No one pulls off bright bedazzled costumes quite like Jem and the Holograms. And this Halloween, you can recreate the truly outrageous look of the girl band that ruled Sunday morning cartoons in the '80s. Just in time for the new live-action Jem and the Holograms movie to hit theaters on Oct. 23, we're sharing tips to transform into the pop star and her bandmates, straight from the film's costume designer, Soyon An.
"Each element of Jem's look is '80s-inspired, but it's definitely more high-fashion," An recently told InStyle. Luckily for fans of the girl group, it should be pretty easy to find the pieces you'll need to land the ultimate Jem ensemble just by heading to your favorite retailers (no costume shop visit required). "When you look in stores now, you can see that the '80s are really in," said An (pictured below).
Still, you'll need to search for a few key pieces, like Jem's signature pink leather jacket. For the movie's star, Aubrey Peeples, An created a modern take on the blazer-style wrap dress from the cartoon's opening credits. "The jacket we used is very edgy, but it also has a sideways Swarovski crystal fringe to make it more glam," she said. After originally designing the jacket in black, An decided that it needed to be redone. "It had to be the perfect hue of rock-star pink—not too bubblegum, and not too fuchsia," she said. Her solution? "We airbrushed it overnight. It took 10 hours and seven coats of paint, but we finally got it right."
Although it was important to get the shade perfect on-screen, An is adamant that there's more to Jem's jacket than its bright hue. "It's not about the color as much as it is about the attitude," she said. And of course, the accessories matter. In addition to Jem's iconic holographic star earring, An decked Peeples out in easy-to-find pieces like "friendship beads, stackable rings, and bracelets with inspirational sayings on them." For a final touch, throw on some shoes that a modern-day rock star would wear. "We chose thigh-high leather boots," said An.
It's also important to keep the spirit of the character in mind. "Jem has elements that are trendy and stand out, but overall she's a girl-next-door homebody," said An. "She loves wearing cozy vintage pieces like rock-and-roll shirts and jeans." So as long as you incorporate Jem's signature flashy pink pieces, the rest is up to you.
And if you're dressing up with your #squad, it's easy to create looks reminiscent of Jem's sisters-slash-bandmates, the Holograms. Just make sure to keep their signature styles and colors in mind. "Shana wears purple, and she also wears a lot of zebra print," An said. "Aja wears blue, and we incorporated a pink pearl wallet chain that she wears in the cartoon. And then Kimber's color is orange, and she wears a ton of blazers."
Whether you decide to be Jem or one of the Holograms, you'll be right on the mark as long as you wear "anything that's super outrageous," said An. She offers one final tip to bring out your inner rock star: "Try something that brings out your glamorous side, like iridescent or holographic shoes."
—With reporting by Grace Lee
Watch the trailer for Jem and the Holograms below, and catch the movie in theaters on Oct. 23.