The Last Lumenia image.

The Last Lumenian Presents the WonderCon 2024 Masquerade

This year, the Masquerade had a generous sponsor! Our very big thank you to The Last Lumenian award-winning book series and its author S.G. Blaise for supporting our cosplayers. For more information on The Last Lumenian and other works by its author, visit

The 2024 Masquerade featured 28 entries, some as solo contestants, some as group entries, making for a total of 60 costumes presented on the stage. As usual, there was a mix of clever re-creations and fully original designs, plus a few entries that fit into both categories since they were either based on animated characters or completely new interpretations for otherwise recognizable characters. Our largest groups consisted of one of 10 members and one of 14. In addition to the WonderCon trophies and Honorable Mentions given, there were five organizations and companies that also donated generous cash and other awards of their own.

Our Emcee for this year’s Masquerade was once again Ashley Eckstein, a Special Guest for this year’s WonderCon! Ashley is widely recognized as an actress, author, designer, entrepreneur, host, inspirational speaker, and producer. She is known by many fans for originating the character of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars; she voices Ahsoka in projects such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Ashley founded the fashion and lifestyle brand Her Universe, and her designs can be found at Disney Parks worldwide. Ashley is currently serving as co-creator, executive producer, and star of a new audio drama for Disney Publishing. She is also a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and is a champion for the Nationwide Children’s “On Our Sleeves” movement.

For the judging intermission, the audience was treated to an amazing 30-person Star Wars lightsaber story-performance by the Lucasfilm-approved Temple Prime Saber Guild group, joined this time by several members of other Saber Guild chapters. Following their epic battles, we were treated to amazing modern dance performances by the highly talented 20+ member Corps Dance Crew. Both of these groups perform at many conventions, charity events, and other special events throughout southern California and, while nonprofessional in status, always give terrific, choreographed shows with lots of great costuming. Our very enthused audience lined up extra early for the nearly three-hour event and numbered about 1,700 people.

We are thrilled that professionals from Hollywood and elsewhere attend our show, donate their time as our judges, and give our contestants the unique opportunity to meet with them and share their common passions for costuming. Most of our judges come to the convention specifically to see what our talented contestants have crafted and arrive backstage hours before the show to personally view each costume close-up and listen to what the makers have to say about their costumes and crafting processes.

The eight trophy-winning entries also received complimentary three-day badges for next year’s WonderCon 2025!

WonderCon 2024 Masquerade Best in Show award winner.
Photo: Jerry Shaw

Featured a 14-person Re-Creation of the characters from Lord of the Rings, with amazing fully original crafting throughout and a great fun presentation. Made by Naomi@ThatTallPrincess, Chelsea@ElementOfFun, and their friends. Worn by Naomi, Chelsea, Arielle, Aaron, Rob, Kaiyah, Liz, Karley, Kenya, Amber, Sam, Skyler, Cameron, and Natalie.

2024 WonderCon Masquerade Judges Choice image.
Photo by Jerry Shaw

Was inspired by the costuming of the 2021 Cruella movie, but much more than a Re-Creation, this Original Design interpretation of the character was (to use the contestant’s own description): “My design is one of a kind with elements of ’70s punk rock mixed with 18th-century style, and with the longest skirt you have ever seen on a runway. My design is unique with handmade jewelry draping the jacket, and the shoulders feature figurines of Cruella’s favorite dog, Dalmatians of course!” Crafted (using 350 yards of fabric) by and worn by Kstroobz Cosplay.

WonderCon 2024 Masquerade Best-Recreation image
Photo by: Jerry Shaw

Was a terrific Re-Creation from the extremely popular Final Fantasy VII game, impressive indeed to beat out all the other Re-Creations in the show! Made and worn by Poppy Lop Cosplay.

