Saturday, April 11, 2015

Anime Boston 2015

This year Anime Boston was a rather last minute decision for me. Back when I was a cosplayer I knew months in advance exactly which cons I was attending, where I would be staying, and how I would be arriving. Anime Boston was far more slapdash and didn't even turn up on my radar until a friend asked if I had any interest in going; she had extra space in her hotel room that she was trying to fill. I thought about it for a couple of weeks and after realizing how many of my friends would be attending, I decided to head back to my home convention after a two year absence. Back before I retired from cosplay, I was in Japan during the 2013 convention and had already retired from my competitive team by the time 2014 rolled around. I was excited to see so many people I had been out of touch with this time around. Of course in true convention fashion, our room filled up quickly in the latter stages of planning and we ended up having quite a crew in the Sheraton!

Day 0
On Thursday afternoon I carpooled with my downstairs neighbor / frilly friend up to Boston. Our trip was riddled with misfortune from bad traffic at every turn to a number of slight detours to pick up additionally passengers. Eventually we made it into Boston in one piece. After extricating myself from what had essentially become a clown car full of people, food, and luggage, I trooped off to the Sheraton to meet up with all my roommates while my fellow carpoolers checked into the Marriott. This was my first year staying in the Sheraton and luckily my room was in the South Tower. Although the horror stories of elevators were vaguely true, the South Tower had far less foot traffic to deal with.
After getting all of my luggage squared away, my roommates and I trooped out to the grocery store to pick up some things for the weekend mostly consisting of drinks and snacks. When we got back to the room we got ourselves settled and decided to head down to registration to pick up our badges before they closed for the evening. There was virtually no line and the process was as seamless as I had remembered it from previous years. To my delight, I got a text a bit later that evening that some of my old cosplay teammates had just got in and were headed back to their hotel room. I went to greet them and caught up with them for a bit for which I was rewarded with a delicious Earl Grey bubble tea that they had picked up for me in Chinatown. Deciding to turn in rather early on account of Friday's excitement, I headed back to the Sheraton and tried to sleep but ended up staying awake until around 4am.

Day 1
I woke up Friday morning at the disgustingly early hour of 6:15am after just over two hours of sleep and after attempting to lounge in bed for a while longer, I decided to get a head start on getting ready for the morning. With so many roommates, it was nice to be the first one to shower and have the bathroom all to myself to do my hair. I opted to go with a really classic look on this first day of the convention and put together an all-wine coordinate featuring Mary Magdalene's Meryl OP paired with my new Putumayo tights. For a really clean line I wore a Victorian overbust corset underneath that I had made while still in college. To top it all off I kept it fairly simple with a beret from The Black Ribbon and a couple of flower clips. I had only brought one pair of shoes for the weekend to save space and tried to keep my coordinates within the wine, & chocolate end of the spectrum.
With most of my roommates still asleep by the time I finished, I headed off to Copley to meet up with my cosplay teammates who were getting ready for an early morning photoshoot. I ended up spending my morning with them and even got caught in a bit of a downpour when I went to grab us all some coffees from the nearby Starbucks. Luckily my coord survived in tact with the only real casualty being the curls in my hair. I sat in on a panel hosted by one of my former teammates regarding budgeting for conventions before heading off to check out the dealer's room.
By the Sweet Mildred booth, I met up with my hostess, Stephanie, who was up and about doing some coordinate snaps as a weekend correspondent for Lolita and the City. She got a really great range of coordinates which have been featured in both the blog write up and the new video most of which was taken on Saturday! I feel very lucky to have my Friday coord featured! I ended up traipsing around a bit with Stephanie and her husband before we headed over to Wagamama to grab ourselves some lunch. 

That day Stephanie was twinning with another one of our roommates, Emily, and the two of them looked absolutely fabulous! Understandably in the excellent lighting of the third floor we managed to get a good number of coord shots and got stopped for our fair share of pictures. I'm always interested in how often lolitas still seem to get stopped at conventions despite the fact that most of the photographers are there for the cosplayers.

Emily's Grumpy Cat Bag
After getting some great photos and doing a lap around the artist's alley, we parted ways as I went off to eat my second meal at Wagamama for the day. I headed back to the Marriott to hang out with my former teammates before we presented a panel on competitive cosplay. The panel was unfortunately during the middle of the LiSSA concert, but we made due and had a good time flipping through the slides and reminiscing about the ridiculous adventures we had. 

To dress up for the panel a bit I slipped on a goofy pair of pink shutter shades which were unsurprisingly difficult to see through. Navigating through the convention was made ten times more difficult, but it was worth it for the random girl who told me my coord was "flawless" late that evening. Overall a hilarious look. I stayed up quite late getting into goofy shenanigans before I headed back to my hotel room. I should have gotten in quite a bit earlier considering that the Lolita 101 panel was early the next morning, but alas foresight is not necessarily my strong suit. 

