Costume Competition and Fashion Show 2018

2018 EV Event Theme: Other Worlds


The Museum of Science Fiction believes that science fiction is rich with ideas that can serve as a springboard for curiosity and project-based learning activities. Based on the belief that science fiction holds educational value for all ages, the Museum and its partner organizations will endeavor to develop and tailor our educational competitions to appeal to a wide variety of students, as well as the general public.

As a celebration of the importance of fashion and costume design to creating rich worlds and expanding our imaginations, the Museum of Science Fiction is holding a costume competition and fashion show. This competition is open to all students, designers, costumers/cosplayers, and artists. People from the United States or abroad may participate.

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Escape Velocity Costuming Competition and Fashion Show Poster

About the Museum

The Museum of Science Fiction is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to make a measurable positive impact on STEAM-related educational activities.

The Museum of Science Fiction believes that costume design and construction is one of the most important interdisciplinary art forms of science fiction. The craft of costume design dissolves the false dichotomy between the arts and sciences. Designers use many different innovative techniques and technologies to engineer wearable art.

The art and craft that are involved in costume design bring an aspect of expression that uses analysis, planning, engineering, drafting, and other critical skill sets that are also found in the sciences, arts, and other real-world professions.

The competition will showcase the best costume designs, hairstyles, make-up, and other accessories in this colorful role-playing program. The event is intended for participants to Inspire! Elevate! and Innovate!

The purpose of the competition will be to:

Concept art by Joseph Cross

Concept art by Joseph Cross

  1. Reward the talent and creativity that is made possible by imagination and implementation,  to creating exceptional costume designs, hairstyles, make-up, and other accessories.
  2. Motivate the next generation of costume design professionals to elevate the current state of the art.
  3. Broaden public awareness of costume design as part of a larger goal to increase participation in the arts as a professional career.
  4. Recognize and celebrate costume design and the technical aspects of the craft.
  5. Encourage broad participation to learn more about the creative design process going from imagination to reality.
  6. Infuse fun, creativity, and innovation into STEAM education at every level.

General information

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The competition will notify finalists who will be invited to present their design implementations at Escape Velocity 2018. When the entry is presented at Escape Velocity 2018, finalists do not need to wear their work (if a model is used, models are not eligible to receive award consideration). Prizes will only be awarded to the finalists. All finalists will receive two Weekend Passes to Escape Velocity 2018.
The competition registration and submission period will be open from September 4, 2017 to April 15, 2018. Finalists will be notified on or about April 30, 2018. Finalist judging will be on Friday, May 25, 2018 at Escape Velocity with the award ceremony on Saturday evening, May 26, 2018.

Entry Requirements

Each entry should include images of the design and the following items:

  1. Design notes on materials, color choices, pattern choices, measurements, and other details
  2. Images of individual aspects of the design, such as helmets, gloves, props, and any other accessories
  3. Multiple photographic angles of the design
  4. Project plan information, materials used, crafting techniques involved, and any other details
  5. Pattern creations, descriptions, images, construction notes, or instructions

Competition Classes

Original Content - Self created or original character designs. Original designs may include elements of pre-existing sub-genre items, but may not exceed 10% of the overall visual usage of such elements.

Producer Gary Kurtz adjusts the Jawa costume on one of his daughters before filming in Tunisia, 1976

Producer Gary Kurtz adjusts the Jawa costume on one of his daughters before filming in Tunisia, 1976

Redesign/Interpretation - "Replica" designs. This class also includes heavily inspired thematic ensembles, as well as "mash-ups." The designs in this category draw primary inspiration from pre-existing designs in various science fiction works and themes.

Young Adult/High School - This class can include both the Original Content and Replica classes, but will be restricted to persons of high school age or younger. Participants younger than 13 years old must submit a parental approval form with their registration.


