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893Re: the costume contest

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  • ja_glinka
    May 1, 2007
      Once the cosplayers increase in number, categories are incredibly
      important, if for no other reason than to acknowledge the very good
      costumes done in different styles. For instance, Trek and SW fans
      have a strong tradition of organized costuming and a hyper-realistic
      style. TV shows in general follow this pattern. The detailing of
      their artwork often out-shines the average Superhero, where the
      reference material is often stylized. In Anime/Manga, the stylization
      increases, to the point of bizarre, but that's _normal_ for the
      genre. Balanced abstraction is more important for a manga costume
      than realism.

      It's like trying to pit Naturalism vs Impressionism vs Avante Garde
      and saying which is "best", when they need to be acknowledged for
      having different goals. This is where it's important to have a varied
      panel of judges, with different fandom backgrounds. Then you have
      people who don't necessarily have the best costumes, but have a
      strong flair for the dramatic and make up for technical failings
      through sheer force of personality. That's art too: Drama. In this
      area, crowd response is usually the best judge.

      Cosplayers more focused on technical craftsmanship generally would
      rather explain what materials they used, the reference material, how
      long it took, who helped, where they found patterns or created their
      own, etc. Allow the crowd to call out pose requests and the
      photography becomes its own reward. Give people options in how they
      can show off.

      And don't let the guy in the superman t-shirt stand in the middle of
      the stage like that; he messes up the background. A lighter back drop
      would allow for better photography, though I don't know how much
      control the organizers have over that.
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