BlerDCon 2021

After a year of no concerts or nerd conventions, and armed with both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, my best friend, Brooke and I made the trek to Arlington, VA for the fourth annual BlerDCon.* (Now with vaccination and mask mandates for your safety!)

I actually didn’t know that BlerDCon was a thing until Brooke kidnapped me back in 2019 in order to attend and I had a blast. It is hands down the best con I’ve ever attended, though I only have 10 years of New York Comic Con and 1 year of Anime NYC to compare it to. While our first year at BlerDCon was amazing (we only got to stay for 18 hours out of the 3 days), this year we took it up a notch,  as this was the year of the Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune “couple cosplay.”

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In the Name of the Moon!

Many children of my generation (the 90’s) were presented with female empowerment through the Sailor Moon anime. I was introduced to this series through the ’90s American dub which eventually lead me to reading the manga and hunting down the Japanese version (subbed of course). The story follows fourteen year-old Usagi Tsukino (known as Serena to  American audiences via the 90s dub of the anime) and her friends, who transform into planetary sailor soldiers using their powers to protect the Earth from evil forces seeking to destroy it.  As the series that sparked my interest in manga, anime and cosplay (which has only grown in the years since) it holds a very special place in my heart.

So in honor of it being June 30th, the canon birthday of Sailor Moon/Princess Serenity herself, Usagi Tsukino, I’m sharing  a few of the messages and themes from this series that had a profound influence on me as well as a generation of young men and women.  Disclaimer: A version of this post was published on the 4 Real Women International blog site in 2014 but has since been take down.  Also while there are so many incarnations of Sailor Moon (the manga, the 90’s anime, the stage shows known as Sera Myu and the live action series, PGSM) this blog post will only make reference to the manga and the ’90s anime. Continue reading

Call Me A Villainess – New York Comic Con 2018 Cosplay

This past January while scrolling through Instagram I saw an ad for a teal curly lace front wig and I immediately sent the link to my brother,  telling him that I had found my next New York Comic Con cosplay project – the (probably) misunderstood and mysterious Eclipsa Butterfly, Queen of Darkness from Disney’s “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.”Related image

If you follow me on Instagram I showed you just how supportive my brother was of this choice in cosplay as he gifted me a huge black sun hat for my birthday solely for this purpose. After I had the hat in my possession I knew there was no turning back on this plan so into cosplay-construction mode I went. Continue reading

Disney Fangirl Fashion feat. Little Petal

Being plus size and a huge Disney, Harry Potter, Anime, J-rock, and Marvel fangirl is really not easy. For one thing, when it comes to shopping for geek/nerdy tees, and cosplay apparel it is rare to find pieces in sizes larger than an XL for women.  Then there is the expectation that one should only choose characters that are of your same race. As I mentioned before in an earlier post,  cosplaying is often seen as something that should only be done by those that “can truly emulate a character as depicted in comics, film and video games.” This obviously leaves people of color as well as plus size women like myself out or at risk of getting highly criticized by the geek community.

For this reason, when it came time to order my  Little Petal convertible dress, I had originally chose the Korra dress because I figured that that was a character I could get away with cosplaying, but when I started communicating with designer, Danielle Ward I changed my mind.  As a body positive designer and business owner, she doesn’t believe in things like size limiting who you can dress up as, rather you should think of who you see yourself as. For me that made the decision easy – Esmeralda from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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Q&A with Body Positive, Comic Book Convertible Dress Designer, Danielle Ward of Little Petal

New York Comic Con 2014. I was determined to be one of the first people to get this limited edition Sailor Moon t-shirt that had been announced by Viz Media on Twitter a few days before. During my more than two hour wait in line for the con to officially open,  I decided to put on some lip stick and I was approached by this beautiful young woman who asked to use my compact to touch up her make up. We talked about make up, the con and of course her cosplay. She was wearing this interesting dress which she changed three times while we were on line.  Later that same day as I walked the show-floor I bumped into this young woman again at a booth covered with pictures of women in dresses like the one she was wearing and she introduced me to the designer, Danielle Ward. Owner of Little Petal, she designs and creates custom convertible dresses that are comfy and sophisticated.  These dresses are unique recreations of characters from comics, manga, anime, film and even video games.  As someone who, at the time, hadn’t cosplayed but wanted to, I was stunned by the concept. One dress, multiple styles. I put down my deposit immediately. Danielle is so amazingly creative and talented that I just had to find out more about her.

Check out my talk with Danielle below!

Disclaimer: Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

leannaandme

Leanna (Little Petal’s Webmaster) and Danielle at Megacon.

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