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Friday Night Fashion Show

Applications will be opening soon for 2018!

What Is It?

This year we decided to do something entirely different! We have listened and heard you; you want to allow original characters/designs, gijinka, Lolita, furries, etc to be allowed to compete in the masquerade. Matsuricon's Cosplay department wanted to see your creativity and talent in a whole new light, so we are opening submissions for our Fashion show: where you can create an outfit inspired by an anime, manga, video game, movie, pop culture, or even something that's completely original!

That's right: You may compete with an outfit that has been made by you, that can be an original character, a podcast character, or a dress inspired by a character from any media. We want to see you be as creative as possible!

There are NO pre-judging times. What will happen is Friday Night you will show up to the fashion show and be able to walk down the catwalk, show off your costume to the audience and judges, the judges will give you feedback about your work, and the best in show will win a cash prize!


  • You must have made at least 85% of your outfit.
  • We will NOT allow closet cosplay, commissioned costumes, or bought costumes to enter this contest. You MAY have a model to display your work if you do not wish to wear it.
  • This is a free for all! Compete with any costume you like. We just ask you have made it, and you be creative as possible. As long as you follow our security rules, we will allow anything and everything to be submitted. You can find our rules for dress code and weapons here.
  • You can create ANY type of outfit to compete. This includes, dresses, a whole new outfit for a character, a steampunk original design, pokemon gijinkas, swimsuit cosplays, etc. Your limit is your creativity.
  • As long as you have CREATED it, you can compete with it! That is our only requirement!
  • HAVE FUN! This is a fun event that's meant to be less stressful than the Cosplay Masquerade, and allow people to compete who previously would not be able to in the masquerade.

How To Submit

We will be accepting a maximum of 20 competitors and these will be ONLINE SIGN UPS ONLY. When you submit, fill out the application below with a link to your work (facebook page, tumblr, website, online portfolio, etc.) We will be picking our competitors based on their level of skill and level of creativity we see! On July 19th, we will let you know if you are accepted via email. We will not ask for you to submit your design ahead of time: instead, we will ask you to hand over your reference sheets and notes to the judges when you arrive to the competition so they know what to be looking for.

On said reference sheet list the following:


Character/Title of Design

Series (If Applicable)

If you do not have a website/facebook page/etc to submit, please email examples of your work to with your name and in the subject title “Matsuricon Fashion Show Entry”.




Applications will be opening soon for 2018! 

General Information

Walk On:  Craftsmanship, or exhibition, you will walk across stage and do a few poses for the audience, allow the audience to snap some photos, and then walk off. It’s a cosplay runway!

Performance (skits): Your choice of some sort of performance for the audience, whether you are acting or doing a choreographed dance. Audio must be submitted at time of judging. You will be limited to 4:00 of audio at the maximum.

Entering the Competition

Exhibition: Costumes for the Exhibition division include commissioned, store bought (such as eBay), rented, and/or borrowed costumes. You will not be receiving any awards. Nor will your costume be judged for craftsmanship. We have a limited number of TEN slots for exhibition.

Juniors: Must be 12 and Under to compete. You are allowed to have help from friends and family to help you make the costume!

Closet Cosplay: A brand new division started in 2015 where people may enter their closet cosplays! This is anything from modified clothes, partially made items, or something thrown together straight out of your closet! (As long as it is an official character, not an Original or otherwise!)

Competition Divisions

Note: The Cosplay Staff has the right to place a competitor in an appropriate division at their discretion.

In order to compete at Matsuricon, your costumes must meet the following requirements:

  • Any costumes are allowed to enter, as long as there is OFFICAL reference art of the character. No fanart costumes will be permitted. All costumes must be derived from the original source material/artist/creator.
  • No Original characters, no Genderbends (unless there is official art from the creator(s) as such), no ginjikas, etc. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email and ask.
  • All costumes must have been at least 75% made from scratch by the costume creator (Shoes and wigs do not count towards the overall costume).
  • Commissioned costumes cannot be entered in the competition divisions. (You may enter in the Exhibition division instead).


Novice: Intended for those who are still learning the ropes of making your own cosplay. You cannot compete in this division with more than 1 Major award previously won, or 3 minor awards. (i.e. Honorable Mentions, Judges Awards, etc.)
Journeyman: Those who have a firm understanding of how to put together a costume and show developed skills and knowledge. You cannot compete in this division if you have won more than 2 Major awards or 4 minor awards.

Masters: Master of the cosplay arts; someone who knows the ropes. Must have won 3 or more major awards.

Best in Show: This award can be given to any person in any division. It is considered a major award, and means you have shown the best work out of all our entrants.
Judges Awards: Will be given by the judges who whomever they would like, based on their own criteria. This is a minor award.

Judging Process

  • Bring references!   A reference is a picture of the character that you are cosplaying. Without a reference, we cannot accurately judge your costume for craftsmanship. It would be beneficial to your score to bring as much reference as possible, preferably as a color printout, but bringing figures, tablets, manga, books, laptops, etc., will also be accepted. Phone reference images will result in a deduction of points.
  • Be prepared to talk about your costume.  Come in knowing what you want to say. Tell the judges everything about how you made your costume. Things you should talk about include fabric, construction methods, or any special methods you used to get around a problem in designing the costume. The judges will be there to help guide you in your costume judging.
  • The judges will look at your costume up close!  Judges will be inspecting the costume craftsmanship up close, if you feel at all uncomfortable at any time, please feel free to let the judges know!


  • Costumes and skits must be PG-13. If it’s appropriate for a PG-13 movie, it’s appropriate for the competition. However, if it is something you would not say in front of your grandmother, don’t put it in your skit. If you are unsure whether your skit is appropriate, please feel free to email me.
  • Skits must be no longer than 4 minutes in length. Skits that run on longer than 4 minutes (within reason) will be disqualified from any awards. For this reason, we encourage you to pre-record your skits unless it absolutely must be performed live (such as playing an instrument). You will be given 30 seconds in which to enter and set up, as well as 30 seconds to clean up and leave the stage.
  • Objects and activities not permitted on stage: No live steel and firearms, incendiary devices (such as sparklers, firecrackers or smoke bombs). No throwing of objects will be permitted. If you hit the equipment or judges with thrown objects (ie, Pokeballs) you will be disqualified.
  • Reckless Behavior resulting in falling off stage, or breaking/damaging equipment (or nearly doing so) will result in disqualification. If you break something, you buy it.
  • What goes on stage with you MUST come off stage as you leave.
  • We will have a “Best in Show” skit award, and a “Runner up” Skit award that will be decided after viewing the skits at the Masquerade Saturday night.


ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE A BADGE. If you have any questions, please email