Konichiwa, it’s A-Kon time! A-Kon 28 has made its way to Texas, at the Fort Worth Convention Center! For four days (June 8-11) I, along with many anime enthusiasts, moguls and fanatics, will experience the fun side of Japanese culture! From Anime and Karaoke to Lolita Tea Parties and a Kawaii J-Fashion Show, A-Kon will bring about a time for fun, friends and an all-out cultural experience! Throughout my journey here, I have thoroughly enjoyed the fun events they had in store, especially the J-Fashion Show and Lolita Tea Party. I can’t wait to give you all the riveting details about it, and I know neither can you, so here we go.
A-Kon is likewise facilitating a few highlighted occasions from shows by included visitors to their new Cosplay Museum – which has been curated by the Texas-based cosplay gathering, Southern Cospitality – and an “escape the room” encounter called Neko Squared’s Yandere Escape. Moreover, they will be holding a cosplay challenge, a disguise ball themed Masquerade on Ice and will include a cleaning specialist and host club called the Neko Maid Café.
The tradition likewise underpins a philanthropy activity every year. The 2017 A-Kon Charity Initiative is the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Participants can add to the activity through purchasing a Charity FastPass – the FastPass will include custom craftsmanship and permit need access for signatures and need permission to changes over, the J-Fashion Show, Cosplay Contest and Masquerade Ball – or obtaining a ticket for the Banquet with the Stars, which will highlight uncommon visitors and prize giveaways. Moreover, participants can be “captured” to serve time at the Sky Marshal’s Charity Jail and Bail for $1/minute.
With A-Kon, you can let loose and free yourself into a world where imagination runs wild!
The Masquerade Ball is a formal event hosted by the convention. The ball is a way for a-kon goers to break the ice and meet one another, all while dressed up in jaw-dropping gowns, dresses and suits of all kinds. For the convention this year, the theme was “Masquerade on Ice”, so I really thought it would involve ice-skating. Lucky for me, it was just involving dancing and dressing in colors that represent ice (or in the colors of your cosplay character or persona). I wore a cream colored kimono that was given to me during my first fashion show, and at first I thought I would stick out. Man, was I wrong. From characters of Zelda to even Steven Universe, I was actually one of the most normally-dressed person there was (considering A-Kon was a japanese event). Although everyone dressed avant-garde and unconventionally, the music and dancing was as normal as prom or even a real formal ball. I never had so much fun bringing people together, and for once I was the wallflower. Before it concluded, I was asked for a few dances by some lovely girls that cosplayed as Rose Quartz, Lapis Lazuli, Poison Ivy and a few more of my favorites. Not only was it very exciting to see the formal styles of various animer/cartoon characters, but to also meet new people and make friends is always enjoyable.
Neko Neko Maid & Host Club
The Neko Neko Maid & Host Club provides a restful leisure where guests are welcomed, then escorted to their tables by the caring, charismatic crew known as Maids and Hosts. Some of them are funny, some are silly, but they are all warming when it comes towards bringing smiles to their guests’ faces. The NNMHC brings relaxation and cheerfulness to each of their guests, thanks to their unconventional, exciting events. One of their most memorable events at A-Kon was the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, in which they would dress up in Lolita inspired by Wonderland, and the guests would enjoy tea and breakfast pastries, as they sing and dance to bring amusement to all. I have to say, I’m glad the Red Queen wasn’t there to ruin the festivities, because in place was her husband, who supplied prizes to those who can win his games. I have to say that the Maid & Host Club live up to their repertoire, and if any of you are interested in creating a comedic, welcoming atmosphere, go to http://www.nekoneko.makesmehappy.net/, and audition to be a maid or host.
The most amazing part of Japan and A-Kon, aside from the excitement, are the styles they have. From Lolita of all types (i.e. Sweet, Goth & Classic), fashion designers Haenuli, Miss Octopie and Atelier Pierrot. I have to say that from my many experiences at J-Fashion shows and events, this one was something beyond amazing! Each designer has placed their hearts and flair into each piece of Lolita, from each detail of the garment to the music that was incorporated into their collection’s introduction.
Starting with Haenuli, her designs were cosmic and awe-inspiring. Her fabrics were unconventional, as were each design. Her elegant high fashion for women was based on her mixed aesthetic of unique concepts. All dresses and fabric prints are designed by Haenuli, and are carefully sewn and constructed by her professional seamstresses. When I saw her designs, I saw a flash of magic, beauty and love mixed into a variety of cool, extravagant fashions of the century!
Next up is Miss Octopie, with her Kawaii harajuku representing the freedom of her art, which was inspired from the Japanese art movement of “kawaii”, a way for people to express their opinions against negativity by finding their own personal happiness through a cute, colorful and playful lifestyle! From the light tones and sweetness of her designs, it makes me think of innocence and fun times as a kid!
And finally, the piece de la resistance, Atelier Pierrot brings about the elegance and formality of lolitas with her Elegant Gothic and Classical Lolitas. Each of her designs are composed of muted, dark colors, antique motifs and also florals. Seeing her exquisite garments, I was in awe and inspired by the grace and softness of the dresses.
From each designer, they have presented me with a concept of who they are and what makes their aesthetic and designs so unique —- their life, their family, where they come from, but most importantly, who they are. The J-Fashion show has inspired me to do my best in fashion, and from what I learned from them, I know I can put myself and so much more into my future and my garments, and also into who I will become.
Aside from the fantastic fashions I witnessed, A-Kon provided me with so many opportunities. I met new people, made new friends, and discovered a new part of myself. The raves they hosted in the Arena Room were electrifying, as were the parties and contests that bring out the best of everyone’s abilities. For any of you that want to have the same marvels as I have, or even more, you can go to a-kon.com, and either purchase a ticket, be a guest of it, or even volunteer for it. Trust me, A-kon is nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It brings out a you unlike any other!
For any of you that want to visit the pages of some of the a-kon guests, you can click on their links below.
Commander Sean MacTaggart
John Freid “Dr. Windslow’s Emporium”
Figments by Kathleen
Gitane’s Treasures: Custom Metal Work
Terry Ellen Schultz “Tellen’s Art”
Reid Fagerquist “Art by Reid”
Tiffany Crosby “Artistic Cheez Wiz”
Victorian Fencing Society
Crescent Moon Belly Dance Studios
Sayonara, and Hope to See You At A-Kon 29!
Coming Soon Next Year!