Silicon Web Costumer's Guild

Webinars and Workshops

The Silicon Web Costumers' Guild presents webinars and workshops by speakers on a variety of topics about costumes and costuming. Webinars are free to members and may also be available to the greater costuming community on space-available basis. Send feedback or suggestions for future speakers or topics to with the subject line "webinar series."

Speakers can choose to make recordings, slides and other documents available to everyone, or limit access to members only. For member-only access, use the same member password that you received for the current issue of The Virtual Costumer magazine. Not a member? Join us now to access all member-only content today!

Select a year to view the webinars, or use your browser's search function to locate an entry (CTRL-F for PC / CMD-F for Mac). Select the webinar link to view the webinar, or a supporting document link to view the document. (may require a PDF viewer ).

This webinar series was made possible in part by a generous grant from the International Costumers' Guild Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund, and by the use of the International Costumers' Guild Zoom platform available to chapters and special interest groups.

2024  2023  2022  


Screen Accuracy

Webinar: Screen Accurcy Is a Myth: Creating Costumes Without Losing Your Mind

April 14, 2024

Speaker: Johanna Mead

View this webinar [1h 14m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

It's only natural to strive for "screen accuracy" when building cosplays. But what if you were told that "screen accuracy" is a myth, and a shortcut to frustration and bankruptcy? Johanna Mead will provide examples of how a costume can look completely different when it's off-screen and why. Learn from a cosplayer with 25+ years of experience about where you can effectively expend your resources striving to duplicate the details, and when it's okay to compromise.

Becoming Edith Head

Webinar: Egyptomania: The impacts of the Discovery of Ancient Egypt on Popular Culture

February 25, 2024

Speaker: Leslie L. Johnston

View this webinar [1h 28m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Following Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, images of Egyptian archaeological sites and artifacts were widely distributed through the illustrated press and the wildly popular "Description de l'Égypte" series of publications. The mania for all things ancient Egyptian led to interpretations of its culture and iconography in fashion, art, music, and literature in wildly varying degrees of authenticity; the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 launched a later wave of Egyptomania.

Leslie L. Johnston discusses how the illustrated and popular press helped create the Egyptomania craze in popular culture, and shows images of clothing, architecture, art, and music influenced by ancient Egypt from the 1790s through to the 1920s.

Becoming Edith Head

Webinar: Becoming Edith Head: In Conversation with Susan Claassen

January 14, 2024

Speaker: Susan Claassen

View this webinar [1h 31m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Costume designer Edith Head is legendary in the world of costume design, winning a record eight Academy Awards for Best Costume Design between 1949 and 1973. With her one-woman show, "A Conversation with Edith Head,"" actress Susan Claassen created a highly-acclaimed theatrical performance based upon the legendary Hollywood costume designer that has toured around the world.

Susan talks about the show, and how she discovered her strong physical resemblance to Edith Head and realized that there was a compelling story to be told. She also discusses her extensive research to gain deeper insight into the woman behind the legend, as well as her career as an actress and as the Managing Artistic Director of the Invisible Theatre in Tucson, Arizona.



Webinar: Reenactress: Discovering the Women Warriors of the Civil War

December 10, 2023

Speaker: J.R. Hardman

View this webinar [1h 31m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Over 250 Civil War soldiers were actually women disguised as men. The historical record is incomplete due to these heroines' amazing ability to pull off their disguises. In "Reenactress," her first full-length documentary, director and re-enactor J.R. Hardman explores the history of women warriors who fought bravely in the service of their countries during the U.S. Civil War In this webinar.

J.R. discusses how she was inspired to make the documentary and talk about the process of bringing these historical figures to life through reenactment.

Inside the ICG Archives

Webinar: Inside the ICG Pat and Peggy Kennedy Memorial Archives

November 5, 2023

Speakers: Leslie Johnston, Bruce Mai, Nora Mai, and Pierre Pettinger

View this webinar [1h 29m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

The International Costumers' Guild Pat and Peggy Kennedy Memorial Archives is the world's largest collection of photographs, video, paper ephemera, and physical artifacts of the costuming art in relation to sci-fi/fantasy conventions and other events where costumes are worn.