Day 2
Saturday I woke up much later than I intended and had to get in line for the shower. Despite having to rush a bit through my makeup, the hair stage was quite a bit easier for this 50s Ice Cream Parlor inspired coord. I tried to look like I could head off to a sockhop at any minute and was actually fairly pleased with how it turned out. I kept the monochrome to my top half with black and white ribbons tied off to the side of my neck like those classic 50s neck scarves and my off-the-shoulder top from Modcloth. The pinks and chocolates were on my bottom half spearheaded by my Mary Magdalene Perfume Bottle skirt in pink. I had gotten my pink and sax ice cream float purse from Modcloth a few weeks before and tried to use it to bring out the blues in the Sakizo print. I had a fabulous time posing with my purse and had some awesome conversations with various Perfume Bottle fanatics like me. It was inspiring to meet so many lovely ladies who shared the same dream print!
Photo (c) Yiran Zhang
Stephanie and I made it quite late to the Lolita 101 panel, but we had time to take photos and get some street snaps of all the fabulous coords present! There was a really great variety in styles that wasn't limited to what the fashion show models had brought. I managed to get some quick snaps of some friends and closeups of some awesome accessories I saw! I didn't have time to get a lot of the coords because most of the group was heading out to Max Brenner's for brunch directly following the meet, but it was really lovely to chat with even a few of these beauties!

Mori Lolita worn beautifully by my amazing neighbor / driver Remi~
Layers on point!
Loved the pigtails with this sugary sweet coord!
The mini hat made for the perfect whimsical touch
Alison was the envy of all with her amazing Dream Marine JSK!
She made these glittery seashell charms out of resin to match!
Ashley was rocking OTT Classic and just seemed to conjure spring with all those florals!
Her bonnet coordinating skills were solid~
After much deliberation, a few of us ended up going over to Max Brenner's to grab a bite to eat as well. The food was fabulous, but the seating was a bit tight for petticoats. My anxiety level was high as well because Perfume Bottle and chocolate simply don't mix. I opted more towards the savory side of the menu, but it was still a period of extra vigilance with a healthy dose of please-don't-let-anything-spill-on-me syndrome.
Going our separate ways after lunch, I ended up meeting up with my little sister who had come to visit the convention for the first time. After getting her situated with a badge I spent most of my afternoon wandering the convention halls with her and seeing the sights. We grabbed ourselves a couple of Masquerade tickets and waited in the massive line before getting in to watch the show. Saturday evening was actually relatively relaxed. Since my sister had come to visit, we ended up moving my stuff out of the Sheraton and moving into the spare bed my former teammates had in the Marriott following the departure of one of their roommates. We spent the evening reminiscing about our own competition days and swapping silly convention stories with a few friends who came to visit.

Day 3
Sunday is always the chillest convention day as most of the blockbuster panels are over and rarely are there any events which I plan to attend. My coordinate consisted of all the things I couldn't really fit into my suitcase and I was pleased at how it all turned out. I paired my Innocent World JSK with a large shawl from UNIQLO and my floral tights from Triple Fortune. To keep the shawl in place I pinned it up with a Peppermint Fox brooch and topped off the whole look with an exquisite ship headdress I had bought from Sweet Mildred on Friday. Before spending too much time at the con I gathered up all of my luggage and headed back to the car with my carpool to store it away until we were ready to leave later in the day. 
Afterwards I headed back to the Sheraton to grab any items I had forgotten to bring with me the night before and said goodbye to my lovely roommates - most of whom had early departures and would not be wandering the convention floor. My sister and I then set out to make a detailed loop through the dealer's room and the artist's alley to look for any last day deals. Nothing really caught my eye, but it was nice to have a relaxing walk through the convention. I grabbed a quick lunch in the food court and bid goodbye to my cosplay teammates as they headed out of the con early as well. 
I had agreed to meet my carpool at the lolita swap meet on the third floor and I perused the options with them for a while. Unfortunately I wasn't in  the market to buy any of the pieces anyone had brought. I had a lovely conversation with one of the other lolitas there about Peppermint Fox and our mutual love for their products.I finally said goodbye to my little sister before heading off to meet my carpool and make the long trek home. 

Anime Boston was certainly an exhausting weekend, but I had an absolute blast. It was nice to see so many people I knew and it was lovely to bounce around between three different groups of people. As per usual with conventions, there was never a dull moment and although I caught my customary con plague, it got me excited to go back to conventions again. I have no idea what the future will hold as far as conventions go, but I'm excited to try my hand at them again - in cosplay or not. 

Until next time, stay strong and beautiful, my lovelies,

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