Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Top 5 Conventions for Jfashion Goodness that are NOT AM


Hello Everyone!

So in the few days or so, the extent of the corruption of Anime Matsuri has finally been exposed. I have always had issues with this convention but for the sake of not writing too many depressing things in this blog, I have for the most part kept these things in my head.

In all honesty, with the exception of seeing my NOLA dears each year, Anime Matsuri has to be the biggest disorganized unprofessional clusterfuck I have ever had to deal with both as a regular attendee and a member of the press. My experience being a member of press last year for the con to cover the Nightmare events was just that, a nightmare! Between a rather embarrassing convo with John Leigh, the co-chair of the con right before the concert, and major logistical issues with the concert proper, it was just too much to deal with and it is no wonder that my boss did not get me press for this year to cover Disacode.

From rude and or inept staff members to 2-3+ hour waits for big events, not getting merch that I had PAID for in advanced and sketchy mixed messages regarding tea party tickets in 2014 and other things that me saying would probably breech my confidentiality agreement with VKH, I never really enjoyed AM much besides the company of my lovely NOLA friends and getting to meet certain Japanese fashion guests I sadly probably would not have been able to meet otherwise (like Minori). Also, the cliquishness of the other lolita’s I’ve met at AM and always being denied a spot in the fashion show (and probably having my submission laughed at, based on recent info that has come to light) has done nothing but damage to my self esteem. I also had my own ideas/speculations about the dubiousness going on behind the scenes but for the most part it was only talk. But late last week this amazing account was posted from a former AM staffer and HLC member.


I really really REALLY commend buttcape for writing this because since then other former models and such are now coming out with their own stories and from all accounts it’s a lot worse than I could have imagined, sexual harassment and dubious methods for selecting Jfashion models and just this most recently THREE of the Kawaii Ambassadors have now LEFT the JLA and their posts as Kawaii Ambassadors because of this. What has been probably most sickening to read is how they have treated Misako, Midori, Akira and the other Japanese guests, not feeding them for hours on end, not giving them translators or handlers and not even informing them about the things they would be doing!

At the present, it appears that the JLA is investigating Anime Matsuri.

This is all so appalling, the lolita community as a whole already has a lot of elitism, cliquish hierarchies and bullshit as it is without Anime Matsuri soiling it all the more. This is why, among many other reasons, I am a lone lolita. Please everyone, if you have not already; please kindly sign this petition for the JLA to revoke John and Deniece Leigh’s positions as honorary Kawaii Ambassadors. As long as they have any hold in this community, things can’t get better.


Sadly though, I feel like even with all this incredible effort to end their corruption, many lolitas and Jfashionistas will still attend AM and their associated events. Simply because despite their obvious bullshit, they are still probably the biggest anime convention for Jfashion programming; with all the brands they bring along as well as models, it’s a very tempting event. I fully admit the main reason I went to AM this year was for an opportunity to meet Akira. Not only that but rumor now has it that they will be bringing a whopping SEVEN brands next year and based on pictures they have recently released and my own intuition (which is quite accurate 99% of the time), one of those brands may very well be Triple Fortune and I really REALLY want to met Kaie and Babi since I missed them at Rufflecon last year. But even so, despite the strong temptation, I will be staying far away from Anime Matsuri next year and every year from now on. I won’t even be attending the Grand Tea Party this November. It’s the principle of the matter.

I acknowledge that Anime Matsuri is a very tempting event for those who love lolita fashion and may want to meet these guests or take part in brand tea parties, fashion shows and the like. But I can no longer support an event that harbors sexual predators and allows such disorganization that it would make a small student run event like Tigercon far superior by comparison! I know that not every lolita (or most for that matter) can have the good fortune to be able to make multiple trips across the country to other conventions and events like I do. But in my last 7 years of con-hopping, I have taken note of the conventions that can be counted on to have the best programming Jfashion wise.

So for this post, I will be giving my top 5 conventions that usually have good Jfashion programming. Hopefully you will consider these conventions as alternatives to AM.