WonderCon 2024 Masqerade Best Original Design Winner
Photo by: Jerry Shaw

Characters and themes of the popular Disneyland ride were reimagined in human form by this amazing 10-member group. Showgirls, dancing tikis, gorgeous costumes, lots of big feathers, and a modern cover of the song made for a wonderfully fun presentation. Mady by Kie Shimokawa, Lisa Truong, Lynleigh Sato, Lily Gruenke, Ethan Shimokawa, Hai Pham, Hey Pham, Colleen Crews, and Brianna Roecks. Worn by all of those, plus Ashley Brown.

WonderCon 2024 Masquerade Best Workmanship winner
Photo by: Jerry Shaw

Was a Re-Creation / Original Design cleverly portraying the Disney’s Sleeping Beauty color-changing dress in the middle of its magical transformation. From the contestant herself: “Using primarily thrifted materials, it took three months to re-create the look from the classic Disney animated film. The design was adapted from a vintage 1950s’ ball gown pattern, with multiple shades of pink and blue fabric and thousands of rhinestones and beads.” Crafted and worn by Alison Fisher.

WonderCon 2024 Masquerade Most Beautiful award winner.
Photo by: Jerry Shaw

Was a Re-Creation inspired by the Critical Role web video series about players of characters in a Dungeons & Dragons game. Crafted and worn by BronDoesCosplay.

WonderCon 2024 Masquerade Most Humorous winner image.
Photo by: Jerry Shaw

Featured a highly amusing five-person group Original Design, presenting historically inspired 18th-century versions of recognizable Disney villains, plus the poor prince who falls for their evil magic. Made by Prue Ductions Creations, Christine Geiger Designs, and Whitley’s Whimsies. Worn by Prue Dense, Gabrielle Abrams, Christine Geiger, Whitley Kilcrease, and Ryan Daly.

WonderCon 2024 Masquerade Best Young Fan award winner.
Photo by: Jerry Shaw

Was a terrific Young Fan Re-Creation from World of Warcraft, completely handmade by its 16-year-old wearer, Jenny Wang, who hopes to become a costume designer someday.

Honorable Mention for Fabrication Excellence: “The Prowler” was a spot-on Re-Creation of Earth 42 Prowler Miles Morales from Marvel’s Spider-Verse. Made and worn by Rex Armstrong.

Honorable Mention For Construction and Presentation: “Avatar Kyoshi” was a Re-Creation inspired by the live-action and animated versions of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Made and worn by Michelle Maka.

Honorable Mention for Structure and Silhouette: “The Chainsaw Devil” was an effectively scary Re-Creation based on the Japanese manga series, made and worn by Nicholas Simonton.

Honorable Mention for Best Use of Technology: “Vox” featured a Re-Creation of a character from the popular animated musical-comedy TV series Hazbin Hotel, complete with a TV-screen face that cleverly displayed several different expressions! Made and worn by Andrea Falsone.

In addition to the above WonderCon awards decided by our judging panel, the following companies and organizations donated their own generous awards, with their representatives selecting their winners:

From The Frank & Son Collectable Show: A $500 cash award to what their representative deemed to be the audience favorite, by the amount of applause it received, was presented to the 14-person group entry “Fellowship of The WonderCon.” The Frank and Son Collectible Show of the City of Industry, California, presents twice-weekly huge collectibles shows, including special signings and much more, for all your collectible needs. It has donated generous prizes to our competitions for many years now.

The Oksana Shore Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship: Beginning at the Comic-Con International 2023 Masquerade, professional costume designer Jennifer May Nichols created the Oksana Shore Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship in honor of the passing of her dear friend (and friend to many in the industry), incredibly talented and sorely missed costumer Oksana Shore. The award was also presented at WonderCon and included a trophy and a new Bernette BO5 Crafter Sewing Machine, generously donated by Bernette/Bernina. Jennifer deems it a great heavy-duty machine that can take layers of leather the same way as it manages silks, perfect for both beginner and experienced cosplayers. It was presented to the entry “Cruella” made and worn by Kstroobz Cosplay.

