Posts Tagged: ‘cosplay’

4 Methods for Redirection, Renewal, and Reinvention

May 12, 2015 Posted by rissvandal

A few times a year, usually as a new season approaches, I feel an overwhelming desire for change. I start to explore new looks, new hobbies, and new methods of self-expression. One defining thing about me though, is that if I plan to make a change I want it to be big. Most times, however, in order to see big changes you need to make big commitments. A dramatic new haircut or closet spring cleaning is a suggestion I often see in regards to a change you can immediately make. Both of those seem like decent enough ideas, but what if the haircut sucks and you’re left mourning your lost tresses? Or maybe a month later you’ll begin to regret that heavy-handed closet purge. Here I have 4 methods to either reinvent your look or push your life in a new direction that I practice myself. Each one is painless, fairly immediate, and requires little commitment.

SEEK OUT A NEW, UNEXPECTED STYLE ICON

Despite the many times I’ve changed my look throughout life, the majority of my look have all been rooted in the same sources. Since my teen years, Siouxsie Sioux, Nana Osaki, and the deadly stylish characters of Tim Burton movies have reigned as my main inspirations. As I age, I’ve begun to crave duality. I’ll never totally abandon black, but in recent years I’ve been admiring sweet lolitahime lolita, and fairy kei looks from afar, though unwilling to actually give these looks a try myself.

blog10That is, until I stumbled across Saaya Hayashida’s Instagram account. Saaya is the creative force behind the sugary sweet Japanese brand, Swankiss. Her look that’s part adorable, part angelic, and part ethereal princess is one of the most striking ones I’ve seen in some time. And after style stalking her long enough on Instagram, it lead me to ponder if I could pull off pinks, pastels, and delicate hues.

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Photos via swankiss.net

I’m not abandoning my trademark style, but I’m opening up to the idea of letting more color in. Judging from the responses I received after pulling off this look (i.e. “I think Korea changed you“), colors can clearly be more shocking and subversive than I realized. My initial three style icons now need to make way for a fourth. And I challenge anyone to start exploring styles way out of your comfort zone–it could have some wonderfully dramatic and eye-opening results.

blog-3Flower crown: Claire’s / Hair extensions: Hair Plus Base / Bodysuit: thrift

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Cosplaying in Seoul and the Challenge of Being an Otaku in Korea

April 22, 2015 Posted by rissvandal

Let me be honest about something–I never quite got the hang of Seoul Comic World. So far I’ve attended five events, so don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the cons a whole hell of a lot. What were my issues? Well, obvious challenges arose, such as cultural differences and language barriers. What I hadn’t expected, however, was an abundance of rules that cosplayers were asked to adhere to. And while it was navigating all those rules that ended up making me feel a little bit off to the sidelines, it also ended up teaching me a lot about the state of the anime fan in Korea.

Nana Osaki CosplayI occasionally have grouchy “back in my day” moments where I lament how mainstream cosplay has become, but overall I’m quite happy about how accepted it’s become. I love that conventions are nerdy free-for-alls and how, when a convention rolls to town, most cosplayers will cruise through streets and parking lots without much of a care. With nothing but US con experiences under my belt, I went to Korea expecting that same sort of atmosphere, only to find out, not so much…

Gothic Lolita, Lola CapuletteTo further explain, first it’s important to note that Seoul Comic World is an event that ends in the early evening. Its a day trip thing, not a save-and-plan-all-year-and-book-a-hotel-room thing. Therefore the question arises–how exactly do I cosplay? (more…)

Otaku-ing In Tokyo: 6 Notable Places to Indulge Your Inner Fanboy/girl

August 12, 2014 Posted by rissvandal

When I was 12 years old I made a dramatic, seemingly life or death pinky swear promise with my friend to visit Japan before I hit 30 years old. A somewhat arbitrary number in the scheme of things, but I take a personal sense of pride knowing that I made the cutoff and little Riss would be incredibly pleased. I enjoyed so much about my first trip to Tokyo–the food, the sights, and of course the fashion. We’ll get to the fashion later, but ultimately this trip was about indulging my otaku side, and that’s what I want to talk about right from the start. Here’s a sampling of some of the noteworthy otaku spots you can find in Tokyo. Oh man, the feels. The anime feels…

Akihabara

Akihabara is an ultimate otaku zone, electronics and gaming zone, and a place that all around just slaps you in the face with fandom. Anime billboards decorate this district, and you can’t take more than ten steps without running into yet another UFO catcher arcade or cluster of gashapon machines.

Akihabara, Tokyo Club Sega, Tokyo

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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

Seoul Hello Kitty Cafe

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.

