Con Chronicles: Costume Con 32 pt1

Costume Con 32


Holy Goddamn! Just. Yeah. That. I didn’t get to hardly any of the panels I wanted to get to (there were so many for once!) but the rest of the con more than made up for it.


Can we marvel at Jason’s Connor coat here? Goddamn!

So much happened and I met so many people that I’ll try (and probably fail) to recap it without writing an Homeric epic.  But because there’s so many photos and amazing things, I’m splitting this up into two parts.

*Spoilers*: Achilles dies due to his shitty ankle.

CONference vs CONvention

One important difference between Costume-Con and the rest of the ‘Con’ circuit is this: Costume-con is a conference, not a convention. Conventions are more about meeting other fans that share similar interests, while conferences are about developing (professional) skills and improving your craft.

As much as I love cons, it was really refreshing and inspiring to go to a costume conference and learn from panels to improve not only my worksmanship but also my performance and general costuming knowledge.


I have to give a huge shout out to Kurumasha for driving this weekend, and an equally huge thank you to her parents for lending us their van.

Our trip down to Toronto was definitely a leisurely one. We (Melting Mirror, Kudrel and I) needed some last minute supplies for our Masquerade skit, and spent most of the drive hunting for a Dollarama. We learned, unfortunately, that Dollar Tree just doesn’t carry what we were looking for; bamboo poles.

Eventually, when we stopped in Belleville at the Fabricland for last minute things, and poutine, we spotted one across the parking lot. And lo, the clouds parted and there were bamboo poles.

Van and Kudrel

Kudrel was singing the song of my Goat-People

And lanterns, which quickly made us change our Skit completely, and for the better.

Light me up!

They even came in all our colours. The Cosplay Gods were kind that day.


The first full day of the con, much of Friday was frantically crafting to try to Finish both Goat and Bastet to an acceptable level. Unfortunately, I didn’t get Bast to where I wanted her to be. Which kinda sucked, but meeting new cosplayers and catching up with familiar faces was certainly worth it.

They also had an exhibit set up with winning costumes from both from previous Costume-Cons and other local events.

bone Bikini

Um… What nice… skulls you have.

I have to say, the costume above definitely caught Kudrel and I off guard, and we just kind of stared at it for a minute or two. At first, the thing’s pretty hideous, and uncomfortable looking, and kind of disgusting if you think about the fact you’re shoving your mammary glands and hoo-ha into the brain cases of dead animals. The disgust and discomfort didn’t go away.

But the hand-painted detail on the skulls was incredible, and the cloak was made of feathers.

skull staff

It’s exquisite detail, but still doesn’t make up for the skulls on special areas issue.

There were, of course, other, less terrifying examples:

Sarcasm-hime's Moon Dragon

Sarcasm-hime‘s Moondragon

Single Pattern Contest

About that Bastet costume. Some people take the SPC reallllllly seriously. Like LEDs, finished designs and the whole nine yards kind of seriously. Mistakenly, Melting Mirror, Kurumasha and I, did not. We were all ‘well it’s like Iron chef, right? See what you can do with the pattern and giggle with everyone else?’


As mentioned, I didn’t really finish Bastet to a degree I was happy with. As in, I had to rush the top, and wound up with something I A) wasn’t proud of and B) wasn’t comfortable in. While I was tempted (oh, so tempted) to drop out, I stuck it through.

Lesson(s) of the Day

If I commit to something, I should follow it through. BUT. I need to learn to stop committing to too many things. Because then I wind up doing a shoddy job and feeling bad/embarrassed about my work.


The day of the SFF masquerade. WOAHDAMN. I’ve been working on Goat for so long the fact that the day arrived, and I was suddenly done the costume to 100% made me a little nervous. The usual litany of worries were buzzing around in my head:

‘What did I forget?’
‘What if my costume’s not good enough and I bring the group down?’
‘What will break onstage? Will I get arrested for accidental public indecency?’
‘What if the Masq Judges can smell the sweet honeysuckle scent of my fear?’

Luckily, everything turned out great. The makeup, which I was concerned about, looked amazing thanks to a panel I attended Friday about stage makeup. (Contouring: not for the faint of heart!) Once everyone was geared up, we had a shoot with Eleventh Photograph who was amazing as always. I’m still not sure how he’s so energetic all the time. I think he just runs off burgers.

zodiac selfie

Let’s go kick some masquerade ass! But first, let me take a #selfie

After our shoot, we had grand plans to wander around. Instead we dumped the headdresses and had to hit the tech rehearsal. Which, I have to say, while a logistical impossibility for most cons, was a god-send. We were able to smooth out a number of issues and get a real feel for the stage. Afterwards we shuffled up to the hotel room to relax and eat before we had to go check in for the Masq.

in line for the SFF Masq

See what I mean about the lanterns?
Photo thanks to Isa, I think.

To our surprise, there was a line. Right next to the line for the audience. Whoops! While it took away from the excitement of unveiling our costumes, it did work really well for photos. Especially since we had spent most of the earlier part of the day shuffing by as people asked with a ‘sorry, we’re late!’ apology.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Masquerade

Aka the largest Masquerade in Costume Con history. While it was smaller than the Anime North masq’s, I’m told, there was not a single cringey costume in there. The Novices were of journeyman quality or higher, the journeyman cosplayers definitely had some of the con circuit Masters in their ranks.

Why’s this?

Basically, Costume Con follows the ICG rules and ranking, which means that unless you have WON as a Master in an ICG credited Masq, then you can compete in Journeyman. Ditto for Artisans and Journeyman level entrants. Without an Artisan division, the competition is stiffer, and frankly, everyone brought their A-game.

Masquerade CC32

Photo thanks to Terri Boake.

But it all turned out better than planned in the end, and Ottawa fucking represented.

Masquerade CC32 blue

Ditto. Also, Fuck yeah lighting!

Kudrel, Melting Mirror, Vickybunnyangel and myself ended up winning TWO awards in the Master division. As the awards were announced at 1am, we were all exhausted and out of it, and looked at each other in surprise. Twice.

CC32 Masq awards

Hey guys we won, I’m so fucking tired. Let’s celebrate with sleep.
Photo thanks to… Jose R Munoz T.


One for workmanship, one for presentation.

Not only that, but the amazing Detailed Illusion won two as well! #fuckyeahOttawa!

Curious about sunday? Tune in tomorrow, same Calamity time, same Calamity channel!

xx Calamity