New York Comic Con 2015: Cosplay Roundup

Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop Cosplay

Y’all are probably sick of seeing my femme Spike cosplay, but I’m not sick of wearing it. Any chance I get to pretend to be as cool as Spike Spiegel I’m going to take it. This cosplay was made by the very talented Stefánia Ágoston of Ticci Rockabilly. I wore this to the Fanbros: Crossplay Cosplay Contest and Party where I was one of the judges. Fanbros are the homies; I love their podcast and they are some of my favorite geek peeps. Check them out!

Neon Genesis Evangelion… Sweatshirt

I needed a day of rest from cosplaying so I wore my Neon Genesis Evangelion sweater from Apparel K on Thursday. I love how cute Sachiel looks on the sleeves of the sweater.

Sailor Goon Cosplay

For Friday, I went with a remixed version of my Sailor Goon cosplay. I traded my denim vest and shorts for a leather-ish vest and black shorts. I left the wig at home because I couldn’t be bothered… but also because I’m in love with my new hair color.

Sailor Moon from Earth 23 Cosplay

The Story

I’ll be honest, I had a lot of concerns about my Earth 23 Sailor Moon cosplay. Being a PoC I’m extra sensitive to appropriation. Nowadays everyone is being called out for it, both justly and unjustly. I was nervous that what I was doing could be considered the same thing. Race and culture bends in cosplay are nothing new, but I wondered if those cosplayers experienced that same trepidation.

I approached this cosplay with the utmost respect to Sailor Moon and Japanese culture; which helped subside my appropriation concerns. To me, this was more than a simple culture bend cosplay. I wanted to show the strong connection that black women have to Sailor Moon. Yes, women of all backgrounds grew up watching the Sailor Senshi. However, there’s a special connection many of women of color made with the Sailor Scouts. Here was this group of strong, but also flawed, teenagers kicking ass… and they were women of color. Something we could only really find in anime. My cosplay was my way of honoring that connection and hopefully uplifting women of color as well.

The Construction

I bought the fabric from Jabbie Kunda at the International African Arts Festival in Brooklyn this summer. If you live in NYC and want to buy some beautiful African wax and kente fabrics, his permanent shop is located at the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market (aka the African Market).

Stefánia of Ticci Rockabilly made my Kente Sailor Fuku and did an amazing job. To add a little poof I wore my petticoat from Bodyline and my friend Shanté made my beautiful ankh headpiece.

@girl_gone_geek stealin my heart at #NewYorkComicCon. booth 2238 – come say hey

A photo posted by amandla (@amandlastenberg) on Oct 10, 2015 at 11:30am PDT

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The Compliments

The compliments were overwhelming. Instead of a magical girl transformation, I turned into a shy shoujo character like Rinko Yamato or Sawako Kuronuma. I felt not only extremely adorable, but strong as well. I believe people got the message I was trying to convey and I’m happy about that.

I met Amandla Stenberg (Hunger Games) and she loved my cosplay so much that she posted a photo on her Instagram! She was at NYCC to promote the comic she’s writing, Niobe: She Is Life, along with the artist Ashley Woods. The comic comes out November 4th. Preorder it now at your local comic book shop!

Steven Universe Cosplay

I wanted to do a Steven Universe cosplay but since I waited last-minute I ended up with just the shirt, gem and cheeseburger clutch (instead of a backpack). Still cute, though!

NYCC 2015 Cosplay

Girl Gone Lolita

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This past April was Geek Girl Brunch NYC’s annual Lolita Picnic at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens! Before I get in too deep, let me explain what Lolita Fashion is for those who think I’m talking about the Nabokov kind. Lolita is a Japanese street style and subculture that is heavily inspired by the Rococo and Victorian eras, but also has some influences from current fashion trends.

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What I love most is that there are lots of Lolita sub-styles so you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you. For more info check out the post I wrote for Geek Girl Brunch, Lolita Fashion 101.

Being a Lolita is expensive, which is probably why I only seem to get a new coord (coordinate/outfit) once a year. You not only need a dress or blouse and skirt, but a petticoat, shoes, purse and accessories. You can also level up and get a wig and circle contacts for baby doll eyes. I did not level up.

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If you plan to wear the Chanels of the Lolita world like Angelic Pretty or Baby the Stars Shine Bright, dresses can cost you anywhere from $140-$500. Since I’m not ‘bout that “brand” life I’ve only worn “off-brand” clothing, which is still cute af and much more affordable. I suggest Etsy, Bodyline and My Lolita Dress for some amazing off-brand Lolita fashion.

With 14 or so Lolita sub-styles it was tough to figure out which one best represented me. I love how ridiculously cute Sweet Lolitas are, but also couldn’t deny that I wear an awful lot of black so maybe I was more of a Gothic Lolita…

In the end, I went for a Classic Lolita look with a touch of Garden Party to go with the Cherry Blossom Festival. I really wanted to wear rocking horse shoes and after an embarrassing amount of hours I found the perfect floral skirt on My Lolita Dress. My favorite piece however was the beautiful vintage hat from the 1960’s that I got from Age of Mint.