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Pacific Media Expo ~ Pasadena, California (http://pacificmediaexpo.info/2015/)
Usually this event is in early November, around Veterans Day, but this year it’s Labor Day weekend. PMX is an interesting case because even though it is technically an anime con, they really go out of their way to have all kinds of Japanese Pop Culture programming and even some Kpop too; from Jrock to dramas and of course, Jfashion. They even have a separate website specifically for their fashion department. It was at PMX 2008 that I first saw Kaya perform live and it was wonderful! In 2009 they had AP designers Maki and Asuka (AP was also there at PMX 2007) as well as Gashicon from Hangry and Angry. The last year I went Masumi Kano from BTSSB was there and in the last few years they have had the designers of Innocent World and Juliette et Justine and many events from craft and tea parties to fashion swap meets. I have always enjoyed PMX and with their recent move to a bigger venue, I am confident that it will continue to be a great con, I highly recommend it!


Anime Expo ~ Los Angeles, California (http://www.anime-expo.org/)
Anime Expo is the largest anime/Japanese culture convention in the country and since 2006 has had always had some kind of Jfashion programming or guest, probably even before that and I don’t know. In the past they have had iconic figures like Mana and Misako Aoki as guests and have even had gyaru brands in their dealer’s hall and as a part of their fashion show broadening the horizon for how Jfashion is manifested at conventions. Both this year and last year Kimura U was a guest and Naoto Hirooka of h.Naoto will be a guest for this year also.


Anime Weekend Atlanta ~ Atlanta, Georgia (http://awa-con.com/)
AWA has had the benefit of not only being able to host many brand events and guests, but they have a very strong lolita following as well. Before it disbanded, the Atlanta lolita event FRILL would often host events at AWA and even had a full boutique rented out in the Cobb Galleria in 2012 which was awesome for shopping. In the last few years the con itself has hosted many notable brands such as Putumayo, BABY and a few KINCS designers too. Misako Aoki modeled with Putumayo in 2013 and they hosted a tea party that year also. The local lolitas that I have met at AWA are also very sweet! I already mentioned this but I will be at AWA again this year for my birthday. I’m not sure yet what Jfashion goodness they have planned this year as I have not yet checked their guest list extensively (I’m mainly going for Eir Aoi and Reika XD) but I’m sure whatever they have planned, it will be great.


Anime Next ~ Early June in New Jersey (http://www.animenext.org/)
Anime Next has only recently come upon my interest in the last few years. I only went to Anime Next once two years ago but was very impressed with it Jfashion wise. Last year they had Kimura U and the brand Galaxxxy and in recent years they have hosted several other notable fashion guests like Sixh, Mint Neko, GRAMM, BABY (Founder and CEO Akinori Isobe was there in 2013 along with designer Masumi) and most recently this year, h.Naoto. Next year they will be moving to a larger space in Atlantic City so I am certain that Anime Next will continue to deliver great programming for Jfashionistas.


RuffleCon ~ Early October in Connecticut (http://www.rufflecon.org/)
I have not yet had the privilege of attending this conference but from all accounts, it is very nice, fun and well organized. RuffleCon bills itself as a Northeast Alternative Fashion Conference and caters to many different fashions not just Jfashion, also historical fashion general gothic and Victorian fashion, etc. Events include the standard tea party and fashion show but there are also fan panels and workshops specializing in fashion related topics, a masquerade ball and a talent show too! Last year they had Fumiko chan of Enchantilic Enchantilly and Kaie and Babi as guests and I would have gone if Schwarz Stein at AUSA had not taken priority. XD

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As lolita and other Jfashions become more popular in the west, most medium to big cons usually have at least one designer come to their con these days. These listed are just my personal favorites/the ones most notable. There are many others too; for winter International Lolita Day this December, I am planning on attending the new lolita convention Dream Fantasy Theatre Presents: A Royal Weekend in Orlando Florida. It will be my last convention of the year and likely last convention for a while besides Katsucon next year (staffing again). Since Dream Fantasy Theatre is rather new I can’t speak yet on wheather or not it’s a good con but I have high hopes.

