What is Costume-Con?
COSTUME-CON is an annual conference about costumes. The convention has its roots in science fiction and fantasy conventions and historic re-enactment type events, but all forms of costuming are welcome, including professional theatrical/film/TV costumes, millinery, anime, videogame, fursuit, and more.
Costume-Con is a "travelling" international-level convention, and is in a different city and run by a different committee each year, so every year is a little different.
It's my first Costume-Con, what should I expect?
If you're used to anime cons, you may be a bit surprised by Costume-Con; it's a small convention and the atmosphere is very laid-back and casual....at least until right before the masquerades!
It's also very much a teaching and learning convention; almost all the panels and workshops are about costuming techniques, and attendees are eager to swap tips and tricks and ogle each others' handiwork.
There's a lot to do at Costume-Con! It's not swarming with cosplayers and photographers, however; rather, there's fascinating panels and workshops every hour of the day.
Some examples of panels and workshops from previous CCs are: leatherworking, making props with foam, beading, Chinese Opera costumes, colour and design theory, moldmaking for props, movable wings, electronics for costumes, stagecraft and lighting, dyeing and painting, needle felting, ribbon embroidery, and panels on costumes from every era of history imaginable.
Every evening there's a big costume event (and some during the day as well):
The Fantasy and Science-Fiction Masquerade (F&SF) is the kind of masquerade most of us are used to – any costume goes, from recreation to original designs.
The Historical Masquerade is for recreations of historical or ethnic garments, as well as original interpretations of historical styles. Can be serious or very silly!
The Single Pattern contest offers two or three commercially-available patterns for you to use as a starting point - modify them, embellish them, use your imagination and go wild!
The Future Fashion Folio is a popular two-part contest! For the first part, anyone can send in original fashion or costume designs. These designs are juried and the best are put together into a booklet (the Folio) and sent to all designers and registered members of the convention. For the second part, attending members can choose any design from the Folio and make it to be displayed in a fashion show at the convention.
See the links to the left for more information on the competitions and events!
Please visit the Costume-Con Visual Archives to see photos from CCs past!
What sort of costumes should I wear? Can I wear hall costumes?
At Costume-Con, anything goes, from streetwear to mascots to kimono to anime to original designs. Hall costumes are definitely encouraged; a lot of people wear older costumes or more comfy costumes in the halls and then change to their competition costumes later in the day. Competition costumes can often be big and bold and showy, but subtlety is also appreciated and some very understated pieces have won big in the past.
But I haven't been costuming for very long and I'm afraid my costumes aren't good enough for CC!
Don't worry, that's why there are skill divisions! You don't have to compete against the people who've been doing this for decades, and as for hall costuming/cosplay there is a wide variety of stuff worn, from very elaborate gowns to comfy embellished vests or hats with street clothes.
I feel like I can't show my face unless I have a lot of new costumes!
Most of the people at Costume-Con won't have seen any of your costumes before, so go ahead and bring your older costumes!
Can I wear purchased/commissioned costumes?
Absolutely, as long as you don't enter them into the competitions. Anything goes in the halls, however!
Which masquerade should I enter?
Unless your costume has a historical basis, your safest bet is the Fantasy and Sci-Fi Masquerade. It's open to all genres and types of costumes. Read the rules for each competition, but if you're unsure which division you should enter, please e-mail the Masquerade Director.