November 23. 2013 Meeting of the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild (aka, the Sick Pups)

Hosted by Diane at Kendall Park, NJ

Meeting Minutes presented by Tina Connell

Attendees: Diane, Byron & Tina, Marcy, Kathy D., Susan T., Abi, and Toni

The meeting was called to disorder at 3:00, following the Making Little Hats workshop.


Official Stuph:

Tina distributed copies of the 9/21/13 meeting minutes, which were approved.

Treasurer: Marcy reported that as of the end of October the treasury was at $305.28.

President’s Report: We have two new members, Jennifer Fulmer and Christopher Needham. Christopher was the Art Director at Anime USA. Byron has received an update of the ICG member list; there are 395 members, of which the Pups have 19. The two largest chapters are Silicon Web and Minneapolis. There is a proposal for a new chapter in North Dakota, which will be called the Gem State Costumers Guild. There is also a proposal to establish an ICG Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund, which if established would make small grants for projects to educate the public. As an example, Miss Lizzie’s Traveling Road Show of historical garments and memorabilia could apply.

Vice-Prez: Toni said she had two recent medical procedures, a MRI and a biopsy (benign). Toni moved that we move ahead on a Spazzy Ribbon purchase. We should acknowledge Spazzy winners and Honorary Pups (3 time winners) on the website. Marcy asked, has JoAnn Abbott won three?

Webmistress: Susan has updated the events page and exhibits. Heidi’s pictures are up. She added folders for Christopher & Jennifer. Byron & Tina will search their photos for good pictures of Pat & Peggy Kennedy. It was noted that the Costume-Con website and Denise Girardeau have good photos. Byron said that the ones on the CC website are “official” photos – Ken Warren has said OK on using his, as long as we retain the copyright information.


Activities and Con Reports:

Diane and Susan went to a retrospective exhibit at FIT, on historic design and how it influenced modern designs. It included gay history (Oscar Wilde, macaronis). Also went to the Museum of the City of New York (Gilded Age exhibit): only two costumes there, but marvelous jewelry! She also talked about the Shakespeare’s Globe (London) company traveling tour of Richard III and Twelfth Night. They do the performances as authentically as possible, with an all-male cast, dressing on stage (from the undergarments on up), and lighted with candles on stage. At Richard III, the actors came over and talked to them, showed them the insides of their costumes. Diane took Deanna and Laura to see Twelfth Night, and said it was fantastic. Diane is a “friend of the Globe” which helps with ticketing. The shows were sold out except for seats in nose-bleed territory. Byron commented that “Shakespeare in Love” was filmed at the Globe, and Susan said that a Dr. Who episode was also. Diane also mentioned that the Manchester Company will be bringing over Macbeth in June.

Byron talked about his and Tina’s planned shows at the Straford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival next summer. As with Diane and “Friends of...”, he and Tina are members of the Festival, which helps them get good advance ticketing. William Shatner and Christopher Plummer are alumni of the Festival. Byron & Tina have tickets for a couple of light plays, Hay Fever (Noel Coward) and Crazy For You, two performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (a large scale production, and an intimate chamber rendering), Man of La Mancha, and Christina, a play about Queen Christina of Sweden.

Abi talked about a show called Sleep No More, at the McKittrick Hotel on 27th in NYC. The audience follows the actors through the hotel as they do the scenes. The actors will grab audience members into the scenes; it’s very interactive. It’s $100 per reservation (for up to 15 people, inclusive), and a dinner rate of $165 (for up to 5 people). They’re sold out for the next two months.

Kathy reported on exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Interwoven - the Worldwide Textile Trade,” which is in a large exhibit space on the 2nd floor. It shows influences of cultural designs that were exported (Indian, Japanese, Chinese, etc.). There are a few historical garments, as well as quite a few lavishly embroidered fabrics. The Indian Textiles exhibit was hard to find. She commented on an example of sheer cotton muslin which was much sheerer than today’s lawn fabric. There is a small exhibit of Byzantine Motifs tucked away in a timy gallery under the main staircase. Pieces of fabric & tunics, 400-500 years old, pieces that haven’t been seen in decades. Very poorly (dimly) lighted. There is also an exhibit of Peruvian feather wall hangings (pre-Spanish Conquest), showing large blocks of yellow and blue macaw feathers. There are wall plaques that show how the feathers were attached.

Kathy also reviewed a recent show, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which had quasi-Edwardian costumes, and which she said was fun and well done, with witty and clever lyrics.

