May 31, 2014 Meeting of the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild (aka, the Sick Pups)

Hosted by Marcy at Wyncote, PA

Meeting Minutes presented by Tina Connell

Attendees: Marcy (host), Byron & Tina, Rich & Stephanie, Aurora Celeste

The meeting was called to (dis)order at 1:50. There was no workshop because we hadn’t chosen one. Several of our regulars had a conflict (tickets for a play in NYC), and could not attend.

Official Stuph:

Tina forgot to print out copies of the previous meeting’s minutes, but they were approved anyway.

Treasurer: Marcy reported that as of the end of April the treasury was at $379.13 (plus Elektra and Mike membership, minus $12 to the ICG). Trudy and Fiona renewed. Report to Jeanine is up to date. She hasn’t reported to Bruce MacD. yet, but will do so soon.

President’s Report: ICG activities: The discussion period on the proposed Standing Rule to authorize special interest groups has ended, with no discussion. Sidetracked to memberships, dues, membership in the ICG without joining a chapter. The Annual Meeting was uneventful. The newly elected Secretary is from the Gem State (Idaho) Costumers’ Guild chapter. That is a huge chapter, one of the ICG’s largest.


Activities and Con Reports:

Charles Daniel (fashion designer) exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: this is being displayed in the new exhibit area and the Costume Institute area. Byron said that Daniel had a sense of humor in his designs, but that whoever was curating the exhibit completely missed (or ignored) that. None of the marvelous computer graphics in the exhibit, which show the underlying structure of garments, appear in the book. Interesting side note: Gypsy Rose Lee modeled one of Daniel’s dresses.


Downton Abbey costume exhibit at Winterthur: There were no restrictions on photography (Tina took lots! – will give to Susan for the Pups’ photo archive). The mannequins were all custom built to match the measurements of the actors who wore the costumes. The exhibit contrasted life at “Downton Abbey” to life in the same period at Winterthur; there were several displays of Winterthur memorabilia interleaved with the Downton Abbey items. This included comments about the differences between British and American social customs (the British had servants, Americans had staff, or help).

Rich and Stephanie brought along some extra copies of the Costume-Con 18 Memory Book. Aurora and Marcy each took a copy. CC 18 was Rich & Stephanie’s first Costume-Con.

Aurora said that in July or August, she will be moving to Connecticut, near Groton. Her husband is assigned as a nuclear plant inspector nearby.


Recent Cons:

Costume-Con 32 (4/25-28), Toronto: The con was huge! They got many more members than anticipated. The hotel sold out and they had to add overflow hotels. As a result, both the SF and Historical masquerades hit new highs for entries.

Byron: There were 32 entries in the Historical, with 30 on stage (two & two were together on stage). The competition was almost entirely Historical Dress; usually at other CCs there are more Historical Interpretation entries. Entries were very heavy on Tudor and Victorian, which made doing the running order difficult. There was one 14th century Dr. Who. We gave a Spazzy award in the Historical to the Miss Oz Pageant. Byron allowed pre-registration beforehand; he had 8 before the con. The SF did not, and they had so many at-con entries their registration table got backed up with paperwork.

Aurora: One of the Green Room volunteers was very dictatorial; she demanded that none of the contestants talk (at all!) backstage. Byron said that the Green Room manager should have spoken to her about that – it was inappropriate. Due to the large turnout, the green room had to expand out into the pre-function hallway, which was curtained off at that end. Aurora said that the information table worked out very well, where it was located in the middle of things. Henry and her mother (who worked the table) got along very well. They need volunteers who know both Costume-Cons and the local area.

Steampunk World’s Fair: None of us (who were at the meeting) got to it. Hearsay has been that they had some problems, with people either not going due to their harassment policy, or who objected to their “don’t photograph me” policy.

Balticon: (5/23-26): Rich saw some posts about Balticon on Facebook. Rae and Lisa were in a group (pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses); Rae was a prop, out of competition. Aurora heard that they had about 24 entries. Byron thought that Steve, who was Marty’s assistant, may have been the MD. Presumably everything went well, since there haven’t been any negative comments. Karen S. was one of the judges.


Upcoming Cons and Events:

Lisa’s Open House: Some interest was expressed. Byron & Tina will be going.

LonCon 3: (WorldCon, London) (8/14-18): Both Aurora and Rich & Stephanie commented that there seem to be a number of people who are trying to sell their memberships because they can’t attend. Aurora said that the con has just put out the Masquerade instructions. They plan to do something with projection so that video can be shown on side screens to go with presentations. Apparently there will not be any at-con registration.

Philcon: They finally have announced that they have Guests of Honor (Byron said “No, they call them ‘Principal Speakers’ at Philcon”). If you Google Philcon, there is a flyer available on-line.

Arisia: (1/16-19/15): They still have no masquerade director yet. It was felt that James isn’t ready yet, and Jill is too busy with Sasquan to do so.

Costume-Con 33: (5/15-18/2015): Marcy said that she won’t be able to attend, due to a conflict with her niece’s wedding. There may also be a conflict for Rich and Stephanie. Byron said that they have been given the masquerade rules for both the SF and the Historical. We are waiting for them to show up on the website. Lin Daniel is their webmaster, waiting for feedback from Ron and Sandy. Byron will be going to the committee meeting at the end of June.

Sasquan (WorldCon Spokane, WA, 8/19-23/15): Byron will be running the Masquerade Green Room, and Tina will run the Repair Table. Byron said he will also be running (all) the Green Rooms for CC 34 at Madison.


General Discussion: Sources for linen: regular fabric stores are better than Dharma – cheaper and better selection.

Aurora: On Facebook, bi-weekly posts are most effective for visibility. The point is to look active, get new members. We have 316 watchers now (links in last month). Her cosplay page is at 285. About half to three-quarters of the names she doesn’t know. Many of our members don’t have pages, just memberships. She also noted that Facebook is always trying to get more money out of its members.

Rich: suggested a workshop on how to work with social media. Aurora said she could do it.

Upcoming Meetings / Workshops:

July (7/19): at Diane’s. Election of officers. “Workshop” on neat new gadgets, as well as favorite old ones – bring your favorites to show off.

September: either 9/13 or 9/20. Members will be polled to see which is preferred. [Subsequently, 9/20 was chosen.] Location TBA. Workshop: Alternatives to Sewing.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.