 In the meantime, I hope you all take these conventions listed above into consideration when planning to go to one if you are interested in Jfashion. And don’t just limit yourself to just these or whatever conventions plan, work with your local lolita communities and talk to the conventions in your area about having Jfashion programming if they don’t already. There is power in numbers; this very year Mechacon, the New Orleans convention that a lot of my NOLA dears attend, will be hosting a BABY/AATP fashion show and tea party. It pains me greatly that I won’t be able to go but I am very proud and happy for them to be able to do this! If you guys are reading this, you guys are so awesome!! <3

Also this year back in April, the Pittsburgh convention Tekko had RinRin Doll as their very first Jfashion guest in the conventions history. Even now, I am currently doing all I can to convince my superiors at Katsucon that hosting a Jfashion guest in the future would be a great thing for the con and I know others in my local comm. are trying to do the same. Look for me this autumn wherever Katsucon is promoting where I will, in addition to promoting the convention itself, will also be raising awareness for my new hashtag #JfashionatKatsu, something I hope will get more notice as katsu gets closer.


Yours Jasmine 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kamijo 20th Anniversary Concert in NYC aka how I spent my International Lolita Day Part 2 ~ Vive le Roi!!!


Hello Everyone!

And now to continue with my International Lolita Day adventures in New York. After taking the subway again from the boutique we made it to the Highline Ballroom a little past 4. By this time there were a lot of people lined up, I saw a few other lolvely lolitas and even a few Kamijo cosplayers too; there was this one Holy Grail Hizaki cosplayer that looked absolutely stunning!

There were two lines, one for general admission and one for VIP ticket holders, which were us; we would get the opportunity to meet Kamijo before the show! The very thought made me a little sick in my stomach such was my nervousness. This all still seemed like nothing more than a wonderful dream to me but as the time got closer and closer it was beginning to hit me harder and harder that THIS WAS NO DREAM AT ALL!! After 7 years from discovering Versailles and 3 years since their announcement of hiatus, I was going to actually be meeting this incredible, talented, beautiful man who’s bands’ music had been such a driving inspiration to me for so long, helping me through very rough times and making me so happy other times. Not to mention all the wonderful friends and experiences I found through his music. I never imagined that I would have this opportunity. At that moment, I could no longer think about the depressing things that had made me stop listening to Versailles and Kamijo’s music for a while, those things just seemed to erase from my mind fully.



And things REALLY began to sink in the minute I saw this!


In any case, while in line there was this very kind girl holding a large US flag with the gold emblem of Kamijo’s solo project in the center and Amanda and I each signed our names on it. Before the meet and greet staff members let bunches of fans in at a time to buy merch which honestly was very slim pickings. None of Kamijo’s music was for sale which made me rather upset and the only size fan shirt left was way too large for me; in the end I settled on 2 photo sets, gifts for Kitty back home and my friend in Georgia who sadly could not make it. 

After buying merch Amanda and I went back to the VIP line to wait a little more for us to be called back into the venue. As it happens the meet and greet started late and honestly it happened so quickly! There were a lot of VIP’s, probably more than 100. We were led to the upper level of the venue where from downstairs we could see the stage and see people beginning to line up for the show itself, this slightly worried me because I wanted a good spot and didn’t pay $120 to stand TOO far from the stage! While waiting Amanda and I looked down below and could see Kamijo being led upstairs and THAT is when the reality of all of this hit me, I’m worried I may have crushed Amanda’s hand such was how tightly I was squeezing it! We continued holding hands until finally it was my turn, again so quickly! With one last squeeze of her hand the staff member guarding the door opened it for me went into the room.

