Frequently Asked Questions
Costume College® is an annual three-day educational conference produced by Costumer’s Guild West, Inc. The purpose of Costume College is to provide educational classes, programs, and tours covering all aspects of costuming.
In 2010 we moved to the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA. This is a marvelous facility, with lots of classrooms, sleeping rooms and plenty of space for Costume College to grow.
We have several categories of questions, which you may reach from this list:
- Membership Refunds/Transfers
- Gala & Tea Tickets
If you do not find the answer to your question or need more detailed information, please contact the Dean of Costume College.
How do I attend Costume College?
To attend Costume College you will need to purchase a membership.
Can I get college credits for Costume College?
Costume College is not an accredited college. Costume College is simply the name of the three-day costuming arts conference produced by Costumer’s Guild West, Inc. There are no credits given by Costume College, and there is no official application to an accredited school any of our students could use to apply to their formal education.
Is there a campus for Costume College?
No – Costume College is a three-day costuming arts conference which takes place at a hotel, as many conferences do.
Where does Costume College take place?
Costume College is held at the Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills, California. Click on the hotel name to learn more about our location.
Can I come to Costume College if I’m not a Member of Costumer’s Guild West, Inc.?
Yes. Costume College is open to anyone who purchases a membership. However, to receive a discount on your College membership, Time Traveler’s Gala and/or Fantasy Tea tickets you must be a member Costumer’s Guild West or a CGW-designated sister organization.
Who are CGW, Inc.’s designated Sister Organizations?
Currently the CGW has three sister organizations: Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild, San Diego Costume Guild, and Somewhere in Time, Unlimited in Seattle, WA. For information on how your organization can become a sister organization, please email the CGW Corresponding Secretary.
Do I need to buy a College Membership to get into the Time Traveler’s Gala or Fantasy Tea?
No! Tickets for the Gala and Tea are sold separately. You may attend either event by buying a ticket for that event. See the Gala and Tea section for more information or contact our Registrar.
Do I need to buy a College Membership to go into the Marketplace? Is there a separate charge for the Marketplace?
The answer to both is no. The Costumer’s Marketplace is open and free to the general public as well as to our College members. Everyone is welcome!
What is the basic schedule for Costume College?
The following schedule is tentative and subject to change.
- Information Desk – 6:30 to 9:00 pm
- Check-In – 7:00 to 9:00 pm
- Volunteers – 7:00 to 9:00 pm
- Pool Party – 8:00pm to 9:00pm
- Freshman Orientation – 8:00 to 9:00 am
- Volunteers – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Information Desk – 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
- Check-In Desk – 8:00 am to 6:30 pm
- Classes – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Hospitality Suite – 11:00am – 11:00 pm
- Early Bird Marketplace – 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm (admission by purchased ticket-benefits the scholarship fund)
- Marketplace – 7:45 pm to 10:00 pm
- Welcome to College & Ice Cream Social- 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
- Panic Room – 7:30 pm to 12:00 am
Volunteers – 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
- Check-In Desk – 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
- Information Desk – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Costume Exhibits – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Sewing Retreat – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Classes – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Marketplace – 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Time Traveler’s Gala – 6:30 pm to 12:00 am
- Hospitality Suite – 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
- “Sunday Undies” breakfast – 7:00 to 8:45 am
- Hospitality Suite – 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
- Bargain Bazaar – 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
- Information/Check-In/Volunteers – 8:30 to 3:30 pm
- Marketplace – 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Costume Exhibits – 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
- Classes – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Fantasy Tea – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
- CGW Annual Meeting – 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm (please attend!)
- Tear Down (volunteers welcome) – 6:30 to 8:00 pm
- LA Fabric District Tour – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Can I wear costumes at Costume College?
You can wear anything you like, so long as it’s for a PG13 audience. We do, however, discourage the wearing of costumes while attending classes, and forbid the wearing of hoops in classes. We want our students to be as comfortable as possible: fabulous costumes can sometimes take attention away from the subject at hand; space is sometimes limited in the classrooms, and costumes can present safety hazards in certain workshops. Additionally, we advise that our attendees dress in layers, since the classrooms vary in temperature. Costumes are absolutely forbidden on the tours. Please save your costume wearing for the Tea, the Gala, and other social events occurring during the run of College.
