[Flashback Friday] Big Apple Comic Con

Have you ever been to Big Apple Comic Con? It’s a New York City convention that was founded by Michael “Mike Carbo” Carbonaro back in 1995.

I can’t believe this con is this weekend! It’s happening so soon… I thought I had plenty of time but I’m still not sure what to cosplay and/or wear. I have great memories from this con last year…

Mangaka Toshio Maeda

From meeting Toshio Maeda to moderating a panel with Lua Stardust to watching the cosplay contest, Saturday was a busy but fun day!

The con is centrally location near Penn Station, so transportation is easy (trains, subways, etc.). You can also easily find public places outside to do photoshoots at, and there’s plenty of great food options in walking distance from the con.

Click here to see photos from my Saturday shoot last year! (I still need to upload the rest of the photos… my backlog is insane, oops.)

And at every con in NYC, there’s gotta be at least one Spider-Man cosplayer!

I have no idea who the Spider-Man cosplayer in the above picture was, but he was epic and I’m glad he agreed to a quick photo with me! Spider-Man is still one of my all-time fave Marvel characters (ever since I read the Amazing Spider-Man as a teenager!). 

You may have noticed my [Flashback Fridays] tag… I’m thinking of starting a new Flashback Fridays series where I write flashbacks to events or memories of the past. Do you like to reminisce? I love taking photos because if I don’t have photographic proof, I wonder if things never happened and they were simple dreams or made up in my imagination…

Click here to view a throwback to my first time at BACC (back in 2017!). It’s a gothic lolita look featuring my first lolita dress ever (a really old Bodyline JSK I got in high school).

If you’ll be at BACC tomorrow or Sunday, come say hi!

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KCON NY 2017

This was my second time attending KCON (I should probably write a throwback post about my first time…), and again, I attended for only one day. The difference here is I attended in 2016 for Friday only, but this year, I only went on Saturday. I knew I wanted to go on Saturday because TWICE was performing that night and that’s the group I was at the con for. My friend Ashley went on Saturday too, and she was there for NCT 127, so it worked out. We got to sit next to each other at the concert as well!

Photo taken by Brian Ngai

For the actual con, we got there pretty late (in the afternoon). I’m not sure how bad the lines were in the morning, but for us, the lines weren’t too long of a wait. The only problem we encountered was trying to find the area where we could pick up our wristbands (which are like badges for entry). The wristbands were really secure, so no worries about losing your “badge!”

During the con, it was fun learning some of Twice’s Signal dance at the dance workshop area. Signal was stuck in my head basically all day… but I didn’t mind at all. It’s such a cute and catchy song (and all the hearts in the dance are too adorable)! Ashley and I also got to sample yummy Korean snacks and beverages in the K-Food section.

 

We also browsed the K-beauty vendors (I didn’t buy anything, but I did get some free samples). The Innisfree booth was pretty generous with samples, and there was also a claw machine you could play to try to win full-size products. Claw machines were definitely a trend, since I also saw (a gigantic) one at the Toyota booth.

 

Photo taken by Brian Ngai

For lunch (or I guess “linner” since we ate lunch at like 4pm), we got food from the food trucks. I had fried dumplings, a Korean fusion taco thingy, and a refreshing yuzu fruity iced tea. Afterwards, I couldn’t resist getting a butterfly pea flower bubble tea with lychee jelly. Everything was delicious (although pricey).

Before sharing my concert experience, I might as well share my outfit rundown (even though it isn’t j-fashion):

 

 

  • Flower crown headband: a gift from my friend Arien
  • Earrings: purchased from KCON 2016!
  • Choker: Icing
  • Top: Offbrand (literally picked up from a random street vendor near where I live)
  • Shorts: Delia’s (got this forever ago, when there was a Delia’s store in the mall I used to go to in New Hampshire with my family)
  • Bracelet: Icing
  • Socks: Offbrand
  • Sneakers: Nike

Waiting in line for the concert felt like waiting forever (especially in the heat), but Ashley and I made some new friends. It’s cool how Kpop brings strangers together! We chatted about Kpop, but also about anime and travel among other things. Once we got inside the concert venue, I could really feel the excited energy from everyone there.
The concert itself was amazing! Even though I was only there for Twice, all the performances were impressive and I had fun watching all of the guests.


I zoomed in with my phone and recorded lots of snippets during the concerts (and sometimes watched through my phone to see somewhat better). I was grateful to the screens at the back so I could see close-ups and such!

I freaked out when Twice had their special stage! They covered one of my favorite Miss A songs, Bad Girl Good Girl. Click here to check out my fancam! I recorded a ton of fancams even though I was sitting really far from the stage. My iPhone did a fairly good job at zooming in!

