November 5, 2016 Meeting of the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild (aka, the Sick Pups)

Meeting held at Diane’s house, Kendall Park, NJ

Meeting Minutes presented by Tina Connell

Attendees: Diane Kovalcin (hosting), Byron & Tina, Kathy, Heidi, Marcy, and guest MaryAnne Tatka Gruszecki. Mike, Heidi’s husband, arrived late during the meeting and was briefly called upon as a resource person.

Meeting was called to (dis)order at 2:48 pm., following the usual feeding frenzy snack and arrivals period.


Official Stuph:

Minutes: The minutes of the August meeting (submitted by Diane, as Tina couldn’t be present) were approved as written, after one correction for the Heliosphere dates.

President’s Report: Kathy said that Susan (who couldn’t attend the meeting) would like more Pups to post photos, etc. to our FB page. Diane asked what sort of things – reviews of exhibits, burble about costumes finished, etc.

Treasurer: We had $310.76 in the account as of the last deposit. A question was raised as to the possibility of paying dues via PayPal. Marcy said we don’t have that at present, but that she will look into it. She asked if she should go ahead and open a PayPal account; Kathy responded that we will be meeting again in a month, so check it out and report then.

Diane asked how many paid members we have at present: 25. We have lost some due to demise, attrition or their moving away.

Museums, Exhibits, and Travel:

Byron & Tina went to see the Edith Head exhibit in Lancaster, OH on its last day, en route to Kansas City. It was amazing! Tina took lots of photos. It included Head’s work, as well as some costumes from other Hollywood designers of the period.

On the way back from KC, they detoured to Canada for a couple of shows at the Stratford Festival (The Hypochondriac and The Aeneid) and the Shaw Festival (Mrs. Warren’s Profession).

Diane went to an exhibit at the Montreal Musée du costume et du textile du Québec (which is becoming The Fashion Museum) on her recent trip to Montreal. They had a blue-themed exhibit, which was organized by color tones. (Editor’s note: exhibit runs through April 9, 2017) In a back room, there was an exhibit of historical costumes made of paper. 1780s, 1910s – it was exquisite! There was, unfortunately, only one example of each time period.

She also went to see the exhibit at FIT of the wardrobe of Élisabeth de Caraman-Chimay, the Countess Greffulhe (her personal clothing, and not a designer) from the 30s and 40s, and also the uniforms exhibit. That was not, for the most part, military uniforms, but was on the theme of uniformity.

Diane also mentioned the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the marvelous mosaics on the ceiling of the vestibule.


Byron: The new 2017 schedules for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and the Shaw Festival are out. 2017 looks like an amazing season: Romeo & Juliet, HMS Pinafore, Twelfth Night, Guys & Dolls, The School for Scandal, and a number of other interesting shows. The Shaw is offering (among other items) Saint Joan, Dracula, The Madness of King George, and Me and My Girl.

He also mentioned the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts (at Lincoln Center) exhibit, in partnership with the V&A, celebrating the past 40 years of theater in NY and London. That runs through June 30, 2017.

Show & Tell:

Byron & Tina brought two new books to pass around, as well as copies of the MidAmericon program books. These were not only the one for this year’s WorldCon, but also a set of archival program plus associated materials from the 1976 WorldCon in Kansas City, MO, which featured Robert A. Heinlein and artist George Barr.

Diane commented that she has been in contact with a costume designer for Outlander. Styles are 1940s translated to the 1740s – apparently Dior was influenced by the 1740s.

Recent Cons:

MidAmericon/WorldCon, Kansas City, MO: Byron & Tina went. It was HOT. Byron said he thought that the con was very well run. Handicap access was poor. John Hertz was an extremely good Masquerade MC.

Diane went to a Merlin con in Berlin. They had a costume contest. Mostly younger fen, and there was more ‘cosplaying’ than costuming. Diane was costumed as Merlin, with a ridiculous hat and fringed cape (Arthur was trying to embarrass him). They had workshops (hennins, jewelry and writing) and panels all weekend.

Kathy went to Ithaca Lace Days. She took a needle-lace workshop (15 hours over three days). It was sponsored by the Finger Lakes Lace Guild. She said they used DM Cotton in 50 or 60 weight, not buttonhole thread. White and ecru are the most commonly available. In the 1890s and 1900s this was part of the Arts and Crafts movement. As a cottage industry, it was a way for women to earn a bit of money.

Upcoming Events and Cons:

A list of upcoming cons was included in the minutes of the 8/27 meeting. Heliosphere was corrected to March, not April, 10-12, 2017.

Byron noted that Philcon is coming up in three weeks, with CJ Cherryh as GoH.

Kathy said that LI Who is next weekend, and Tina said that there’s a Trek con in Albany, also next weekend.

Diane said that she will be going to India next month, and plans to be shopping.

Other Business:

Election of Officers:


President: Byron Connell (Kathy wanted to step down)

Prez. of Vice: Kathy Draves

Dragon (Treasurer): Marcy Huston

Recording Secretary: Tina Connell

Corresponding Secretary: Elaine Mami

Everyone present voted Aye for the full slate, with the exception of Byron, who cast a Nay for the office of President. The majority ruled, and he’s stuck with us for at least the next year.


Upcoming Meetings / Workshops:

12/3/16: Byron & Tina will host, at the Embassy Suites in Parsippany. Workshop will be a round-table, talking about the various aspects of running a con masquerade.

3/4/17: Lin Daniel will host, in Albany

5/6/17: Heidi will host, at Stroudsburg, PA (everybody bring her nice dryer lint)


Meeting was adjourned (relapse into chaos) at 5:02 pm.