Hello and welcome to the Hall Costume Contest! Please read through the rules as many things have changed since last year!
The Hall Costume Contest is a contest that deals specifically with the quality and workmanship of the costume itself. There is no performance element - it is a quiet scheduled judging session where you speak to the judges and tell them about the details of your work.
Awards are presented following the Masquerade Saturday Night and you will also have the option of showing off your costume in a catwalk onstage. Please note that you cannot compete with the same costume in both Hall Costume Contest and Masquerade.
For full rules and regulations click here.
Registration is currently closed. Please keep an eye on this space and Otakon's social media pages for announcements.
Registration is currently closed
All participants will be required to sign a permission/release/waiver form to participate in the contest.
Minors under 18 years of age may participate in the Hall Costume Contest only if a permission/release form signed by the minor's legal guardian is provided. We highly encourage you to print out and sign the appropriate form(s) and bring them to your judging time to expedite the process. Please make sure to print out and bring the correct waiver for the day you plan to participate.
Release forms are currently unavailable.
We will collect forms when you check in for your judging time. We will have forms on-site but we ask that you please print them out ahead of time and fill them out.
Costumers may not wear the same costume in both the Masquerade and Hall Costume Contest. You may also only enter the Hall Costume Contest once during the length of the convention.
Becka Noel is a costume designer living in New York City and has been cosplaying for eight years. Specializing in armor and props, she is known internationally for her mashup cosplay groups. Becka is a designer for McCalls Pattern Company and her work has been published in numerous national and international publications. Becka was a cast member on Syfy’s reality show, 'Cosplay Melee' in 2017. In 2018, Becka was chosen as the face of New York Comic Con and had over 200 ads displayed in multiple NYC subway stations. Becka currently teaches workshops on armor and prop making with Worbla at Manhattan Wardrobe Supply in addition to workshops around the country.
Fire Lily has been cosplaying and sewing costumes since 2004. She has won numerous awards such as Best In Show and Best Overall for her costume craftsmanship and presentation skills since 2006, and to date has made over 200 costumes for herself and others. Fire Lily has served as the Head Judge and Judge Wrangler for Katsucon's Masquerade Department for the last ten years, and she judges costume contests at conventions in the Mid-Atlantic region such as Otakon, Anime Mid-Atlantic, Tekkoshocon, T-Mode, Escape Velocity, MAGFest, and more. She is always happy to share her expertise with others and regularly gives panels on costume construction.
A stickler for details, Fire Lily focuses on making her costumes as accurately as possible and regularly learns new methods and techniques to achieve that personal goal. Most recently, she has been exploring historical costume making and techniques, and learning aari embroidery and tambour beading. When she isn't working on costumes, Fire Lily loves to read, play video games, bake pies, and binge-watch TV shows, movies, and anime!
A: No. The Hall Costume Contest is an event at Otakon that you must register to participate in.
A: No. You will need to have made at least 85% of your costume on your own. Questions will be asked to verify the authenticity of your craftsmanship. If someone else made the costume, you may still model it, but the contest entrant (and one who will receive the prize) is the designer.
The designer must be present for all aspects of the contest, including the judging sessions and the Fashion Show (if they wish to have the costume appear in the Fashion Show). The only exception to this rule is the Youth category. Youths are permitted to have more help on their costume, although they still must have participated in the direct creation of it, or made at least 65% of it.
A: Original designs are not permitted because the lack of consistent reference materials makes it nearly impossible to judge accuracy. However, you are encouraged to show off your costumes/fashion in the hallways. Gothic and Lolita will only be permitted if it is a design from an anime or J-drama series, this includes brand designs for anime series, BUT you still need to make 85% of the costume yourself.
A: All members of your group, reference art/photos, your badges, and your waivers. We recommend showing up early.
A: The judges as well as staff have competed and been in the same situation. We will have emergency hot glue, thread/needles, safety pins, superglue, Wrinkle Release, hair spray, bobby pins, and other emergency supplies!
A: You will check in a few minutes before your judging time. Your photo will be taken and paperwork will be taken care of. You will then meet with the eager judges where you will tell them about how you made your costume. Individuals get five minutes, groups receive ten.
A: As many as you would like but remember the golden rule of groups: You are as strong as your weakest link. A group of two clean, technically perfect costumes will trump a group of ten with half-finished costumes.
A: You have five minutes for individuals, groups have ten. Be concise, enjoy the experience, and make sure you don't leave out any major details.
A: No. The cat walk during the Masquerade is for Hall Costume Contest participants only.
A: We will do our best to work with you to get your hard work judged but please keep in mind that appointments are tight and we are all doing our best to get everyone equally served. Communicate with us and let us know (E-mail) if you are running late or have issues and we will do our best!
A: Yes, all members of the group must have waivers signed. This includes assistants and people that helped with the construction of the costume.
A: The Hall Costume Contest is a competition that focuses solely on costume craftsmanship, while the Masquerade is a competition that focuses on costume craftsmanship as well as cosplayer performance and presentation.
A: You are going to compete in the Beginner level.
A: We do allow MMORGs and Online games such as Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, and League of Legends. We allow Disney characters that have been in a RELEASED or CONFIRMED appearance in games such as Kingdom Hearts.