The ICG Archives team talk about their work preserving the history of costuming including recent projects, their processes, the equipment and software they use, how the digital and physical collections are stored, and how they are made available to the costuming community.

Beetle Wing Embelishment

Webinar: Beetle Wing Embellishment

October 8, 2023

Speaker: J. Leia Lima Baum

View this webinar [1h 27m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Delicate and luminous beetle wings have been used for embellishing costumes and accessories for at least 150 years. J. Leia Lima Baum, a fashion consultant whose interests are equally divided between the past, present, and future of fashion, offers a pictorial overview of beetle wings throughout history in various cultures, followed by the Indian tradition of metalwork embroidery and its subsequent spread worldwide, with a live demo of techniques.

Worldbuilders of Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Webinar: WorldBuilders of Science Fiction and Fantasy

September 10, 2023

Speaker: Richard Man

View this webinar [1h 21m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Hugo Award nominated photographer Richard Man talks about his latest project, "WorldBuilders of Science Fiction and Fantasy." Starting in 2015, Richard set out to photograph SF&F genre creators: the writers, artists, occasionally editors, etc, using a traditional large-format 4"x5" film camera. His goal is to capture the essence of the person in front of the camera; a picture that can tell a thousand-word story. Richard has also been photographing portraits of costumers with a similar setup and intent, and he also discusses that project during his talk.

Wig Making and Styling

Webinar: Making and Styling Wigs for Costumers

March 12, 2023

Speaker: Kendra Van Cleave

View this webinar [1h 20m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Kendra Van Cleave discusses how costumers can make and style wigs for many types of costumes. She also talks about her book, 18th Century Hair & Wig Styling, which includes a section with step-by-step guides for creating and working with wigs of all kinds. Kendra is a fashion historian, academic librarian, and award-winning costumer. She served on the board of the Costume Society of America Western Region, and is a past president of the Greater Bay Area Costumers' Guild.

This webinar was sponsored in part by a generous grant from the International Costumers' Guild Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund.


Webinar: Cosplay: A History

January 29, 2023

Speaker: Andrew Liptak

View this webinar [1h 36m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Andrew Liptak's book Cosplay: A History is a deep dive into the origins and culture of cosplay. In his talk, Andrew covers a wide swath of its history to reveal where it came from, how it has evolved, and why it has become such a mainstream phenomenon

Andrew is a writer and historian, and a member of the 501st Legion, an international fan-based organization dedicated to the dark side of Star Wars.

This webinar was sponsored in part by a generous grant from the International Costumers' Guild Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund.


Tech Couture

Webinar: Tech Couture

December 18, 2022

Speaker: Sahrye Cohen and Hal Rodriguez

View this webinar [1h 28m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Sahrye Cohen and Hal Rodriguez are the authors of the DIY Electronics book Make It, Wear It: Wearable Electronics for Makers, Crafters and Cosplayers, and founders of the tech couture designer group Ampted Atelier. Tech couture blends traditional sewing techniques with computer assisted fabrication and wearable electronics. 

Sahrye and Hal present about the design, materials, and construction techniques that they use for their fashion pieces and wearable electronic costumes. They also share DIY electronic projects and tips for making costumes that light-up, make sound, and move.

This webinar was sponsored in part by a generous grant from the International Costumers' Guild Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund.

Ukrainian Wedding Towels

Webinar: Ukrainian Wedding Towels

September 18, 2022

Speaker: Vera Sukhorukova with Oleksii Kryvenko

View this webinar [members only 2h 7m]
(License: standard YouTube license)

Ukrainian folk artist Vera Sukhorukova joins virtually from her home village outside the capital of Kyiv. Her presentation is about traditional and modern embroidered Ukrainian wedding towels (rushnyk). These towels play important roles in a traditional Ukrainian wedding ceremony.

Vera talks about and shows pictures of these elaborately embroidered towels, from ancient times and those being made now. She also shows various stitch techniques and discuss the meaning of symbols used in the embroidery patterns.

This webinar was sponsored in part by a generous grant from the International Costumers' Guild Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund.

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