Wow, what a year for Costume College! It was my second time attending and I was yet again blown away by the talent, beauty and kindness of the attendees. I will cover each day with a small description, but let the photos do the majority of the talking. Most costumers are on instagram so credits will be to the instagram account (and I then switched to names if I had already mentioned them before).
The basics - Costume College is an annual event in Southern California organized by the Costumers Guild West. It is three days of classes and lectures on everything costume related. Historical studies, jewelry, cosplay, accessories, hair, you name it, Costume College covers it. Affectionately called CoCo by many, it is NOT a convention but more of a gathering of like minded individuals. There are no contests and every evening there is a social. There is a general theme each night but no pressure to follow it (I rarely do). The culmination is the Saturday night gala, where one can walk the red carpet. Information on the event can be found here.
If you would like to see some YouTube vlogs of the event there are three I recommend:
Bernadette Banner- describes her experience at Costume College
Enchanted Rose Costumes - fun to see a first year experience
Costuming Drama - a vlog entry for each day at CoCo!
Thursday - Check In and Pool Party -- Theme Guardians of the Galaxy
Check in can either be very hectic or very quiet. This year the lobby was not busy at all. As soon as I walked in I saw several people I knew, including a smiling Jennifer Rosbrugh of Historical Sewing. I was soon up in my room unpacking and getting ready for the Thursday night social. I did not plan an outfit. Christine Daae took so much of my time I just couldn't get something together. Instead I opted to wear my Edwardian underthings and borrowed a crown from a friend that had stars on it (hey, I was kind of in theme!). It is a laid back event outside (can be very hot) and a chance for everyone to catch up - there are very few pictures because I spent the time reuniting with friends and making new ones. So I attended my first event in my underwear and had a great comfortable time!
Edwardian underwear and smiling with @manda_pants
@shoecrazy1983 as Space Barbie and The Coneheads!
Friday classes and Friday night social -- Theme USO Showcase
I slept in just a bit and almost missed my first class! I took a lecture on Vionnet and the art of draping. I wore my 1939 outfit I made from a Wearing History pattern. Some people do dress up for the day classes but this year I did not have the time, sadly. I spent the day running around to classes and going out for a quick pizza lunch with my family. Before I knew it the Friday social was approaching. I put on my 1830's white cotton gown and used my new curled hair extensions for my side curls. The social this year was a bit different and featured a showcase for those who had organized groups during the year. I missed the show itself but still took photos of attendees. After the show a friend (@shoecrazy1983 on instagram) and I had organized a Tattling Tiaras meet up in the hotel bar. Everyone was invited to come in their pajamas and tiaras and meet up to chat. We had a great turn out and everyone seemed happy. Hanging out in your pajamas is definitely the best way to end the night!
Quick hotel room selfie in my 1939 outfit
@randomflygirl demonstrating how to drape on the bias. I now want to make ten 1930's dresses
1830's sheer cotton gown with pink silk sash - and lots of curls!
Loved my little head necklace!
@duchessofhutch in 60s and the 18th c trio - @bonnetsandbits, @alfrockedup and @ajmeows
Belle! and Peggy by @thehomemadehistorian
Cards from the Showcase, Yzma by @miss_tre_ and @madamedestroyer in a Felicity cap
@sarahseacorsetry as Poison Ivy and a lovely Ariel bustle dress
@makethishistoricallook was Peaches n Cream Barbie. It was fantastic and included the giant Barbie comb.
@tmoore_vintagesewcialist in her Dr Facilier bustle, @sewstine epic Edwardian skirt and two 1830's girls just hanging out (me and Emily)
Alice and the Mad Hatter bustle dresses and the fabulous @irreverentvintagegirl as Phryne
@madamefauteux and @manda_pants sharing secrets and then Amanda posing with the lovely @diystopia
Emily in her golden 18th century gown and The Great Hairpin Shortage got to @threadedthistle (photo by @waxsealedcostumes)
@shoecrazy1983 and I kicking off the festivities and a selfie with the lovely @bookhoarding
Wearing a nightgown, robe made by a friend, personalized stockings by @tmoore_vintagesewcialist and my favorite American Duchess mules (tiara thanks to late night ebay shopping). I left my 1830's hair in because why not?!
@sweetmarielouise, @fishnetvanity, @sarah.vanesbroeck,@madamedestroyer all posing in tiaras, @sarahseacorsetry in Hufflepuff pajamas and @homemadehistorian
The crowd at Tattling Tiaras (photos by @eviemo and @sophia_khan)
Saturday day and Saturday night Gala -- Theme The Opulent Streets of Venice
Saturday began bright and early with a talk by Marion Boyce, who is well known as the costume designer for the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries television series. Ms. Boyce gave four lectures but I unfortunately only attended one. It was a wonderful two hours with photos, tidbits and how one goes about creating a character. After the lecture I changed into my white 1790's round gown that I had made the week before. My friend Terri and I had a bit of a round gown battle (she won) and I was happy to pose for pictures and see hers in the flesh. I also encountered four other people who had also used my ikea curtains for their day gowns! I took the American Duchess beauty class which reviewed their new book and then popped by the Exhibition Hall, which showcased several costumes from Miss Fisher and entries from Costume College attendees (you can see video on my La Dauphine Costuming facebook page).
