What the..?
If you were a child of the 80s in Britain, you already know this, but for the uninitiated, Vyvyan Basterd "is a psychopathic punk metal medical student. He has orange-dyed & spiked hair and four metal stars seemingly embedded into his forehead".

At various times he has:
  • Accidentally cut off his own finger while performing a magic trick
  • Eaten a television
  • Survived a pickaxe through the head
  • Perfected "a cure for not being a psychopathic axe-wielding maniac"
  • Been decapitated
  • Reattached his own head

A veritable prince among men, as I'm sure you'll agree. So when my wife and I were invited to an "80s TV Icons" party, there was obviously only ever one person I was going to be.

I'm going to go through every step I took to create my costume. The most important element of the costume and the most labour intensive* is the customised sleeveless denim jacket which I begin describing in Step 4. I've included all the other elements of the costume for completeness, but the jacket is definitely the most important.

*(However, because of my bass-ackwards approach, I also had to put some work into his chain necklace and nose ring.)

Rough Shopping List
What you will need:
  • Blue denim jacket (eBay/TradeMe/Google)
  • 50+ pyramid studs (I made do with 50, but the more the better, for authenticity you can get some round studs too) (eBay/TradeMe/Google)
  • 4 star-shaped studs (eBay/TradeMe/Google/ Crustpunks (US))
  • Orange hair dye/temporary hair colour spray
  • Hair gel/wax/product
  • Tipp-Ex/Liquid Paper (preferably a pen)
  • Black & Blue permanent markers
  • Super glue
  • Pliers
  • Spirit Gum (What I used to affix the studs to my forehead) (Google/Cosume shop)
  • A length of chain (DIY store)
  • A padlock
  • A black "heavy metal" T-shirt
  • Blue denim jeans
  • Black leather boots
  • Black leather belt with pyramid studs
  • A nose-ring (See Step 2)
  • Paper clips (x50 or so)
The jacket will be permanently altered, so you will want to use a cheap/old one that you don't care about.

Step 1: The Chain Necklace

Vyvyan has a distinctive "necklace" which is, in fact, a length of chain, joined in the front with a padlock. In the series, the chain is wrapped once around his neck, before the ends are padlocked together in front. If you can't visualise this, you can sort of see it in the introductory picture.

If you are young or simple, I should point out that wrapping a length of chain round your neck like that is a bloody stupid thing to do. A slip or fall could see you gasping for breath on the floor with a crushed trachea.

With this in mind, my version won't be wrapped round my neck like that. It may have been possible to safely stop the chain from tightening and causing damage in the event of an accident, but I like to err on the side of caution.

I was planning on going to the DIY store to get a length of chain, but while looking for other elements of the costume in the $2 store, I found two dog "choke" chains going cheap. As it turns out, this worked out perfectly, as you'll see later on. If you want to get a length cut for you at the DIY store, you can skip this step as it involves modifying the choke chains for our purpose.

One chain on its own would have been just a bit too short for the right look, but two was too long. So, here comes the Dremel! I don't have action pictures of the cutting process, but there's nothing to it.

As you'll see in picture 2, I marked the links in each chain that I was going to cut with yellow insulation tape. This worked well to give me a little purchase with the cutting disc while I was getting it started.

I had the Dremel on the slowest setting and applied just enough pressure to cut. If you apply too much pressure you risk the disc shattering, and throwing hot bits of it into your eyes or other soft bits.

Picture 3 shows one of the cut links. Since the join would be under my collar, I decided just to cover the cuts with some black duct tape. Also, I felt it might be handy to have a way to take it off without having to keep the keys with me to unlock the padlock at the front. I did clean the cuts up a lot with a grinding bit, just in case, but the duct tape offers adequate protection from all but the worst sharp jagged bits if you didn't have one.

The Padlock
The padlock also came from the $2 store. I'm not sure it would hold up against a burglar, but it's perfect for this. Any padlock will do, but a keyed lock would probably look better than a combination lock.