From The Costumer’s Guild West: Their award was presented to the entry “Caduceus Clay” made and worn by Bronwyn Ellis. The Costumer’s Guild West, a southern California nonprofit costuming fandom group, awarded a one-year membership to their CGW group and a full weekend scholarship and one night’s complimentary hotel stay to their annual weekend conference, Costume College®, held each July in Los Angeles (winner may choose 2024 or 2025). This year it is July 18–22 at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel. Costume College promotes the art of costuming by providing educational lectures and workshops on all aspects of costuming!

The San Diego Comic-Con Alan Campbell Award: Judge Pamela Ford presented this $500 cash award on Comic-Con’s behalf to “The Prowler”, made and worn by Rex Armstrong. The San Diego Comic Convention Board of Directors gives this award in memory of long-time committee member and Board member Alan Campbell, who passed away and is sorely missed. Alan was a great fan of the Masquerade, often generously donating his own prize. This award was for the entry deemed the best Re-Creation from comic books or related media.

From the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation: The foundation presented an award to coincide with their annual “Make Cancer Less Scary” public awareness campaign. Since curing cancer requires innovation, their award was for the Most Imaginative entry and was presented to “Isobel Throm” a Re-Creation from the Baldur’s Gate 3 game. The award was a special trophy, a $100 Amazon gift card, and articles in their newsletter and social media posts during their fall 2024 campaign.

Costume Designer Jennifer May Nickel is a proud member of the Costume Designers Guild – IATSE Local 892. Jennifer’s recent credits include costume designing Gotham Knights and Legacies for the CW Network. For Netflix she designed comedy series and specials for Bert Kreischer and Taylor Tomlinson. Additionally, Jennifer has designed series for Fox, Hulu, Syfy, E!, Funny or Die, Nickelodeon, TLC, The History Channel, and more. The highlight of her career, though, is becoming canon in the DCU as Gotham’s premier haute couture designer, May Nickel.

Frank Ippolito has worked in the film industry for over 25 years and owns Thingergy, one of the premier union prop and specialty costume shops in Los Angeles, contributing to Film and TV shows like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Umbrella Academy, Bullet Train, Black Adam, Rebel Moon, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and many more! He also built and played everyone’s favorite sweater-wearing Mon Calamari on the second season of The Mandalorian.

Claire Mildred got her start in competitive cosplay which grew into a passion for costume design. Her many feature credits include Et Tu starring Lou Diamond Phillips alongside Malcolm McDowell, and Hard Miles starring Matthew Modine alongside Sean Astin. She has judged with us before at both WonderCon and at Comic-Con.

Pamela Ford Robles attended the Fashion and Art Institute of Dallas. She is a retired couples dance competitor, judge, and award-winning costume designer for ballroom and swing dancing. She, at one time, had the honor of being the interior designer and muralist for Baseball Hall of Fame member Rollie Fingers. She is the former graphic artist for Coronado Island Stamping, editor for The San Diego Swing Dance Club News, and event logo designer for the dance organization UCWDC. Currently, Pam is the designer and owner of a miniature costuming and pattern company specializing in fantasy, comic book, and movie recreations.

WonderCon gives our sincere thanks to our sponsor, S.G. Blaise and The Last Lumenian, and to all contestants, judges, the Mistress of Ceremonies, intermission performers, industry professionals, organizations, and, of course, the many volunteers behind the scenes. We are happy to celebrate the talents, cleverness, originality, and dedication of the many attendees that create and share their great costumes at the convention for everyone to enjoy. See you for next year’s show!

All 2024 WonderCon photos on this page courtesy of Jerry Shaw

(A Masquerade Dept volunteer)

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade

The 2023 WonderCon Masquerade featured 29 entries, some as solo entries, some as groups, making for a total of 40 costumes having their turns on the stage. As usual there was a mix of clever Re-Creations and totally Original Designs, plus a few entries that somewhat fit into both categories since they were original designs for otherwise recognizable characters. In addition to the WonderCon trophies and Honorable Mentions given, there were six organizations and companies that also donated generous cash and other awards of their own.

