I had a blast at PAX South last weekend! I went last year in PAX South's first year of awesome and had a great time. For 2016, PAX South seemed to double in size, and it was definitely a lot to fit into my convention experience with my one-day Saturday badge.
The biggest change I made from my last year's experience was going in costume. I've always loved making costumes, but last year's PAX inspired me to go into even more detail this time. I went back and forth between several characters (which I will probably cosplay in the future) but I wasn't truly inspired to pour hours, money, and effort into until I saw the new Star Wars movie. I grew up on Star Wars (I literally have no memories of the first time I saw it, because my parents introduced me to it when I was about two years old, before I had long term memory!), so I was very skeptical going into JJ Abrams' movie. Turns out I loved it, I've seen it several times, and Rey has immediately shot up onto my list of favorite Star Wars characters. My choice for a PAX South cosplay became clear.
I did a lot of research on her costume (thank you to the several people who contributed to the RPF thread on Rey!). I found and bought the actual boots from Po-Zu as my big Christmas present to myself (they are easily the most comfortable shoes I own, so I wear them all the time). A month of trips to Jo-Ann, trips to Lowes, trips to thrift stores, and sewing/gluing/weathering after work every day resulted in a made from scratch, pretty accurate costume that I'm very proud of. (Shout out to friends and family who helped with the staff while I went crazy tea-dying everything and sewing vinyl/leather by hand!)
PAX in cosplay is very different from PAX otherwise, especially since I was dressed as the main character of a new, HUGE movie and there were actually very few Rey's there. I had photo requests all throughout the day (including two people who asked to hold my hand while we "ran away" in a photo). I also found an awesome Ruby Rose which I had to share on this site. :)
My favorite moment from the day by far was meeting "Little Rey." I saw her going up to talk to the people at an exhibitor booth, so I went over and asked her dad if it was alright for me to take a photo with her. The expression on that little girl's face when she turned around to talk to her dad and saw me was priceless! She had such a huge smile on and it totally took me back to when I was little and saw women dressed as Disney princesses. That moment made all of the hours, money, and hard work that went into this costume 100% worth it.
We took some photos, I told her her goggles were really cool, and she fist bumped one of my friends. (I'm still smiling right now remembering this).
My group ended our PAX Saturday with dinner at an Irish pub on the Riverwalk. Huzzah to good friends, good cosplay, and a fun adventure. :)