Friday, June 28, 2013

Desucon 2013 and ECC qualifiers

It’s been almost two weeks since Desucon, which was held for the fifth time at Sibelius Hall, Lahti. For me it was hands down the best Desucon ever! I competed in EuroCosplay Championships qualifiers as Amira Halgal from Otoyomegatari and placed first, which means that in October I’m going to represent Finland at the finals at London Comic Con!

I’m still slightly confused, but really happy and proud what I managed to achieve. I can only thank the judges, the competition manager and the crew, audience and all the fellow hobbyists at Desucon, who complimented my costume or just wanted to share few words before and after the competition. You have no idea how big impact your words had and still have. Seriously, I’ve been reading Tumblr notes and all sorts of blogs these past few weeks with a tissue box. But the biggest thanks I have to save for Yoki, who was my support, critique source and assistant during the making of the costume and at the competition itself.

In this post I’m going to go through our days at Desucon costume-wise. First I could actually tell what we even wore, since we didn’t reveal the costumes beforehand like we usually do. This was because we decided on some of them only a week before Desucon. In the end we packed six costumes. So six costumes with accesories and amount of stage props, which could easily decorate a small living room and everything should be fitted in one car!

By the way, the photo was taken at a point where we still had my suitcase and one suit bag left. And three human beings. In the end we were able to squeeze everything in with stacking skills trained to perfection with Tetris.

Photo: jesmo

On Friday we recycled Joxter and Muddler from Moomin. We debuted the costumes three years ago at Tracon. For second take at conventions, we didn’t need to do much with them, which was actually one of the reasons we chose them. There was so much going on at the last week that anything more time consuming would’ve been just too stressful. The other reason was that they were a nice pair of costumes just to keep at the closet.

Joxter got a new wig, because I couldn’t find the old one anywhere and Muddler had a facelift for his shoe… socks. Yoki took away the base shoes inside the socks and stuffed them with cotton to make them look and feel softer. And we had to take Muddler’s pants in five centimeters or they would’ve been in Yoki’s ankles if someone had stepped on the tail!

One thing to say about Desucon and our Friday costumes: Finns love Moomins.

On Saturday I was naturally Amira, since the competition was held that day. Yoki wore an original character costume from her story Varjella. The character's name is Kulo Halava.

Yoki chose Kulo, because the costume was really easy to move in and it was made from natural materials, which made it breathable despite all the layers in it. During Saturday I had Yoki as my personal cosplay assistant, which basically meant tying sailor knots on my underwear which were seen briefly on stage, bringing me liquorices and juice when I needed any, checking my costume for photos, setting the stage props before the show and just being there for support. These tasks included running, kneeling and all sorts of activities, which really required a comfortable costume.

In this costume version Kulo is in his youth, which means that for the adult one Yoki will update the outfit by adding embroidery and new props.

Photo: Tapio Matikainen

I'm going to make a blog entry about the competition experience as whole, but I might say few words about Amira. With the costume I was able highlight the strong points in my craftsmanship and create something lifelike and true. In all, I’m really happy with the costume and the performance had an impact I wished it to have!

Even if I’m really pleased with the outfit, I’m going to fix and redo some of the accessories, because I want them to be more authentic.

One of the six planned costumes dropped out from Sunday, because after placing at the qualifiers I wanted to wear Amira instead and have more pictures taken at the photobooth. The costume I had planned for Sunday was Miss Who, female version of the 11th Doctor. 

Yoki wore battle damaged Sio Imano, who is also character from Varjella. Yoki made the costume last year and debuted it at Tracon. Even if the missing arm gave her trouble during the convention, she survived the con well singlehandedly. Yes, pun intended.

Photo: Yumi

Five year old Desucon was great, even if our schedule was mostly cosplay related. The show competition on Sunday was something to see and it gave me chills and few tears also. The winning performance was just pure gold. Congratulations for all placed competitors and also to fellow contestants from Saturday!

Desucon, thank you!

My Desucon feelings exactly! Photo: Yumi

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I’m almost there! Kind of… If I mildly understate the amount of stitches that still need to be stitched and the rehearsals to be rehearsed. But nonetheless, I will at least have something on when it’s time to step on stage at Desucon!

Last Sunday I asked Yoki to company me for a small photoshoot trip to our nearby meadow. I thought that having a trial run for Amir’s underclothes wouldn’t be such a bad idea. I also got the opportunity to test how the wig works in action. It was worth the trouble, because now I know that such a heavy wig needs more sturdy fastenings than just regular hairpins. I ordered wig clips and should receive them early next week. The wig problems should be solved with that.

For the photoshoot I was also able to test the make-up for Amir. I tried to keep the look natural and didn’t wear fake lashes. I probably won’t wear them at the competition either, because I’m worried that they might be bit too much with dark contact lenses. But we’ll see about that… quite soon I’m afraid.

The costume itself or the lower layer of it looks good. I’ll probably add some hooks to the shirt so that I won’t be pulling and twitching it after every time I lift my arms. The wig also needs some attention with the fastenings and a lot of hairspray.

Now I think I will take off to our workshop and try to shorten the list of unfinished costume pieces. I have high hopes that today I might be able to finish the jacket, which is the most laborious part of this costume. But also the prettiest one too!

The credit for the photos and big thanks goes to Yoki, who took some really nice shots and has been a great sport during my costume construction!

Until next time!