Sunday, August 15, 2010

In which the Otakuthon took place

Please feel free to (finally) have a look at my cosplay. Here is the completed result. The photos are scanned, though, so forgive the poor quality of them. The second photo was taken from above, so the angle is a little odd... But I am glad at how it turned out!

Anyways, on with the post...

For one glorious weekend, I was back among the living. No work. No stress. Just some great fun with even greater friends.

I attended the Otakuthon, a Quebec anime convention that takes place in Montreal. Considering how insignificant the convention was a few years back, it has much improved, featuring stars of anime like the Full Metal Alchemist voice actors and the master cosplayers Sarcasm Hime and Lillyxandra.

My cosplay turned out AMAZING! For those who do not yet know, I was cosplaying the Archangel Gabriel (aka Jibril) from the manga Angel Sanctuary. The specific costume I made was actually from the second Artbook by Kaori Yuki (the mangaka mastermind behind Angel Sanctuary), called Lost Angel. Despite all my complaining and my near depression with the difficult progress of the costume, I am really happy at how it turned out! I only finished it at 4 a.m. on the Saturday, just before the convention. With bags under my eyes, but a smile, I went to the convention with a happy strut.

Quick details about my costume. It was hard to make. First of all, because my job is eating up so much of my time and I do not feel like doing anything when I get home. But it was also difficult because I had one single picture as a reference and no proper pattern to work with. I did buy a commercial pattern, because the waist of the dress seemed to suit my cosplay, but, upon further observation, I noticed that the dress pattern was entirely wrong for my purposes. I had to ditch the skirt of it and use a skirt pattern from something completely different and I also had to change some seams around to have the zipper on the side instead of in the back, not to mention all the tweaking and shortening that was done to the waist bit. Then came the really hard part. Improv. I had no pattern for either sleeve, so I just measured my arms, cut some fabric, and improvised. I sewed my left sleeve a grand total of four times before succeeding. The hood and the neck corset nearly gave me an ulcer from all the work it took. I basically did my own pattern drafting for these pieces... except without a drafted pattern. I should buy pattern paper, because improvising on your fabric can be stressful when you only have limited amounts of it. I then used a pattern for the bum-roll and completely improvised the tulle petticoat.

There are a few things I want to change about my design, but I believe I can make all those changes for Anime North and maybe absolutely rock the house there. I am even considering entering the masquerade (the costume contest of the convention) at Anime North if I manage to bring this costume up to scratch (amongst other things, I should really think of adding the wings). One thing I know for sure is that I am never using such ichy fabric again!! The main part of the dress was fine, that was not the ichy part. It was the neck corset and my left sleeve... they were made of a sheer, tulle-like fabric that iched like chicken-pox! It was driving me NUTS during the whole convention!!

I also have to give great credit to my roommate, Vanessa, who handcrafted my head jewel and the jewel on the neckpiece. She also did my make-up, as my make-up talents are very limited and the flowers on the original drawing were very intricate.

It made me deliriously happy to see my friends at the convention. We went to loads of events and had a lot of fun. I even made new friends, which was great!! And many, MANY people took pictures of me wherever I went. This has never happened to me before, but I really enjoyed it! I think about 100 random people must have asked for my picture! AWESOME! Not too bad for a first convention cosplay, eh?

My main joy to the Otakuthon, though, was a major fangirl moment, when I met Lillyxandra face-to-face. I had been following that amazing woman's website for ages, ever since I discovered her on (which must have been about two years ago, now). She is one of my very favourite cosplayers! She does many original designs and absolutely gorgeous fairy costumes! Her work is jaw-dropping and stunning! I got a hug from her, which made me very happy! I am also the proud owner of her autograph. The best part, though, was when Lillyxandra actually complimented me about my costume. She loved the paint-job I did on the bra and the way I had made the costume. She thought it was well made and said that she loved that outfit from the artbook and had considered making it for herself too. It made me very happy and I had a major squee moment. Then we talked for a long time. She was there on both the Saturday and the Sunday, dressed as Queen Serenity on the Saturday, and as her own Fairy Design on the Sunday. I hope to be as gifted as she is with costumes someday!

I also met Sarcasm Hime!! (She is another of my favourite cosplayer, by the way.) However, she had to run, as she was on the judging pannel for the masquerade. But she suggested I contact her by email! She was so nice!

The one really disappointing thing about the convention happened at the very end of it. A disappointing moment aside from the moment of shock when a picture of Michael's ex stared up at me from the photography booth....
Anyways, I decided, after a long debate with myself, to purchase the complete first season DVD box set of Full Metal Alchemist. It is my absolute favourite series, it was at a reasonable price and I had wanted it forever, so it was money well spent, I think. And besides, it was my only purchase during the entire convention (except for a 10$ photoshoot).
Unfortunately for me, I put it in the only bag I had brought to the convention with me. When the time came to leave, I rummaged through the bag in order to find my metro pass. In order to make the search easier, I took out the DVDs. However, I have several friends as witnesses who SWEAR they saw me put the box set back into my bag. So how did it manage to disappear after that? Did I lose it? Was it stolen? I have already shed some tears over the lost DVDs and I am super angry at myself, because I usually never forget this kind of stuff. It is really frustrating for me, because I was really happy about it and looking forward to it until it vanished. And I have no idea what happened either! No recollection of anything. It did not turn up in the lost and found and I searched the premises of the convention myself for it. Zilch. It really ruined what would otherwise have been a great evening. I am really disappointed, both in myself and in the situation. And to put a damper on things (no pun intended), it started pouring rain when I came home, so I got drenched... in costume!

Anyways, I think that is enough updates for today. I will update again soon. I am sorry my writing is not of its usual quality, but I am super tired. I will now turn in for a good night's sleep. Please pray with me, though, that some honest soul has found and will return my DVDs...

P.S. But the Otakuthon was still absolutely awesome! So many pretty cosplays! Wish I had had a camera (which, unfortunately, I did not! *pout*)

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