One event which has always been popular at Octocon is the Masquerade and Costume Party.
In Octocon's early years, it was one of the highlights of the convention, with attendees
producing some of the most amazing costumes. Highlights have included some incredible alien
costumes, such as a pair of Narns on vacation from Babylon 5 and a stay Borg, as well as
highly elaborate fantasy costumes, like a Russian princess who turned up one year.
While some costume makers put vast amounts of time into their creations, and their
fantastic creations are well worth the effort, we don't want anyone to feel excluded if
they can't do the same. In previous years, there have been some great costumes which have
been put together very quickly with very simple materials and good use of imagination. One
group came as the Resevoir Dogs one year and Men in Black the next, and no doubt they will
be back as Agent Smith and Co this year. Another person came dressed entirely in black
plastic sacks, held together with duct tape (I forget what they were, but it got a laugh).
The important thing is to enter the spirit and have a good time.
Don't forget that good use of makeup can turn a simple costume into something stunning.
There have been lots of great examples in the past, but two which stick in my mind were The
Crow and Rogue Trooper (with lots of blue makeup!).
To show our appreciation for the effort people put into their costumes, we plan to have
lots of prizes, with a big prize for the overall winner.
We are also planning to hold a costume workshop on Saturday afternoon, to help people who
haven't prepared in advance. We'll have a big box of bits and pieces that might be useful for
making costumes, as well as the essentials like scissors, glue and double-sided sticky tape.
And you have the pick of all the shops in the O'Connell area for those special touches. Of
course some imagination is still required.
Lots of people like to dress up for the event, but don't enter the competition. This is
fine by us, as we like to see the room full of leather and velvet. We might have a spot
prize or two for the best dressed dancers in the disco.
One complaint I've heard in the past is that the committee never bother taking part. This
is usually because the committee are too busy in the weeks coming up to the convention to
get a costume together. This year we are accepting no excuses, and all of the committee will
be wearing outragous costumes!
In the next progress report we will have more about the masquerade, including some
tips on costume-making.