NEW YORK - When Serra Hirsch designs her far-out Halloween costume each year, she isn't limited by her imagination, but her doorway.
“I'm always making sure that I don't exceed the opening. I mean it's happened before in my earlier costumes where I had to edit off like three things off the costume in order to make it to the parade on time,” said Hirsch.
For more than 20 years, Hirsch has been a fixture of the Village Halloween Parade, with one-of-a-kind costumes that she calls "human floats," all built in her Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn apartment.
Although Hirsh is a professional puppeteer and prop builder, many of her costume creations are fairly low-tech.
Hirsch begins sketching out an idea about a month before Halloween. This year, she'll be shark bait, where she'll dress as a surfer in potential danger of a shark attack.
She says it's important that her costumes have drama.
“Last year, I was a lady who slipped on a banana peel. One of my costumes, I was a failed heist, and I was a robber in a bank trying to carry a very heavy vault. One year, I was 'the claw,' the arcade game. When they touched the joystick and I would release the thing and they'd be like "Oh my God, oh my God!" Hirsch said.
She's previously been featured in NY1's live parade coverage.
To create a memorable look, Hirsch aims to enlarge some aspect of the costume, but still keep it simple. She also likes to use some sort of lighting element.
“It's pretty amazing to create something and you're not sure if it's going to come together until the very end and when it does it's such a huge sense of accomplishment,” said Hirsch.