Introduction: Gotye and Kimbra Couples Costume

About: Former Instructables employee CHECK OUT MY WORK

This Gotye and Kimbra couples costume from the music video "Somebody That I Used to Know" is the perfect topical costume for Halloween 2012.  If you haven't heard the Gotye song "Somebody That I Used to Know" on the radio or seen the music video you must be living under a rock.  With over 300 million youtube views it is one of the highest viewed videos on youtube EVER!

I love it because its not an overly flashy music video, but it still fascinating to watch. Throw on a leotard + some body paint and you have a great story and costume!

With the help of some friends, I recreated the music video backdrop and costumes with little more than body paint and a pair of leotard.  I admit its an edgy costume, but edgy costumes are the best in my opinion!

Check out this time-lapse video of how this instructable was made.  It was shot over a 9 hour period.

Step 1: Materials

There are not a lot of materials and planning that go into this costume which makes it idea for last minute costumers that want a bold costume idea but don't want to spend weeks planning it out.

Here are the materials and where to find them
  • Body Suit (for girl): from American Apparel
  • Cotton Spandex Leggings (for boy): from American Apparel
  • Kryolan Aquacolor Body Paint: I bought an array of colors and mixed them together to get desired colors.  
  • Black Bob Wig: I borrowed this from a friend, but a quick search for wigs in your area should come up with lots of results
  • Paint Brushes and Sponges: I bought special sponges to be used with the body paint, but I used craft brushed instead of specialty paint brushed for makeup because they are less expensive.
  • Baby Wipes
  • Fixer Spray: once the paint is dry spray some fixer spray on it to make sure it doesn't smudge.

Step 2: Prepping the Back Drop

I couldn't make the costume with out making the epic backdrop to go with it!  This was purely for picture taking sake and isn't essential for the costume.

That being said, if you are hosting a party and want to wear this costume it would be totally rad if you had this as a party backdrop.

Heres how we made it:
  • Using a projector, project a still frame from the music video onto a piece of mural paper.  Our paper was approximately 8ft x 8ft.
  • Trace the lines of the triangular shapes with a pencil while the image is projected.
  • Turn the projector off and go over the pencil lines with back paint using a thin paint brush.
  • Create Colors. I only bought 6 paint colors: white, black, red, blue, green, yellow.  With these colors we were able to mix and match all the colors to make over 20 different shades to fill in the backdrop.  
  • Fill in the shapes with the mixed colors.  Although we had 20 colors after mixing and matching, we ended up with many more shades on the canvas because we continued to create new colors while we were painting.

Step 3: Body Shaving

This ones for the men.....

We did some paint on hair tests and the results weren't pretty.  For best painting results you're going to need to shave your chest, arms, and face.  Your legs will be covered by the leggings.

Here are some quick tips for shaving your body:
  • Splash hot water on the area you intend to shave.  This helps moisten your skin and softens tough body hair, thus giving you less irritation.
  • If you are extra hairy....trim your hair with clippers before you attack it with a razor.  This will make the subsequent steps much easier.
  • Apply a shaving gel with a moisturizer for added protection against irritation and dryness.
  • Begin by shaving small areas.  I recommend shaving in the direction the hair grows (downwards) and then shaving upwards.  This is the most effective way to get your skin smooth. Continue this until all hair is gone.
  • Wash your body to get the rest of the shaving cream and shaved hair off.
  • Apply lotion!

Step 4: Paint Lines

The great thing about this costume is you don't need to stick to a specific pattern to get the point across.  We tried to make our bodies match up with the backdrop for dramatic effect, but it is not necessary. For this step and the next step I recommend bringing in a friend or two to help with body painting.  

There are two distinguishable elements of the layout of the body paint that we tried to recreated:
  • Gotye Face: several shapes come to a point on the left side of Gotye's face.
  • Kimbra's Face: not painted, but she has a patch of green that starts on her back and comes around her neck.
Beyond that its a free for all.  The more random and non-repeated the pattern the better.  Don't have shapes start and end on the lines of your clothing, this makes the clothing distinguishable.  If the shapes span your skin and bodysuit then its really hard to see the clothing.

We didn't paint the palms of our hands or our feet.  This is up to you, but I think it will be much easier to function if you have un-painted hands.

Step 5: Fill in Lines

To use the Aquacolor paint, wet a paint brush or sponge and mix it into the paint until the water and paint are fully mixed.  You don't want the paint to be too wet when you are paint or the colors won't be vivid.  I found the sponges to be the most effective way of filling in the shapes.

MIX COLORS: use one sponge to gather paint from one paint container, use another sponge to gather paint from another container, and use a third sponge to mix them together on a plate.

Painting the clothing - we used the body paint to keep the colors consistent.  Since the clothing is more absorbant than skin keep the paint more watery then the paint for the body.

When you're done painting spray the fixer spray all over your body to keep the paint from smudging.

**Warning: getting painted involved a lot of patience and tickles.....just saying.

Step 6: Costume Fun!

OK.  We're covered in body paint.  How often does that happen? 

We had fun prancing around the studio space in our costumes.  I can't even imagine how much fun I would have at a party in this getup.

Step 7: Special Thanks

I want to say a special thanks to my awesome team for helping with the production of this costume! 

Jacob - a real life Gotye look-a-like and excellent leading man.
Rachel - art director of the photo shoot, awesome vision and execution.
Kyle (aka knaps) - talented artist and co-art director
Karen (aka Kazmataz) - lead photographer and artist, always a pleasure to work with on projects!
Halloween Easy Costumes Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Easy Costumes Contest