Friday, August 9, 2013

summer 2013: anime conventions pt 1

Hey everybody! It's been a while. The summer is finally winding down, meaning no more incredibly busy weekends, but it also means no more super fun weekends to look forward to. I'm currently just waiting for school to start on the 26th, then hopefully I'll have a pretty stable schedule and be able to blog on schedule.

In the meantime, I'm going to be posting about my summer activities!

I went to many conventions this summer, more than usual: I started with Anime Central in Chicago, then Anime North in Toronto, SukoshiCon in Louisville, and then FandomFest also in Louisville. My con schedule wasn't as glamourous as some people's, but I still had a good time at every one!

These next few posts are going to be very long, photo heavy and not strictly-lolita, so be warned!

I'll start with Anime Central!

Anime Central (abbreviated to ACEN) takes place every year in Chicago, and is the third largest anime convention in the US. This was my first year attending, but I'm not going to lie to you; the only reason this was high on my list of cons to go to was because Angelic Pretty was a special guest last year. I was really hoping that AP would return, or that Baby The Stars Shine Bright would be the guest. I was surprised when Chantilly and Atelier Pierrot were announced as the guests of honour! But I realise this was probably because Harajuku Hearts (a physical store in San Francisco that also houses AP USA) were there, repping their other brands this year.

Still, I was excited! So I looked into buy tickets for the lolita tea party with the special guests, but they were...$50. Which was a little too much for me, for brands I don't particularly love! (Don't get me wrong, some of their pieces are absolutely beautiful, I just have never fallen in love with anything enough to purchase it.) So that was out of the question.

Because I knew I wasn't going to go to any lolita events at this convention, I only wore lolita one day and cosplayed for the second and third day.

hat: target
cutsew: angelic pretty
jsk: angelic pretty
tights: forever 21
socks: angelic pretty
shoes: an*tai*na
I made sure to wear a lot of Angelic Pretty because I knew there was going to be an AP booth there! It was the AP/Harajuku Hearts booth, so not strictly AP, but there was still a fairly big selection of merchandise. They had many prints there, including Day Dream Carnival and Milky Planet. I was oh-so tempted by the Milky Planet salopette, and I even brought it up to the cash register to purchase...! But then I decided against it. I don't regret my decision, I probably would have felt pretty bad if I did buy such a big-ticket item at a convention. I did buy a few things (socks, a necklace, and a headbow) as did my friend.

caleb and candice in their personal god tier outfits (from Homestuck)
trying to take a picture of the crowd, but i was photobombed...
me and caleb at a panel
caleb and charles looking unamused
We were wandering the halls looking for something to do, and stumbled upon a Q&A with the designer of Chantilly, Fumiko Kawamura! She was very adorable, and I really enjoyed listening to her talk. I was sad that more people weren't there! (Also sad that I wasn't wearing anything from her brand...)

the panelists
Then we decided that we were going to go to the indie/American lolita designer fashion show, so we waited in line for a while.
line pics -- i spy some homestucks
candice with her meowchi she bought from Tasty Peach Studios
I unfortunately didn't get any photos at the fashion show, because the lighting was very bad. I'm sure there was a professional photographer there somewhere, but I couldn't find any good quality photos of the show... Still, it was very fun being able to see designers and pieces that I probably wouldn't see very often (if at all!) in real life.

The next day was the biggest day at the con, so we went full-out as trolls from Homestuck. We got up very early to paint ourselves grey, and after hours of struggling with the makeup we finally left the hotel.

There was a Homestuck meetup going on that day, so we went, but it was so crazy! When they said "meetup" I was expecting like a lolita meetup, where everyone would chat and do fun things, but this was just a photoshoot. However, there were so many people there that when the organizers were shouting for characters to come up and get their picture taken, nobody could hear them! So we left quickly to just wander the halls again.

me as feferi, candice as terezi, and caleb as sollux!
close up!
I had been working for a long time to get this cosplay perfectly right, and I'm still not 100% happy with how it turned out. I made the tiara and bracelets/anklets from craft foam that had been worked to hell and then painted gold, but they were still too non-metal looking and didn't really look too good. I also wasn't happy with the horns, and I really struggled with making them. I'm going to try and remake everything before the next con I go to, because I really like being a cute fish princess!

On that day, we also stumbled into another lolita panel, this time talking to the designers of Atelier Pierrot! They were just as cute as the Chantilly designer (but that was to be expected.)

unfortunately, i can't remember their names :(
And then we left to do more random wandering and shopping in the dealer's room.

The third day of the con was very relaxed, and we didn't go to any panels or anything. We just walked around the place a few more times, picking up final purchases that we had been wavering about all weekend, because we had to drive the 5 hours back to Louisville that day. Candice and I did very simple cosplays that day (again from Homestuck, hehe.)

me as john crocker, and candice as god tier jade harley
Then we began the drive back home! It was such a fun weekend, and it was the first out of town convention that I had been to with just my friends. I had a really great time, and hopefully we will all be able to return next year! I am sad that I didn't take very many photos, because there were some very amazing cosplayers there. I also came home with a lot of cute things... The Paradise Rose booth contributed to this, because not only did it have cute things from their deco shop, it had a large selection of pieces from other independent brands! There were also many other booths that I bought stuff from, including prints and accessories and arpakasso. It's not a convention if I don't come home with at least one new alpaca toy...

I was going to try and cram every con into this one post, but this one turned out so long, so I think I'm going to break it up. Thanks for getting through this! My next post will be about Anime North, so be on the lookout for that one!

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