in costume
Photo: Ken Warren

Leslie L. Johnston

2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Leslie has been an active participant in costuming communities for over four decades. After a childhood where her mother lovingly made her costumes for plays and holidays, Leslie eventually started making her own. In the 1970’s, she found a costume-making community in the SCA, and by the early 1980’s she was creating original costumes on her own and in collaboration with other costumers. Those who have gotten to know her have a friend with whom they look forward to collaborating.

The scope of Leslie’s costuming work is broad, including horror and the macabre, the elegance of Regency and Victorian, world folklore, old movies, and many others. Accolades include major awards internationally and regionally at historical and sci-fi/fantasy competitions where she enters in the open division. Her research methods and documentation are exemplary, and she is always willing to give talks and provide mentoring about how to produce great documentation. She also authors costuming-related articles, is actively involved in assisting with convention programming and exhibits, and serves as ICG Vice President.

Leslie’s qualities as a wise and kind human being, a force for order and consensus, and her extensive costuming experience have led to her being requested for masquerade judging panels, from Worldcons to small local specialty cons. World-class masquerade judging is a special skill set, requiring almost superhuman patience, collaborative spirit, and love for people who compete at every level of experience. Leslie excels at it. Her experience, calm, organization, and consensus-driven approach help the judging process work as intended.

Most recently Leslie has been instrumental in the development of the new Pat and Peggy Kennedy Memorial Archives site. Leslie applied her skills and experience as a professional archivist to the task, with an eye to making them accessible, expandable, and maintainable far into the future. She was the major researcher for choosing new software. She customized the software to best serve the needs of the Archives, has done the yeoman’s share of uploading photos to the new software, and has created exhibits to enhance the visitor’s experience. She has also been researching new storage options for the Archives to accommodate its rapidly expanding oeuvre.

Leslie’s decades-long participation in the costuming community, her demonstrated costuming skills, her willingness to mentor and share what she knows, and her many and continuing services to the costuming community and to the ICG make her an ideal recipient of the 2022 ICG Lifetime Achievement Award.