View Full Version : Costume-Con 2009 Feedback Thread

Eurobeat King
05-05-2009, 12:10 AM
Hey everyone,

Once Costume-Con 2009 is over, please reply and give your thoughts on this year's con. Stuff like:

Did you like the con? :) Or not so much? :(

What were some of the highlights for you or disappointments?

And.. will you return next year in 2010 or not?

Feel free to discuss what you thought about various things about the con: the hotel, the staff, masquerade, dealers' room, panels, cosplayers, etc. Please be courteous if you have something to post about that you didn't like, as those con-staff who may read these posts want to know how to improve for next year. So try to keep it polite throughout the thread.

Thanks for your input!

Eurobeat King
05-05-2009, 12:11 AM
(sorry for the double-post)

I didin't go, but i attended Costume-Con last year when it was held in San Jose, CA, and I would like to know from those who went last year, how was it this year? Thanks!

05-05-2009, 02:24 PM
you miss a lot ^^

ya miss us ^^ hehe

many cool costume
many good friends many many many thing were awsome ^^
pixy dust powder contest was fun haha free candy yeah^^

waa i write more soon i have to unpack

15 hour drive was long ^^;;

05-05-2009, 06:19 PM
My full thoughts are http://redneckotaku.livejournal.com/117851.html.
To some up, the Masquerades are wonderful. If the costumes are half as good at Worldcon as they are at Costume Con, Worldcon's Masquerade is going to be amazing. The problems are the programming (too many breaks especially on Sunday) and a Dealers Room that felt dead. I come at this as a convention runner and not a cosplayer, so my viewpoint is different than others.

05-05-2009, 08:04 PM
I found the change of pace from an anime convention to be refreshing. I wasn't rushed to be anywhere. I actually liked that there was no programming around dinnertime. Overall it was like sitting at the grown-ups table! ^_^

Wearing costumes wasn't in the cards for me, but I enjoyed a few panels and the SF/F Masquerade. (And hanging out with mah friends of course har har) I was really impressed with the main events tech set-up for such a small convention.

I was particularly touched by some comments by Marty Gear after the SF/F Masq.. In short, cosplay is VERY VERY welcome at CostumeCon and was happy to see more of us cosplayers attend. He expressly invited us to "play in their sandbox". :) He also called us the future of costuming. It was very inspiring. I want to go make a gazillion costumes now. :D

It's a fabulous little con for costumers to learn and share and just generally geek out. :bigtu:

AnimeNEXT2009 Masquerade Director

Crazy Flower
05-05-2009, 08:20 PM
I think one word sums it up for me:


Despite it being smaller than the vast majority of cons I've been to, it was much more intimate and accessible. I remember meeting at least 3/4 of the people that attended the con, and socializing with half of them. The Friday Night Social was a complete blast. The entire con was decked out in costume and acting mature. (Now the soccer team that was also around at the same time was another story...) It was mildly refreshing to see people in an area acting so civilized.

Every single time I entered the green room, my thoughts were "Holy Crap. I'm screwed." That's how good the entrants were. I rather enjoyed the break in between, because it gave me just enough time to get something to eat, dress in costume, and be somewhere.

Panels were wonderful, and very informative. I have to look for at least 2 different books for new techniques.

I don't believe this con is for everyone, and not even every costumer. It does however, fit a niche very well. I can't make it to Milwaukee, but I will be back in NJ, with crazier ideas.

05-05-2009, 09:36 PM
i want to go nest year fopr sure ^^

juste hope judge will be a bit more nicer with a smile =_+ at least
and not call the next one before we can said one thing about our costume or so
was just disapoint by that
just come to point out i need to think before talking (iam french and need time a bit to think about word i do not used everyday ^^;;)

so ya basiquely get smilier judge ^^ at least ^^ hehe!
and if not enought time to judge just pre set a time for each groupe person ein advance or something nah!

so that would be my baddest point to point out (judge not friendly not smilling )

o and restaurant was far a bit hehe ^^;;

oterwise i loooove the con itself ^^
i met so many new person and wow great opportunity to improve and so many new idee for costume ^^


picture on my facebook here:

05-05-2009, 11:37 PM
This was my first costumecon and it was great. Seeing the work of everyone else was a bit scary, I'm not sure if my stuff will ever measure up.

The panels were great to, a lot of info to absorb. Now I know what they want in the background info for the historical masquade.

Even though I wasn't competing I got a hall costume award for my Mario outfit on Sunday which is cool, never expected it.

