2019's late-October turned out to be an interesting time for those looking to scratch that festive itch. While most of the country planned out vibrant desi outfits for Diwali, this year's festival of lights also shared the week with a rather different, darker holiday - All Hallows' Eve, more commonly known as Halloween. And with Comic-Con on the horizon for Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi all through the end of 2019, we went down to Delhi's hottest Halloween party in search of inspiration - Bacardi's #NightOfTheBat - CarnEvil of Horrors.
© Bacardi/Over 2,000 attendees made the most of this spooky spectacle.
With great dance music, hip-hop acts and horror-themed cocktails, the party itself was one to be remembered - but what really made the occasion so special was the crowd itself - a crowd of over two thousand Delhiites donned costumes with incredible levels of detail and effort. While there was no shortage of Jokers, vampires, ghosts n' ghouls, I stepped out in my own Terminator-themed duds on the hunt for standout costumes with a unique, interesting story to tell.Costume Highlights
As far as seeking inspiration goes, you'd be hard pressed to find better variety. From all-original creations to faithful reproductions and everything in between, we saw superheroes, supervillains, classic horror figures and many more unique, unexpected twists on the dancefloor.
© Sharan Sanil/Arsalan takes on the mask of Kaneki Ken, protagonist of horror-action anime, Tokyo Ghoul.
Pop culture today isn't a one-way street anymore, where the world laps up whatever is thrown at them by mainstream western media. We're more connected than ever before to Japanese and Korean media as well - it's not too rare to find someone into K-Pop and K-Dramas, or Anime series. Anime fan Arsalan picked up the suitably grim and grisly series Tokyo Ghoul, representing its main character, the half-dark, half-light Kaneki Ken.
© Sharan Sanil/Tanvir and Disha take their own American history detours, as the quintessential '90's kid' and an Apache tribeswoman.
Another unique spin on costumes is this all-American blast-from-the-past duo. Tanvir's costume brings back memories of Will Smith's Fresh Prince persona from the early 90s - the gangsta' rap chains, oversized basketball jerseys and gravity-defying low-slung denims took me right back to that era. Disha, on the other hand, took her own Burning Man-style Apache avatar all the way to 11 - just look at that headdress!
© Sharan Sanil/Khalid's netagiri costume definitely seized a landslide victory at the venue - I'd vote for him.
Perhaps my favourite costume of them all was Khalid Wani's neta costume - complete with a siren-led VVVIP style entry to the venue that absolutely blew the competition away. Perhaps the most terrifying reality of India is its power-hungry political class after all. And his tongue-in-cheek satire came packaged with campaign stickers, which several party-goers proudly wore. “Halloween is a western thing, and all this pop culture is fine. I love my country however, and I want to put our representation ahead here as well,” he shares.
© Sharan Sanil/Kabir and Mayank in sequined, glitzy 'disco-diva' robes.
Along with pop-culture, Halloween also allows several members from India's LGBTQ+ community to self-express in a much more open environment than everyday life. Several queer folk represented themselves in drag and even classical greek depictions of homoeroticism. Stylists Kabir and Mayank designed their own 'disco-diva' outfits for the event, glittering in pink and blue on the dance floor.
As a whole, the event was an incredible fusion of culture and music - even a surprise performance from rapper DIVINE sent the crowd into a wild frenzy.
© Bacardi/DIVINE takes up the stage.
All in all, it was an incredible experience that celebrated the capital's creativity and diversity - one we'd definitely urge you to visit next year - we hope you've got some cool new ideas for Comic-con too!