first thing I should say before describing the construction of this Donald Trump's Hair costume is that my hair is thinning. I too will have soon have a sparse crop of hair on top of my head.
The inspiration for this costume came eleven years ago, when Donald Trump was first burning up the airwaves with his hit reality show The Apprentice. Donald Trump was positioned as a superstar businessman, whose mere recommendation was an assurance of a lifetime of gainful employment on Wall Street. He looked like a normal white guy, except his hair was totally insane.
He has blond hair, but it is flipped and draped and looped over the top of his head in a complicated pattern which hypnotizes his adversaries. It is a marvel.
"That hair would make a great halloween costume" I thought.
A domed head covered with short pieces of yarn.
I had three good seasons to act, but I missed my window, and Donald Trump's show was off the air, giving way to other blockbuster TV shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
But then! He was back!
Ladies and Gentlemen, as crazy as this sounds, In June 2015, Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States! He is back, all over the news and all over the internet. The hair costume is back!
For portability, I needed a large collapsible dome shape. I decided to build the hair on a frame like an umbrella, which could be raised or lowered to fit through doorways and into trucks.
Building an umbrella requires some delicate engineering, which I didn't use. Instead I built this clunky beast out of PVC pipe and zip ties. I liked the way the formed a half-sphere when open, but it was heavy and the ribs weren't spaced out evenly.
I've made the canopy for a patio umbrella before. It's a lot of work, which got me thinking, maybe I didn't need to re-invent the umbrella.
I needed a big, lightweight umbrella. I needed it to have steel ribs instead of wooden ones. I found one in my own backyard.
The first step was to paint it a natural, healthy skin tone.
I bought a bunch of yarn and started gluing individual strands in place.
It wasn't long before I realized I could tie strands onto a horizontal piece and glue the whole shebang down at once.
It worked! Long, glorious hair took it's place on the umbrella.
I never stuck with one hair-attachment process for long. Not long after I was making curtains of yarn, I suspended two rolls in a bag in a crude yarn-dispenser configuration.
I created a huge bump-it out of aluminum foil and prepared to comb the hair over it.
I used carpenter's glue to tack the yarn in place, just like a top fashion stylist.
I added more and more yarn, but there was always more scalp to cover.
I could carry the umbrella in my arms, but I'm an ace at making pvc harnesses, so I opted for a backpack approach.
I actually re-purposed the harness from my Spinning Tornado costume, adding a socket for the beach umbrella pole to line up with my backbone.
I was going hands-free!
I was working on one of the largest combovers in hair styling history.
Most strands covered a lot of real estate, but I was left with a lot of party in the back.
I called my friend Jason, who recommended Cheyenne, an actual real hair-stylist.
Every stylist should cut hair on a ladder at least one time.
Doing some tapering. When she was done, it looked awesome!
Test fitting for the hair.
I didn't want the hair to be on top of my head. If the hair was on top of my head, I would be Donald Trump.
I wanted the hair to be the costume.
The harness held up the hair and gave me both hands free, but I needed more yarn!
I added a thousand yards of yarn. Tons of yarn. Curtains of yarn.
This was finally starting to look like a head of hair!
This video shows the costume with more hair in place.
I think I'm ready! Halloween is on a Saturday this year, wish me luck in the contests!