My head was down staring at my shoes and my heart was racing; I heard the word “Bonjour~” and that’s when I finally looked up at a very gorgeous, warm smiling Kamijo, he reached his hand out to me and all I could say was “Hello!” in what was probably a very squeaky voice as I shook his hand. I wanted to look at him but he was wearing his vampire contact lenses that make his eyes look a piercing almost white blue that made my heart race again. The staff member took our picture and then Kamijo turned to me smiling and shook my hand again with both of his hands saying “Thank you so much, please enjoy!” This time our eyes actually met and I could fully take in how regally handsome he is! The racing in my heart was replaced with a warm fluttery feeling and I squeaked “Arigatou!” but by this point it was all I could do not to break down and cry. Even now it all seemed like nothing more than a beautiful dream and only when I took my first look at the cheki of Kamijo and I did I finally realize that this was no dream. I had just met Kamijo, I had shaken his hand twice and he actually looked at me! I had expected the whole experience to be A LOT more daunting but it wasn’t. Despite having a very commanding, slightly intimidating presence (and *cough* sexy! *cough cough*) on stage he was so kind and gracious and it felt like the fluttering in my heart would never go away. What a true gentleman! It didn’t even matter to me that the whole thing only took at most half a minute.




I’m sure regular readers of my blog already know how rare it is for me to give a full, true smile in any picture. But in that moment everything just felt so incredible and euphoric that I could not help but smile. Thank you Kamijo, I will treasure this picture forever! ^O^

I wandered back down the stairs in a strange sort of daze, waiting for Amanda. And then I ran into fellow MD lolita Erica who had also come up to New York for ILD and the concert! We had not seen each other since Anime Matsuri and it was nice seeing her again. She had also just met Kamijo and she, me and Amanda all mused together about the wonderful experience we had all just had and look at our chekis. 

It would still be another two hours until showtime so we spent most of the time talking about Kamijo, the songs we hoped he would sing, what we had done in the city that day and lolita crack dresses! XD (the fancy make to order dresses from BABY that generally retail for about $1000 USD but sell on auctions for 10X more) By 6:30-7pm our feet were killing us so we all sat to rest right there by the stage, and from the looks of it we were not the only ones. Poor Amanda actually fell asleep for a bit and I didn’t bother to wake her until it was time for the concert to truly start.

Despite the meet and greet being late, the concert started promptly at 8. The lights dimmed and we all got up from the floor and went wild with excitement!! A blood red hue illuminated the stage and the beginning tunes of “Vive le Roi” began. We all chanted along with “Vive le Roi” as the support members appeared one by one, oh how my heart raced when Masashi appeared but not as much as when Kamijo finally strode upon the stage obviously relishing how wild we all went for him! Together we all began to chant “Vive le Roi! Vive le Roi! Vive le Roi!” I was getting really excited and my heart soared when Kamijo spoke out the words “The world is, like a Masquerade!” and the epic symphonic chords of “Masquerade” began! One of my all time favorite Versailles songs! Kamijo sang with so much feeling and I could not help but sing along with him as loud as I could. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I never imagined I would ever hear this song performed live so the whole experience was just so surreal and amazing. Kamijo moved with such elegance, twirling the cape of his shimmering black and gold jacket and pointing out to the stage, he never seemed to stop grinning. Then when it was time for Masashi’s bass solo that is when I really lost it! I really wish I had a spot closer to him but it was still amazing seeing him because he is so truly talented!

After “Masquerade” we all cheered and I finally was able to fully look upon Kamijo and admire how glorious he was. He smiled at us all and said “Bonjour!” to which we replied back to him with even stronger applause. “Welcome to my palace!” He said in a very regal, somewhat seductive tone; Kamijo always seemed to me to have a certain “passion” for other languages and his English seemed to have really improved since Versailles! The next song was another Versailles tune “Shout and Bites” and then “Phantom” from his New Sodmy days. During these songs I tried to keep my attention on Kamijo but I found my attention often shifing to the very cute guitarist closest to us but most of all, Masashi. Versailles had ended before I could really come to appreciate him as an equal member of Versailles and I was very happy to see him as support member during this show. Like I said he is very talented and seems to have a very strong stage presence in his own right. Amanda said she thinks he’s cute. XD

Soon Kamijo said to the audience “Rose of Versailles” and I knew what that meant: “Bara wa utsukushiku chiru” Lareine’s rock version of the classic shoujo anime opening! Kamijo always made it clear that he really loved Rose of Versailles and so do I! Again I sang along all the while images of Lareine and the anime appeared on the screen behind them, then another Lareine song; “Fuyu Tokyo”. Then Kamijo left the stage for a moment while the support members wowed us with an instrumental track I did not recognize but it was amazing. And then the support members left the stage as well and everything went dark for a moment.

