The day after the EuroCosplay 2017 final (sponsored by GLAM GLOW), the Pop Asia stage saw the third, second and overall champion attend the winners panel, hosted by MCM Community Manager and cosplay guru, Joe ‘Granny Gertrude’ Black.
In attendance was third place finisher, Takamy from Latvia, cosplaying Abominable Mei from Overwatch; runner-up Iardacil from Estonia, cosplaying Amira from Otoyomegatari; and the EuroCosplay champion, Merry All-Nighter cosplaying as Roxie Hart from Chicago. They all happened to be in the cosplays that they performed in during the EuroCosplay final.
Asked on how she felt being crowned the European champion, Merry said, “I’m still trying to comprehend it. It’s kind of like a dream come true that you didn’t know you were dreaming about.”
They were all asked why they cosplay and how they came to be in the final. Merry revealed that she had been cosplaying since 2008. She took part in WCS last year and won the Brother award. “That kind of encouraged me to try for the EuroCosplay qualifiers,” she said. “I’ve always been really shy about competing. The thing is, I’m more of a craftsmanship person, not really a performer. That’s why I particularly wanted to try EuroCosplay, because I knew it’s more [craftsmanship focused].” Asked on Roxie Hart being a character that Merry is passionate about, she replied, “I really, really, really love Chicago. I watch it at least once a year, every year.”
“This is actually the second cosplay I have done by myself,” said Iardacil, who then explained that she had actually been making costumes for LARPing for 15 years. “It was actually my husband who told me, ‘Maybe you should try cosplaying.’ And I thought, ‘Why not?’” After competing in a local cosplay competition in 2016, she then wanted to try EuroCosplay. She decided on Amira from Otoyomegatari, for after she read the manga, she fell in love with the costume and always wanted to make it.
Takamy explained that she had been cosplaying for seven years, but competing in EuroCosplay was a big dream of hers. “It’s so cool to be here and represent my country,” she said. “I’m a huge fan of Blizzard, a really huge fan. When I saw Overwatch, and I saw Mei, I chose to cosplay her because she’s so cute.”
Conversation turned to making their winning costumes, as each cosplayer stood up and made their way to the front of the stage. Takamy stepped forward and pointed to the mustaches on her boots. “I love these mustaches, it’s my favourite part,” she said, who then went on to explain that she always tries to make her costumes authentic. So because Mei lives in Antarctica, Takamy created a costume that she could use to live in Antarctica.
Iardacil was next to stand up and showcase her cosplay, as she explained that she was not prepared for how long it would take her to create, saying, “It took me more than a year to do it. Just with this coat, it was four months, almost non-stop from morning till the evening, all my free time just went to the embroidery.” She said that the coat and the detailed embroidery was her favourite part, adding that it was made from cotton wool and a lot of leather. She also mentioned that you have to love the costume that you’re making, because “you have to have this commitment to not give up.”
As Merry stepped up to talk about her cosplay, Joe said how less can sometimes be more, noting how cosplayers wearing a small costume have the hard task of having to cram more into a small area. Merry’s cosplay of Roxie Hart was not just sequins, as she explained it was comprised of bugle beads, as well as rhinestones and tear shaped Swarovski crystals. “It’s an old movie, it’s from 2002,” said Merry of her reference. “For these costumes, there really wasn’t any close-ups. There’s like one tiny picture that shows what’s used in it, and that’s how I knew to find bugle beads and rhinestones. But for the pattern, you have to rely on the auction pictures and screencaps. Because it’s really shiny, it’s really hard to decipher what the pattern is, but I tried to do my best.”
The winners were then asked on their experience of EuroCosplay. “All the other 26 competitors have been friendly, nice, incredibly talented,” said Merry. “I think we had a great competition.”
Iardacil agreed, saying, “It was a really friendly atmosphere and I loved how supportive everybody was. For me the judging was totally surprising. I have only been in very few competitions, so they’re always different. That five minutes was like a very big time limit for me.” Having looked up EuroCosplay for the last few years, she said she was backstage after her performance, thinking to herself, “Oh my God, did I ever believe that I would be in EuroCosplay, sitting here, backstage, actually watching the performances live. That felt amazing.”
“I’m very happy that I’m here,” responded Takamy, saying that she largely agreed with what Iardacil and Merry said and couldn’t really add anymore. “I think this is a really amazing event, it’s a very amazing contest, it’s so amazing!”
Joe then told the trio that there were over a thousand people watching in the theatre, and many more viewing the final on the live-stream, and wanted to know if they found it daunting of if they were used to performing in front of a big audience.
“I was really nervous,” responded Takamy.
“My performance was very complex, said Iardacil. “I was always thinking, ‘What is the next step?’ So I didn’t have time to think, ‘What is the audience?’ or, ‘What is going on?’ I was just concentrating on what is going on with my performance.”
With that, the EuroCosplay 2017 winners Takamy, Iardacil and Merry were then handed their trophies.
By Shalimar Sahota.
Thank you to James Reid at the Pop Asia Stage.