Sunday, June 19, 2011

Anime Next 2011: A Little Frilly Adventure

A few weeks ago I went on a surprise adventure with a few of my new and old friends to New Jersey. The occasion? Anime Next, an annual convention and one of the biggest in the tri-state next to New York Anime Fest. The convention was full of improvements from the first year I went back in 2006, including a new location that I had never been to and a much more easy to find set up! The best part about Anime Next though? Lots of Lolita friendly events! Though I didn't get to go to all of them I did go to some and the ones that I made my way to were very special memories I'll keep with me forever.

First off it's best to note the guests that were in attendance at the convention. Kanon (from An Cafe) and Mr.Sakurai (a fellow journalist and lover of japanese pop culture) were making the trip to Jersey bringing with them a love of Lolita and Jrock to the event. Also the h.Naoto spin off brand Sixh was there, selling tons of clothes and even having their own fashion show. But the one I was the most excited for? Yu Kimura. You might know this adorable idol from Kera Magazine and I'll be honest that she's my favorite model and one of my lolita inspirations. With that in mind I just had to go to Anime Next!

My first stop at the con was going to Kanon and Sakurai's panel. Though I had been to one of their panels before at Otakon of last year, this was a treat to get to hear them speak again. I asked them if they were wearing Alice and the Pirates that day to which I got a very enthusiastic yes! The rest of the questions were about Kanon's An Cafe work and some cosplay related questions. Though these were really things of my interest it was neat to hear them speak about anything.

Then came time for the Tea Party. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to go since usually I'm a bit more into going to fandom events at conventions then more fashion events, but I changed my mind when I started to follow the crowd of frilly girls into a supposed "secret area". We continued to walk down the Double Tree Hotel's hallway and noticed further and further that we weren't going to any normal location. Turns out we were going to the Presidential Suite of the hotel which has always been a dream of mine to go into!

Inside a whole party was set up for us with tons of sweets and varieties of tea. The best part was seeing them being put out for us by Kanon and Mr.Sakurai himself. We entered into the tiny kitchen of the suite and there you could see Kanon preparing the treats onto plates for us and sort of just hanging out when finished. For me this was the best treat of all, getting to see a fashion celebrity that I admired just relaxing with us and being a normal person when he would be thought of to be otherwise.

Then we were told to enter the social area of the suite. Unfortunately it seemed the hosts weren't expecting that many people to come to the party so not everyone had a chair, but Kanon tried his best to make up for it by carrying chairs to the rest of us who didn't have one. I can't exactly put into words who cool it was to have Kanon personally bring you a chair, it's one of those moments that'll stick with me for a long time. Next Mr.Sakurai asked us what we do in terms of our Lolita lifestyles which was really neat to speak of with him. I sort of wished there had been a few less people or enough space for us to even more intimately speak with him on such things but the amount of interaction we got was amazing and more then I ever would have thought possible.We then proceeded to take lots of pictures and even had a special appearance by Yu Kimura herself, who was completely decked out in Angelic Pretty's French Cafe. I even got a special picture with Mr.Sakurai and Kanon by myself!

Later on in the day I got to meet Yu Kimura again. I did get two pictures with her but they are on my friends camera and hopefully I can post them here soon since they are pictures I'll treasure forever. Ms.Kimura is beyond the sweetest girl I've met. I told her how much she means to me as a Lolita and how I only came to the convention to see her, which then she replied with the biggest smile and a big hug! I even got her CD which is adorable and I definitely recommend getting. I also was lucky enough to see her mini concert during The Masquerade and she did a great job.

Overall Anime Next was a great experience and if they get more cool guests like this next year I'll totally go again for sure. One more thing to note, I decided right after the convention to send a thank you tweet to Ms.Kimura. I just so happened luckily enough to get a response:

Dreams really do come true sometimes~!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dress Up Time #13: Jem and the Holograms

I know, I know I talk way too much about Jem and the Holograms. But can you really truly blame me? It's a series that basically embodies all my favorite things about being a woman and in turn being a lolita. The main character wears pink to an extent far reached by others that sparkles and shines in a glorification of tacky yet fabulousness style. The characters all have big hair which currently is a big trend in lolita fashion, especially in sweet that also comes in a wide variety of colors and shapes. We even have budding romances with ridiculous pretty boys that probably in real life they couldn't exactly exist or probably wouldn't be the kind of guy that you'd date. Overall Jem exudes a sort of fantasy that brings about all of my female related interests along with those of many others!

So here on LVF, all of June will be a celebration of Jem as you can see already by the music and graphics on the page! So, how exactly does one bring themselves into a outfit that is truly outrageous and fabulous just like Jem and her friends? Here are some tips and ideas into becoming a frilly version of a Jem girl yourself!

The best place to start is your main dress piece. I'd go with something on the more casual side, like this AP Pop Rock Onepiece in pink! Angelic Pretty makes a couple of these sorts of pieces every year, but this one is my favorite and perfect for Jem! Next you need to bring on the neon pink with a pair of tights to continue with the 80's appeal. Though I always think tights add to an outfit, they especially add a touch to this look.

