“Dawn”, Costume-Con 29 photo by Ken Warren.

Sally Fink

by Philip Gust | Mar 14, 2020

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Very active from 1970’s to the  late 80’s, and still participating today, Sally C. Fink is the recipient of the 2020 ICG Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photographs from many conventions demonstrate the breadth of her design skills.  Originally recognized for glitzy science fiction and fantasy confections, her later expansion into historical garments and elaborate millinery means that she is an influence on a wide variety of “next generation” costumers.

From 2004 to 2011, one of her fantasy costumes, “The Iron Orchid,” was on exhibit in the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington. She has also mounted over a dozen one-woman costume and art-to-wear shows at local venues in western Pennsylvania, exposing the public to our hobby.

Johnstown Magazine had this to say about her shows: Pattern drafting, machine embroidery, millinery, beading, soft and clay sculpture, wire work, velvet embossing, fabric deconstruction and manipulation — Sally C. Fink has done it all. Considered a master costumer by the International Costumers Guild, Fink, a Westmont resident, has crafted hundreds of costumes over the last four decades, each one a beautiful display of handcrafted creativity.

Sally is also active with her local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism under the sobriquet Mistress Charmaine of Falkensee where she acts as a consultant on Garb research, sewing, and sources for fabrics and period patterns. In addition to costuming for full sized humans, Ms. Fink is also noted for her dolls.

After many years concentrating on historical clothing, Ms. Fink returned to science fiction/fantasy competition costuming in 2009. These days she sometimes transfers her formidable skills from working on her own designs to the area of interpreting and constructing the designs of other costumers by participating in the Future Fashion Folio or Single Pattern Competitions at Costume-Con. Her entry in the Future Fashion Show at Costume-Con 30 in Tempe, “Empress in the Court of Jewels” not only won “Best in Show” for that competition, but demonstrated her continuing commitment to our craft; her steampunk hall costume at the same event shows that this veteran costumer is still taking on the challenge of new genres and putting her own stamp on them.

Sally’s donation of her photo collections to the ICG Gallery documents an otherwise difficult to find era in our collective history.

She was there at Costume-Con number 1 wearing an “omigosh!” costume in the F&S/F masquerade (and thereby setting the high standards for subsequent Costume-Con masquerades). – Karen Dick 

[ Visit Sally Fink’s website for more photos.]