Last year when I participated in the BlackMilk photoshoot and meet-up in NYC, JL and Cam made a little announcement about obtaining a Warner Brothers license and I have been looking forward to their Harry Potter collection ever since. Albeit, almost exactly one year later, my nylon Harry Potter dreams are coming true. I couldn’t be happier if a had kitten named Crookshanks to keep my company during the release. Being a Ravenclaw, I was originally worried that the collection would mostly contain pieces allowing wearers to display their Gryffindor and Slytherin house pride, but fortunately BlackMilk has covered all four houses! I’ve been saving up for the release for quite some time since I want to ensure that my Harry Potter wardrobe quota is met.
When BlackMilk released their Lord of the Rings and Hobbit collection, some of my best bi-coastal friends and I met up via Google+ hangout for a Tolkien themed shopping date. We decided to do the same thing for this release, which luckily is earlier than last time. Instead of wine, I’ll be preparing a frosty mug of frozen Butterbeer to consume during our magical shopping spree. I may even don my Ravenclaw dress robes. Below are some of the pieces I’m trying to choose between. Chances are I’ll end up buying most of the items I’ve posted. Too bad I can’t use my Luna Lovegood wand replica to cast a spell that would replenish my bank account. Also unfortunate, my bank account isn’t full of gold and my account isn’t at Gringotts. Nor are my bank tellers Goblins. You can see the full collection on the BlackMilk Pinterest page, but here are my top picks!
Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa is a series that feels as if it were written for me. Having gone to fashion school myself and spending the majority of my years in high school focusing more on my career than studying for tests, I completely relate to Yukari (aka Caroline, aka Carrie). In the beginning, Yukari is a shy student with little confidence and direction, but everything changes for her when she meets Arashi, Miwako, Isabella and George (students at Yaza Arts, a fashion institute). Arashi bumps into Yukari on the street and asks her to be a model for their fashion show. At first, Yukari has many reservations about modeling, but once she visits their atelier she sees how serious the group is about producing and selling Paradise Kiss label clothing. She waits several days to give them her final answer, but she ultimately decides to lie to her mother, skip out on cram school, and help out at the atelier as much as she possibly can. Infatuated by the brands designer, George, and driven by a a newfound career passion, Yukari’s character becomes way more dynamic. Throughout the series she continues to grow and push her sense of free will to the limit.
Yukari immerses herself in the world of fashion. She becomes best friends with Miwako, who is constantly comparing herself and trying to measure up to her older sister, the designer of Happy Berry clothing. Miwako helps Yukari with girly things like picking out clothing and acting as a makeup artist as well as offering her comfort in times of need, and a place to stay when things get rough. Yukari also ditches her childhood crush on a fellow student in high school and gets involved in a twisted and confusing romance with the irresistible George. It’s questionable whether George’s antics are helping or hindering Yukari’s development, but it’s a storyline you’ll be clinging to until the very last word.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the series is how self aware the characters are, and their constant habit of breaking the fourth wall. The majority of Yukari’s communication of her innermost thoughts to the reader is primarily through monologues, while the other characters will turn their heads to the read and blatantly express a thought, apologize for jumping around, or clarify which type of chapter this will be. Also, it would be impossible to fully express my love of this series without mentioning the amazing artwork. Each character is drawn flawlessly! They’re just the right mix of cute, chic, and youthful. Obviously their clothes are to die for (as this is a tale about fashion), and the atelier looks like my high school dream hangout. Throughout the series I felt connected and invested in each character’s life. I will forever be grateful to Betty Felon who enlightened me with her recommendation (for those who don’t know, she’s pretty fashionable herself ^_^). Paradise Kiss is without a doubt my favorite manga series, and I would go so far as to say that it is also one of my favorite series I’ve ever read in any form of literature.
You can pick up all three volumes of Paradise Kiss on Amazon, or at a bookstore near you that sells manga! If you decide to indulge yourself and read the series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Yukari and the Yaza Arts kids!
June 30th marked the birthday of one of my favorite anime characters, Sailor Moon, so I decided to write a post about what’s new and exciting in her world. This year is an especially important year for Sailor Moon as her franchise is celebrating its 20th anniversary which is a huge milestone. In honor of Usagi’s decades of success, Bandai is licensing a ton of new merchandise that I can’t wait to own.
I fell in love with Sailor Moon when I began reading the issues of the reprinted manga that have been re-released in North America beginning in September of 2011. All of the Sailor Moon manga is written by Naoko Takeuchi and the entire run is told through 52 chapters, with several side-stories. In 2012 it was announced that a new adaptation of the anime would be released in the summer of 2013, but it has since been delayed. In the meantime, I highly suggest checking out the manga if you haven’t already.
Back to the new merchandise releases by Bandai! You can pre-order everything online (but you must translate the website, as everything is being released in Japan). If that’s too confusing, you will also be able to purchase them items on eBay once they’re released. Below are some of the items I definitely have to have:
S.H. Sailor Moon & Luna Action Figure $45 (Pre-order) – I saw this figure at New York Toy Fair and I fell in love! It comes with 3 interchangeable faces, 3 left hands, 5 right hands, 2 Moon Sticks, Moon Tiara Effect parts & Luna
Luna & Artemis Phone Case $21.25 (Pre-order) – What’s cuter than two cats sitting under the moon and stars with their tails intertwined?