Finally it was time to transform into Christine Daae. I got ready in a record 35 minutes then helped some others and popped down to the lobby. I watched many walk the red carpet. I walked with my friend Emily as Carlotta and La Carlotta and Christine posed and posed. The best part was seeing everyone's creations up close and talking to them. The gala in particular creates an atmosphere to talk and discuss our sewing adventures. With over 650 attendees I definitely missed many fantastic outfits but I managed to take quite a few photos. Again, there is video on my facebook page, La Dauphine Costuming, if you'd like to get an idea of what the hall looks like. I went out to dinner with friends (the gala does do a dinner that you must pay extra for but I opted to skip) then came back to chat in the halls and take more photos. It was a magical night!
Listening to Marion Boyce
My friend Terri and I in our 1790 round gowns
My simple 1790's round gown made with curtains from ikea and a quick turban because Saturday day was all about the easy and comfortable costume.
Round gowns! I found Laurie lounging in the lobby with her pretty feathers and sash
American Duchess with their giant 18th c cap giving a lecture on their new book on 18th century beauty and the tsarina dress by @dressed_in_time from the exhibit on Whats that fabric?
Hair and make up for Christine
Christine Daae and La Carlotta (@historicthimble)
@twilatee, @costuming_drama in an Ironman bustle gown and @ajmeows in her frock coat
Guests in the hallway after walking the red carpet
Sarah and Terri as Borgia Tink and Georgian Poison Ivy, Emily in her lucious Tudor gown
@cathy.hay (with a laughing @stanceymackenzie) as Anne Lister and the 1840's beauty of @makethishistoricallook
@radgeekyrose in white satin, @aimeekittypins in pink and a gala attendee in the doorway
Taylor in her Goth Rose Titanic gown and Stephanie rocking the velvet
Lauren really did look like she belonged at the Moulin Rouge and @diystopia in her vibrant red Star Trek gown!
Ashley and Lauren in my current favorite era- the 1830's, guests in the hallway before Gala began
Terri was the perfect Poison Ivy (photo by Jane Cadeaux) and @faces_and_style
The two Gentleman Jacks surrounded by a gaggle of beautiful 1830's women
Maker unknown, Jennifer in her Worth reproduction and @nuttycostumer in teal
@sewstine, Amanda, Emily and Kelsey, @dutchessofhutch
@itsallfrosting in an incredible reproduction of the Ellen Terry gown
@waxsealedcostumes, @miss_tre, the Corset Faerie @redthreaded chatting up a fellow costumer
@laced_in_history, @enchanted,rose.costumes, @meoly0 and @waxsealedcostumes outside and happy!
@frolicking_frocks was an early 20th century fashion plate
@irreverentvintagegirl was the wonderful Gory character from Masterpiece Theatre Mystery opening titles
Emily and Kenna in a sunny yellow satin gown with impeccable fit and an attendee in stunning cobalt blue
Three shots of my Christine Daae taken by @historicthimble. My costume this year was extremely comfortable and easy to wear!
Sunday Afternoon Tea and Trunk Show - Theme The Haunted Tearoom
Sunday morning I blissfully slept in until 9am and missed the Mourning Tea. Everyone congregated in the hotel restaurant for a tea in mourning clothes from every decade. I attended a fun lecture by Kendra and Trystan about Frock Flicks then ran upstairs to do my hair for the afternoon tea event. This was by far my favorite event of the weekend. They really did a great job with decor and the lemon curd was so delicious. Based on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, there were ghost brides, lots of black and some fun photo opportunities set up. I wore my spooky anglaise (robe a l'anglaise) that I had made last fall and put glittery spiders and black roses in my hair. Right after I met up with the Dress of Wrong group for a photo. The idea is to create a garment that is historically accurate in shape and pattern but with non accurate fabric. It was then time to change yet again into comfy clothes and see what the trunk show had to offer. It was extremely busy but I managed to snag two Burnely & Trowbridge kerchiefs then left quickly as the crowd was so big. Costume College was over and after giving everyone hugs goodbye I went up to my room and packed up.
I caught Taylor and Melissa post Mourning tea! (pictures by @shoecrazy1983)
Frock Flicks lecture taught by Melisandre and Tyrion (Kendra and Trystan). It was so popular that half the audience sat on the floor (me included). I assure you that sitting on the floor in stays longer than 20 minutes is not the most comfortable idea. However they were extremely entertaining so I stayed!
@houkakyou welcoming me to the Haunted Tearoom in Edwardian style and our place setting
So many delicious treats and sweet friends
There was a quiz which Taylor (on right posing) naturally answered quickly
I was so excited to see @laced_in_history with her bee stays. I watched the progress on instagram and her outfit was magical in person.
Posing in front of the stretching walls, my favorite thing in the room
@jybelly wore the prettiest Regency gown and her parasol picture was so cute! @laurietavan posing in a spooky picture frame (photo by @shoecrazy1983)
Dress of Wrong meet up and our American Duchess shoes
I did stop into the marketplace quickly on Sunday but sadly didn't buy anything. They had everything though- corsets, fabric, lace, jewelry, hats, patterns, vintage
It was a wonderful weekend with friends and classes and I am so glad I got to go. I definitely recommend the event for anyone interested in fashion history, sewing, historical costuming and/or cosplay. My second Costume College experience was a success and I look forward to returning after a year off in 2021!