This past weekend, Comic Con Africa, Africa’s largest multi-genre pop-culture and gaming festival, hosted the first ever, one-of-its kind and innovative Sew-a-thon challenge putting contestants to the test in an intense and nail biting 8 hour “sew-off” challenge.
Photo credits to Ziyaad Plaatjes
In partnership with Brother South Africa and STADIO school of Fashion, the Sew-a-thon brought together fashion students, experts, cosplayers and everyday fashion enthusiasts from all across South Africa.
The 31 finalists kicked off early on Saturday morning, excited and nervous for the challenge that put their skills to the test, creating their costumes under the time challenge.
“It was wonderful to see so many communities come together from different walks of life, sharing their passions and skills while having fun all in the midst of competition. Cosplay is a cornerstone of Comic Con Africa, and behind every great cosplay is a great designer. This challenge highlighted more than talent and craftmanship, it brought various people with a united interest together, and showed just how vibrant the cosplay community really is,”
said Rene Staack Programme Director for Comic Con Africa.
“Brother South Africa is proud to be in partnership with Comic-Con Africa and STADIO School of Fashion at the first Comic-Con Africa Sew-a-thon held recently in Johannesburg. The 8-hour sewing challenge saw a wide variety of impressive cosplay outfits created by the contestants. As an additional requirement, contestants also made baby beanies to be donated to the Home of Hope charity based in Cape Town. We will continue our support of the baby beanie initiative and challenge everyone attending Comic-Con Africa in September to bring at least one baby beanie to donate. Come and visit us at the event and we will gladly accept your beanies and any other donations to pass on to Home of Hope,"
says Munna Desai, Sewing Sales Manager at Brother South Africa.
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Contestants worked till the very last seconds on their creations and the panic was palpable in the last 30 mins as they rushed to complete their work in time to be judged.
The judging was intense and professional, and the panel included esteemed judges Chenelle van Wyk ,Sewing and Craft executive at Brother South Africa; Patrick Brill, Academic Supervisor Stadio School of Fashion; Terese Potgieter, Discipline Leader for Design at the STADIO School of Fashion; Jinxie Cosplay and Ludus Cosplay. Judges scored contestants on criterion based on their story board, pattern, finishes, design, and overall execution and were left impressed by what came out of the day.
“Quite often people are intimidated by the Fashion environment because of the glamour and stigma of status that is created by society, but I think this event showed us that fashion is accessible to all. At the School of Fashion we aim to create an inclusive environment, where anyone and everyone feels safe to express who they are and the Comic Con Sew-a-thon really highlighted that inclusivity,”
commented Petro Naude, Head of Academics for STADIO School of Fashion.
The winners, Cheyenne du Preez, who took third place, Ray van Rooyen who took second, and Maou, who won the grand-prize, stunned the judges with their ready-to-wear creations and walked away with a cash prize, a Brother Labelling machines, 2 tickets to the SOF Fashion show as well as Comic Con Africa 2022 4-day passes.
Cherelle Vermaak and Jessica Lu earned honourable mentions. These mentions were given as the two participants who both missed the 3rd-place slot by tiny margins, but their work truly impressed the judges and the spectators on the day.
Guests at Comic Con Africa this year can not only look forward to dressing up themselves, but also seeing these creations at the show, as all the participants from the challenge have been invited to display their costumes at Comic Con Africa in September this year.
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