Miracle Romance Shining Moon Powder $39.95 (Pre-order) – This compact is modeled after Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star Brooch
Miracle Romance Nail Collection $53.45 (Pre-Order) – The nail collection includes the colors of the Sailor Scouts (red, green, blue, pink, orange) and the bottles are modeled after transformation items.
This year Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) coincided with May the Fourth and I was initially conflicted with which sector of geekdom I felt like representing that day. Ultimately, I chose to wear a comic themed ensemble as the previous year, May the Fourth Lando’ed (horrible pun) on the same day as the theatrical release of The Avengers, and I wore Star Wars things. And that is how my mind works. I’m hoping that next year, we’ll get two separate days to celebrate because why not! I ended up spending the majority of my day at Midtown Comics’ Downtown location on Fulton Street. They were one of the only stores in New York City that had signings going on and we all know how much I love getting books signed by authors and artists! After a slight subway mishap when my C train decided last minute that it wanted to be an F, I ended up in Brooklyn, and had to turn around and head back to Manhattan. I had received more stares than usual on the train due to my Supergirl theme, but it was exceptionally weird when a guy started taking photos of me without asking. That’s just creepy. I’m happy to pose for a photo if someone asks permission, otherwise, it’s just uncomfortable.
The first signing I went to had Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos signing copies of Archaia’s FCBD offering, Mouse Guard. I had wanted to purchase a copy of Cow Boy, which is the Archaia book that the pair created together, but sadly, Midtown was out of copies. But I did also have Nate sign my copy of PIGS, so I was really happy about that! While I was chatting with them, Chris took a photo of me which was posted on CBR as part of their Free Comic Book Day Coverage! I had initially been referred to as Supergirl with her Superman, but it looks like they’ve since revised it to say my actual name. Not that I have any issue being referred to as Supergirl. There had already been a line formed outside for Midtown’s later signing with Scott Snyder and Jim Lee who were promoting their new Superman Unchained book for DC Comics, so Nate and Chris went outside and signed books for everyone in the line as well. And Chris sprinted down the alley to Vine a video of the line, which was quite hilarious and ended in him getting chased by motorcycles. I was also so excited to meet other Kristin H., who handles the official New York Comic Con twitter account. We had previously been guests together on a special Geek Girls Named Kristin edition of the Average Intelligence podcast which is hosted by Gary, but we hadn’t ever met in person until FCBD.
After the signing, my friend Tanya and I did a quick run to the new comic shop, Carmine Street Comics, which had just opened two days earlier. Carmine Street Comics is run by two former employees of Manhattan Comics (the old Cosmic Comics), which sadly, closed two after FCBD. I like that their new store focuses on indie comics. Aside from checking out the location and stock, one of the main reasons I wanted to head there is because I had been wanting to read Brad Abraham’s Mixtape ever since fellow blogger Ari did a spotlight of the series on her site. And now I have them! We also ran to Joe’s Pizza which is a famous pizza place which you may remember from Spider-Man 2. It just seemed appropriate. Next we headed to Forbidden Planet for all of three minutes before leaving to meet my friend Lauren, and her roommate Andrea for some sandwiches and comics at the Times Square Midtown Comics. Lauren and I were the perfect embodiment of the day, with me representing Supergirl, and Lauren in a Star Wars tee.
Then it was back to Midtown Comic Downtown for the Scott Snyder and Jim Lee signing. The store was incredibly busy as everyone was really excited to see Scott and Jim. Two of my friends had been scheduled to interview them both before the signing began, Ali for MTVGeek, and Alan for CBR. After their interviews concluded we had some books signed (I had Scott sign my copy of American Vampire Volume 1, and I must’ve had a major brain freeze because I totally forgot to bring my copy of Hush for Jim to sign – who just so happens to be my favorite Batman villain). But oh well, next time! Then we headed out for drinks and some food, but right before leaving to head home, we ran into Scott Snyder outside of bar and he invited us in to hang out for a little while. It was so much fun! Jim Lee bought us drinks and Lisa chatted with him about psychology. Then Alan, being the sweetheart that he is, drove me all the way home so I didn’t have to take the train. Lisa, Alan, and I listened to a Neil Gaiman audio play for our mini road trip, but we only had the time for half so I’m still dying to find out how it ends!
How was your Free Comic Book Day & May the Fourth? Do you have any yearly traditions set up to celebrate your geekdom on either day? I’d love to hear all about them! I broke my usual tradition of doing a comic shop crawl and hitting all of the stores in NYC, but I had an amazing day nonetheless! I was shocked at how quickly the time had passed. Next year, I’m definitely going to make an effort to hit more shops!
