International Costumers’ Guild Awards 2022

The recipients of the International Costumers’ Guild’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award and President’s Award were announced at Costume-Con 40 this weekend by ICG President Kevin Roche.


Leslie L. Johnston has been honored with the International Costumers’ Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing a body of achievement in the costuming art and service to the costuming community. Her contributions are praised in the citation.

Leslie has been an active participant in costuming communities for over four decades. After a childhood where her mother lovingly made her costumes for plays and holidays, Leslie eventually started making her own. In the 1970’s, she found a costume-making community in the SCA, and by the early 1980’s she was creating original costumes on her own and in collaboration with other costumers. Those who have gotten to know her have a friend with whom they look forward to collaborating.

The scope of Leslie’s costuming work is broad, including horror and the macabre, the elegance of Regency and Victorian, world folklore, old movies, and many others. Accolades include major awards internationally and regionally at historical and sci-fi/fantasy competitions where she enters in the open division. Her research methods and documentation are exemplary, and she is always willing to give talks and provide mentoring about how to produce great documentation. She also authors costuming-related articles, is actively involved in assisting with convention programming and exhibits, and serves as ICG Vice President.

Leslie’s qualities as a wise and kind human being, a force for order and consensus, and her extensive costuming experience have led to her being requested for masquerade judging panels, from Worldcons to small local specialty cons. World-class masquerade judging is a special skill set, requiring almost superhuman patience, collaborative spirit, and love for people who compete at every level of experience. Leslie excels at it. Her experience, calm, organization, and consensus-driven approach help the judging process work as intended.

Most recently Leslie has been instrumental in the development of the new Pat and Peggy Kennedy Memorial Archives site. Leslie applied her skills and experience as a professional archivist to the task, with an eye to making them accessible, expandable, and maintainable far into the future. She was the major researcher for choosing new software. She customized the software to best serve the needs of the Archives, has done the yeoman’s share of uploading photos to the new software, and has created exhibits to enhance the visitor’s experience. She has also been researching new storage options for the Archives to accommodate its rapidly expanding oeuvre.

Leslie’s decades-long participation in the costuming community, her demonstrated costuming skills, her willingness to mentor and share what she knows, and her many and continuing services to the costuming community and to the ICG make her an ideal recipient of the 2022 ICG Lifetime Achievement Award.


Betsy L. Marks has received the 2022 ICG President’s Award for her work restoring the Costume-Con archive. President Kevin Roche said in the citation:

The history of Costume-Con and the International Costumers’ Guild are inextricably linked to each other; it is, after all, at the “dead dog” party after Costume-Con 3 where a bunch of us from the West Coast decided to form what became the Costumers’ Guild West, who along with the Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumers’ Guild and the Sick Pups of Monmouth County banded together to create this thing we call the ICG.

It is because of that tight relationship that we hold our Annual Meeting at Costume-Con, and announce our major awards to the public this weekend. Tonight it is my privilege to present the ICG President’s Award.

Our art form is shockingly ephemeral, which is why the ICG Archives are so important, but so, too, are the records of this event, of Costume-Con itself. I know, because I had a hand myself in rebuilding the archives some many years ago.

Those archives were recently threatened by the same software obsolescence that shut down the ICG archive site. Fortunately, thanks to the Herculean efforts of one person, the costume-con visual archive is now not just restored, but expanded and searchable for both images and historical data.

For that work, as well as her tireless efforts for the ICG and the costuming community in general, I am recognizing Betsy Marks with the 2022 ICG President’s Award.

Besides her work on the Archives, Betsy was part of the team who assisted Karen Schnaubelt in updating the Costume-Con Constitution. She was an active member of the team who developed the new expanded ICG Guidelines, and last year was instrumental in writing the Standing Rules amendments that brought some of our practices in line with current corporate codes.

It is my privilege to recognize her hard work on behalf of Costume-Con, the International Costumers’ Guild, and the fan costume community in general, and I ask you to join me in applauding her endeavors.

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

2 thoughts on “International Costumers’ Guild Awards 2022

  1. Both of these are well deserved. As the ICG’s listed Archivist I have been working with both Leslie and Betsy and their work in invaluable. Leslie’s efforts in finding new software to manage the Archives site, as well as sufficient memory at reasonable cost, will make the Archives more enjoyable for all.

    Please visit. And if you have photos or information, let us know. We especially need data and photos from ConZealan, the worldcon at the Hague, Worldcons 1980, 1979, and 1977 and earlier.

  2. I have been away for years!

    I have not communicated with Leslie for years! I am so happy that she is continuing her wonderful work. Yes, she is a patient and kind person, as well as talented in so many ways.

    I only wish I had known about the archive before the fire destroyed so many of Kelson’s original costumes, not to mention all of my photographs from pre-digital reality.

    And I am reading this today, 13 April, Kelson’s Birthday.

Comments are closed.