Costume College 2019: Gala Gloriousness

Saturday at Costume College 2019 did not go to plan for me.

Either because some attendees at the Friday Night Gala had been smoking pot and then hung out near me (migraine trigger), or because of the mysterious Marriott malady which has been plaguing Costume College for the last two years (significant numbers of attendees at CoCo reported unusual vertigo, headaches, breathing problems and nausea), or a combination of both, I spent the Saturday making friends with porcelain instead of people.

Not only was I in bed feeling miserable, I missed a bunch of classes I was really excited about. Boo.

I was determined not to miss Gala, and despite feeling quite green, and looking quite wan, and needing to be slightly safety-pinned in because my attempts to sew on the last few hooks needed to finish my outfit convinced me that trying to focus my eyes enough to sew was a BAD idea, I made it!

Sort of.

3 hours of an event that goes on for 7+ hours counts, right?

I missed the red carpet (which I hate doing, but enjoy as an opportunity to see all the dresses), but did have a lovely time outside in the courtyard getting photos, where I ran into the San Francisco costuming crowd, all looking amazing and perfectly time-coordinated with me.

Then I ‘had’ a lovely intimate dinner. I might not have been in the mood for food, but it was lovely to just sit and chat with people I know through the internet in person – and to admire the other dresses in the restaurant!

After dinner I managed an hour of the hustle and bustle hall outside the ballroom, admiring the gowns and getting sneak videos of the fun.

And then I went back to bed…

A HUGE thank you to Amber (Lady of the Wilderness) and Cait (WilloughbyandRose) , who put up with a icky roommate all Saturday, Lauren of Wearing History, Beth of V is for Vintage and Natalie of Frolicking Frocks who were also extremely sweet and got me bottles of water, and tried to find things I could eat.

So it wasn’t quite the grand finale Gala I’d hoped for, but thanks to a lot of really lovely people, it was still a wonderful night.

Because I was a bit under the weather I didn’t get that many photos: just ones of my immediate group and people I met in the outside courtyard.

With Natalie (@Frolicking_Frocks), Stephani (@Stephani_Miller) showing off the best styles of 1913-14:

Costume College Gala 2019
Costume College Gala 2019

And I finally got to meet @duchessofhutch – look how perfectly we coordinated, a decade apart! Her dress had so many amazing details in person!

Costume College Gala 2019

I didn’t get any good photos of it, but go check out @irreverantvintagegirl ‘s Edward Gorey Masterpiece Theatre Mystery homage. So good…

Costume College Gala 2019
Costume College Gala 2019
Costume College Gala 2019

My roomies, looking amazing in jewel toned 18th century:

Costume College Gala 2019
Costume College Gala 2019
Costume College Gala 2019

And my favourite outfit of the night, @adria.renee in her Jurassic Park homage. She did the burnout velvet shawl herself, and every one of her accessories tied in perfectly: right down to the fossilised claw necklace and amber ring!

Costume College Gala 2019
Costume College Gala 2019
Costume College Gala 2019


  1. Ruby says

    How awful! Sorry that your trip was spoiled. At least you could enjoy some of the event and take photos. Getting outside was actually the best thing because it sounds like you had carbon monoxide poisoning, which is pretty scary, and I’m glad everyone made it out of there. Some people are more susceptible than others, and flying can lead to exposure as well. If this has been happening to attendees for two years then CoCo ought to warn people of the dangers and symptoms of CO2 poisoning, report it, and switch to a new venue before someone is killed. I wonder what the hotel is trying to cover up with the strong perfume. Maybe a gas leak? Yikes!

    • Elise says

      Sounds like the trip was full of aloha, even if it wasn’t very exciting. I wonder if any of the instructors had PowerPoint slides that they might send to you, if you asked, and that would spread even more aloha. (I just noticed in this post that there seems to be a lot of kindness and acceptance)

      Your pictures show good cheer and good friendship. Your friends’ blogs have really great names. The dresses are very impressive–and FUN!

  2. Oh man, that just sounds like a terrible experience. There’s nothing worse than being sick at an event you’ve been looking forward to, especially when you’ve prepared for it and traveled so far. You certainly look perfect with Natalie and Stephani. I wish I’d seen you again before CoCo was over. It’s such and overwhelming experience though.

  3. Christina Kinsey says

    Glad you managed to enjoy at least some events and that everyone was so kind and helpful. It sounds like the hotel needs to have their heating overhauled, the sooner the better. I hope you are feeling better now, you look amazing in the photos and the costumes are gorgeous. By the way, at my degree ceremony l wore a dress l had made, the zip went completely so it had to be done up with safety pins… Thankfully hidden under an academic gown..

  4. Steph says

    You poor thing!
    It looks like you made the best of it- these photos are great.

  5. I’m so sorry you weren’t feeling well. I was hoping to see you again but other than the Pool Party I didn’t see you the entire weekend. I’m glad you were able to get out an enjoy yourself a little.

    • Thank you. I’m so sorry that I didn’t end up spending more time with so many people at CoCo. When you miss a whole day it takes out a lot of time. 🙁

  6. I feel for you! As a chronical migrain sufferer I can relate to how you felt for missing the classes and half of the ball. I just spent 3 days in scifi con, suffering migrain pretty much daily (thankfully I was able to control it with medication).
    But atleast you was able to still see some friends and admire their beautiful creations. That is still better than nothing, right? And don’t you all look just fabulous! That Jurassic park homage is awesome, I would love to learn the velvet burnout technique someday.

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