What is the “theme” of Costume College?
The theme of Costume College is the focus of the bonus track of classes. It is chosen each year by the Dean. Though many of our students enjoy dressing to the theme, we recommend that students learn all they can about the subject while at Costume College, so they can WOW us the next year with all their perfected techniques and creativity.
I want to sell items in the Marketplace. How do I go about getting space and information?
By filling out and submitting a Vendor Application from. This form is available in January 2013 on the Marketplace page. Please note that the application must be returned to us by February 17, 2013. Submission of an application does not guarantee a booth. All vendors are juried in each and every year.
Are there any extra fees beyond my Membership?
Some of the classes do have extra fees, ranging from $1.00 to $85.00. You will be responsible for paying those additional class fees. These fees do not end up in the accounts of Costume College. They are strictly to reimburse the individual volunteer teacher for his or her costs, and go directly from you to the instructor. Also, each Tour has a separate fee, ranging from $25 to $40, which covers transportation and entrance to the tour location. The Gala and the Tea each have a separate ticket. All fees will be listed in the Registration Booklet you will receive in April after purchasing a membership but before signing up for classes and tours.
If you do not find the answer to your question, or need more detailed information, please contact the Registrar.
How do I register for Costume College?
By purchasing a Membership! Costume College Memberships go on sale for all CGW Members on October 1 5, 201 2. The sale of memberships opens to everyone on November 13, 2012. Please note that the price of a Membership increases January 7, 2013. Memberships will be sold until Jun 24, 2013 or until sold out. To purchase a Membership, please fill out the Registration Application form and send with payment to the address listed on the form.
Some of the classes offered at Costume College are limited in the number of students of who can attend; therefore a separate sign-up form is required to be returned by May 13, 2013. (This form is included in the registration packet.) Those purchasing their Costume College Membership after May 13, 2013 will NOT eligible to sign-up for the limited attendance classes. Please contact the Registrar with questions.
Are there still Costume College Memberships, Gala tickets and Tea tickets Available?
Memberships, Gala, and Tea tickets are available until June 24, 2013, unless we post a statement indicating that they are sold out. Memberships for Costume College will be available under guidelines outlined on the Application page (a pdf document). Time Traveler’s Gala tickets and Fantasy Tea tickets are sold separately. We strongly suggest that you purchase your memberships and tickets as early as possible. Not only do we sell out quickly, but also the date when your membership is purchased may affect whether you can get into some of the limited attendance classes.
Can I buy my Costume College Membership online?
Sorry, at this time we do not accept memberships online.
Can I attend any of the classes without having a College Membership?
Emphatically NO. Unless you have a membership in Costume College, you may not attend any classes or participate in any tours. You may come to the Gala or Tea if you have purchased a ticket for those events, and anyone may come into the Costumer’s Marketplace to shop, but you may not attend any other event, class, program, or tour presented at or by Costume College without a membership.
Can I buy a Membership for only one day of College?
No. Costume College does not sell one-day memberships. Whether you attend one day or all three, our cost to produce the information we provide to our attending members is the same. Therefore, only full memberships are sold in order to cover our costs.
Can I buy a Membership the day of the College?
No. There are no at-the-door memberships. Because there is so much paperwork and preparation associated with running our conference, we cannot allow for at-the-door memberships. We would not be able to anticipate how many student packets to create, nor would we be able to control overcrowding in classes. This is one way we keep our conference at a membership level that allows our students to get the best possible information under the best possible conditions.
How many people can attend Costume College?
We generally limit our student attendance at Costume College to around 450, due to space in the hotel and the number of classes we are able to offer. This is why we often sell out months before the event and why we recommend early purchase of Costume College memberships.
I really want to go Costume College, but it’s sold out. Is there a waiting list?
