Events and meetups

Post-event: Cosplay Mania 2018 and a super secret convention survival tip

Conventions have been holiday staples in the local scene, but I stopped going to them after I started wearing lolita full-time. This is partly because I decided to keep my hobbies separate, so when I get the inevitable ‘do you cosplay?’ question, I could truthfully say that I did not.

There are others in the comm who thrive in both worlds. I haven’t entirely given up on anime and pop culture, but I’ve long lost the thread of ‘what is popular now’, clinging stubbornly to older series and games.

… However, that is not to say that I live entirely under a rock. When friends tipped me off that a certain game developer would have a booth at the SMX-based convention Cosplay Mania, I responded with a cross between panic and enthusiasm.

The coordinate: One does not Simply Pile Everything On

There is one other bonus to conventions – you can go as OTT as humanly possible, and people will be understanding of three-feet long wings, crowns, capes, and hardware.

While I did say OTT, there are always practical considerations and trade-offs. One being survival. No matter how beautiful the coordinate is, it is all useless if you can’t move, can’t breathe, and pass out on the convention floor.

With survival in mind, I went with the lightest fabrics that would still suit the ‘royalty’ concept. Using thin and fluttery lace fabric as a cape is more summer-friendly than heavy velvet or fur.

The Little Dipper underskirt is quite heavy, but to counteract this I went with my secret weapon: a cage petticoat from Boguta. It truly is a marvelous beast; I should make a review for it when I have the time.

But we’re missing something here. On the subject of secret weapons, I brought along a tool that is such a game-changer that it needs its own section…

The Cane Chair

When everyone talks about conventions, one cannot fail to mention THE LONG LINES. You line up everywhere: to buy your tickets, to get in if you already have your tickets, to get stuff you got through pre-sales, to buy merchandise at popular booths, to go to the bathroom…

 I can’t for the life of me find a way to embed a gif, and I was afraid I’d end up in the nether regions of the net searching for these terms, so you get a screencap

Long story short, I said I would bring a chair and did. And you will be the envy of everyone who had to give up and sit on the floor: not only does it look super snazzy to be hovering several feet above everyone’s heads, but it keeps the whole coordinate in pristine condition. The handle also doubles as a convenient hook to hang your loot bags from after a long day.

When I met up with everybody, we actually discussed buying multiples of these (after they had a good laugh, anyway) and painting them in colors to match our coordinates. Instead of bringing a scepter with you, which is basically a fancy stick- you could go full ham DIY decorating your chair and turn it into a jewel-encrusted throne, and it would still be useful.

(It would also be heavier, but that’s an expected trade-off.)

Mayi wore a Gothic print from Bodyline (!!) Seeing Mayi in dark colors is always a surprise! While this retains the practical, elegant aesthetic she prefers, there are some discreet details here that deserve a special shout out.

Bodyline does not produce a red colorway of this print. So the red roses you see here are in fact hand-painted; to borrow a quote Alice in Wonderland, she painted the roses red!

Kristina wore an OP from Angelic Pretty. This is a simple coordinate by her usual standards, but it was perfect for the weather and she said it was the most comfortable coordinate she’s ever worn.

The heart bag is the one that actually has stuff in it. As I mentioned before in my Little Flour meet post, the most you can put in Usakumya are ‘hopes and dreams, and maybe a single tissue’

Although we ended up going on different days due to scheduling problems, I like how Roxanne’s hime coordinate turned out. She bought this JSK from me some time ago, and I’m happy to see it getting some love!

No matter which style we go with, our comm has very strong personal aesthetics. This still screams ‘Roxie’ to me.

Con proper

As big as SMX is, it never seems to be enough. Every year I’m told the crowd gets bigger and this is one of the major reasons I stopped going to conventions.

Take note, these pictures are not inside the convention hall proper. This is the hall we were asked to wait in, because the other hall was full. I repeat, this is the line before you even get inside:

And this is the line to get your pre-orders. The FRONT of the line. It stretches off to infinity and beyond- aka the length of the building, doubled up on itself to form a compact knot of humanity.

Since I spent much of my time waiting and chatting with friends, I didn’t go around much. It can be complicated if you take up so much space. I would politely ask people to make room for me to pass, and while a regular munchkin might be able to squeeze through, I’d probably mow down three or four other people trying to get past.

Then again, I had my primary reason for being there. Mission accomplished.

Aside from my primary objective, I did manage to get a few shots of other people of interest:

Gon deserves a full-width image, because that hairdo boggles the mind. Did he transport it on the roof of a bus? How would you explain that to the driver? How much would the fare of ‘one boy and six-foot-long hair’ be? Does it get its own student discount? SO many questions.

Aftermath

We ended up at Tsujiri, a Japanese dessert place in S Maison. Despite my warnings, we ended up ordering the same monster Matcha Kakigoori that defeated the 7-man band of Kimono PH:

And sure enough the kakigoori was destroyed. Ludee, Pau, Kiko, and Banni did come to join us at Tsujiri, but that giant bowl didn’t stand a chance. Maybe we should have a special dish, the size of Gon’s hair.


This was a longer post than I expected. While I enjoy getting together with friends, I much prefer the more relaxed atmosphere of a meet compared to the chaos and exhaustion of conventions. Still, it’s fun every once in a while.

Have any memorable con experiences? Let me know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Post-event: Cosplay Mania 2018 and a super secret convention survival tip

  1. Hi everybody! You may have noticed some formatting issues (aka paragraphs awkwardly bunched together) this was written using WordPress’ new post editor, Gutenberg. It’s an interesting experience, but some parts still seem kind of buggy.

    I’ll try to get the problems fixed soon!

    Like

      1. How is the community faring? I used to be excited whenever conventions are near, but now I feel disgust (yes, you read that right) from the various drama and issues cosplay is facing.

        Like

      2. Unfortunately there are still some bad eggs around, like the infamous ‘pervtographer/bratographer’ issue. It’s probably better if you have your own small group for backup when people are acting immaturely. Most of the time, when I do go to cons, I don’t really hang around and spend the rest of the day with friends somewhere else.

        Liked by 1 person

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