Costuming Events

So, where can I wear the costumes that I create? Where can I learn more about how to create the creations that I want to wear?

The simple answer is...lots of places!

Coming up very quickly in the San Francisco Bay Area: The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition (March 12-14 in Emeryville) takes the best elements of traditional science fiction and fantasy conventions, combines them with the passion, ingenuity, and hands-on workshops of Maker events, and places it all in a steam-powered, neo-Victorian setting that spans the 1830s through the early 1910s, from the cultured salons of gaslit London to the rugged coast of San Francisco. Tickets and more info at

Costume-Con The convention by costumers for costumers. Costumers who are considered expert or knowledgable about a particular area of costuming typically volunteer to help other costumers learn, but a few exceptions have been made.

The next Costume-Con is going to be:
Costume-Con 28 happens in Milwaukee, Wisconsin May 7 through 10, 2010 with a Spy theme.

To find out more about Costume-Con in general, its history, and where the next few Costume-Cons are going to be, go to Costume-Connections .

Costuming Groups You've got all sorts of costuming groups available to you, and they frequently have costumed events plus workshops and sources of information. Some of them are online, so look for them on the web, at conventions, and other events happening around your area or school. One group to start with is the International Costumers Guild (ICG) with chapters mainly in the U.S. and Canada, plus an online chapter, Silicon Web for those who can't make meetings because of time or location constraints.
Science Fiction Conventions Science Fiction Conventions, aka "SF and F cons," "cons," or events with names like NameCon, are where you can go to find out more about costumes, science, science fiction topics, meet writers, artists, top-level scientists, and other people who share an interest in science fiction, science fantasy, and the sciences. Especially the sciences related to space exploration. One website devoted to the topic is SciFi Conventions .
Wearable Art Groups Other groups where people create fantastical garments! One group in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Peninsula Wearable Arts Guild (PenWAG) has speakers come to meetings, and have afternoon demonstrations and workshops. Previous speakers include: Fred Bloebaum, Jean Cacicedo - one of the first to be identified as a wearable artist, Rachel Clark - who is known for her story coats that use quilting techniques, Margot Silk Forrest - who has won awards for her unusual shoe embellishment has had workshops that allows you to explore your creative cobbler, John Marshall - who wrote the first book on making Japanese clothing for the American audience, Marcy Tilton, and Wayne Wichern - who taught us how to embellish hats for our 2008 Fashion Show. Check out the PenWAG website to see who is going to be speaking at our future meetings.
Re-Creation Groups Usually historical in nature, you can typically find a group for your historical interest.

Society for Creative Anachronism
If it's before 1600 and documented, you can create a character for that time and country/region. Some describe it as "the Middle Ages as it should have been." An educational group where some get serious about historical accuracy and others don't. At events called "tourneys," you can help re-create a tournament field.

American Civil War Society, Inc. Battle re-enactments have cannons that go "boom," plus the soldiers and ladies from both sides present.

No list can possibly be complete. The best advice is to open your favorite search engine, type in the historical period that you're interested in plus the word society, so your search would look something like:
"wild west" +society
"art deco" +society

The quote marks keep phrases grouped together, so you don't get ten zillon result items with "wild," and yet more with "west" which have no relation to what you want. The + is a way of saying that you want the phrase in quotes plus the other word. You can have several + items, such as: "phrase" +x +y +z to be sure you get what you really want. However, too many + limitators can make it so that you wind up with no matches, so be aware of that.

Don't forget your local community classes, plus quilting, fabric, and craft shops also have classes of interest. Check local museums as another possible source for classes.

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