No. There is no waiting list. However, you may purchase a membership from someone who has purchased a membership that they are unable to use. (This is a direct purchase from the original buyer of the membership and is not under the control of Costume College. Costume College is not responsible for any part of your purchase of this ticket sale.) Please see the section on Membership Refunds and Transfers for more details.
What does the Costume College fee include?
The fee for Costume College includes a membership to Costume College itself, entrance into all non-ticketed events associated with Costume College including the Ice Cream Social, the Hospitality Suite, Sewing Room and Displays. You will also receive all registration and student publications. Most importantly, you will be able to attend all classes that are unlimited in attendance and to apply for any limited attendance classes and tours. Your registration fee does not guarantee you a place in limited attendance classes or on the tours.
I sent in my check but I haven’t received confirmation of my Membership. Whom should I contact?
Please contact our Registrar who knows all regarding who is coming and who has purchased what.
My Registration application and check were returned to me. What happened?
Most likely, the box that you were asked to check to confirm that you had read the “Fine Print” was left blank. Please read the “Fine Print” and check the box. Then send us your form again. Please contact the Registrar if more information is needed.
I bought my Costume College Membership. What happens next?
Once you purchase your membership, we will send you a Welcome letter and receipt. If you do not receive confirmation of your membership purchase within four weeks, please contact our Registrar to inquire about your membership status. In April you will receive your Registration Packet, including a Registration Booklet, Limited Attendance Class sign-up form, and lots of other important information. The Limited Attendance Class sign-up form must be filled out and returned by the date on the form. There may be other forms in the Packet that you will need to complete and return to us as well. If you submitted a Limited Attendance class sign-up form, you will receive a letter from us in late May or early June informing you of which Limited Attendance classes you will be able to take. You must mail any required fees back to us by the date stated, approximately two weeks. If someone fails to pay their class fee(s) in the specified time, that class spot is given to someone on the waiting list for that class. If you purchase your membership after April 1st you will receive your Welcome Letter and receipt with your Registration Packet.
If you do not find the answer to your question or need more detailed information, please contact the Registrar.
I bought a Membership to Costume College, but now I cannot attend. Can I get a refund?
Yes. Registration fees are refundable till June 24, 2013 on a percentage bases.
75% of Registration fees until January 28, 2013
50% of Registration fees until April 1, 2013
25% of Registration fees until June 24, 2013
To obtain a refund, please notify our Registrar in writing either by email or by US Mail. No refunds will be made if we are not notified in writing or if the postmark date (from the US Postal Service) of notification is after the cutoff. Please allow six weeks processing time for your refund. You may also transfer your Membership to another person. Posting your need on the Costumer’s Guild Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CGWcostumers/ or on the Costume College Facebook page are good ways to let people know you can’t attend and want to sell your ticket.
I bought a membership, but I want to transfer it to someone else. Can I do that and if so how?
Yes! You may transfer a Membership. The deadline to do so is JUNE 24, 2013! To transfer your membership, you will need to send your request to our Registrar in writing either by email or US Mail. Please include in your written notification your name, address, and telephone number as well as the name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom you are transferring the membership. Please remember this is a direct purchase from the original buyer of the membership and is NOT under the control of Costume College. Costume College is not responsible for any part of your purchase of this ticket sale. Costume College is not responsible for finding a buyer for you, nor can we directly assist you with finding one. Memberships cannot be resold for an amount greater than the original purchase price.
My Costume College Membership was transferred to me. What happens next?
Once your transfer has been completed, we will send you a Welcome Letter. If your transfer was completed before March 31, 2013 you will receive a Registration Packet in April. If your transfer was complete after the March date, you will receive your Registration Packet with your Welcome Letter.
Time Traveler’s Gala and Fantasy Tea Tickets
If you do not find the answer to your question or need more detailed information, please contact the Registrar.
How do I purchase a ticket for the Gala and/or Tea?
Fill out the Application and send with payment to the address listed on the form. Gala and Tea Tickets go on sale to CGW Members on October 15, 2012. Ticket sales open to everyone on November 13, 2012. Tickets will be sold until June 24, 2013, or until sold out. Please contact the Registrar with questions.
