Thank you to Sean Hand, Con-chair of Eirtakon, for contacting me and issuing an apology for how matters worked out. This gesture is very gracious and professional, and I appreciate it very much. I am so sad that I could not be at this edition of Eirtakon in Dublin and thank him again for the kind invitation. Hopefully I will have the chance to experience cosplay and cons in Ireland in the future. Thank you again, Sean.
So now I have time to blog about Comikaze Expo, a first year convention in Los Angeles that took place this weekend.
I was added as a last minute Guest so I didn't have any panels scheduled, which was a pity. However, I devoted multiple hours on Sunday to judging the costume contest and since this was a 2-day event, I was grateful for the free-time I had to cosplay with my friends!
Since I have been majorly supplying My Little Pony cosplayers all over the world this year with accessories to complete their costumes, it was a no-brainer to cosplay Rarity at some point myself. She is literally me in the pony-verse lol. I was very happy to have adorbs cosplayers Scruffy Rebel, Monika Lee, Aktrez, Jessica Nigiri and Riddle join me as the rest of the main cast! Everyone put together their costumes and I made the appropriate pony accessories for all of us.
(photo credit is title of each jpg image)
My Rarity dress was designed by me - inspired by the character and the show of course! I always thought of Rarity as the fashionista of the group, elegant with a sweet flair. I made a fully lined and boned halter dress and used a purple stretch velvet to make the trim and inserts. I handmade 3 tiers of ruffles from a sparkle organza by serging strips together, then hand pleating the ribbons into ruffles. My cutie mark (3 diamond shapes) were rhinestone plate earrings taken apart and attached to the front of the dress. Rarity would definitely approve of blinged out diamond shapes :). I found a sheer French silk with a diamond pattern on it (Hello, cutie mark shape!) and made a pattern for a bolero, then sewed it together as a little cover over the dress. My wig was a great shade but I wish I had had the time to properly style it. It's a bit flat for my taste. Overall it was so much fun to dress up in a fun little costume with friends. LA Weekly came by and grabbed a pic of the ponies that were gathered at my booth at the time, and Riddle and I signed Cosplay For A Cause calendars at my table as well! We walked around for a while and took photos with various photographers.
On Sunday I had the responsibility of judging the costume contest - it was an interesting experience due to the fact that Comikaze is a first year event and the contest didn't have classes such as Novice, Journeyman and Master, nor a rigid judging guideline, nor a variety of awards. There were 3 award choices - 3rd, 2nd and 1st place. Usually at costume contests that I have judged there are award titles such as "Best Craftsmanship", "Best Performance", "Best Character Likeness", "Judge's Award" etc. in addition to Best awards for each class. Because Comikaze did not give us judges such choices, picking the deserving winners was a difficult task, made only harder by so many many amazing costumers entering. There was also no stage and no way for the contestants to submit music or perform a skit. The contest was in the walk-on format and while a few people did mini-skits, or elaborate walk-ons, the main judging criterias were craftsmanship based. I wanted to give a shout-out to all the great entries at Comikaze and use my blog to voice my personal frustration in not being able to award more of you. We really did want to give out more awards, and I offered up 4 Honorable Mention prizes from my booth so that we could acknowledge a few more cosplayers in this contest. If there had been a "Best Performance" award, surely the Jurassic Park duo would have received it ^_^. Same goes for a few other entries that should have been recognized for their work. But a judge's job is not to run a contest, but to decide objectively and fairly the deserving winners within the parameters given in the contest rules.
So with that in mind and only 3rd, 2nd and 1st place given as the judging parameter, I looked for quality hand made costumes, a variety of techniques used, the level of difficulty in the techniques used, clean construction and finished edges, good use of materials, character likeness and good transition from art to costume, innovation and performance. These are the foundation of a good costume and universally recognized in a proper costume contest judging. I can't speak for my fellow judges, but I do believe they were also looking for similar things and it was nice to judge with the three ladies. We did a pre-judging during the line-up and talked to each contestant as well as looked at their costumes up close. Then during the contest we observed from a table how they moved in their costumes and what their performances were.
Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the cosplayers and costumers for your hard work!