 

Kamijo returned to the stage and performed a beautiful Japanese version of the Versailles song “Love Will be Born Again” to a slow instrumental track that nearly bought tears to my eyes. As he sang I looked upon him without fear and could really see (and feel) all the emotion he was putting into the song, it filled my heart with a mix of sadness and joy. After that song the support members returned to the stage for the next song, a beautiful and romantic Lareine track called “Fiancailles”. We sang along joyously to this sweet tune; I was really happy with all the Lareine songs Kamijo had chosen for this show. My only wish was that I could have heard “Metamorphose” “Fleur” or “Lillie Charlotte” as well. But it’s okay. Midway through the song a guy reached out and gave Kamijo a bouquet of blue roses; he kissed the bouquet and continued to sing with the bouquet in his hands. Such a lucky guy!

 

There was a little video before the next song. Now I will admit, with the exception of the very first few songs Kamijo released and the MOST recent of his solo work, I am not all THAT familiar with his solo work, most of last year I devoted my attention to Jupiter and did not pay much attention to what Kamijo was doing. So to that end the next few songs were kind of fuzzy to me as they all seemed to be mashed together. I only remember Kamijo performing “Dying Table” and “Throne” but that’s because those tracks I particularly took a liking to. So again I just focused on the way Kamijo was moving to and fro in a very flamboyant, elegant way. It was so captivating! He really does have that noble vampire act down pat! For that night, he truly owned the stage.

 

After the last song of the main set we all chanted for an encore. By that time it was a wonder that I had any voice left after so much screaming and singing along to nearly every song I knew AND already battling with a slightly scratchy throat. But the screaming had only just begun.

 

Another video played that showed all of the best of Kamijo over the last 20 years, from Lareine, to New Sodmy, to Versailles to now. It gave me a strange sense of joy and nostalgia to see how far Kamijo had come in his career and I was happy to be able to be there to celebrate his music with fellow fans and him. Finally the support members returned and a blood red hue lit the stage again as a grave, daunting beat began, Kamijo returned chanting “Whoa-o-oh” and we in turn chanted back “Whoa-o-oh”, in a strong voice Kamijo then sang “The time has come…” and we sang it back to him before the start of the first song of the encore set: the very intense and powerful “Bastile”! We all tried to get as close to the stage as we could as Kamijo performed and came to our side, singing out “Destroy the…” and we replied “BASTILLE!” as loud as we could! Such a fun song to experience live!!

 

“I want to see you dance!” Kamijo said to us as the next song began “Moulin Rouge”! Another fun party song that is very jazzy and somewhat sexy. I actually had to remove my shoes in order to really dance and enjoy this song like I wanted to and Kamijo did not disappoint! I was very taken back with the sexy way Kamijo danced and moved, licking his lips afew times and moving his hips in a seductive way. Every time he said “It’s showtime!” I danced with so much energy, I could not hold back. At one point we went over to Masashi and danced with him in a teasing way that was obviously meant to be for the sake of fanservice and was met with an eruption of rabid screams from the audience!