Recent Cons:

Byron & Tina went to Archon (St. Louis area), in early October. David Weber was GoH. The con was totally swamped by The Doctor (Who??). There wasn’t any GoH speech. Byron was on stage with him for a panel about strong female characters. They didn’t go to the masquerade, even though it is usually very good, because there was a VERY long line, and they were tired. They returned home by first driving west for a day, to Kansas City, to visit the World War I Museum, and returned via the St. Louis Union Station, which had lots of exhibits, including porters’ uniforms, women’s uniforms (both military and Harvey Girls), other military uniforms, vintage clothing, and train models. They ended up at Sandy and Rob’s wedding celebration party in PA near Philly, where they saw lots of Pups, before returning home.

Philcon: Several of us went. Diane liked the programming, said that there were some good panels aside from costume, and mentioned the cell phone app. However, she was cross-scheduled at one point to be on two panels at the same time. She and Susan took one of them (sewing machines) and Vicki helped out by taking the other (sewing patterns). Susan said that pre-con prep was good. Abi said that the anime track was run by Zenkaikon. Byron commented about PSFS politics, and how that affects the con. There was a memorial video before the masquerade for Marty. The Masquerade had 14 entries. Laura was very surprised when she was awarded Best in Show. Don Sakers did an excellent job as M.C.

Kathy went to the Long Island Dr. Who convention, which was held the same weekend as Philcon, at the Clarion Hotel in Ronkonkoma. She said that the committee had some experience. They capped attendance at 1,000, and sold out about 5 days before the con. The con ran very smoothly; the program schedule was up on their web site 2 months before the con. They had a “costume cavalcade” with about 30 costumes. A lot of the costumes were interpretive, and female Doctors seem to be popular. There were panels about each of the Doctors. Various Pups said that it sounds interesting and they may try going next year. Philcon may not be on the same weekend in 2014, which would save a conflict.


Upcoming Cons and Events:

Lunacon (3/14-16): Abi said she is now Head of the costuming track. She is looking for 3-4 good costume panels, as well as 3-4 workshops. Toni said that she’s never seen it done before but how about papier maché? Other suggestions were: how to move on stage, how to handle costume parts (capes, long skirts, etc.). Susan recommended that she get one room dedicated to workshops, and protect the floor so anything messy is easy to clean up. Abi said that if so, it would probably also be used for kids programming and anime. She gave out two e-mail addresses:, and She said that Sue deG. will be M.C., Mike will be Masquerade Director, and Ken will be Official Photographer. She asked for suggestions for fan photographer, and Byron suggested Lenny Provenzano. She is also looking for judges. Toni said she was willing, if she can wear a hat. Abi also said that the hotel’s room rates will be the same, under their contract, until 2018. The hotel has been purchased by a new owner, and is doing a “new broom” on management staff. There will be wedding parties booked there the same weekend. The con’s room block is not yet open. Byron suggested that they look closely at the contract, and make sure that the new management doesn’t try to cut out anything that the contract allows. Several of us commented on the need to publicize, something which Lunacon has not done well in the recent past. Abi is going to be contacting the Steampunk World’s Fair committee. She’s e-mailing George Takei to ask him if he’d like to come.

Costume-Con 32 (4/25-28), in Toronto: Byron is running the Historical Masquerade. He solicited suggestions for Historical Judges, and there were several suggestions.


Other upcoming cons:

DetCon (NASFIC, Detroit) (6/17-20): Steve Barnes GoH

Pennsic (7/25 - 8/10)

LonCon 3 (WorldCon, London) (8/14-18): Byron & Tina will be going. They already have their hotel booked.

ShamrockCon (EuroCon), Dublin (8/22-24): ditto

Albacon (1st weekend of Nov.): in 2014 Albacon will be back to being a “real” con, probably at the Hilton in Saratoga Springs. The following year, 2015, instead of an Albacon, LASTSFA will be hosting the World Fantasy Con, also in Saratoga Springs.


New Business:

Select additional meeting dates: After a brief discussion, we set March 29 for the meeting after the January meeting (Byron & Tina will host, at one of the usual Morristown area venues - TBA), and May 31 (location TBA).


Upcoming Meetings / Workshops:

January (1/25): Tina said that if she can find the how-to booklet she has (somewhere) from Historic Williamsburg on how to make Colonial thread buttons (aka Dorset buttons), that might be a good workshop to try. If she can’t find the booklet, she’ll see what she can find on-line.

Meeting was adjourned at 6:45 pm.