The competition participants will be evaluated by a volunteer panel of costume design masters/professionals, costume design industry experts, and costume design academic practitioners. Note: It is recommended that each entry that will be receiving technical evaluation, bring a reference of their work on the implementation it will assist with the evaluation process. Competitors will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

For the Original Design class, (this includes eligibility for best design illustration or photograph)

  1. 90% of the composition must be unique or involve completely new concepts
  2. Use of fundamental color combinations, engineering aspects, material choice, and overall impact
  3. Clear display of various aspects of the design to include multiple angles, descriptions, fabric/material choices
  4. Final implementation criteria will be evaluated on closeness to generated material, and effectiveness of desired described effects (such as flow or draping)
Fred Phillips applying Spock's ears, 1967

Fred Phillips applying Spock's ears, 1967

For the Redesign/Interpretation class, the criteria follows an aspect of "how close" the implementation comes to the designs as chosen. Elements of accuracy and authenticity will be determined from a variety of sources that have been determined to be reference authorities. For general adjudication on the implementation and construction of the design, attention will be given to the following areas:

  1. Materials
  2. Colors
  3. Crafting Skill
  4. Accuracy to the presented "design"
  5. Impact/presence
  6. Wear-ability

All winners will receive a $500 prize and a VIP pass to Escape Velocity 2019 next year. The following award categories will be presented at Escape Velocity 2018:

  1. Best In Show
  2. Best Original Fashion/Costume Design/Construction
  3. Best Reinterpreted Fashion/Costume Design/Construction
  4. Best Young Adult/High School Design/Construction
  5. Best Fashion/Costume Design Illustration or Photograph

Submission Requirements

  1. Fashion/costume designs must be related in some way to, or invoke, science fiction.
  2. Competitors will submit a high resolution jpeg or pdf file illustrating their design.
  3. Competitors should include detailed, illustrated concepts.
  4. Costume illustrations, photographs and details shall be submitted as a package.  Image files should be in jpeg or pdf format, with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.
  5. Proof of original work may be required for the technical evaluations at the Escape Velocity Costuming Competition and Fashion Show, in the form of in progress images. Keeping a work log is recommended.
  6. One design per entry.
  7. Winners may also be asked to lend their work for display by the Museum for a period of up to 12 months.
  8. The competition will be in two parts, Finalists will be selected first. The second part will be a technical implementation evaluation of the design, with the expectation is that the design will be built or has been built to the design submitted. Competitors are expected to build/craft their designs and present them physically.
  9. For award eligibility, finalists must be present and show their work at an evaluation session during Escape Velocity, on Friday, May 25, 2018.
  10. Competitors presenting work that is not their own will be disqualified. Note: found items, or “gathered” items will be permitted, as long as the entry specifies which elements they crafted themselves, and which were purchased, or acquired in other ways. Elements that were purchased or “found” may not be eligible to add to the adjudication tally, however, they will not take away from any “scoring.”

Submission Procedure

  1. Designs may be submitted in a combination of two formats. One being standard JPG image file format with no less than 300dpi per image. PDF format may also be used, we ask that A combination of JPG and PDF may also be submitted. To receive a registration number, you must complete the registration form.

  2. The submitted file must not be larger than 5 MB and must include a registration number in the file name. Files may be submitted to:

To register, click the Registration Form button

Registration and Submission Deadline
The competition registration and submission period will be open from September 4, 2017 to April 15, 2018 at 5 PM EST. After completing the registration form, a number will be assigned to you and must be included with all submission materials.

Finalists will be notified on or about April 30, 2018 and will compete in a final round of judging on Friday, May 25, 2018 at Escape Velocity. An award ceremony and fashion show will be held at Escape Velocity in Washington, DC on Saturday evening, May 26, 2018.

Please email any questions to:

Awards at Escape Velocity 2018

Awards will be made at Escape Velocity 2018 on Saturday evening, May 26, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Questions | Responses | Additional Information

Updates and Additional Information on: Facebook and Twitter (please like us on FB and follow us on Twitter)

Registration Cost:  Free

Registration Process:  Complete the registration form to obtain a registration number
anytime before the registration and submission deadline on April 15, 2018 at 5 PM EST.

Parental Consent Form: Click to download (if you are under 13 years old).

Press Release: Click to download

Official Rules: Click to download

FAQs: Click to download

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