So I‘m back from my very first Costume College ever. To make a long story short, it won‘t be my last.

On a number of costuming blogs we‘ve read a lot of things about Costume College. If you believed them, it was THE thing if you were costuming. Other voices said, it was the thing in the past but changed, it had become too Cosplay-y, whatever. Still, we‘d decided to go.

On Thursday we arrived about four-ish at the hotel for check-in. The rooms were spacious and we had our own iron and ironing board just as promised. About two hours later we went downstairs for a snack at the hotel restaurant followed by the check-in. In my opinion check-in was handled professionally and was very fast. The first glimpse at the portrait studio was as promising as the first view of the DIY photo spots. After changing into our costumes, we enjoyed the pool party a lot, although I think it was just a little crowded

Friday morning then my first workshop: Silk shading and goldwork with SFSNAD was excellently taught. I learned a few nice shortcuts, the kit was very, very good.

In the afternoon we did a workshop on headdress for the ball with Donna Scarfe from Fyne hats by Felicity.

She told us it was meant to be fun, despite achieving period-looking results.We were handed a number of fashion plates for inspiration on head-dresses from the 1860ies to about 1900. Then we took glue guns, she set the table with a ton of ostrich feathers, a variety of ribbons, glitter stones, artificial flowers and other whatnots, plus the necessary bases of hairbands, combs and barrettes. Donna would help with the choice of base as well as design if we asked for it.

Friday night social was a fun scavenger hunt with lots of opportunities to talk to people.

Saturday we had an afternoon class with Shelly Johnson from Clockwork Monster Millinery, breaking down the three part buckram hat. A workshop on basic hat construction, making a boater, which will enable us to do any kind of hat we want to in the future.

Saturday night is gala night. There were a lot of wonderful and unusual gowns, everyone was dressed up in their finest.

On Sunday we had the final workshop for this year‘s Costume College, beginning bead embroidery with Elizabeth McCrary, where we learned a number of basic techniques while working on a little white Elefant. Meet Nellie:

Fantasy Tea was wonderful and so much fun.

Monday we took part in the tour to the garment district where we hunted down silk at incredibly low prices.

So, how was the experience? It was fantastic. Everyone we met was so friendly and easy to talk to. Our costumes were admired and we were just as often asked by others for a pic as we asked them, and I don‘t consider my wife and I to be in the top percentage of costumers.

The mingling of all kinds of costumers, historically accurate, historically adequate, cosplay, mere fantasy-fun, was a lot of fun for me as there is a lot of technique we all share, there also is a lot of passion for costuming we all share. The open atmosphere, concentrated on learning from each other, valuing every attendant just the same, that‘s absolutely priceless.

I will travel there again, and I absolutely can recommend Costume College to everybody interested in Costuming