The dictionary defines art as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” An artist must make a leap of faith, opening themselves to critique and interpretation by their audience. In the context of being a masquerade costumer, they are using their presentation and costume as a platform for personal expression. With each new creation, they strive to be memorable.

SLCG Painted Lady

Photo: Nora Mai.

Previously, the St, Louis Costumers Guild (aka the St. Louis Ubiquitous Tailoring Society – SLUTS) gave “The Slattern,” (a hand-made garter) to an entry that appeared to be having the most fun on stage. Our more recent award, The Painted Lady keeps to the spirit of our chapter while honoring the art of costuming and the courage of the artist(s). It is only presented at Costume-Con, and can be given either for a Fantasy and Science Fiction or Historical masquerade entry.

After a show, SLCG members are polled to determine what entry was the most original in design and/or concept. This includes incorporating aspects from different cultures, using unconventional materials, presenting in a unique style, or any other innovative approach that makes it exceptional. The award is a flask to be filled with the person or persons’ favorite drink (possibly alcoholic).

Bruce Mai
St. Louis Costumers’ Guild