Do I need to buy a College Membership to get into the Gala or Tea?
No! Tickets for the Gala and Tea are sold separately. You may attend either event by buying a ticket for that event.
The Gala and/or Tea is sold out. Is there a waiting list for refunded tickets?
No. There is no waiting list for refunded or extra tickets. However, you may purchase a ticket from someone who is unable to attend and is selling their ticket. Please see Ticket Transfers for more information.
Are Gala and Tea Tickets refundable?
Yes. Gala and Tea tickets are refundable, less a $10 service fee, until June 24, 2013 Please send your request to the Registrar in writing either by email or by US Mail. No refunds will be made if we are not notified in writing and if the postmark date (from the US Postal Service) of notification is after the cutoff. Please allow for six to eight weeks processing time for your refund.
I bought a Gala and/or Tea ticket, but I want to Transfer it to someone else. Can I do that and if so how?
Yes! You may transfer (or sell) a Gala and/or Tea ticket. To transfer your Gala and/or Tea ticket before June 24, 2013; you will need to send your request to our Registrar in writing either by e-mail or US Mail. Please include in your written notification your name, address, and telephone number as well as the name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom you are transferring the Gala and/or Tea ticket. You may also sell your ticket at Costume College by posting a note at the Information Desk saying you have a ticket for sale and how a buyer may contact you. Please remember this is a direct purchase from the original buyer of the Gala and/or Tea ticket(s) and is not under the control of Costume College. Costume College is not responsible for any part of your sale/purchase of these ticket(s). Costume College is not responsible for finding a buyer for you nor can we directly assist you with finding one. Gala and/or Tea ticket(s) cannot be resold for an amount greater than the original purchase price.
What do I do if I’m a vegetarian or allergic to something being served at the Gala?
When we send you your Registration Packet, it will include our Gala menu. You will also receive a special food request form, which you can use to tell us whether you want a vegetarian meal or the special meal designed for our guests with food allergies. There are no food substitutions for any of the meals offered at the Gala. Contact the Gala Mistress for more information.
What do I do if I’m a vegetarian or allergic to something being served at the Tea?
When we send you your Registration Packet, it will include our Tea menu. You will also receive a special food request form, which you can use to tell us whether you want a vegetarian meal. There are no food substitutions for either of the meals offered at the Tea. Contact the Tea Mistress for more information.
What kind of music is played at the Gala? Do I need to bring a date?
All types of music from centuries past to present day are played at the Gala. We accommodate historical dance interests (waltzes, two-steps, one-steps, tangos, polkas, swing, etc.) tempered with a helping of rock-and-roll and modern music. The energy of the crowd often determines the direction the music and dances will take. Specialized historical dances such as the Virginia Reel may be taught or called at the Gala, and we have fun traditions we observe such as the “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. While all our dances are social and many of the historical dances are constructed for couples specifically, partners can often be found for our guests who are single and/or unaccompanied; there is no need to bring your own partner to join in the festivities.
Classes/Limited Attendance Classes
If you do not find the answer to your question or need more detailed information, please contact the Programmer.
Why are there fees for some classes?
Fees for classes ranging from $1.00 to $85.00 depending on the class are strictly to cover the costs of materials the teacher provides to the students. The fee may be for something as simple as handouts or you may end up making a corset or other garment. The amount of the fee is not under the control of Costume College and is solely determined by the individual instructors.
Who is teaching classes?
You will find a list of our teachers with short bios telling you something about them, on our Teachers web page. They range from professional museum curators all the way to expert hobbyists. Additionally, our teachers come from across the country to join Costume College’s faculty. And remember, every single one of them, from amateur to professional, does this solely on a voluntary basis. Not a single teacher is paid for the instruction they provide. That’s how important Costume College is to our teachers.
How are the classes/teachers selected?
Each year we select our classes from a list of classes that have been submitted by the individuals wishing to teach them. Many factors go into the selection process; everything from popularity of the topic to the length of the class & format (workshop, lecture, demo) to teacher availability. The schedule is created at the Wall Party – named for the large grids placed on the walls so that the classroom, time and class information can be seen at together. The Wall Party is attended by the Programming Department, Dean, Assistant Dean, and CGW President.