There was SO MUCH CONFETTI AND STREAMERS at this concert. I feel bad for whoever has to clean up the venue afterwards… Even though I sat way up in the area for cheaper seats, confetti still managed to land around me.

When I left the concert, I even found some of the small pieces of confetti in my KCON bag.

If you followed me on Twitter during KCON, you would have seen me live-tweeting throughout the concert. After the concert ended, I stuck around a bit to snag the following photo:

Last but not least, here’s my loot from KCON 2017:

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Most of the stuff was free, which is definitely a plus! Not pictured is a free baseball cap I got from AT&T which had the finger heart gesture on the front (and cool silvertone rings on the side of the brim). I forgot to include it in my haul photo since I was wearing it on this day and it totally slipped my mind. Fun fact: I first discovered the finger heart gesture on V App!

Here are the cosmetic samples I got from Innisfree:


I haven’t had the chance to try any of them yet, but I look forward to checking them out! Right now, the sunblock I’m using on my face is from Innisfree. Have any of you guys tried Innisfree products?

If you went to KCON 2017, I’d love to hear your experience! Feel free to share via comments.
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B.A.P: PARTY BABY 

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I went to my second K-Pop concert recently! My first one was Friday night of KCON 2016. The concert I went to recently was none other than B.A.P’s PARTY BABY: NYC Boom~! It was an amazing event, although I spent the bulk of my time waiting in line. I didn’t realize it was a standing venue until I was already en route to the concert… (I should have worn my regular sneakers instead of my wedge sneakers… Oh well.) Here are mirror selfies of my outfit:

Fun fact: The cat ear headband and wedge sneakers were the same ones I wore to my first concert.

For this B.A.P world tour, there were dress code options set by each of the members.

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It ended up being Himchan’s night~! For my outfit, I was trying to fit the ROSE theme as well as the SEXY & SPECIAL one.

They had a “bar” set up, and it was really cute. Himchan took his time selecting the winner, and the other members kept urging him to hurry up! The SEXY & SPECIAL girl Himchan picked was someone with really pretty pink hair (and a cool handbag!). The girl got to go on the stage and hang out with the members a bit at the “BABYz LOUNGE,” pictured above.

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I met so many cool people in the line outside the concert! I even snagged a $1 light stick that a fan was selling. She made a ton of light sticks out of foam, and they were really light and easy to carry, and they also lit up green! There were also tons of freebies being passed around: fan signs, cards, and more.

It was amazing seeing all the Matoki light sticks in the crowd! Look at all the green bunnies~!

Unfortunately, all my photos are really blurry since I was really far away; I bought the cheapest ticket. I used my phone camera on maximum zoom to capture most of these. The only song I captured on video in its entirety was Wake Me Up since my arms were too tired to hold up my phone above other people’s heads for other songs (although I did catch snippets).
Watch my fancam of B.A.P’s Wake Me Up performance!

You can also check out my fancam of Feel So Good. I might upload more fancams later!

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My bias in B.A.P has been Zelo ever since their debut. I was sad they didn’t perform debut songs like Warrior or Power, but B.A.P has so many amazing songs, so it makes sense they can’t perform everything. My favorite performance was definitely the Wake Me Up one! This concert was also the first time I heard Zelo’s solo song. It was really pretty! I also thought all their outfits were on point!

And of course, I need to do a rundown of my own outfit… It was my first time wearing this MARS set out! The last time I wore it was literally just in my dorm room at college.

Here’s a coord rundown of my outfit for the concert:

  • Headband: Forever 21
  • Necklace: Vintage
  • Earrings: Claire’s
  • Top & Skirt: MARS
  • Tights: Offbrand
  • Wedge Sneakers: Guess

 

If you were at the concert, please share your experience too! I’d love to hear about the B.A.P concerts in other cities too.

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The Kawaii Society: Soft Launch

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Have you heard of The Kawaii Society? It’s an adorable organization recently founded in the United States! The Soft Launch took place at Radio Star Karaoke in New York City on Sunday, April 2. I was invited to the Soft Launch as a press blogger, and I’m excited to introduce you all to The Kawaii Society.

Here is The Kawaii Society’s mission statement from their Facebook page: “Kawaii Society is an organization that aims to share Japanese pop culture world wide. We are passionate visual artists, fashionistas, gamers, otaku, entrepreneurs, bloggers, musicians and so much more! Join us in discussion, collaboration, events, and celebration of all things kawaii!”

