Picture of Vyvyan Basterd (The Young Ones) Costume
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.
JanxAngel3 years ago
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.
adamazing (author)  JanxAngel3 years ago
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.
hoodwinked4 years ago
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.
adamazing (author)  hoodwinked4 years ago
Good alternative! I did consider it, but, to be honest, I wanted the shock and awe of the metal studs! Very Metal! :)

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!
Vaelude4 years ago
Oh, wow....This is marvelous..=)
Decepticon4 years ago
Awesome! Viva el PRESIDENTE!
tocsik4 years ago
Awesome! I love The Young Ones!
jadario4 months ago
I am american. I was about 12-14 first time I watched. at 40 I have owned Every Stupid Episode since its release. oi
jadario4 months ago
best. instructable. ever. can we blow it up?

Oh my Gosh! ♫♪ The Young Ones! Shouldn't Be Afraid To Live, Love, There's A Song To Be Sung!♪♫

Are you American?

adamazing (author)  Squaggadoodle1 year ago

Certainly not! :)

prendell3 years ago
Thank you so much for your info on the costume . Helped me out no end =D
prendell3 years ago
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?
seanmcshaft4 years ago
Dear fascist bully boy;

What a great instructable you wanker.

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.
adamazing (author)  seanmcshaft4 years ago
Haha! No worries :)
Turpis4 years ago
Very Metal! Awesome costume.
Kiteman4 years ago
You're only missing a Glaswegian hamster...
adamazing (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
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.
adamazing (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
I might not be able to wait that long! Also, OT, but I love 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.

pokiespout4 years ago
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.

(By the way, I'm the "big brother" mentioned in Depotdevoid's comment)
adamazing (author)  pokiespout4 years ago
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.

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.
adamazing (author)  adamazing4 years ago
I've edited the Instructable with the source I was talking about "Crustpunks"
adamazing (author) 4 years ago
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! :)
depotdevoid4 years ago
That's totally awesome man, I love it! Here's a shot of my big brother as Vyvyan from a few years ago:
adamazing (author)  depotdevoid4 years ago
Ha! Awesome.

Also, damn. I forgot to mention the studded wrist-band in the Instructable... nm! :)
thingy4 years ago
I got a ferret named Bacon Sandwich you can use.
adamazing (author) 4 years ago
Glad people like it! I'd also really appreciate your votes in the Gorilla Glue, Sugru & Halloween contests, if you think it's worthy :)
limpach4 years ago
Man I haven't watched the young ones in forever.