Category: ‘Events’

Exploring Seoul’s Hello Kitty Cafe and Comic World

June 23, 2014 Posted by rissvandal

fdThere are so many wonderful and breathtaking things to explore in Aeoul, but I’ve realized that while traveling in general, one should never set their expectations too high. As someone who’ll soon be able to say that she’s visited all of the countries she’s dreamt of seeing since she was a child (Korea being one, Japan the other) I’m working on perfecting this whole “reasonable expectations” thing. I bring this up because I have accounts to share about my two recent adventures–to the Hello Kitty Cafe and to Seoul Comic World. Some aspects of my adventures were surprisingly amazing, while others, not so much. Let me elaborate ^^

HELLO KITTY’S PINK-HUED PANDEMONIUM

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The Hello Kitty  Cafe is a cotton candy-hued building nestled away in a hilly side street in Hongdae. I’ve been there twice–on a Saturday and Sunday–and as one might expect, the experience varied drastically depending on the day. It’s a sought after destination for tourists and kawaii girls no matter what day, but if you show up on a Saturday, anticipate that it could be a madhouse.

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PA Renaissance Fair & Demon Mage Cosplay

November 30, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

Happy Belated-Thanksgiving, everyone ^^ I hope you had a lovely holiday full wining, over-dining, and long, awkward conversations. There are a lot of things I’m thankful for, and right at the top of my list is my large, close-knit family. Every time I visit we try to make it memorable, and one of my favorite family outings this year was to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Manheim, PA.

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My family was a little resistant to the idea of dressing up at first, but when I found out they’d booked the trip the weekend right before Halloween, I explained to them that it was non-negotiable–”you have absolutely no choice” I think were my exact words. Though the Renaissance Faire has an obvious, err, Renaissance theme, there are no strict rules you need to adhere to. In previous years I’ve seen everything from Ghostbusters to werewolves to Spock and Kirk galavanting about amidst the jesters and maidens. That being said, my father went as a vampire prince, my mother as a maiden, my grandmother as a glam witch, and I went as a Demon Mage.

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Boys Over Flowers Kdrama Picnic

July 15, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

Lately my greatest love has been Kdramas (Korean television dramas). One day I stumbled upon one (Shut Up and Let’s Go) on Netflix, and from that point forth they’re basically all I watch. I won’t go on about them too much, because I realize romantic melodrama isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I will say there’s one I love so much I decided to create a mini event around it, to both celebrate and soften the blow of the series’ finale.

Innocent, comedic (both intentional and unintentional) and immensely heartwarming, Boys Over Flowers started as a guilty pleasure, but now I’ll unashamedly state that it’s one of the best programs I’ve ever seen. It can be described as a modern-day Cinderella story with multiple princes, or else Twilight without the supernatural aspects and far better acting–but however you put it, it’s basically the story of a poor girl who steals the hearts of a bunch of self-absorbed, out-of-touch rich dudes, and a long, overly-complicated love triangle ensues.

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This past weekend I prepared a Boys Over Flowers-themed picnic (I sure do love me a themed party, dinner, anything). Nothing too over-the-top, but with themed food and attire.  With my personal motto being “the more dramatic the better,” my original intention was to cosplay as the lead character, Geum Jan-di, but my school uniform was a bit too slow shipping from Japan, so plans changed. Instead, my friend and I donned summery outfits inspired and color-coordinated to match our favorite male counterparts of the show’s love triangle. Here’s Alisha’s light and lovely Yoon Ji-hoo attire.

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And I, always clad in black and a fan of the bad boy in any love story, wore a look inspired by character, Goo Jun-pyo.

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AnimeNext 2013: The Cosplay, The Fashion, The Antics

June 11, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

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It’s hard to know where to start. If I didn’t have a blog, I’d be tempted to say “what happens at an AnimeNext, stays at an AnimeNext,” or “the first rule of anime cons: don’t talk about anime cons.” But I won’t cop out, especially since I took so many pics of my adventures. Though even with a full con recap, there are still some things that can’t truly be explained, and you had to see for yourself. For example, watching Link and Hello Kitty have a krump off while two young vocaloids squeeled with glee from the sidelines is the kind of stuff dreams are made of. And cosplay burlesque–I definitely didn’t expect to see Richter Belmont whipping the clothes off of sexy vampires, or April O’ Neil gyrating in turtle pasties…

Atmosphere, Events, and Antics

I take it for granted that people reading this already know what an anime con is, but if not, it’s basically a con for all things relating to Japanese animation, manga (Japanese comics), gaming, and even branching out to include Japanese music, fashion, and some Korean pop culture. I’ve been to regular comic conventions in the past, but this is not the same, with the glaring difference being the amount of cosplay. If you don’t show up in costume, you’re in the minority.

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NYFW 2013: Furry Beasts, Lucid Dreams, And Seriously Sexy Neckwear

February 14, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

I know that New York Fashion Week wasn’t a competition, but if it were, the award for Best Overall Performance would go to Jeremy Scott. I don’t recall the last time I was this wowed by a collection. It’s so playfully creepy, with a youthful edge. In this collection we saw mummies, zombies, leopard-print, anarchy, and some absolutely crazy neon fur. I need these things in my life.

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Stegmaier Mansion Victorian Times

January 8, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

I had a birthday this past Monday, and I celebrated it the way everyone should celebrate their 27th birthday (ugghhh 27)–prancing around a Victorian mansion.

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I rounded up my ladies and went to a place that I can’t believe I haven’t already been to at least a dozen times, and a place that I wish I could stay forever–the Frederick Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

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Christmas Family Times, Skeleton Bling, And Steampunk Bath Products

December 27, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

I hope all of ya’ll had a wonderful Christmas/holiday/time-off-from-work-without-celebrating-anything/etc.  Sorry I kind of vanished from social-networking and blogging land for a while–I was busy doing crucial holiday stuff like hangin’ with my family, sleeping for an eternity, and eating profuse amounts of low fat, sugar free, flour free pumpkin pie (no doubt the most appetizing thing you’ve ever heard of, I know).

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Christmas is the big holiday for my family, and everyone was too busy running around to take pictures of the action. No pictures my grandmother dancing to Gangnam Style two times, my reenactment of the knife fight from Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” or pictures of my cousin’s epic outfit that reminded me of Rihanna gone goth. (more…)

October Recap: Nonstop Vampire Party

October 31, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

I hope you all had a lovely Halloween : ) To tell you the truth, my Halloween day was actually pretty chill, but that’s mostly because I’ve been celebrating an early, extended holiday for the last two weeks or so. So what was my Halloween costume? Technically I’d say vampire (I was supposed to go with Lydia Deetz but I bought the wrong hat, didn’t realize till the last moment, blah blah blah), but here’s a look at my various costumes from the past few weeks.

I was a vampire.

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Alexander McQueen and Beekeeper Chic

October 4, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

I can’t get over how stunning the new McQueen Spring 2013 collection is. One reviewer called the collection “slightly mad,” which I think is an indication that designer, Sarah Burton, is doing something right. Every season she’s managed to create new collections both surprising and thought-provoking.

The collection is opulent and ultra-feminine, with an edge. Burton managed to combine fishnets, petticoats, and luxe beekeeper hats and somehow make it all seamlessly fit together.

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Philly Photo Snaps–Goth Barbies, Corsets, and Skeletal Ballerinas

September 3, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

I took a weekend trip to Philly a couple of weeks back, and for once there was no agenda. No fashion shows or goth clubs–so it really just turned into an all-day Chinatown fest. I took a few outfit snaps so you can see what new pieces have stolen my heart, and threw in a few randoms.

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