Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vote for Julia! (please)

Hey guys, I'm still taking a small break from my blog, but Sunday was a small costume competition at my local Anime merch store, Anime Zakka. I somehow managed to scrounge together a Sailor Jupiter costume the day of the event, after helping my friend make a costume for herself. I was super lazy and stressed, so I never got personal pictures of our costumes, but the photographer they had did an amazing job.
So First off, here's how the contest works: Anime Zakka posted our pictures on their facebook page and whichever costume gets the most "likes" before Monday (11/4) will win the prize of a gift card for their store. easy peasy, right? I'd really appreciate if my readers could help me or my friend win (you can vote for as many entries as you like, so also look at the other contestants).
 As I mentioned, I made this costume the day of, with some help from my mom (she had to sew me in because there wasn't enough time for a zipper). I still need to put the sleeves on, then closures, then I wan wear it again. You can vote for me here.
Winnie is definitely on my list of cutest Kiki cosplayers,and by far the cutest I've seen in real life. She even borrowed a little Jiji and a broom like the one used to save Tombo. You can vote for Winnie here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

At New York Comic Con

Hey guys. I'm at NYCC on Saturday, work on Sunday, and resting Monday, so I don't know when a new post will be.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Best of Bombshells

I'll admit I love the DC Bombshell series of figurines, but I seriously don't have the budget for them. Second best thing is finding the art and similar art on t-shirts which are much less costly and easier to show off to the public.
$18.95 at Graphitti Designs
I'd have to say that my favorite of the Bombshell series is the Supergirl. I love the bright primary colors and the patriotic background. also cute dresses are a thing I like, in case you didn't know.
$18.95 at Graphitti Designs
Harley here has the advantage of as well as being a bombshell, she is also riding one. The two-toned bra look is now pretty common for Harley, but is actually fitting here. I think the design is pretty strong and the "slightly dangerous" is pretty cute.
$25 at We Love Fine

Not a DC Bombshell, but still pretty is this "War Bird" Captain Marvel shirt.  Again, I love primary colors so I am a bit biased. I'm loving her shirt ans skirt, while her shoes leave me a bit confused. I like that while she has many similarities to the Supergirl design in her colors, her scarf, and her hair, both are clearly independent designs.

Graphitti Designs also has a Wonder Woman bombshell shirt and a Poison Ivy bombshell shirt, While We Love Fine has a Black Cat bombshell shirt.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

College Night at the Museum of Science

So I got myself trapped in one of those "If I ignore my blog long enough, people will forget I haven't updated in a while" cycles where I wasn't doing anything in my social life and feeling really bad about it. I don't know when my next post will be, so no false hope for you guys, but I did go on a little adventure with some friends recently.

As many of you remember from last year, the Museum of Science has a night each year that's free to college students. I think last year they actually closed the museum early so the college students had free reign. I saw a few children this year, so maybe they kept it open still?

Here's my outfit:
I had wanted to wear something science-y, but I guess that's just not in my closet atm. But hey, I have a scientist, an engineer, and a doctor on my chest and that's close enough.

I didn't get any pictures besides these. Playing around with scale and size. I couldn't decide if I was supposed to feel like Goldilocks or Alice in Wonderland. I liked the biggest chair most of course 'cause it made me feel tall.
There's a Science of Pixar exhibit in the works and I thought the most interesting part was a real life model of a single room where you turned dials to change the lighting, then went to a computer with a CGI model of the same room and try to recreate the same lighting. It's really not as easy as I thought it should be since the lighting doesn't follow the same rules. There was also a display where tiny balls would be released down  an incline to show how CGIwater is made to flow using the same principles.

Oh and a short update in my life is I finally got a job, where being jobless and moneyless was part of the reason I was so inactive.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wa-Lolita and Cultural Appropriation

I'm terribly sorry about not updating in months, I've been kinda depressed and unenthusiastic about everything. But on the bright side, that means I have a backlog of things to post about. First up is a long one that's been on my mind for a while.

