Tonight it is my privilege to announce that the recipient of the 2022 International Costumers’ Guild Lifetime Achievement Award is Leslie L. Johnston.

Leslie has been an active participant in costuming communities for over four decades. After a childhood where her mother 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 both on her own and in collaboration with other costumers. Those who get to know her have a friend with whom they can look forward to collaborating.

The scope of Leslie’s costuming work is broad, including horror and the macabre, the elegance of Regency and Victorian, drawing upon world folklore, old movies, and many other sources. She has received major awards internationally and regionally at historical and sci-fi/fantasy competitions. Her research methods and documentation are exemplary, and she is always willing to give talks and provide mentoring, including 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 caring 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 empathy for people who compete at every level of experience. Leslie excels at it. Her experience, calm, organization, and consensus-driven approach always helps 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 it 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 major share of uploading photos to the new software, and has created exhibits to enhance the visitor’s experience. She has also been researching new online storage options for the Archives to accommodate its rapidly expanding oeuvre.

Leslie’s decades-long participation in the costuming community, her widely recognized costuming skills, her willingness to mentor and share what she knows, and her many and continuing services to the costuming community and the ICG make her outstandingly qualified to join the ranks of those recognized with the ICG Lifetime Achievement Award

Kevin Roche
President, International Costumers’ Guild, Inc.