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Meet Hermione, one of the 2024 Cosplay Central Crown Championships finalists

After triumphing at Japan Weekend Madrid, the winner of the Spanish qualifier is heading to Chicago to take on the world in the Cosplay Central Crown Championships

Image credit: Xenntek Photography

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Every year, cosplayers from around the world show off their creations at conventions - and the best of the best chase glory at the Cosplay Central Crown Championships. From Australia to South Africa, and across Europe, master-level cosplayers head to their local conventions to compete for the chance to represent their regions and a round-trip ticket to the yearly finals - which take place at Chicago's C2E2 in an show packed with so much incredible cosplay across the last USA Semi-Final and National Final before the global competitors battle it out on stage for the title of Crown Champion and bespoke awards, crafted by Hoku Props for ReedPop.

As excitement builds for the 2024 Cosplay Central Crown Championships finals (which you can watch here for free!), we're talking to the amazing finalists who are getting ready to board a plane and meet their competitors for one last, epic competition.

At Japan Weekend Madrid in September 2023, Hermione claimed her place in the Crown Championships to represent Spain at with a stunning cosplay of Snow White.

POPVERSE: Congratulations on your win! Can you tell us a little about your journey as a cosplayer?
Hi! My name is Julia, but as a cosplayer I am known as Hermione. I started cosplaying fifteen years ago, making small and simple costumes. During all these years I learned to do a little bit of everything, although what I like most is without a doubt sewing princess and magical girl dresses. I am very happy building large skirts, bodices, bows and other garments to which I can add thousands of details. Thanks to this hobby, I have been able to learn to sew and make all kinds of props that have helped me in my professional life.

Do you compete regularly?
Until the Crown preliminary, I had gone several years without participating in a cosplay contest. My last time was in 2017, and after that I haven't done any big cosplay projects. There have been years of a lot of change in my life, work, health problems, pandemic and a bit of loss of motivation have led me to be away from the stage for longer than I would like.

Luckily, I found motivation again with this project and remembered how happy I was when I was part of competitions, especially the international ones. You can travel and meet people from anywhere in the world, get wonderful experiences and make friends for life. It really is something that I love and I still have great friendships for more than ten years.

What was it like winning the Qualifier at Japan Weekend?
When I received the award it was a thousand times more exciting than any of the previous ones, because I thought for a long time that I was no longer good for this and suddenly I had the dream trip ahead of me. I was able to see from the top of the stage while I received the award my friends were excited about it, and it is something that I will never forget.

What inspired you to make your Snow White costume?
Last year my best friend gifted me a ticket for Disneyland Paris as a preset for my birthday and one week later, we were crossing the doors of the most magical place in the world.That trip changed my life and I decided that Snow White would be my next princess dress, since she is very important in Disney history and the beginning of everything.

As soon as I arrived home I stared sewing and now is one of my most loved costumes ever, is really important for me

What was your process for creating this costume?
I made this costume using only fabrics and scraps from other old cosplays. I wanted this costume to have a bit of my entire career as a cosplayer, because I made it as my big project for my 15th anniversary. This was really challenging as I didn't have large quantities of any material, so mistakes weren't an option. Creativity and ingenuity were essential in this project, and I can say that it was perhaps the most fun cosplay to ever make.

Did you learn anything along the way?
This suit has been a challenge in every way, since I learned new pattern making techniques, studied a lot about antique clothing and dresses, returned to goldwork and learned new ways to embroider and decorate dresses.

During the making process, my main goal is for the costume to be full of details, shine and perfectly finished.

What is your favorite part of the costume? And Why?
Definitely the sleeves and the flare of the skirt. Creating those sleeves was not easy at all to get the shape and be able to introduce all the details I wanted in them. In addition, the skirt has many meters inside to achieve a beautiful movement, which I had been wanting to have in one of my dresses for years.

Although if I'm really honest, what I really like most about this cosplay is that I feel really happy every time I see it in a photograph or on the mannequin.

Hermione details

Are you making any upgrades for the Finals?
I am adding more small details to the cosplay, fixing small defects, restoring all the inner skirts since they are a little damaged and above all I am remaking the embroidery of the dress with goldwork techniques.

What are you most looking forward to about the final in Chicago?
This will be my first time at a convention and contest outside of Europe, so I couldn't be more excited and impatient for it. Every time I think about this trip I am happy thinking about the amount of beautiful memories I will bring back home in my suitcase. Having the opportunity to meet so many great cosplayers, see their incredible work, enjoy the country and feel proud of my dress are my main goals.

Any advice for anyone thinking about entering a competition like this?
I think what the road to Chicago has taught me most is that above all, enjoy the entire process that comes with being a cosplayer and making a cosplay. Winning is important, of course, but in the end what fills your heart is seeing how you shape ideas, designs, implement techniques, learn, meet people, improve yourself in each suit you make... There will be projects that you will do better , others not so much, but in the end we have to think that we do this for fun and enjoy something we have in common, we love cosplay

You can follow Hermione on Instagram

The Cosplay Central Crown Championship finals will be one of many C2E2 2024 panels Popverse will be livestreaming this year.

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