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My Coord:

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The GGB Lolita picnic was so much fun! Everyone came in their Lolita and Garden Party best. I love wearing Lolita because I feel super cute and always get showered with compliments. One little girl thought I was a princess and another asked if I was a butterfly. I just about died. There’s nothing wrong with a confidence boost!

The Lolita Brunch was extra special because I reunited with GGB NYC after being in Germany since December. I surprised Yissel and Rachel (my fellow GGB co-founders) with a commission of us three in Lolita made by the AMAZING Crown Maiden​! Check out the details of the art here

Geek Girl Brunch has grown so much in one year and we currently have 57 chapters worldwide! Join Geek Girl Brunch to get in on the geek girl fun. If you want to start a chapter in your city, email us

NYCC 2014: Cosplay Roundup

Every year I attend New York Comic Con more and more fans cosplay. It’s tough picking favorites but the ones that made me squee the most were Death from East of West and Steven Universe and his mom as Garnet. Oh and here’s my post about my Sailor Moon (aka Sailor Goon), Space Dandy and Spike Spiegel cosplay.

Anime/Manga

Comics

Movies & TV & Video Games & Podcasts

 

NYCC 2014 Cosplay & Coords: Sailor Moon, Space Dandy, Cowboy Bebop & More

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It was only a year ago when I posted “Confessions of a First Time Cosplayer” and look how far I’ve come! Now I know I’m not building Tali armor from scratch like my friend and cosplay sensei @DarthRachel, but I’m proud of myself nonetheless.

Sailor Goon

I introduce to you, Sailor Goon; my gangsta take on Sailor Moon. I was Sailor Moon and my friend Roshi was Black Lady. People at the con said we were cute and creepy so mission accomplished basically.

I was inspired by Asiey Barbie’s Sailor Gang art on tumblr. I tagged her on Instagram and Twitter and her reaction was, “O.M.G. yasss, this is EXCELLENT!” and “I am SLAYED. absolute perfection.” She reblogged my post on Tumblr which is probably why it’s getting so many notes and said “YOU GUYS LOOK AT THIS FLAWLESSNESS”. So of course that made my day!

Artist Babs Tarr was also a big influence on this cosplay design. Her Bōsōzoku Sailor Scouts helped us come up with accessories like the denim jacket, patches and ripped nylon stockings. Babs was at NYCC this weekend so I was lucky enough to meet her and get a gorgeous Bōsōzoku Sailor Moon print and my Batgirl #1 signed. She is super sweet and LOVED our cosplay. She took a photo of us and gave us some of her stickers I actually planned on buying anyway!

As you can probably tell, Sailor Goon was my favorite cosplay of the weekend. The fun part was coming up with ways I could change Usagi’s regular costume from Moon to Goon. And my friend Roshi was giving some Black Moon realness with her Black Lady cosplay. Surprisingly, Sailor Goon was the first woman I’ve cosplayed. Up until now I’ve Rule 63’ed my favorite male characters like the Eleventh Doctor, Spike Spiegel and Space Dandy.

Space Dandy

Space Dandy is amazing… and weird. But that WTFness of Dandy is why I love it so much. I remember how excited I was hearing that the GAWD Shinichirō Watanabe of (Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo) was going to be the chief director of a new anime called Space Dandy. I admit, I had to adjust to the randomness of the show. Although Dandy is a bounty hunter in space, it’s nothing like Cowboy Bebop. Once I got that through my head, I fully enjoyed each episode. The finale was mind-blowing. Maybe I’ll blog about it at some point.

I’m not a crafty person at all, but I managed to make some Dandy accessories and I’m really proud myself, even though these are nothing compared to other stuff people make. It’s my first time “crafting” so give me a break! I made the necklace out of poster paper and paint marker, but it doesn’t look that bad as it sounds. It’s kind of like a Monet and looks better the further away you are. I hope my kanji isn’t too embarrassing; it was my first time writing that as well. The jacket is from Csddlink and I made Dandy’s belt buckle out of foam which I painted gold. Since I decided to go with high-waisted leggings, I turned the buckle into a pin. The items that are missing are his hair, bracelet and shoes. So this is kinda a half-assed cosplay. But now that I have most of his costume, I’ll give the rest my best effort next year.

I made a Space Dandy playlist because the music is so good. Shake your booty while reading this blog post, baby. It’s the Dandy way!

 

Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop 

If this looks familiar it’s because I did this female Spike last year. I loved it so much I had to do it again! Nothing new added to this except I’m channelling Faye Valentine with my purple hair. It’s been a year and I still haven’t gotten a good Spike wig. I’m the worst you guys I’m so sorry.

Kawaii Street Style

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I wasn’t always dressing up as someone else at NYCC. These last two additions aren’t cosplay but some pretty cute coords if I do say so myself.

