Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Netherlands Elf Fair

I thought I'd been to some big costume events over the years. Then last weekend I attended the Elf Fantasy Fair, held near The Hague in the Netherlands, and it knocked my socks off. I'd never imagined LARPing could exist on such a scale. It's huge! It's so professional! There are hundreds and hundreds of stalls, laid out in parkland surrounding a beautiful castle. You can shop till you drop, or just spend the day watching the eyecandy and goggling at the costumes - about half of the attendees are in fancy dress: Goths (lots of them), historical re-enactors of every era, Manga fans, steampunk Victorians, latex kinksters, combat enthusiasts, furries, exhibitionists, gamers, pirates, transvestites, angels and demons and fairies. They come to see and be seen.

Some of the costumes had had incredible care lavished upon them - I know how many hours can go into hand-sewing a patchwork cloak - and although the weather was beautiful, many a full-length wedding dress and ballgown will never be the same after being promenaded along those woodland paths.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you a broad selection of the many photos I took. What does not come across in the pictures was just how crowded the event was! [Click on a photo to enlarge]

And this Snow Queen must win some sort of prize for the least costume ... What would she have done if it had been raining and cold?



Fulani said...

So is there really a Dutch Goth Women's Whipcracking Olympic team??
And people say Ilook scary with a bullwhip in my hands...!

Jo said...


I'm a little disappointed the Snow Queen didn't put a little more effort into her pants.

I mean. Scraggy aul white panties?? Some nice M&S white lace at least.

I'm blown away by the rest though. People are amazing.

t'Sade said...

Wow, those are amazing. And that corset one... yummy. But, it is always cool to go to these things and just seen the creativity that everyone has.

Jeremy Edwards said...

I don't know what those purple twins are supposed to be ... but whatever it is, I like it. : )

Janine Ashbless said...

I love the creativity, and the care, and the vision people have of a different world. :-) We saw a family - 3 -generations: Grandad and Grandma were swinging the littlest toddler between them as they walked. Grandad was wearing a beautiful imperial Russian outfit; Grandma was wearing a PVC corset!

Next time, I'm going in costume too.

Jo said...

Were you not just a little dsappointed to find that you couldn't actually buy any elves though? I mean, Elf Fair, the name is a tad misleading.

Madeline Moore said...

You Europeans have so much fun!
It looks wonderful Janine. Actually, you have many wonderful adventures, don't you? Thank you for sharing them with those of us who hole up in our apartments for months at a time . . . (note proper ellipses, I am reading the copy editor's notes on the crime novel. OMG she/it's brilliant.

Janine Ashbless said...

And I feel I waste too much time, when I should be working, Madeline!