A Message from the CGW Board of Directors 

A New Dean and Theme for Costume College 2023

October 26, 2022

As the Board, we want to begin by thanking you for your continued support. We are aware that the previously-announced theme of “The Silk Road”, while a rich and varied period worthy of attention and study, presented a number of challenges for an event like Costume College. Costume College is an event built around the vast and varied nature of costuming, from historical reproductions to fantasy projects and everything in between. While our traditional class offerings are often quite focused and detailed thanks to our fantastic teachers and volunteers, they are not sufficient in depth and breadth to avoid the exotification that many of these cultures already experience. More direct communication from the CGW Board might have helped to place this theme in a more appropriate context, and to guide attendees to discern the difference between sincere appreciation and damaging appropriation. We also recognize that while costuming must always be considered an interpretation, the previous theme left a great deal of room for inappropriate realizations of the concept.

The Board is committed to making Costume College an enjoyable and inclusive place for all our attendees, and we hope to grow from our past mistakes. We appreciate the valuable insights  presented by those with different perspectives from our own, and we very much hope that our diverse attendees will continue to share their opinions with us and help us to do better. We are resolved to share more frequent updates and provide more timely responses.

As part of our commitment to move forward with intention, we the Board have had multiple meetings and discussions to plan next steps. Unfortunately, Christienne Palmieri, our 2023 Costume College Dean, has decided to step down from that position. We thank her for all of the hard work she has already put into the event, and for all of the time she has spent volunteering for Costumer’s Guild West.

We are fortunate that the Assistant Dean for 2023 was ready and willing to step into the role of Dean. The Board is happy to announce the confirmation of Paige Mattern as the new Dean for Costume College 2023. Paige has volunteered as a part of CGW for years and she is enthusiastic about sharing her love of costuming as the head of our flagship event.

The Board has approved Paige’s chosen theme for Costume College 2023. We are delighted to report that we will be sharing that theme very soon! We apologize for the delay. We needed to make certain that all the details were in place. Mark your calendars for this Friday, 10/28/22, and make sure to check our website or social media accounts for the announcement.

The Board of Directors of Costumer’s Guild West, Inc.