After careful consideration I decided to take the weekend off (after the Midtown Comics Book Club and an early morning movie screening), and spend the remainder of Saturday and Sunday at my house being productive and such. Since my closet/room/life, etc. is in a perpetual state of chaos, it felt like the perfect time to attempt to tackle a portion of the disarray. I had already consumed brunch, dropped my brother off at the train station, and picked up my treinta unsweetened green iced tea from Starbucks, so the only pre-cleaning task that remained was choosing the perfect film to keep me company. The obvious choice was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. My love for Scott, Ramona, and co., has never wavered, but ever since the color editions of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s beloved series started being released, I’ve found myself re-immersed in all things Scott Pilgrim. I’ve been saying for ages that I’ve been dreaming of cosplaying Envy Adams, lead singer of The Clash at Demonhead, Scott’s ex-girlfriend, and the current love interest of Ramona’s vegan ex-bf, Todd Ingram. Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness has always been one of my favorite volumes in the series, mainly because of Envy. I’m drawn to Envy for many reasons; 1) her 100% percent rating, 2) she’s a fellow blogger (Knives is not-so-surprisingly one of her devoted fans), 3) her voluminous hair and impeccable sense of style, 4) she’s the lead singer in a super famous band that played with The Pixies, and 5) she has great taste in men (obviously). While I was enjoying the sounds of Sex Bob-omb and cleaning my closet, I realized I already owned the only two items of clothing and few pieces of jewelry needed to cosplay as the movie version of Envy Adams. And so my Sunday morphed into an impromptu cosplay day while dancing around my room to Metric.
And just for good measure, I had to pic-stitch at least one photo of me as Envy and Melissa as Ramona<3
Here are several more of my favorite cosplaying friends. I can only hope that we’ll all reprise our roles one day for a major Scott Pilgrim photo shoot. (Ages: Vary, Ratings: AWESOME.)
Lauren Moran as Ramona Flowers
Giovanni Colantonio as Gideon Graves interviewing Scott Snyder
Since New York Fashion Week is upon us, I thought it would be fun to write a flashback post of one of my fondest memories in fashion. But more specifically, in Star Wars fashion. Not many people can say that attending a fashion show resulted in meeting and shaking hands with George Lucas, and Hayden Christensen, but strangely enough, I can! I attended college at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on 28th street and 7th Avenue (or Fashion Avenue), in New York City and it just so happened that the year I began my continued education was the same year that the Ziegfeld Theater hosted a little event called “Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars.”
I’ll never forget walking into the student life office during orientation and asking if there were any available volunteer positions for the upcoming Fashion Week. It had been close to the week’s commencement and I wasn’t positive there would be anything left, but I figured it was worth a shot. When she looked through the list and then back at me, her response was “Hmm, it seems like all we have left is this Star Wars thing.” STAR WARS THING?! Little did that employee know that she had said the magic words. My heart was racing, my brain was working overdrive, and my imagination began to run wild as my two loves of geekdom and fashion were colliding right before my very eyes. At the time I accepted I had no idea what the show was about nor that I would be meeting and conversing with anyone related to the film franchise.
My job was very simple and I would gladly do it again in a heartbeat. Before the show began, me and several other girls acted as ushers and pointed people in the direction of their assigned seat. It was really a quite simple task requiring almost zero effort, which is not always the case with many fashion shows. Once the doors were shut, and the audience was comfortably seated, we were able to stay and watch the entirety of show (might I add, in prime seating!) as a thank you for our hard work.
The show was held to celebrate the stellar costumes that Trisha Biggar designed for all six of the Star Wars films. As soon as the lights in the theater were dimmed, and the stage was lit, John Williams’ brilliant Star Wars score (which I am listening to as I write this very blog post), began emanating from the speakers and immediately, I was a little kid again, seeing Star Wars for the first time in the theater my father took my brother and I to. There were large screens positioned behind the models onstage which played clips from the movies
Held by Lucasfilm and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) the show celebrated all things Star Wars, and kicked off the “Dressing a Galaxy” exhibit that FIDM later housed in their school’s museum in LA. The show featured 35 Star Wars costumes in total and each design was more breathtaking than the last. I never would have imagined that I would be so close to all of the inspiring and intricate costumes from my favorite franchise. My favorite was Padme’s red voluminous red dress which the model wore with her signature white face makeup and thin red lipstick line.
Thursday September 15, 2005, is a day that will go down in history as the day I met George Lucas. I hung around a little while after the show ended in the hopes of speaking with him, and I was lucky enough to do just that! I was so nervous because he was one of the first really famous people I had ever met that I truly respected. Fortunately, George Lucas was wonderfully charming in person. I may have fangirled out a bit about my love of Star Wars, but Lucas took it like a champ and was very gracious and friendly throughout our entire interaction. I also snagged a photo with a very dreamy Hayden Christensen whom I was totally in love with at the time (what college girl wasn’t?!). I’m pretty sure I only asked him for a photo but didn’t make too much small talk because I was still rather speechless from meeting George Lucas. Keep in mind that this was before I owned a digital camera so I apologize for the awful picture-of-a-picture quality!
Anyway, between “Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars,” and modeling for Her Universe at Star Wars Celebration IV, I feel extremely lucky to have been so involved in the fashion aspect of one of my all time favorite movie franchises. What are some of your favorite experiences? I’d love to hear about them!