I won't be going to Mikwaukee next year, to far from PA, but I already bought my membership for NJ and I will have one for Pittsburgh as soon as the website is online.

05-05-2009, 11:49 PM
Hey kids. Some of us came from Wisconsin to Baltimore, you East Coasters can totally make it out to Milwaukee next year. ;)

Since the con staff and chair and masquerade directors change every year (with the location), I don't think it will do me much, if any, good to offer feedback of a constructive nature. They can't do anything to alter or improve because they're not going to be on staff again. I just figure as long as Henry and the CC28 staff do as good a job at setting up and running their contests and utilizing their hotel space, then CC28 will be every bit as good if not better.

I just may volunteer to run panels, who knows?

05-06-2009, 08:30 AM
Hey kids. Some of us came from Wisconsin to Baltimore, you East Coasters can totally make it out to Milwaukee next year. ;)

Since the con staff and chair and masquerade directors change every year (with the location), I don't think it will do me much, if any, good to offer feedback of a constructive nature. They can't do anything to alter or improve because they're not going to be on staff again.

True, but they can at least know what to avoid. I agree with Trixiloupwolf that the judge (at least in the SF/F Masquerade) wasn't all too friendly. However, I think there were two judges actually, one of which was very late, which delayed judging from starting, which made them rush.... which made them not all too friendly since they were most likely stressing to get through all the entries. They made a comment before announcing awards that almost all the entries that night asked for craftsmanship judging, so I'm not surprised they were stressed and brief, especially with so many large group entires.

When I came up for my slot, first thing said to me was to be as quick as possible. Unfortunately, that meant I left a few things out and I feel that the judges didn't get a real good look at the finishing of my costume from the inside. As simply a dress as my Chun Li is by design, I made it fully lined, all the facing is stitched back on the inside, as was my boned waist cinch. It was my first beading project and all those criss-cross strips were woven onto the cinch as separate pieces, then joined by hand with the beading and embroidery stitches. I totally glammed up this costume specifically for Costume Con, since I adore tidy hand-sewing with my costumes and thought it would be appreciated more. *Shrugs* In the end, it's my anal-retentive reference book (complete with material swatches, modified patterns, sample construction bits, etc.) that won an Honorable Mention over my actual costume construction... Can't complain though, it's still recognition from a prestigious event. I do wish though that my costume had been inspected more. :(

Aside from that, I totally enjoyed the convention. I got to see SarcasmHime and Kaijugal for the first time in YEARS! We totally reminisced every chance we got... I also met KJ, Trixie, CapsuleCorp, TheHag, and a few others I believe. Then there was the crew of local friends in this area I already chill with and it was a very refreshing weekend. I love the fact that any costume I wore garnered some sort of comment, no matter how simple it was when I felt like being comfortable. I also felt ecstatic when I brought out my tentacle puppet during the Friday Night Social, as that wonderful costume prop got absolutely no love at anime cons. You'd think a border-line hentai prop would get some attention at anime cons, but noooo... Costume Con attendees just loved it! I've had a few costume-associated prop/puppet ideas for other costumes that I feel I really should just make now. It's nice to feel inspired after this con, instead of drained from all the long nights spent finishing projects.

To finish, I will do some serious contemplating for next year. I got family in Milwaukee as a good excuse, but a 6-day work week is tricky for time off. We'll see!

05-06-2009, 07:54 PM
It was very nice to meet a few of you at CC - it dawned on me only just now that I should have had my screen name on my badge so that you'd know who I was (hint - I was one of the SF & F judges).

We (being those who have been to CC for many years) were very pleased to see so many anime media costumers show up in the halls and on stage. Not a single shabby outfit among you all.

I would like to pass along one suggestion, and hope it won't be taken the wrong way: save your competition costume for the stage. Make up a new one for the halls. While I realilze at anime cons it's not a big deal, it's generally not a good idea to wear your stage costume before the masquerade(s) at CC or Worldcon and many general SF cons. The theory is, the judges are not supposed to see your costume beforehand, to avoid any possible bias when in deliberation.

The one or two costumes I saw on stage that I had previously seen in the halls this past weekend happened to be very good and got awards anyway, but that won't always be the case at other events - some places might not let you on stage at all. Since these folks were first-timers, I just chalked it up to inexperience, but I do believe this rule was posted on the website and/or published at the con. (This might be a good topic of discussion for another thread.)

05-06-2009, 09:59 PM
By the way, Bruce, the music track from my presentation was "Exceeding Love" by Himekami. The opening to the Gensou Suikoden III game.

