Fact: Refinery29 Founder Piera Gelardi Loves Halloween

We're gonna need more face paint...

When we got the invitation for Refinery 29’s Halloween bash last week, we knew we had to shoot a Good Times with the site’s co-founder and creative director, Piera Gelardi. Little did we know it’d be double-trouble with her husband, Philippe von Borries, on the scene. Peep the story and happy Halloween, everyone!

Piera! It’s Halloween, what are you and Philippe wearing tonight to the Refinery 29 bash?

I’m in a polka band and Philippe is Andy Warhol!

And who or what exactly were you in inspired by?
Yayoi Kusama: I was looking at her installations as a party decoration reference and in the process decided to appropriate her polka dots for my costume.

Where did you find bits and pieces?
I found all the clothes at thrift stores and then painted polka dots on them while listening to hours and hours of podcasts. The makeup is all from Ricky’s (obviously!)

Tell me about your first Halloween with Philippe?
Circa 2004, I made myself a “nude man” costume consisting of a leotard with all the anatomically correct parts made out of stockings and yarn. It was such a hit the night before Halloween that Philippe had me make him one too. It was a very interesting social experiment to see the different reactions people had to a girl versus a guy in the costume. We had so much fun!

I think my heart just burst in my chest, you guys! But back to you, what are we doing for makeup?

It’s quite elaborate! I love doing facepaint and there are far too few occasions for it. First, I’m painting my face with a layer of white. Then I’m adding more opaque dots all over. Next, I’m adding the red dots on my cheeks and the red lips. Lastly, I’ll use black eyeliner and outline my mouth, cheeks, nose, and lashes… something that was a bit inspired by Roy Lichtenstein.

I always want to know, what’s in your handbag when you go out?
Cash, credit cards, ID, keys, key makeup for touch ups.

Well that was easy! *Hides over-stuffed handbag* What are we listening to right now?

Back to the scary stuff, what’s your favorite scary movie?
I love The Shining. It’s one of the few scary movies that I’ve watched over and over again. No matter how many times you watch it, it still contains mystery. And the art direction is just incredible.

Favorite party scene in a movie?
I love the big party scene in Party Girl with Parker Posey where she says, Heh-Heh-Hello! and there are the twins and the vogueing. I used to be obsessed with that movie when I was a teenager.

And what’s your signature dance movie, tonight and forever more:
I have a move I learned from a 4-year-old I used to babysit. It’s called Action Dancing and it involves jutting out a hip and throwing your arms in the air.

We just popped a bottle of champas, but when you were in college, what did you pre-party routine consist of?
Drinking a flask of Jim Beam Black and listening to Peaches

Chic. Best Halloween outfit you’ve ever seen?
It’s hard to pick just one! A few faves… once my friend Gia went as John Lennon and Yoko Ono in that famous nude photo of them… it’s hard to explain but it involves puppets and lots of nude stockings. Connie Wang and Nathan Reese once went as Doctor Zizmor and his patient (before and after treatment) which I thought was really brilliant and hilarious.

OK finish this sentence, The best costumes begin with: a sense of humor

Isn’t she the best?! Stay tuned for more Good Times features! What’s in your handbag when you go out? I seriously want to know! Pippa@sousstyle.com

Photography by Bailey R. Roberts