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Screaming Mimi's Halloween Guru on Teaming up with Target

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Few New York City stores get more excited about Halloween than Screaming Mimi's. Employees at the Noho vintage emporium spend the month of October crafting elaborate window displays, coaxing customers into wild costumes, and generally embracing the holiday like it's their own personal religion.

Owner Laura Wills is so vocally enthusiastic about Halloween that Target asked her to style their 2012 costume look book. (Check out a few examples above.) After the jump, we talk to her about how the collaboration came about, and get her advice on planning the perfect costume.

How did you get involved with Target?

They approached me! I think Target is really good at having feelers out to find people to work on specific collaborations. I have a pretty good reputation for Halloween, if I do say so myself, so they came by and we had a pow-wow in the store. They had the product, which was really great, and they asked me if I would work with what they had and style the look book for them.

What do you think is going to be big this year?

I think masquerades are huge. Target had beautiful masks, feather masks and lace, that you can get for $5. Critters and creatures are always big—they have great bird costumes, a peacock and a ladybug. I always love classic costumes, and they had a great selection of those two, like a witch and a devil.

The costumes reflect fashion, which is what I'm all about. We do costumes with an eye to fashion, but we also think about pop culture, we think about movies, we see what designers are doing, and that's what I like so much about doing this.

There's a great, glamorous, mysterious belle of the macabre ball with a big cape and hoop skirt and feathers and lace. Even down to the accessories—the little miniature hats that were such a big trend, mini witch hats and great sets of horns and tails.

I don't love this trend of being overly sexy. Show a little sass and be cute, you know? That's so much more fun and so much more wearable. And it's what people really want, I think.

What tips would you have for people as they're planning their costumes?

It's really important to get something that you're comfortable in. How much of an investment do you want to make in it? You don't have to go head-to-toe. You can modify your costume with something that you have, by adding a great mask or a wig or an accessory. Start within your budget. It's OK to mix DIY with what Target has to offer.

Are you dressing up this year?

Always! At Screaming Mimi's, after the very last customer has left, the whole staff is allowed to chose whatever's left. We get bottles of wine and food, and we get all dressed up and everyone does everyone's make-up. It's like, "We've dressed everyone else, now it's our turn!"

· Joan of Arc and Other Costume Ideas from Screaming Mimi's [Racked NY]
· Halloween Costumes [Target]
· Screaming Mimi's [Official Site]