Seoul Hello Kitty Cafe (more…)

5 Brands to Get on Your Radar in 2014

January 29, 2014 Posted by rissvandal

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We haven’t even made it more than a month into 2014, but I already have my list–my list of new and/or fast developing brands and designers I’ll be keeping an eye on in the coming year. In other words, here’s a look at who’ll be getting most of my money in 2014… This is going to be a year full of bold snapbacks, sophisticated casualwear, edgy otaku swag, and not to mention, some lolita sweetness. Take a look at five brands it’s time to get on your radar.

 LIEF

khj (more…)

Holiday Sparkle Photoset and Otaku Gifts From Jlist

December 17, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

Happy Holidays! First off, can I just start out with a tip for everyone? It’s a no brainer, really, but when you’re getting ready to travel, whether it be around the holidays or not, by all means make a list. And even after you do make a list of everything you need, go back and make sure you indeed did pack what you thought, and your eyes did not deceive you.

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I bring this up because I’ll go right ahead and admit that this photoset was supposed to look different. No major issue–I’m happy with the end result, but I did this shoot over the Thanksgiving holiday, and as I packed the outfit I put together right before traveling, not only did I forget a piece of it, I grabbed the wrong wig as well (“major fail” I hear you thinking to yourself). Apparently I’m partially colorblind, and think a purple wig is a blue wig, or else my apartment has worse lighting than I realize. Either way, lesson learned, figured I’d pass that painfully obvious yet crucial advice to double check your luggage (I see you rolling your eyes, thinking “well DUH”).

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The shoot ended up a bit more cutesy Lolita than expected, but hey, I rolled with it.

The wig is from Gothic Lolita Wigs, the dress is vintage, and the hairbow is from Rakuen. The shrug is offbrand, my apron is handmade, and “Maybelline Color Show Nail Falsies” (seemingly no longer available, according to Maybelline’s site) allowed me to pretend I had lovely nails for the day. (more…)

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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Photo Set: Creepy Kids and Cereal Killers

October 31, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

Happy Halloweeeeen, friends! ^_^

Monster Cereal hits the stores but once a year and what better way to celebrate the arrival of this seasonal spooky goodness then with a photo set? To tell you the truth I only tried three of the cereals (I recommend Yummy Mummy). I’m actually not supposed to eat cereal, nevermind sugar, but I like the idea of Monster Cereal so…

Here’s some costumed fun for the holiday with a bit of behind-the-scenes anecdotes throughout:

Killer Gothic Lolita: The entire time those pictures were being taken, my grandmother was standing off to the side  (odd timing for a visit) repeatedly asking “What are you doing? It’s not Halloween, I don’t understand, why are you doing this?” Sometimes the best response is to pause then just say “the Internet.”

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Photographer: Carlos Phillips Images //Model: Riss

Ultimate Fruit Brute

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Model: Markus AD (more…)

Halloween for Everyone! Recommendations for Every Costuming Type

October 17, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

Happy October, everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying Fall and that your Halloween preparations are well under way. To tell you the truth, I haven’t really been taking as much time as usual to really soak in the season. Maybe it’s because this month has been so busy for me–every weekend I’m out of town, most weekdays I’m running around setting up shoots for my special Halloween photoset (more about that later). Or maybe it’s because I can’t eat candy, or because making costumes is no longer a grand, once-a-year type of thing in my life. Whatever it is, I hope to get in the spirit this weekend when I take in the beautiful sites of the country, visit a notable haunted house attraction (Easter State Penitentiary in Philly), and hopefully eat lots of pumpkin stuff. That should do it, right? Maybe? I hope?

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Now let’s talk the serious stuff of the season–costumes. If you haven’t chosen your costume yet, what are you doing and how can you be so casual? If you’re still debating, let me give you a couple of recommendations, hopefully help to guide you in the right direction. But first and foremost, before I throw a bunch of shops and websites at you, let’s break it down a bit. What’s your costuming type? Are you…

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Lying to Myself, Finding True Love, And Getting Older and Weirder

September 18, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

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A lot of people tell you to follow your passion and pursue the things you love. But what if you can’t actually figure out what the heck that is?

I pondered that question a couple months ago while searching for pictures of “bad” prom dresses for a Dos and Don’ts of Prom article I was assigned to write while interning for a stylist in NY (ooh, doesn’t that sound all fancy?). When the article was done I went back and removed my name from the byline, preferring it just be credited to some enigmatic ghost blogger, as opposed to me. I’m the girl who’s supposed to be the almighty cheerleader of alternative fashion, and firmly believes that fashion “don’ts” dont actually exist. Afterward I pushed my computer aside and took a moment to ask myself What are you doing? Like seriously, what are you doing?

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