Jem is all about the dramatic make up, so don't forget to add on some high colored matte eyeshadow. My favorite comes from Make Up Forever who happens to have a great selection of Jem appropriate colors. Sometimes back in the day Hot Topic used to have some good shades that worked well too sadly though I don't remember the brand names.

Now onto the accessories and the shoes! The best part of the Jem is her magical earrings that give her the epic hologram powers that we love her for. Many people make replicas of them on etsy, so you should find them easily and for a decent price! You definitely need a big bow to match Jem's big personality. My bows come from this etsy store Miss Alphabet! She makes the accessories used in shoots of Locketship Jewelry which definitely go together with Jem flawlessly. The shoes are something essential since Jem always wears a good pair of heels. These come from Angelic Pretty as well and the bows are just to die for, also some shoes from ModCloth will do the trick. The final touch on this inspired coordinate is some kind of pink in your hair. You could either have a small extension piece or go with a full wig. Either way it's sure to complete your "showtime" look!

So think you can take on being part of the Holograms and going against the Misfits? Even if you're not a musician you can still rock this 80's glam style to the most and bring out the most outrageous side of your frilly style with the help of Jem. Try it out and see what adventures you come across!

Monday, June 6, 2011

June is Here!? Frilly Entertainments to Get You In The Summer Mood!

Summer has officially arrived and with that it's time to bring on those long summer days of relaxing, dreaming and watching tons of fun things of course to continue your imagination in the most Lolita of ways. Here are a list of Summer must sees and haves that'll get you wanting to frolic through the bright hot days!
The Little Mermaid (70's and Disney TV Series)
I've mentioned this one on the blog before, but is probably one of my favorite animated pieces ever. I can't really call it a complete film, but more like a ridiculously pretty television special. It's the Hans Christian Anderson Version told in the shoujo Anime style of the 70's/80's (my favorite time period in anime). It's absolutely beautiful, colorful and full of emotional development. I recommend it for a good snuggle movie with your prince, mostly because you'll need his shirt as a tissue afterwards.

But on the other hand we have the Disney Little Mermaid TV Series, one that is so full of fluff it will mend any broken bit you have from the previous movie. There are multiple episodes that incredibly adorable that eventually you might find yourself wanting to walk away that you can't handle it, including the music - but then there is a big catch with episodes that actually are incredibly interesting. The stand out episodes in my mind are "Whale of a Tale", "Stormy" and my personal stand out favorite "Metal Fish". This episode is one of those weird "breaking the fourth wall" kinds that features a character named Hans Christian Anderson (if that name rings a bell, it should! Thats the person that wrote the original fairy tale.) who eventually after Ariel saves him goes and writes the same exact story! Whichever you chose, you'll certainly want to splash into one of these adventures.
Fairy Tale Theater
If you grew up only a mere 20 or more years ago, you probably know about Fairy Tale Theater. If for some reason you don't I say with love and devotion, shame! Fairy Tale Theater is the work of everyone's favorite cheese-ball Shelley Duvall, where she would produce these mini movies of famous tales (she would also star in some of them too!) and get big stars of the time to play important roles. I have a couple of favorites to mention such as "The Frog Prince" (Robin Williams), "Beauty and the Beast" (Susan Sarandon) and "The Nightingale" (David Bowie) just to name a few! But if you get a chance, see them all - they'll bring you to a clean fresh world of fantasy this summer!

Yu Kimura's EP "Transcendent Harazyuku girl revolution"
I'll tell you a little secret that actually isn't little in the slightest, my favorite model and idol is Yu Kimura of Kera/Angelic Pretty/Fairy Kei fame! She was the Ambassador of Cuteness in 2009 and is now fully going into an epic and adorable singing career. I got the chance to see Yu this past weekend and let me tell you, she's got the making of something great. She's got the whole package of adorable personality, spunk and fashion sense along with really catchy tunes. Though maybe not something you'd bring about to your frilly ears, I definitely recommend checking this girl out and is the perfect set of tunes to lighten up your summer!

Jem returns to TV on The Hub
A few of you Nostalgia freaks like myself might be in the know, but if you don't know the most totally cool news on the block this summer then let me tell you: Jem and the Holograms is back on TV! I've already discussed Jem in one of my Iconic Love Letter articles, but if you don't know a thing about Jem or just have heard the rumors of this pink beauty then I absolutely demand you to see this! It'll be on in the mornings and late nights on The Hub, the greatest new channel on TV with tons of other nostalgic and soon to be nostalgic TV shows! (Look out for another Jem related post soon!) If you need something that can give you fun music, silly moments and total fashion inspiration look no further then Jem!

Scented Cooling Mists
I can't hide it, I'm someone who gets hot and burns really fast (I suffer from being ridiculously pale and Irish). The Summer for that reason isn't a joy for me in the slightest - that is until only a few weeks ago! I just discovered the rebirth of the Cooling Mists and now this new creation at stores with Scented versions! My favorite comes from Bath and Body Works with their name Coconut Mango collection. If you are looking for the most perfect thing to have this extremely hot summer I can't recommend this enough and how it is 100% a Lolita must have!

So those are some of my recommendations for this summer - it beats the heat and adds a splash of new inspiration! What is something you girls recommend for the summer? Let me know!