If you use a single length of chain and you're worried about not being able to get the padlock unlocked, make the chain long enough to slip it over your head.
I know it's late, but October will be upon us again very soon. For the white lettering, they make fabric paint in marker form. I know it's not quite as "authentic" as the method with glue and white out, but it does eliminate a step as well as the risk of accidentally gluing yourself to your jacket.
Good thinking! I figured it would be easier to write with the pen, but yes, your way might be better from a health and safety perspective.
I made a Vyv costume a few years back. For the star forehead studs I used star sequins. You can get the sequins at a fabric/craft store for about $1/bag.
Good alternative! I did consider it, but, to be honest, I wanted the shock and awe of the metal studs! Very Metal! :)<br><br>I'm so glad I did this, had no idea there were so many people who wanted to dress up as Vyvyan to be honest! The first thing I did when I decided on Vyvyan was to come here to see if someone had done an Instructable. Hopefully this'll help out anyone who comes along after me!<br>
Oh, wow....This is marvelous..=)
Awesome! Viva el PRESIDENTE!
Awesome! I love The Young Ones!
I am american. I was about 12-14 first time I watched. at 40 I have owned Every Stupid Episode since its release. oi
best. instructable. ever. can we blow it up?
<p>Oh my Gosh! ♫♪ The Young Ones! Shouldn't Be Afraid To Live, Love, There's A Song To Be Sung!♪♫ </p><p>Are you American?</p>
<p>Certainly not! :)</p>
Thank you so much for your info on the costume . Helped me out no end =D
Hello ! Loving this instructable and currently working on it for my New Years Eve outfit. I was just wondering if you knew (or anyone reading this!) where I could get my hands on a fake cricket bat?
Dear fascist bully boy;<br><br>What a great instructable you wanker.<br><br>I was doing Vyv's jacket for a birthday gift for a friend. You've totally made my work way easier as I don't currently own a copy of young ones on DVD. Thanks man.
Haha! No worries :)
Very Metal! Awesome costume.
You're only missing a Glaswegian hamster...
Indeed! If I'd had a bit more time I was going to make a Special Patrol Group prop or a severed leg prop, but the party was at relatively short notice :(
There's always next year.
I might not be able to wait that long! Also, OT, but I <i>love</i> Adnams Broadside. I miss English beer :(
Nice job. I went as Vyvyan for halloween around 1988. My costume wasn't as elaborate as yours, but it did the job. Good work, 5 stars - which is one more than Vyv.<br><br>
Fantastic! Nice job, love the attention to detail. Too bad about the square studs instead of the stars, though. But I understand... when I was Vyvyan for Halloween a few years back, I was shocked to learn that the star-shaped studs were actually the HARDEST thing for me to get! I finally lucked out, but it was literally the eleventh hour and I was pretty sure I would fail. I ordered mine not from China but from Portugal, weeks in advance, and they arrived the DAY I needed them! I still have a big sack of those damned things.<br><br>(By the way, I'm the &quot;big brother&quot; mentioned in Depotdevoid's comment)
Awesome :) I'm glad I wasn't the only one who had trouble getting hold of them. When the stars I ordered arrived, they weren't quite right...too small and not shiny enough.<br><br><br>I just remembered, I also found an online store in the US that carried them, but they had gone off on holiday. I'll try and dig out the address and add it to the 'ible.
I've edited the Instructable with the source I was talking about &quot;Crustpunks&quot;
Featured, cool! I know there are loads of amazing entries in the Halloween contest but I'd love it if you could vote for me too! :)
That's totally awesome man, I love it! Here's a shot of my big brother as Vyvyan from a few years ago:
Ha! Awesome. <br><br>Also, damn. I forgot to mention the studded wrist-band in the Instructable... nm! :)
I got a ferret named Bacon Sandwich you can use.
Glad people like it! I'd also really appreciate your votes in the Gorilla Glue, Sugru &amp; Halloween contests, if you think it's worthy :)
Man I haven't watched the young ones in forever.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm an Analyst/Programmer from England, living in New Zealand. I like Pizza, Beer and Making Stuff.
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