The Soft Launch was definitely full of amazing artists and designers, kawaii fashion, and more. Before I go over my experience at the Soft Launch, I want to share my interview with the founder of The Kawaii Society, Miss Candyholic.

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1) How were you introduced to Kawaii culture?

“I was introduced to kawaii culture as a child thanks to my older cousin. She was like a big sister to me and loved anime and cosplay which inspired me to research more about Japanese pop culture. I soon fell in love with harajuku fashion and became an avid reader of Fruits and Gothic & Lolita Bible magazines.”

2) What inspired you to create The Kawaii Society?

“I have been deeply involved in the otaku and J-fashion community since middle school from every aspect- convention attendee, cosplayer, Lolita, maid cafe, J-pop performer, Twitch streamer, artist alley, etc. My goal is to bring all the experiences and connections I’ve made throughout the community together under one brand. I have made so many friends who are bloggers, musicians, fashion icons, and more, and that is something to be celebrated. We often have to rely on meetups to share our love for kawaii culture with others, but I want to create something much more than that where everyone’s talents are utilized.”

3) What’s your favorite fashion style and why?

“I don’t think I can pick one specific fashion style because my favorite fashion styles are those that don’t follow the rules. However, I will say that my favorite aesthetic is pastel and magical girl inspired. Anything baby pink and dream-like gives me life. I also love gothic styles but there is no inbetween – either all pastels or all black.”

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Magical Girl inspired wands by Miss Candyholic

4) How did you start your brand Candyholic?

“Entrepreneurship has been in my nature since high school. I used to make and sell animal hats, bonnets, and jewelry to kids at school and people online in the EGL community on Livejournal. Miss Candyholic was just a username I always had since I love sweets and sweet motifs, but I didn’t turn it into a serious business until after college when I had more time to create and market myself on social media. I was invited to sell at my first con, Chibi-Con, a couple years ago and then things just took off from there.”

5) Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?

“Magical girls are a huge inspiration for me. I like to think of myself as a designer for the modern day magical girl. I also like to ask myself questions like “If Cinderella went to college, what would she wear?” Other than fictional characters, I find a lot of inspiration from my kawaii friends and J-fashion groups thanks to social media.”

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Miss Candyholic’s designs are definitely fit for the modern-day magical girl! She also made the maid dresses for the adorable maids of the Candyholic Café. You can check out her Facebook page here.

Now, onto the Soft Launch! When I arrived to Radio Star Karaoke, there was already a line forming outside the venue. So many different alternative fashion styles were represented! I saw people in line wearing fairy kei, sweet lolita, gothic lolita, and other forms of street fashion.

There was a great turnout at the Soft Launch! There were a lot of people, but it wasn’t too crowded. It was still easy to find your way around, and seating was accessible too. There were a bunch of vendors at the event too, and I was impressed by all the cute items for sale. I bought a necklace, a bunch of rings, and secondhand boots (my very first pair of Demonia Shoes)! My favorite find were definitely those secondhand boots. They look so cool, and I’ve always wanted Demonia shoes. Besides shopping, food and drinks were for sale at the event too.

Check out these cool cocktails:

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I had the Pink Sugar Heart Attack drink, which is composed of vodka, peach, lime, and lychee. It was delicious!

Since The Kawaii Society Soft Launch took place at a karaoke bar, there was lots of karaoke-ing! It was really fun watching different people sing their favorite songs on the karaoke stage. For this stage, many people in the audience sung along too! “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey is definitely a karaoke staple.

Me and Bubbles (our table’s maid for the evening

One of my best memories of the Soft Launch is definitely the Candyholic Café! This was my first time at a maid café, and it did not disapppoint. All of the maids were adorable! I was so happy that Bubbles was assigned to our table. It was a long time since I’ve seen her, and she looked like she was having so much fun working at the café too!

The dessert came out first, but I didn’t mind at all! This pastel cheesecake was so sweet and yummy. Following dessert, I had crispy onion rings! While eating, me and my table-mates chatted about random things: from fashion to food to music to yaoi.

During the Candyholic Café, I really enjoyed the performances by KuroPOP! They even performed one of my favorite K-pop songs: “Excuse Me” by AOA. Another memorable performance by them was “Boombayah” by BLACKPINK.

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Candyholic Café, the Maid Café at the Soft Launch

If you were at The Kawaii Society Soft Launch, please share your experiences too! I hope everyone had tons of fun like I did. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay the entire time; I had to leave early to catch the subway back home (and of course, get ready for the work-week grind). Definitely check out The Kawaii Society if you are in the New York City area! April 30th will be their Unofficial Sakura Matsuri After Party. I am sad I won’t be able to make it to this party, but hopefully I’ll be able to attend other events in the future. If you go, take lots of photos! I’d love to see what the After Party is like.