...aaaaaaaanyway. Yeah, Tikki, I had that same thought/experience with the SF/F judges. A lot of us did? A few of us were trading notes on it anyway. I thought your Chun Li was amazing. I was actually very surprised that the workmanship judges never turned up my hems or anything, I always go to extra length to finish my hems and seams no matter what I do. And here I was worried about the slightly sloppy hand-stitching on my hat trim. Pff. But, unless they're going to be judging at 28, I will just have to shrug and move on, and hope that next year's judges don't have any troubles getting started or getting through the entries.

05-06-2009, 11:55 PM
ya me too i tought they be checking the sewing stuff ^^;; but nope they did not even check anithing thats sad ^^;;

but nah! theyre always next year ^^
can't wait ^^
whos coming!

05-07-2009, 07:43 AM
How much time a workmanship judge spends with you depends on a number of factors: how much time the MD has set aside for that kind of thing, what time the judges actually show up (not always right when the Green Room opens) - and especially, how much your fellow costumers hog the judges' time for themselves. Unless you make a point of it, they're usually not going to take the time to turn up hems, examine your stitching, etc. It's often mostly up to you to piont out what you believe should be given more attention for consideration.

05-07-2009, 09:05 AM
How much time a workmanship judge spends with you depends on a number of factors: how much time the MD has set aside for that kind of thing, what time the judges actually show up (not always right when the Green Room opens) - and especially, how much your fellow costumers hog the judges' time for themselves. Unless you make a point of it, they're usually not going to take the time to turn up hems, examine your stitching, etc. It's often mostly up to you to piont out what you believe should be given more attention for consideration.

Oh, trust me, I'm very familiar with rushed judging (Otakon actually has a 5-minute timed limit, including staffer with a stop watch). I'm not angry or upset about any of it BECAUSE I'm quite aware that things were getting rushed at the end. We were starting to get on stage as the entries were still being judged on costumes. The judge (with the purple/pink wig) sitting at the table also apologized first thing when I came up, saying I needed to be very quick. She looked at everything I pointed out, and I did remember to flip out most of my hems, just not everything I was hoping to cover came out in my super-speed explanation. And that particular judge had been in the Green Room before I showed, so it was the second judge who was late and held things up from what I observed.

I guess I'm much more hands-on when I do judging at cons that I was hoping for a closer inspection. I certainly did back the only other Costume Con I attended in Hartford, CT, back in 2000 (I believe?). I even had a brief conversation on how to improve parts of my costume then, plus info for better research on costume parts. It was really helpful!
But individuals have different comfort levels and ideas on what they look for when judging. Hence why I had my costume binder chock full of information. It gives judges reference art while putting things in an order for me to talk about, especially when under a time limit. I included sample pieces of my accessories, materials used in the costume, patterns listed with mods, the actual modified cloth patterns, etc. I figure taking the time to set aside bits during the costume making and spending 30-45 minutes assembling the book is worth it when you may have to be concise and fast.

05-07-2009, 05:28 PM
so, I had a very quick reaction to all the comments about turning over my hem.
I thought I might be nuts, so I wrote a few folks that have workmanships judged and asked them.
here was the consensus.

The workmanship judge had better be able to know enough to know what the insides look like FROM the OUTSIDE

if the overall sewing seems really well done, wasting times on hems that look FINE from outside is, well, a waste of time. Especially when
a- time is crunched
b- there are so many cool things on the costume, that sometimes at the cc level we assume you can properly hem a skirt.( depending on skill division)

we can tell pretty soon, what the level of the skill of a costumer is when they walk up to us. and I would bet that plenty of hems got looked at because that was the only thing TO look at.

I hope this makes sense.

It's so nice to see that workmanship is so important to so many people now, when it used to be such an afterthought, and not an every convention thing.

and my comments are just for the SF/F. I assume all seams are important in the historical, since you have to reproduce period techniques so often

The Hag
05-07-2009, 05:33 PM
I have to agree with Crazy Flower that CCon isnít for everyone - it's only for those who care about workmanship and improving their costumes. :toothy: Those people should go whenever they have the opportunity. I hope that everyone from cos.com who went this year will spread the word.