How can I teach at College?
By submitting a teacher volunteer form to the Programming department, then in January the Teacher Liaison for Programming will ask you submit a class proposal form which will need to be returned by the first part of February. You can submit proposals for more than one class. We cannot guarantee that everyone who submits a proposal will have one or all of their classes put on the schedule.
What is a Limited Attendance Class?
Limited Attendance Classes are usually workshops that have a materials fee attached to them. In these classes you will often leave with a finished or close-to-finished item, along with a new skill set to take home and enjoy.
How do I sign up for Limited Attendance classes and/or Tours?
The sign-up form for Limited Attendance classes and Tours is included in your Registration Packet. This form must be filled out and returned to us by May 13, 2013. If you purchase your membership for Costume College after the deadline to return the Limited Attendance class and Tours sign-up form you will not be eligible to sign up for the limited attendance classes or tours.
Are Limited Attendance Class and/or Tours transferable?
NO! Limited Attendance Classes and Tours are NOT transferable to anyone at any time.
I sent in my class fees, but the checks haven’t cleared my bank. Is everything okay?
Yes. Our teachers are not given the checks for the limited attendance class fees until they arrive at Costume College, even though they’ve already purchased materials for their students in advance. Therefore, your checks will not be cashed until after Costume College.
What is the “bonus track”?
The bonus track is a special track of classes that are based on a ‘theme’ thus allowing students to focus on specific topic. These are the same as the other classes, in that they are a mix of lecture, demo and workshop classes. We generally devote around 10% of the classes to the bonus track, so if you are completely uninterested in the theme there are still plenty of other classes to take on large variety of costuming topics.
If you do not find the answer to your question or need more detailed information, please contact the Dean .
Where is the Hotel located?
The Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills is located off of Topanga Canyon Blvd north of the 101 Hwy.
How do I get from the airport or the train station to the Hotel?
Unfortunately the Hotel does not have a shuttle service. However, there are several options for you to choose from. See our informational page on Transportation.
What is the room rate?
Costume College has a special room rate of $124 per room per night (plus local and state tax), which includes free in room internet access, discounted parking with in/out privilege and discounted breakfast buffet at the Hotel’s Breeze Restaurant. This a flat rate for single, double, triple or quad occupancy. You must use the promo code for Costume College to get the special rate.
Is breakfast included in the room rate?
No. However, we do get a discounted rate on the breakfast buffet at the Breeze Restaurant in the hotel. There are also a variety of choices available across the street in the mall.
I really want to stay at the hotel, but I cannot afford a room by myself. What can I do?
Contact the Roommate Coordinator! She will ask you for information and put you in contact with someone else looking for a roommate. Then you make the connection and arrangements. This is a great way to cut down on costs. Please remember that you will want to make a roommate connection in plenty of time to get a reservation for a room.
Is it worth staying at the hotel?
Well, our answer is “yes, Yes, YES!” There are lots of spontaneous things that happen during the run of College that are not on any schedule. You might miss out on a lot of fun if you have to leave early because you’re staying someplace else or you weren’t there when everybody wanted to go play. Also, because classes begin very early and many of the events last until late, it’s more convenient, comfortable, and safer to stay at the hotel. The prices offered by the hotel are a real bargain in today’s market, the parking charge is nominal (considerably lower than most hotels), and the hotel has coffee makers, hair dryers and irons/ironing boards in each room, two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, a workout room, two great restaurants, a full bar and a Starbucks! In addition, having a room makes it convenient to change for the Gala, Tea or other special event.
Our College hotel is the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California. This is a great location with lots of space for classrooms, plenty of sleeping rooms, and really fun indoor and outdoor pools. There is also the added benefit of the hotel being across the street from a mall and food court. Rooms are large enough to accommodate up to four people comfortably, and the price is the same whether one person or four occupies the room.
You must mention Costume College to get the Costume College room rate. The rate may change from year to year, so check with the hotel if we don’t have it listed here.