To end my blog post, here’s a coordinate rundown of my outfit for the event:

  • Headbow and Skirt: Metamorphose
  • Small Bows: Offbrand
  • Blouse: Bodyline
  • Capelet: Offbrand
  • Wristcuffs: Classical Puppets
  • Tights: Offbrand
  • Boots: Bodyline
  • Purse: Offbrand
  • Rings: Offbrand

Note: Photos of Miss Candyholic’s designs and of the Candyholic Café are directly from Miss Candyholic and included in this blog post with her permission.

 

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Instameets

Have any of you heard of Instameets? They’re basically meetups among people who are active on Instagram. I had never heard of these meetups until I moved to NYC. I got invited to my first Instameet by theamazingknight, and it was a cool experience!

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Photo by theamazingknight

My first Instameet was the Broketographers one on January 21, 2017. I got totally lost trying to find the meetup location though… It was in Battery Park, and I had never gone that far downtown before. Other Instagrammers told me to look for people with DSLR cameras, since this was a photography meetup. However, there were a lot of people with DSLR cameras. I awkwardly asked a group of people, “Are you guys here for the Broketographers meet?” And they were like: “Uh… we’re just tourists.” Right. Tourists sometimes carry DSLR cameras too.

Eventually, I found the meetup (but it was after wandering around aimlessly for over an hour, plus buying a hot dog from a stand and messaging people on Instagram trying to figure out where everyone was).

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Photo by theamazingknight

The meet itself was pretty chill and fun! Lots of people were there, but the vibe was generally friendly and cool. I didn’t know anyone, and it was also my first time meeting theamazingknight. Since the group was so big, it split into smaller clusters of people. There were also many more photographers than models, so I noticed a bunch of photographers would cluster around a single model or two models. There was some fluctuation though when people would switch groups or break into smaller groups.

I also went on the Staten Island ferry for the first time! We basically all went on the ferry to Staten Island, took some photos, then immediately hopped back on the ferry to Manhattan.

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Photo by theamazingknight

Next, people started wandering off for dinner or to find other things to shoot. I joined a quickly forming group too, and we all introduced ourselves and decided to walk to find food. However, it took us hours to actually get food since the photographers kept stopping to capture cool shots. Street shots, creative shots, and more! I modeled in some of the shots too.

Here was one of my favorite street shots, captured in the financial district:

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Photo by theamazingknight

Theamazingknight used a prism to create this effect! His photography style is so unique and memorable.

Our travel to get food took forever… We ended up getting some roast duck in Chinatown after dumplings at a cool hole-in-the-wall place down an alley. When we got the roast duck though, there was no seating so we had to get it to-go in a paper bag/plastic bag combo. Eating this duck on the sidewalk was an awkward experience (and involved me leaning over the bag like in the following photo collage).

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Yes, we were getting stared at. Nope, we didn’t care. One of the photographers was joking about how this is a model’s true habitat. No one can separate me from my roast duck! After food, we went to the rooftop of a tall apartment building in Chinatown to try to capture the view of the city. It was a beautiful sight! The stream of lights from the cars traveling down the street between clusters of high-rise buildings was definitely something I’ll remember. Here are some candids Ktodoma captured of me on the rooftop:

 

 

If you want to see more photos from the Broketographers Instameet, visit this Facebook album!

The second Instameet I attended was the HEX NYC Photowalk hosted by Moodygrams on March 4. I didn’t stay at this meetup very long since it was super cold and I was shivering even with my winter jacket (and my plenty of layers underneath: thermals, big thick sweater, thick jeans, fleece socks). I really wanted to go inside, but it was a Photowalk which meant… walking outside, of course. It was really windy this day too.

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Photo by Ronith

You can see a glimpse of my sweater in the photo below. Fun fact: the sweater and jeans are hand-me-downs from my mom! They’re both articles of clothing from the 1980s. I love vintage clothing because the quality is so nice.

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Photo by Richard Wu

I don’t have too much to say about this Instameet since I didn’t stay very long. My body was exhausted and I couldn’t handle being out in the cold for an extended period of time, even with my heaviest winter jacket (which is an L.L. Bean jacket by the way, so definitely manufactured for the cold).

I haven’t seen any other photos of me from the HEX/Moodygrams Instameet, but if you see any, let me know. Thanks! If I ever find photos from this meet in the future, I’ll add them to this Facebook album.

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Photo by bklyn2nyc

Have you ever been to an Instameet? I’d love to hear about your experiences too!

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