Annual Australian Costumers' Guild Ball
On the last Saturday of August each year, Adelaide hosts the Annual Australian Costumers' Guild Ball. Currently, this is held at Estonian House, North Adelaide.
This is a National Event with costumers coming from many states, so you will be able to meet people with similar interests from all over Australia.
This is strictly a costumed event, but you do not have to have made the costume yourself unless you wish to go into the competitions (you also need to be a financial Guild member to compete). You can wear any costume from any genre – from historical to cosplay, fantasy and sci-fi, even original creations.
If you can wear it, you can show it off at Annual Australian Costumers’ Ball!!
Here is some important information to get you started.
1. Join the Forums
It’s free and simple to sign up. You can get updates or ask questions of other members either regarding the Ball or any aspect of costuming. We have a variety of levels of expertise and are happy to talk about anything costume related, and we don’t bite! So please, come and tell us what you’re interested in and if you’re coming.
2. Book Your Tickets
If you are a member of the Australian Costumers’ Guild you can take advantage of our special discounted price. Tickets usually go on sale around April each year and can be ordered by downloading a form from the link to the right. You must book your tickets - there is no entry at the door. Tickets are also available from selected outlets.
3. Consider the Competitions
We have two competitions available to members. In the parade, you can get up on stage and show everyone your efforts; or for the workmanship award the judges look at the inside of your costume. We have different skill levels and categories for each competition. Competition registration forms are available at the time of booking your tickets. Check the Parade Entrant Rules for more information on what you need to do, and what is expected. Our Forums also available for you to ask any questions you might have.
Basic Rules for Costumes at The Ball
The Peanut Butter Rule: Please consider the hard work of other costumers and make sure your costume is not made of, or trimmed with, any messy substances as these have the possibility of damaging other entrant's costumes. So do not use anything wet, oily or dusty such as wet paint, powder or unfixed sparkle. This also includes poorly set or sticky colouring, and sharp, pointy or rough finishes that may snag other costumes.
The Pied Piper Rule: No live animals will be allowed in the National Australian Costumers' Guild Ball. So if you have your heart set on bringing your own mice for your Fairy Godmother, or a rabid rottweiler as a buddy for the Spawn of Satan, you will have to fake the fauna. (This rule does not apply to designated assist animals, eg: hearing and seeing dogs).
The Al Capone Rule: No real weapons are to be brought along to the Ball, even if you hold a permit for offensive weapons, dangerous articles or prohibited weapons. Fake weapons that look just like real ones MUST be approved by the organisers before The Ball. You will probably get away with a glitter covered 'ray gun', but if the real life version of what you're carrying can hurt people, check with us first. (Note: if you can't find an organiser before the event, weapons check can be done at the Ball venue, during the parade rehearsal time on the afternoon of the Ball - you will not be allowed entry to the Event if this has not been done).
The Lady Godiva Rule: We would generally prefer not to see your jiggly bits. Most of us are pretty broad-minded and if your costume is one that would actually make for a tasteful book cover, chances are we'll OK it on artistic grounds. Costumes that have no purpose other than to shock or be confrontational may be refused entry, as such outfits may impact on the enjoyment of other participants who are not as broadminded as us. Please remember this is not an 'R' rated event and costume appropriately. If in doubt, run your costume past one of the organisers, before the Ball.
For the Competiton - Skill Level Ranking Guidelines
Ranking is not meant to be judgemental just for the sake of putting you in a 'box' and it gives you no advantage, either within the Guild or out in the real world. (Well, if you are Master level and you chose to teach a workshop for the Guild, we’d probably mention that in our advertising, but that’s about it).
It does, however, let us sort costumers out for the parade so that people of similar skill levels are competing against each other. You can decide yourself at which level you want to compete at, though you may be over-ruled if the parade organiser knows your work, or takes one look at your costume and says "That costume should be in the Masters comp, not the novices". These ranking descriptions below are fairly loose - they are simply to give you some guidelines on how we'll group costumers.
Novice: is a beginner with very little experience in costuming. You cannot have earned money through costume or clothing, or studied costume or fashion at a tertiary level.
Journeyman: is basically someone with more skill than a beginner, but is not yet at Master level. This would cover those who are currently studying costume and fashion at a tertiary institution, or who have, at some time, charged money to make costume/clothing, but not necessarily at a professional level. You may have been taught by your (insert older, probably female, relative here), or even be self-taught, but you've been sewing for a couple of years and made quite a few garment.
Master: This is a costumer with advanced skill levels. This covers those who have successfully completed a related tertiary course and/or are currently employed in the costume/fashion industries. If you have been sewing (or constructing) costumes/clothing for a significant length of time, or been exceptionally prolific, this would probably put you in this ranking too.
Or another way to look at it is: How hard was the garment to make?
Novices are not expected to make a costume as complex as a Master – and Masters are supposed to show they really know what they are doing!
To give an example; a Novice is not expected to have sewn 15,000 pearls on their costume, it would be impressive for a Journeyman, but pretty much par for the course for a Master. Or, a Novice might have a small item of chain mail, say a coif or head-dress. A journeyman might have something a little larger (it took longer to do) or more decorated (a more complex pattern). The master would have a significant amount of chain mail (or would have hand riveted each link).