Our excellent Mistress of Ceremonies was Ashley Eckstein. Ashley has been widely recognized and honored as an actress, entrepreneur, and author. To WonderCon fans she is likely best known as the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, and Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. Ashley is also the founder of Her Universe, a very popular fashion and lifestyle brand for fans. Ashley is also a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and is a champion for the Nationwide Children’s “On Our Sleeves” movement.

For the Judging intermission, the audience was treated to a fun modern dance performance by the highly talented 20-member Corps Dance Crew, followed by a 20-member Star Wars light-saber story-performance by the Lucasfilm-approved Temple Prime Saber Guild group. Both of these groups perform at many conventions, charity events, and other special events throughout southern California, and while non-professional in status, always give terrific, choreographed shows with lots of great costuming.

Our very enthused audience varied in size over the course of the 2 hours and 20-minute event, and at its fullest point numbered nearly 2,000.

WonderCon 2023 Trophy Winners and Honorable Mentions:

(Trophy winners also receive complimentary 3-day badges for next year’s WonderCon)

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade Best in Show.
Photo by Jerry Shaw

Best In Show:

“Paint It Empire”, a two-person Original Design, using beautiful Tudor and Elizabethan historically inspired and highly detailed designs to re-imagine the Star Wars scene of Anakin Skywalker being turned into Darth Vader by the evil Emperor. It was crafted and worn by Diana Tolin and Ali Weber.

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade Judges Choice.
Photo by Jerry Shaw.

Judges’ Choice:

“Wonderland at WonderCon”, a 4-person Re-Creation from Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland. To bring animated designs more fully to life, 8 months of time was spent crafting and using specially altered fittings to approximate the body proportions of the animated characters, and with a clever stage presentation! Crafted and worn by Prue Dense, Whitley, Gabrielle, and Ryan.

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade Best Recreation
Photo by Jerry Shaw.

Best Re-Creation:

“Sophie Hatter”, an impressive re-creation of the heroine from the Japanese animated fantasy film Howl’s Moving Castle. Crafted and worn by Becca Gibson. Taking an animated character design and interpreting it into the real world can be challenging, and this design succeeded with style and heart.

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade Best Original Design.
Photo by Jerry Shaw.
Best Original Design:

“Princess Zelda”, an Original Design inspired by the popular Legend of Zelda video game series, another example of bringing animated art to life and far surpassing the original inspiration. It was crafted and worn by Starlit Memory Cosplay.

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade Best Workmanshop.
Photo by Jerry Shaw.
Best Workmanship:

“Art Nouveau Sally”, a re-created character but with a fully Original Design inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas, featured outstanding hand embroidery and beading, and made entirely from recycled materials. Crafted and worn by Lauren Mathias (who almost wasn’t in the show, but when a drop-out happened two days before the convention, we were able to bring her in from the Waiting List).

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade Most Beautiful.
Photo by Jerry Shaw.
Most Beautiful:

“Belle: A Tale as Old as Time”, a Re-Created character / Original Design inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, with stunning handcrafted beading, embroidery, and more, creating an over 60-pound elegant historical dress taking over 100 hours to complete. Crafted and worn by Katie Strube of Kstroobz Cosplay.

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade Most Humorous.
Photo by Jerry Shaw.
Most Humorous:

“The Chosen One(s)?”, a 2-person Star Wars inspired Original / Re-Creation, with familiar characters portrayed in an original way, crafted and worn by Lisa Truong and Cindy Purchase.

WonderCon 2023 Masquerade Best Young Fan.
Photo by Jerry Shaw.
Best Young Fan:

“Doc Octopus”, a terrific Re-Creation from Spider-Man 2, complete with extended tentacles, working lighting, and an uncanny facial resemblance to the actor in the film.  Crafted by the Pineda Family, worn by Madison Pineda.