As my twitter followers might have noticed around month ago, I went to my first Lolita meet-up. In honesty I was extremely nervous: my outfit was homemade, and I have met and seen very brand oriented people in Lolita; and I had chosen to wear Wa-Lolita, a subsection inspired by traditional Japanese clothing. I didn't want to be branded as a "weaboo" or seen as too costume-y, but I was in love with the style.

I never got a better picture with the parasol, so here's a selfie

and the final product of my hard work
I was really surprised by how nice everyone at the meet-up was. There were quite a few new people who I made friends with, as well as some really experienced members of the local group. Everyone was really impressed by my dress, and I figured maybe I had just been exposed to the wrong people. I, feeling more confident in the lolita community, looked on Tumblr to see if what others had worn in way of Wa-Loli since many of the girls I had talked to expressed interest in the subsection.

The most common phrase I found together with Wa-Loli was cultural appropriation. This was all soon after the whole Lone Ranger fiasco with teenage girls dressing up in what they thought of as Native American attire (suede with fringe and feather headdresses) to match Johny Depp's character, so the term was already on my radar. It was really surprising how vocal some people were, arguing to never wear wa-loli because it is cultural appropriation and offensive and bad and on the same level as wearing a geisha costume for Halloween. It got me thinking "had I just done a bad thing?"

My answer is no. I don't think I've done anything offensive. My first reason is tied to what Wa-Lolita is. As I stated earlier, Wa-Lolita is a subsection of the Lolita street fashion. Lolita originated in Japan and is designed to mimic European fashions usually from the Victorian era or the Rococo period. Wa-Lolita is a fusion of the Japanese kimono with the aesthetics and silhouette of Lolita fashion. Wa-Lolita is not a cultural symbol, but a fashion style.

"But in changing the kimono, a cultural symbol in Japan, you are being disrespectful."
I have been interested in and casually studying Japanese culture for five or so years. I researched how kimonos are made in order to make the pattern for this dress. Honestly, kimonos are not taken very strictly anymore. There are few rules, all of which I adhered to such as only closing it left-over-right and giving it as close to an accurate a fit as I could with my body type. There are kimonos for special occasions, sure, but I had based mine on the Yukata, which is a very casual garment. With the obi, I looked to find if there were any rules, but as far as I could find, it all comes down to aesthetics fro color and skill for the knot. There are even obi belts that hook closed with knots or bows that get hooked on the back

Along with the actual kimono, I paid close attention to what Japanese Wa-Lolita dresses look like. Here are some examples:
Wa-Lolita with a plaid print and accenting "obi" and underskirt (similar to what I had done) from Bodyline

Wa-Lolita with a traditionally Lolita print from Bodyline

Wa Lolita modern Japanese custom kimonos by Lacrima.
various Wa-Lolita from Japanese brand Lacrima
Wa-Lolita scan from a Gosurori magazine

I'm not trying to argue that just because a culture changes or misuses a piece of clothing or a symbol, it is then acceptable for everyone to do the same. I am just saying that before you try to argue that something is offensive to a culture, you should first learn if it is offensive. In the case of teenage girls wearing feather headdresses which are not only a ceremonial garment, but are also earned, that is totally a case of cultural appropriation which is very offensive. In the case of me, a white girl, wearing wa-lolita, it could be cultural appropriation in it's most basic definition. There are many reasons why I would be surprised if a Japanese person came up to me telling me that what I was wearing was offensive, but if that did happen I would retire this outfit. If someone from an altogether different culture tried to say that I was offending Japanese people with this dress, I would instead explain to them all the points I mentioned in this blog post.

While I can understand people being cautious about accidentally offending people, there are some people who I think are a bit too trigger happy about calling something offensive (to somebody else).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sailor Moon's Miracle Romance Cosmetics

In celebration of Sailor Moon's 20th anniversary, Bandai is releasing various Sailor Moon inspired cosmetics.
First to be released was a reproduction of Sailor Moon's transformation compact. It appears to come on a golden chain so it can be worn as a necklace.
Even the pressed powder inside is reproducing the inner design shown in the anime.
 The second part which hasn't gotten quite as much media attention is a nail polish set recreating the colors shown in the transformation sequences. I understand that it's not as recognizable in practice, but personally I would find it more useful.
The individual bottles are super cute, so I'd probably end up trying to recreate the colors and refill them if they ran out.

