Apples vs. Oranges, or HALO vs. Dr. Who

Recently I’ve had the chance to be a judge in several costume contests. I thought it would be fun to be on the other side of the table, but I’m finding it very hard to pick a winner when so many different costuming techniques are presented and presented well. It seems the winning contest formula that prevails is “big+lights=1st place!”

It’s very hard to compare a perfectly hand sewn costume with an impressive (insert any kind of large combat robot here). How do you compare serged edges and straight seams with sculpting/welding/vacuum forming?

For example: it’s hard to judge a Dr. Who group against a HALO group, unless maybe the Dr. Who group includes several impressive Daleks.

Being on the judging side has made me realize how tough it is to judge a general costume contest that pits many different styles, genres and ages against each other. Also, when it comes down to it, stage presence actually counts for a lot and can even overcome some costume shortcomings.

What do you guys think about costume contests? Any experience judging them? Or being in them? I know it’s tough on both sides of the judging table!


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