Masquerade (costuming)

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Synonyms: Fancy Dress (British term)
See also: cosplay
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A young fan at a 1981 convention shows off his Yoda puppet -- the photo illustrates the large range of ages that participated in fan-run masquerade contests and activities and how many costumes were hand-made while also incorporating pre-made items. [1]
back cover of a 1963 Worldcon zine, showing some Masquerade participants

Masquerades are costume contests held at science fiction conventions. Contestants are often divided up into junior costumers (kids), novice, journeyman, and master categories, (defined by the International Costumer's Guild). More casual hall costumes are not generally entered into the Masquerade.

The hobby of making elaborate costumes based on fictional characters or universes is also known as cosplay. Cosplay is an extremely popular aspect of many fandoms, especially anime and science fiction fandom. There is even an an annual convention devoted solely to costuming, Costume-Con.



  1. ^ photo is from the Forrest J. Ackerman Collection, sold on eBay in 2012 after his death, photographer and photo subject unknown. Ackerman spent a lifetime amassing the world's largest personal collection of science-fiction and fantasy memorabilia and who coined the term ‘sci-fi’ in the 1950s.