The rules for this year's Steampunk Expo & Gothic Con are as follows:
The contest itself will be governed by a panel of 3 (surprise guest) judges.
This costume contest focuses on the costume itself rather than a skit.
There will be an interview with each contestant, during which the judges can evaluate and ask questions. The costume will be evaluated by four criteria:
The quality of construction, material choice, design, and fitting are all elements of craftsmanship. Basically, the costume should be well made. For instance, messy seams would count against the costume. Complexity of construction will get the attention of judges, but remember that a simple thing done well can often be better than a complex thing done badly.
Time to show off. The costume should look good, or more specifically look like what you are aiming for with the costume. For example, a rotting zombie may look disgusting, but looks “good” for the purpose of presentation. This is also the chance to get into character. If you have a regal costume, carry yourself in a noble manner and if you are the aforementioned zombie, then you can act like a zombie. Your presentation can enhance your costume.
The costume must be wearable! Functionality can be somewhat related to Craftsmanship, but it evaluates the practical application of the costume. A costume can look great, but if it cannot be worn then it is not a costume, is it? Can you walk without help from another person? Is it comfortable? Can you use the restroom? Does it fall apart after one night or is it durable?
If your costume is based on an existing character from a movie, anime, video game, novel, etc. then it should look like that character. It should be accurate to your source material. On the other hand, if your costume idea is original, then it should show originality. Innovative uses of material, original props, and solid design aesthetics can definitely help your original costume creation.
The contestants will be divided into three Costume Levels, based on the following requirements:
The costume can be assembled from pre-made and/or pre-existing major costume pieces, although items made by the costumer are highly encouraged. Pre-made wigs, footwear, and props are allowed. Pre-made swords are also allowed, as they are difficult items to make and may need to be very specific.
The costume can be assembled from pre-made and/or pre-existing major costume pieces, but must be modified at least 50% from the original condition by the costumer. This can be achieved by adding to a given clothing item or removing from that item. Pre-made wigs and footwear are allowed. Props must also be modified at least 50% from the original condition. For example, painting and adding parts to a toy gun is acceptable for creating a sci-fi prop gun. Pre-made swords are also allowed, as they are difficult items to make and may need to be very specific.
The costume must be completely made by the costumer with no pre-made and/or pre-existing major costume pieces (components like buttons and buckles are allowed). Specific vintage clothing items may be used if the age and authenticity can be validated. Pre-made wigs are allowed. Footwear, props, and swords must be modified at least 60% from the original condition and are subject to review by the judges for submission.
One winner from each class will be chosen as well as a fan favorite.
There will be a maximum of 25 points for each of these criteria, for a total of 100 points possible. The costume maker can have a different model wear their costume for the purpose of the runway walk, but the maker must be present with the model during the interview.