torsdag den 24. juli 2014

Party in Paris! European Cosplay exchanGe programme

I have returned from this summer's Paris adventures. I went to Paris to participate in the ECG - European Cosplay Gathering - as a representative for my dear country, Denmark. I was at Japan Expo two years ago as well and decided that I simply had to stay and actually feel Paris this time around - but more about those days in a later post... 

Firstly, I was so excited before going! Having been there before I had a feeling that it would be amazing - and I was not disappointed....
I didn't think I would get to experience Paris so in-depth during the ECG part of my Paris party. But already the first day I did! We went to the bank og the Seine and had a meet 'n' greet party with all the participants, helpers and organizers! Since I'd already been to JE twice I recognized some faces.. The fact that a few of us already knew or knew of each other benefited everyone since the atmosphere became much more amiable and relaxed! Super cool :D

Seeing friendly faces warmed my heart... C: 
Then came Wednesday, the frist day of JE. We had a free day and just walked around for a bit, getting to know the convention spaces. The other girls were quite overwhelmed haha! I saw these two cuties as well - there were A LOT of free huggers and I was told it is a fairly new 'problem' in France. So odd how convention trends differ from country to country!

The Epic staff's very throughough explanation of the convention plan. And we found this one stand that was a nerdy quick dating spot!!! They had ads in the rest rooms boasting of 'new possibilities' and 'finding unexpected romance'.

My favourite stand every damn year. Their paper crafts are just sooo amazing! I NEED this Aurora in my life...

During the 5 convention days I saw all the cosplay shows but I also got to see some cultural things - for example these gorgeous performers.

I call this "we are Danish and slightly lost".

To my surprise I actually bought some things at the convention this year! I haven't done that in aaaages. But I knew I was doomed as soon as I saw the stands with Japanese brand clothing and accesories. So I bought a CO&LU shirt and some dazzling jewelery I couldn't resist. Did you know I have a weak spot for stars? 'Coz I do... also we styled my Hera wig one of the evenings - I didn't want to risk messing it up during transport.

Thursday we took some photos in the photography area around the 100 % cosplay stage. We came at the right time - after getting our numbers the queu was suddenly 10x longer!

They had some very funny backgrounds haha! Collision of genres. I wore Anastasia that day and saw one more Opera version of her. Throughought JE I saw sooo many cosplays of her! She's become a popular lady...

I had some photos taken with the Swiss team. We bonded quickly due to their Anastasia cosplays haha - that's what I love about this hobby: it brings people together very easily! We also went to the Tales Of contest and saw a fashion show! I adored their make-up.

There were so many cute cosplayers. That Mulan and I fangirled over each other. At the Kawaii area - yes, there were such a thing - Fujifilm had a photo op where you could go get instant photos! And they gave every member of the party one photo. It was free of charge - so cool!

Tales Offff. And I found out I'm in this issur of CosplayGen along with some other Danish ladies. Groovy!
We went on the 100 % cosplay stagr and drew our lineup number for the Saturday finals. I've been told that you could se my face drop when I found out I was the very last one up hahah!
This was also the day where the bus for the hotel took off without us in it and we spent 2 hours waiting with the Epic staff. Damn I was hungry in the end! But we got some good laughs with the Belgians and Portuguese.

Friday it was time for on-stage country presentations. I debuted Hera and was verrrry surprised at the response I got - I thought she was too odd to be so widely recognized. But the dear French went around murmering "Ah! C'est 'Era de 'Erkyle". Took me a while tp remember that they don't pronounce the Hs. 

Okay, confession time. We all thought it was kind of a statement to walk on stage as gods... I mean, that's one way of introducing yourself haha. It was also a way for us to match even though we were not from the same series.

Meeting people from ECG 2012 was such a joy. You never know how much you actually miss them... and moar fashionn  and cosplay show. Naturally. 

I felt so wack with my concealed eyebrows haha. Then came rehearsals and bed! And suddenly it was Saturday and things became reallll. Look at us, Vikings getting pumped uppp.

We had our 2nd rehearsals and had Omaru videoshoot us + photographers to shoot us before the finals. Busy morning!

Then everything was set and at 14.45 the show started! Everyone was baclstage and cheering for each otherrr - I especially used all of my lungs to go all hooligan. 
The reason I'd been sort of sad about my placement in the lineup was that I got the craziest 
stage fright for the first time in my life two years ago. I mean, 17.000 people are a LOT. 

But I didn't feel that this time around! So even though a lot of things went wrong and I can see the panic in my eyes due to my bad or wrong lighting in the videos I am still so sp happy and proud of myself to have kept my head in the game. 
Also yes, I did also wear Astrid because I thought it'd be hella rad to be a Viking on stage as a Danish representative ... No regrets, just love.

Here you can see me in shining action. The first is the official ECG - be sure to check out the entire show. It's only 1h 15min and I promise you it's a fantastic show!
Second video had better lighting so you can actually see me the first 30 seconds.

So many people! I still find it crazy that the show only lasts so little time... It was over so quickly! The French know how to push the time limits haha!

Finals-over-and-done-with-selfie with some of mah Danish gurls + an instant backstage bonus with Belgians + UK (whom took home both Group and Solo 1st price! W00p w00p!).
In the evening we had the infamous European Snack Gathering which was AWESOME but also a bit overwhelming. Everyone was there - past, present and future participants, organizers, helpers and judges. And of course there was wayyy too much food.

Sunday was another day of walking the convention space + photoshooting in Hera. I bought a gift for Rasmus, tagged along the DKos girls while they shot cosplayers for the JE spread...

... and went to see the ECG qualifiers! I was dying of beauty in the Princess Tutu act - they NAILED the dance moves and expression and I adores their shadow beginning.

The winners, the Injustice group, was super exciting! They were my favourites wooo.


Here are those two performances. They were my favourite non-ECGfinals performances of the convention. Also check out the La Belle et La Bête from the ECG selections - they pushed all my film history nerdy buttons. It's a film from 1945 and they made their costumes in black and white!

We took one last skim around the con and then sat down the watch the winners for next year's ECG being called. A loooot of people turned up to watch it.

Damien went around a gave us Pony freebies - I got one to match my baby. It even has a red ribbon like the medal's "chain"! Too perfect haha.

We got our season4 ECG shirts and a lot of us changed into them immediately. Mine of course went pink on the inside... Aybike's cute commentary on this photo was "Liv looks like a English tourist on the beach.

In the evening we had the farewell party that ended up as a Pizza party. Basically it turned into ESG 2.0 because the leftover snacks from the day before were brought out and munched on. Junk food after a convention WEEK? Best idea ever. I was happy for the extended period of time we'd had together, but 6 days of convention activities are a lot! Everyone was absolutely beat at this point. Farewells suck and this time wasn't any better. I made new bonds and the old ones even stronger - the old ECG 2012-reunion faces were the hardest to say goodbye to... You start to really feel like long-distance close friends after seeing each other more times.

But I am left with a feeling of absolutely unspeakable joy about the experience I've been so blessed to have been given once again. This was even better than last time, if possible. And now we have photos and videos to warm our hearts and remind us of a great time spent in each others' company. Kimberley filmed this über cute and social "cosplay" video which I will conclude this ECG post with. 
The best part was being part of it...

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