If you can read Japanese, you can find more information here, and the bottom of the page has links to other anime inspired cosmetic lines.

Friday, June 7, 2013

back to painting my nails

I got like, super duper tired of having long-ish nails because they chip a ton so I decided to cut them short and paint them because why not.
This time's it's Tiger and Bunny, my current obsession:

These pictures were taken before I cleaned them up around the edges and did topcoat, because after that I always forget. You would be surprised by how many times I've done geeky nails and forgotten to take a picture until they're chipped and not pretty anymore.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Outfit of the day (from a week ago)

So, a while ago I ordered a super cute pair of tights with ghost pokemon on them and they arrived soon after I moved home. I finally got a chance to wear them after I finished Otome week and decided on an outfit to wear them with.
pretty plain but still cute. Black and white is totally a thing when it comes to my wardrobe.

The tights look a bit faded when worn, but what to do, you know?
By the end of the day, the tights relaxed a bit and the pokemon now lay just above the knee. I was afraid that the design might end up too high up my legs to wear a skirt with them. It made me super happy that this skirt ended up being the perfect length to go with the length of the design.
If you want to get a pair of these tights, check in at BatCactus periodically. Sadly Siren doesn't have anything currently up because she's been busy, but she will probably start selling them again.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Anime Boston 2013

So first of all, I only went for Saturday because after going for 5 years I had decided never again to go to AB. Never. Ever. Ever. and that lasted for one year. I decided to give AB a second chance, by which I mean, in my last post I mentioned that I've gotten back into anime so I wanted to shop in the dealer's room.
I don't have a picture of what I wore, but I wore lolita and was surprised when a couple people asked to take my picture. I did not actually get any pictures of myself on the day and have been too lazy to put the outfit back on, but I did find a video of the Masquerade line, I can be seen for two whole seconds (leaning in the window on the left in the video at ~6:57):

My friend, Sarah went as a casual Bilbo(friday only) and her sisters were a couple of dwarves:
Bofur, Ori, and Bilbo couldn't find any horses or ponies to ride, so they made due with a bus.
There was a wonderful lolita panel in the morning with a fashion show to give inspiration to those wanting to start out. They were all really nice, but I didn't have a good seat for taking pictures. The Boston Gothic & Lolita Society has pictures up on facebook here if anyone is interested.

 I wandered around the dealer's room with Sarah until I found these babies:
The one to the left is a Natsuki from the anime Uta no Prince-sama (lit. Princes of singing), a super duper cheesy reverse harem anime based on a visual novel series. Basically, it's about a girl who wants to be a composer for idols going to an idol school and meeting a bunch of hot guys training to become idols. In the anime, the protagonist does not fall in love with any of the guys and they form an idol group together and it's just super cute. Natsuki is tall and loves cute things and I totally have a weak spot for glasses characters. I'd found this figurine online for around $30 dollars but found this guy for $18 and no shipping, so fate must have wanted me to have him.
The one on the right is Ivan from Tiger & Bunny, an anime inspired by western superheroes so it's actually really interesting. I started watching T&B because it was superheroes as celebrities with sponsors and stuff, and it turned out really good. The first few episodes are really fun, then there's a small serious arc, then some drama mixed in with some funny bits and then the ending is like DRAMA and I found it really enjoyable. I really liked Ivan from the beginning because he isn't a very good hero, but he keeps his sponsors happy by photobombing with his sponsors' logos well displayed. It's mostly played for laughs and by the first serious arc he's more active as a hero and does some really useful things, no longer just photobombing the other heroes. (I should mention that this figurine is from a set using de-aged designs, so Ivan isn't as young as he looks here)

I found out about a couple of new anime from going to the Sunrise panel. The one that caught my attention was The Daily Lives of High School Boys, a cute gag anime about the daily lives of a group of high school boys. I'm assuming everything is a bit exaggerated, but you know, I have no experience being a high school boy so it could be a perfectly accurate portrayal.

I went to the Funimation industry panel, but not the previews one. Mostly it was talking about how they are revamping the website and stuff about the Funimation app. There was some mention of new anime licenses and stuff, but nothing really caught my eye except that they will probably make an English dub of Attack on Titan, so I'll be keeping my eyes open for that.