 

Kamijo announced the last song and I swear my heart stopped all together when he said the words: “Aristocrats Symphony”! The first ever song I ever heard of Versailles and my absolute favorite of theirs, “Aristocrats Symphony” holds a very special place in my heart. Even when I was not listening to Versailles for awhile during mourning for Jasmine You or because I was depressed about their hiatus, I would still listen to this powerful symphonic tune. All at once a wave of wonderful memories began to hit me as the song began and continued as Kamijo sang. Memories of seeing Kamijo and Versailles for the first time ever at a con in Dallas many years ago, memories of staying up until dawn with my friends watching their PV’s or live clips on YouTube, memories of passing out Versailles flyers as a member of their US Street Team cosplaying as Hizaki, memories of releasing a purple balloon into the sky every August 9th, a custom I observed every year until 2012. I had forgotten all the bad things, all the drama and all I could think of was headbanging intensely and singing along with Kamijo to this wonderful song. By this time, I could not hold back my tears any longer but I was so, so, SO HAPPY! Words cannot describe the happiness I felt. We all sang along. I did not ever want the song to end.

 

 

 

After the song Kamijo introduced each of his support members, I cheered for every one. They all had done such a magnificent job. Then Kamijo asked us teasingly “And I am…?” I don’t think it was possible to comprehend the audience screaming out Kamijo’s name, such was the passionate volume of everyone. Then Kamijo was presented with the US flag we had all signed earlier and he put it over his shoulder like a cape and even put it over his head once! So funny! He never stopped smiling, even for a moment!

 

And then sat with the support members close to the stage for a picture, we all squeezed in as close as we could for the picture, I think I actually got a very good spot. ^.^ At the very end, Kamijo instructed us to all jump on his cue and he took the hands of all his support members and together we all jumped as high as we could, but at this point I merely pretended because my feet were crying after hours of walking around in EGL platforms and dancing. Kamijo and the support members waved to the crowd and thanked us all graciously and wholeheartedly before leaving the stage for the last time. The concert was over.

 

Reality returned to me immediately as I realized what a magical experience I had just been a part of. Amanda and I didn’t leave right away though, we ran into my VKH colleague and friend Shiro and we decided to collapse into the middle of the floor, breathless and euphoric and musing about how amazing the concert had been. We also ran into a bunch of other familiar faces too. It had occurred to me that I was only able to know most of these people through Versailles and by default through Kamijo. It was so wonderful and I can honestly say without a doubt that this had to be one of the best jrock concert experiences I had ever had.

 

Amanda and I returned to the bus station, still trying to take in what a wonderful day and night it had been. Sadly, my bus left at 1am, before her’s so holding back more tears I bid her farewell and we promised each other we would see each other later this summer for Otakon and I returned to Baltimore. It was nearly 5am by the time I came home and I fell into bed, still fully dressed in my Moitie regalia.

 

 

 

All my purchases from the day. OTK’s from AATP, a headbow from BABY, a Kera magazine and autographed Disacode photobook, the lovely box my Laudree macarons came in and, of course, photos of Kamijo!

 

It was such a wonderful day! Probably the best International Lolita Day I had ever had! It was even better experiencing everything with Amanda. I feel like I had been waiting so long for this concert experience and despite the hiccups with the organization, everything fell into place so wonderfully. Even now I’m still sore from that day but it doesn’t bother me at all.

 

Summer is coming but my decision still stands of taking a break from con-hopping until at least September. I’ll be relaxing this summer but I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated throughout the summer. So please look forward to future posts from me! And now if you excuse me, I’m going to go order Kamijo’s new CD on CDJapan! XD

 

Vive le Roi!!!

 

Yours Jasmine

Monday, June 8, 2015

Kamijo 20th Anniversary Concert in NYC aka how I spent my International Lolita Day Part 1 ~ Adventures in the City


Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a great International Lolita Day, I know I did! In truth, this had to be one of the best days in recent memory for so many reasons.

I know it’s been a long while since I have written about my favorite Jrock band Versailles since they went on hiatus back in 2012. The truth is, I was feeling a lot of very deep feelings of sadness and disappointment during that time that I did not want to write about them anymore. Between drama going on within the street team in the last few months and me having to make probably the most difficult decision of my life to decide whether or not I would go to Japan completely alone for their final concert (only those extremely close to me know the answer) it was just a bunch of stress and sadness that made me feel bad because this band that had once brought me so much joy and given me to many beautiful memories was beginning to be a cause of pain for me.