On the lulz-o-meter, it was not the most fun Iíve ever had at a con (that would be PAC) but it definitely out-classed every other con Iíve been to for being organized and informative. The con staff was incredibly friendly and helpful and always easy to find. Everything ran smoothly and on time. I liked the hotel. It was easy to get to and there was a grocery store (and a liquor store P: ) within easy walking distance. I was amused to see that there was also a craft store within walking distance Ė useful for last minute costume emergencies! The hotel had a nice exercise room (Iím at the age where itís use it or lose it). I was also able to get both a microwave and a mini-fridge for our room for a one time fee of $15 each which was a huge time and money saver. There was plenty of room to move around the hallways and rooms where the events were held and I liked the central gathering place in the atrium. I personally thought that the atrium worked well for main events given the number of attendees.

I have only a single very minor criticism regarding the facility. The moveable partition separating the rooms Chesapeake 1 and 2 was not at all sound proof. The sound from the panel next door was distracting, especially when that panel was being run by someone who is *ahem* geared *ahem* towards projecting from a stage. :angel2:

I loved the scheduling. It was great to be able to eat dinner without missing anything. I also loved that there was nothing scheduled against the masquerades. It was nice to have events where you knew that basically everyone at the con was sharing in the experience.

The main reason that I went to CCon was to learn things. And learn I did. Basically, I went to panels all day. In any given time slot I almost always had to choose between two things that I wanted to see. The panels I attended ranged from very good to OMG amazing. My favorite panels were the EL Wire/LED demo, the fiber-reactive dyeing workshop and the draping demonstration. Dina, who ran the last one, was fabulous. She had run a number of other panels earlier that I didnít go to in favor of other things, sewing being the one aspect of costuming that I feel pretty confident about, but if the draping one had been first I would have gone to all her other ones.

The second reason that I went to CCon was to meet all the cos.com people that Iíve been running into online for the last couple of years. It was great fun to finally meet everyone IRL. Iím not even going to list people because I met so many, I know that Iíll leave someone out! It was wonderful to see you all.

The only minor disappointment for me was that I wished Iíd been able to talk to more non-cosplay.com folks, the historical costumers especially. But then I also wish that Iíd been able to talk even more to the cosplay.com people as well. There just arenít enough hours in the day! I think that next time rather than watching the masquerades, Iíll volunteer to work the green room or clerk for the workmanship judges to maximize my opportunities to talk shop with people.

As for when next time will be, Iím afraid that Milwaukee isnít in the cards. Even if it werenít out of driving range for me, real life is going to be crazy next spring. As of right now though, I have every intention of being at CC29 in New Jersey, though hopefully I will see at least some of you before then at other cons.

Finally, one last thank you to Ricky, Marty, their staff and all the panelists for putting on such a great event! I hope that you felt that all your hard work was worth it. I sure did!

05-07-2009, 10:00 PM
The word for CostumeCon that comes to mind is different. This was my first one, after about ten years of going to anime cons.

I was surprised by how small it was, but size wasn't a bad thing either. It was a lot easier to chat with people, particularly when you kept seeing the same people over and over again! It was really refreshing to be able to ask people about craftsmanship and get good, useful answers to those questions. It was really refreshing to see original costumes, AND more importantly, to be surrounded by people who had an appreciation for that. Anime cons have a tendency to get too bogged down into who makes The Perfect (character name here), and that's silly-- it takes away from the fun in costuming.

I wish I had made it to more of the panels, but what I did attend was very informative, very useful/practical. I liked that the panels were more educational, instead of pow-wows to gush about common interests. I really liked that the programming was more relaxed. I didn't feel rushed to be anywhere, and I wasn't having to constantly decide between what to do (if anything) from an overpacked schedule. That break around dinnertime was excellent. The social was a great way to start the weekend, and the hosting hotel had a great layout for that to be possible. I had the best interactions with people just chatting out there and at the bar. People were very friendly and generally approachable, though there were still some clique-ish things going on. Overall though, it was as simple as going up to someone, saying you liked their costume, and asking about how they made something or what material they used, etc.

I've got to say some of my biggest frustrations with anime cons is coping with the crowd and the negative attention-getting behaviors and the sometimes divisive nature involved in costuming. I didn't have that at Costume Con. There was not a moment where I thought "Why did I come here?" There was not a moment where the behavior of other people infringed on my good time. Nobody tried to make anyone else feel like they weren't good enough. Most importantly, those staffing the convention were very welcoming and friendly, and were very encouraging to those of us who were first-timers. They made the effort to mingle with attendees and talk to them when they had the time-- wearing costumes too, and it's really great to see them having fun with everyone else and showing interest in the people they've brought in to the event.

I would definitely go again if it was local (mostly for financial reasons), so I'll probably head out to Jersey in 2011. :)