in costume
Photo: Ken Warren

Elaine Mami

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Over the past 35 years, Elaine Mami has served the costuming community by helping found two chapters, influencing the nature and development of the International Costumers’ Guild, running Costume-Cons, directing masquerades, serving in other capacities at local, regional, and international-level competitions, and teaching costuming skills and techniques. She has entered in the master division since the beginning of the division system and has received awards, including Best in Show at international-level competitions.

Elaine Mami is one of the costumers guilty of foisting the Sick Pups (New Jersey/ New York Costumers’ Guild) on the ICG! In the 1980s she was one of the chapter’s founding members. As if founding one chapter wasn’t enough, after she moved to Arizona, Elaine went on to drape the ICG in LACE as one of the founders of the Lower Arizona Costume Enthusiasts. She was the Pups’ Prez when the ICG was founded in 1985 and for years afterwards. She is the first (and so far only) president of LACE. Simultaneously, she has continued to serve the Pups as corresponding secretary.

Beyond her impact on the ICG over 35 years has also made major contributions to the costuming community, Most notably, she chaired Costume-Con 30 and was vice chair of Costume-Con 36, one of the few costumers demented enough to chair more than one CC.

She has also filled many other positions at Worldcon, Costume-Con, regional, and local competitions, including masquerade director, judge, master of ceremonies, den mom, and repair table person. In fact, she directed all the masquerades at Costume-Con 5. She was program director at CC7, in charge of exhibits at CC17, and director of CC33’s Single Pattern Contest. She ran the costume exhibit at Noreascon 4 (the 2004 Worldcon).

Elaine has had a great influence on the education of costumers, giving presentations and participating in panels at many events on a broad range of costuming topics.

Elaine has competed in the master division in science fiction and historical masquerades at local, regional, and international competitions since the beginning of the division system. She was a member of the Royal Court of Amber, which received Best in Show for both Workmanship and for Presentation at Torcon III [Worldcon] masquerade (2003). At CC30, she and JoAnn Abbott were awarded Best Humor in the master division for “Grandma Gaga.”

(View the 2018 LAA group portrait.)