Monday, August 8, 2011

Costume College 2011

Bit of a change up, now - last weekend I got away from swing dancing for a little bit, and headed up the 405 to my first Costume College! As I've mentioned before, usually this event is on the same weekend as Camp Hollywood, but this year they were back-to-back weekends instead (and next year too, it turns out, so I can go again!). It's funny how similar the two events were - both in Los Angeles Marriott hotels, with classes during the days and parties at night. Tools of the trade vary though - Costume College is full of sewing machines, and Camp Hollywood is full of sweaty t-shirts! 

It was fun being a newbie at an event, and I was lucky to have a couple of regulars to show me around! As excited as I was, I was still worried about doing things "right" and not looking out of place, as I don't have a huge wardrobe of historical costumes. I needn't have worried though -- it was a low-pressure atmosphere, where everyone was more supportive than competitive.

Things I was worried about going into Costume College:

1. Not having any costumes that matched the themes.
There were nominal themes for different events (Friday night social was Steampunk, the bonus class track was medieval, etc.) but it turned out that everyone just wore whatever they felt like, whenever they wanted.

2.  Not having enough impressive historical costumes.
There were some a-MAZ-ing historical gowns, but I was surprised at the wide variety of costumes and clothing at the event. There were fantasy outfits and costumes made from non-traditional materials, with a wide range of skill levels. Dressing up during the day was the exception, not the rule, and there were even jeans and t-shirts at the Gala on Saturday night. I'm all for dressing to the nines, but all efforts were appreciated, no matter how small.

3. Only knowing a couple people going into the event.
This was probably the silliest thing to be worried about! Everyone was was incredibly friendly and supportive, and I met lots of new friends in classes and just roaming around the hotel.

Even though I knew I was going to CoCo several months in advance, I didn't have time to make any new outfits for it. I decided to go with what was already in the closet, and just focus on the classes instead of worrying too much about what to wear. Glad I did - I loved my classes, and I was glad I didn't have to change clothes/redo my hair several times a day.

All photos courtesy of Lauren of Wearing History

At the blogger meetup on Thursday night, wearing a vintage 60's dress
 - Me with Lauren of Wearing History and Jen of Festive Attyre

Friday night at the Ice Cream Social, I rewore my most recent Regency gown. The theme was Steampunk and they had great props and table decorations!

Saturday night at the Gala I busted out my Prom dress! I felt like a cheater because my mom made this instead of me. :) It was from a 30's Vintage Vogue reprint, and 12 years on it still looked pretty good. Now I want another one in green...

Fun stuff! I can't wait for next year - the bonus track for classes is Hollywood Glamour, 1930-1955.
Wonder if my mom is up for sewing a green satin gown?


  1. I'm glad you talked about your fears, because I would feel the same way! It's nice to hear how wonderful it is even for newbies. If you had never said a thing, I'd have thought you fit in perfectly well with all the others with your lovely costume collection. I think it's so cool that even your prom dress worked! ;)

  2. Looks like a wonderful time! I'm loving that you busted out your prom dress too! :)

  3. beautiful outfits!! Glad you had fun!

  4. Thanks for the kind words! In retrospect, I only wish that I had worn a more wild outfit that I was too nervous to wear. But I'm glad the prom dress worked out - it was fun to wear it again! (thank goodness my prom photos are safely stashed at my parents house, so that I don't feel obligated to post them! ;)

  5. Beth, I only saw you on Gala night, and got a couple lovely photos of you and with Lauren. They're in my album on page 16.
    I'm glad you had such a good time.


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