Naturally when their vocalist Kamijo went solo and the other members formed another band called Jupiter, I followed both projects loyally but I had decided after joining with VKH not to get involved any longer with fan groups and I suspected I would never see any of them live at all. So you can imagine my excitement and joy when in January it was announced that Kamijo would be doing a world tour this year to celebrate his 20 years in the music business THAT WOULD INCLUDE THE US!!


A lot like Versailles, no?

It was like a miracle, I had already decided in my mind that I would never see any of the members of Versailles perform after 2012 but now I would be seeing Kamijo in NYC and in addition to that, Masashi, the bassist for Versailles after Jasmine You passed away, would be joining the world tour as Kamijo’s support bassist AND they would be playing Versailles songs in addition to music from Kamijo’s other projects like Lareine and New Sodmy (I LOVED Lareine!)!!

It was a recipe for probably one of the best lives I’ve ever been to! And since it landed on International Lolita Day, I decided what better way to spend ILD Summer 2015 than to make a day trip of going to NYC, doing loli things during the day and ending it with the concert! And so that, along with Amanda, decided to do!

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No front outfit shot as of yet, but here is what I decided to wear. EGL with blue roses in honor of Lareine!

JSK and Headdress ~ Moi Meme Moitie
Blouse Brooch and Bag ~ Taobao
Shoes ~ Bodyline
Parasol ~ Baby, the Stars Shine Bright




Selfie in the bus station before heading up to NYC!

It’s amazing I was not at all tired or sleepy the entire day as I was way too excited to sleep the night before and was too afraid to sleep on the bus out of fear of ruining my makeup. I was as giddy as a clown all the ride up there, not even the grey skies or early morning rain could dampen my mood! I made it into the city around noon and met up with my uncle who is a photographer and lives in the city. He helped me and Amanda navigate the city that day and took many pictures of us as well. Sadly Kitty fell sick last minute and could not join us. Her presence was very sorely missed and probably one of the only bad things about the day.




Waiting for Amanda to arrive. Photo credit goes to my Uncle Eddie who took this picture of me in the SoHo subway station. 

Amanda was set to arrive around 2 so while waiting I decided I wanted to go to Laudree in South Village. The name Laudree should be easily familiar with any lolita or enthusiast for macarons. It’s a beautiful French restaurant and tea room specializing in fancy French pastries but is best known for their wonderful macarons! As a self proclaimed macaron addict, I had to visit this place!




Oh, it was heavenly! Almost magical! And the lady who packed my macarons did so in such a fancy way in a beautifully crafted box that I will probably never throw away.




Sooooooo lovely!!!

I almost didn’t want to leave; I surely want to go back to Laduree next time I’m in the city. After leaving we went to pick up Amanda, she looked so lovely in her summer hime lolita coord, dressed in blue with pink roses in her hair. Together we made an interesting contrast, I in black in blue with my black BABY parasol and her in pastels and a white parasol.



We are so lovely! Photo credit again goes to my uncle. 

In any case, after meeting with her, we went straight to Tokyo Rebel/BTSSB NYC for some jfashion shopping! On our way there we saw a group of beautiful lolitas crossing the street with parasols. They looked so lovely! I think they had just left the boutique because when we went in, we were the only ones there for a while. It was nice though, I remember when I went to the store on opening day it was very crowded and there was no time to look around. This time we actually had time to browse and I showed Amanda a few nice BABY dresses I thought would suit her. In the end she got something from LISTEN FLAVOR and I got some OTKs from AATP and a few other small things. Sadly no pictures were allowed in the store but I was very happy to visit there again and even happier to be able to show Amanda the store too.




Me outside the store with my purchases in tow.

Our next destination was going to be dim sum in Chinatown but by this time it was nearly 4pm and line up for the concert was going to start at 5. So we left the boutique and made our way to the Highline Ballroom for what would be an incredible night!

In my next post, I’ll write about  the concert and my experience meeting Kamijo! So stay tuned! :-D

Yours Jasmine