Lastly, I saw the masquerade. Now, the Masq was one of the main reasons I was going to never go ever again because they tried to have it be a separately paid ticket. It was free again this year (but you needed to pick up a free ticket to have a seat), but thoroughly disappointing. I believe half of them were dance numbers, and most were one after another. totally boring. Above is the one skit that I thought was seriously awesome. It was put together by the cosplay group RULE and won "Best Overall Presentation".

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Otome Week

Alright, so I've been horrible since I moved back home and super duper lazy. One of the first things I did was start watching anime again for some reason. I've also rekindled my fondness for female-oriented visual novel games ("Otome" games). So much of my time has been spend lazing about on my computer.
These games inspired me to spend a week attempting to dress in "otome" fashion. Otome as a fashion style is similar to Lolita fashion, but without petticoats and much less formal. The skirt length and fullness is not as regulated within the fashion, the point is to look cute and a little fancy, like if you were going to a tea party or something, but not doll-like or over the top like some lolita styles. 
the faux bob was inspired by the protagonists of a couple of the more known otome games.

Being similar to Lolita fashion, I used a lolita dress without a petticoat and a plainer blouse than for lolita.

The hair again was inspired by an otome game protagonist.

This outfit was fun because I could not for the life of me find a clean blouse, so I wore a pirate shirt I had made and chosen a belt and boots to make me feel like a pirate princess without being actually pirate-y

I had a bad laundry day because I couldn't find anything cuter that was clean. Though I am wearing my pair of nice shoes. They're the only ones I wear that aren't black or brown.

I really love this dress. It's from the Hello Kitty collection at Forever21 and has Chococat all over it. I usually wear it when I feel pastel goth, but it works out as not goth at all when I subtract my lace choker with crosses. I really love this headband because the bow has little studs all over it.

I ended up taking the clip out of my hair and wearing a straw hat because my mum and I went to Brimfield for some antique shopping.

nothing much to say about this outfit. I love polkadots and navy blue so somehow this is the skirt I wear most often.
I'm sorry this post is boring and full of same-pose but I'm trying to get back into the swing of things a bit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Iron Man 3

I'm back home so now I have some things saved up to blog and have the ability to update my blog.

Here's the dresses I "made" for a premiere of Iron Man 3. I say made in quotes because I never got a chance to finish them before wearing.

I'm not gonna really talk about what I thought of the movie because I'm mostly disappointed with how they handled some subplot and smaller conflicts introduced near the end of the movie. The pacing was a bit weird, so I don't think I'm gonna wanna watch it again in the near future. maybe give it a month or so.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Iron Man 3 tomorrow

I know, I know. I've been really bad at updating. I've had a ton of projects for school, but next week is finals, so I'll be home again and stuff.
As most of you know, Iron Man 3 is coming to the USA officially on Friday, but a theater near me has a 9:30 showing on Thursday instead of a midnight release. I'm getting ready for it by making myself an Iron Patriot dress. Keep in mind that I started this today, but I think I'll finish it in time:

What's left is the chest, the straps, and the zipper. I'm really happy with the fabric because it is all metallic and it doesn't need to be hemmed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Julia's not Boston Comic Con weekend

As most of you know, shit's been happening in Boston this week, but now it's finally over. Because of this shit, Boston Comic Con was postponed so the free time I had planned to be away at the con was suddenly empty.
I was super excited on Saturday because Jason David Frank (aka the green/white/red/black ranger also aka my first childhood crush) was still making appearances in the area. I made a super quick and dirty white ranger dress (which I don't have pictures of yet because I made it in 3 hours and wanna do more work on it) and rushed out to Boston with my roommate. 
my roommate got to sign something off her bucket list and I got to hold the white ranger helmet. so totally worth it.
Sunday was archery. I got my first lesson last week, and went back for more this week. Because it's not the safest thing, I don't have any picture of myself actively but here's me with some equipment:
I only shot from the 15 ft line, but we took turns with some who shot from a 40 ft line. super impressive.
About an hour in, we learned some aiming with silhouettes of Napoleon. and I'm proud to say I got a headshot:
the dark red arrows were my shots
I hope everyone planning on going to BCC found fun things to do this weekend instead. Sucks that it got postponed, but now I can work on another dress for the con.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I've taken up embriodery

and it's going pretty well.
I've had a project that I'd been embroidering for a long while, but lost while moving home from the dorms and back. A while ago I made a hooded scarf based on Altiar of Assassin's Creed (because I cannot get enough of that series) and decided I wanted to make one for Connor as well. Here's the only progress I've made:

And here's my new project:

I've been wanting to make a new business card case (I lost my old one a while ago) and have also been reading Kuroko No Basuke, a manga about a high school basketball team. So I'm making a card case with the main protagonists on it:
and a basketball because basketball is a main protagonist too

Friday, April 12, 2013

International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club

If you follow my twitter, you know that I joined the IGGPPC (spelled out in title). It's pretty self explanatory, you sign up and tell them your top 5 geeky interests and they match you with a pen pal. If you want to join the site is here. If you follow me on twitter, you also know that the letter from my pen pal arrived yesterday. I wanted to share with you all how great it is:

I really wanna know where you get stationary like this. It's super cool.

It looks like we have a lot of similar interests, so I'm really excited to get to know each other better.
It had perfect timing since I've been super stressed recently and it's just really nice to find a surprise in your mailbox.
 I'm still sorry for the sporadic updates but after this weekend I'll have tons more free time so please just wait until then.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sorry Sorry Sorry

Really sorry I haven't posted for a week, but your wait will be rewarded. in my hands I hold a copy of the Arisia 2013 masquerade dvd. and I thought I'd share with y'all the part my friends and I worked so hard for (even though I do mess up):
And this is what we got two sets of ribbons for.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

PAX East

I don't have much to write about so I'm making this con a single post. I also don't have pictures because I'm horrible and can't find my camera charger.

On Friday, my highlight was buying an attorney badge from Fangamer. I walked around a lot and didn't try any demos except dance central. I dunno, this just isn't my year for getting new games except AC4. Speaking of which, every time I passed the Assassin's Creed stand, the line was capped.
I may or may not be designing an Apollo Justice lolita costume to wear this with. (picture from Fangamer site)

Saturday was tons of fun. I was wearing my Leixia costume and though I was only asked for a picture once, it basically made my day (and it was put on twitter too!).
no, the costume isn't actually finished, but I wore it anyways.
also I'll braid some wire in my hair so the loops stick up better next time.
I hung out with a friend and got to see the Assassin's Creed preview. Basically, the video boils down to I'm boarding every ship I find. I don't even care. I hate cannons.
It was really exciting seeing my friend, "The Orange Sauce" play giant jenga, I think he and his partner for the game could have gone to the next round if he had placed the last block and walked away instead of trying to adjust it. And the second round was intense. Let's just say the last move involved twisting the top half 90 degrees.
I ended my Saturday by going to the Escapist movie night where I learned of such treasures as RoboGeisha which I don't even know if I want to see it for myself. In all it was super fun.

I only stopped in for an hour or so on Sunday because I was really tired from my stressful week of sewing and school projects. I did get to see the preview for the new Saints Row game because I was bored and like mindless violence. Let's just say the player character is the leader of the Saints Row gang thing, and President of the United States, and has superpowers, fights aliens, and has a gun that kills people with the power of Dubstep. Obviously I've been playing the wrong kind of videogames.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Midnight update

sorry for not getting a post up yesterday and the day before. PAX East opens in 10 hours, but I am far too tired to finish my costume right now.
As far as wear-ability, the romper is complete (just needs straps), the shoes are complete, the hair is good enough, and the socks I bought dyes close enough to the color of the costume.
I was just trying them on over the tights I was already wearing.
The actual part that will make it look like Leixia however, is not yet close to done. It is still in bits and some of those bits are not finished.
My need to do tomorrow morning: sew the last six "petals", finish flower motif on second sleeve (can you tell I was tired when I started that one?), paint last six petals after I sew them.

My should do but might not because of time: yellow inner sleeve, paint side designs on romper, sew on frogs (These style closures, not the animal.), attach actual closures to the costume