On Friday I wore my new favorite sweater from Omo-Cat called ‘Toast Girl’. I was going for kawaii street style and did cult party kei makeup which is hard to notice because… you know… I’m black.

Subtle Princess Serenity 

*Queue magical girl transformation* I went from Sailor Goon by day, to Subtle Princess Serenity by night (with an emphasis on “subtle”). I wore this to the Fan Girls’ Night Out Party hosted by Geek Girl Brunch (that org I co-founded). There are tons of galaxy prints out there but the Shadowplay NYC shop on Etsy has some of the best I’ve seen. Better than Black Milk (yeah I said it!). I ordered two dresses from them and wore the Mystic Mountain Jersey Dress to FGNO. It features a Hubble Print of the Mystic Mountain, a Pillar in the Carina Nebula. I kept the space theme going and paired my Nebula dress with Princess Serenity and Sailor Moon accessories. I got so many compliments!

Well, that’s a wrap for my New York Comic Con cosplay and coords! Stay tuned to see if I get better at cosplay crafting next year. Spoiler: I probably won’t. I already have my eyes set on Leatherface Joker, Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolian and a a young Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell: Arise (all featured in my Cosplay Bucket List post).

Harajuku Fashion Walk

Photo by FMAPhotoStudio

Photo by FMAPhotoStudio

My friend Imani (she tattooed me!) hit me up a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to go to a Harajuku Fashion Walk in NYC. I immediately said yes, or more likely I said “YASSS!”. A few days later I started to freak out about what to wear. I have my one Lolita coord, but those pictures are all over the internet so I wanted to wear something new. Despite being into Japanese street fashion, I didn’t think I actually owned a Harajuku’ish outfit.

Of course, in typical Jamila fashion I didn’t plan my outfit until the night before (oops!). Thankfully I had Imani as my Harajuku Fairy Godmother. I texted her pictures of all of the cool and kawaii clothes and accessories I owned. In the end, we ended up with a coord I was really happy with. I felt like it was still very “me” and very Harajuku as well. I didn’t feel like I was trying to hard which is what mattered the most. With the help of my Harajuku Fairy Godmother, I discovered I’ve always had some Japanese street style in me!

My Coord

It’s a little Fairy Kei at the top and little punk and goth at the bottom; so together it’s kind of pastel goth, which is a look I’ve always wanted to rock. My Shoujo Manga/Anime Eyes shirt I got from The Kawaii Machine on Etsy. (Along with a Kawaii Titan shirt.)

My Beetlejuice leggings I got a few years ago at some random store here in NYC. There’s no tag so I don’t even know the brand haha! But I’m sure you can find them online or in a store near you.

I wore Doc Martens and the lightening bolt shoe accessory I got from my last Lootcrate! They’re called Shwings and I’m sure they’re available in shoe stores. (Get 10% off Lootcrate with the code: GIRLGONELOOT.)

Accessories & Makeup

My Purple Easter Bunny Headband is from Deadly Cherries on Etsy. She makes gorgeous headbands perfect for Lolita, Mori, Dolly, Goth and Pastel Goth styles. My coveted Barbie shoe bracelet I got way back in 2009 from the now non-existent Bizzare Design Etsy store. My Gun Earrings and Necklace are from Girl Props and my super cute Iridescent Pink Heart Ring is from Black Tulip Shop on Etsy. My Black 8-bit Heart Ring I found in a thrift store in Brooklyn. Imani let me borrow her Black Glitter Bow Ring and Eyeball Hair Bow.

My Harajuku Fairy Godmother suggested I try Cult Party Kei makeup. It was the first time I tried this style and I LOVED it. I applied blush above my cheeks so it was basically under my eyes and at the corner/sides of my eyes. It’s a really pretty look I plan to use more often when I go out. I used my Lolita makeup tricks for my eyes to make them seem larger and hopefully more kawaii.

Japanese Street Style

We arrived at the Lincoln Center fountain an hour early but thankfully we weren’t the only ones. They had some Fashion Week’s shows at Lincoln Center so the square was filled with people. There were tons of photographers just scoping the scene for fashionable people to take photos of.

When we arrived we instantly spotted some Sweet Lolitas (since they are pretty easy to spot). As more and more people arrived for the meetup, more and more photographers flocked to our area to take pictures of us. Some people thought we were in costume so we had to explain this was a Japanese Street Fashion meetup.

The Harajuku Fashion Walk

As you can see from the photos, dozens of people came out for the meetup. The styles included Lolitas, Punk, Goth, Mori Girl, Visual Kei, Fairy Kei, Gyaru, Decora, Cult Party Kei, Dolly Kei and more. We took photos, chatted, made new friends and exchanged contact info for over an hour. Then we walked from Lincoln Center to the Red Steps at Time Square (about 16 blocks) for one big photo shoot.

Overall I had a lot of fun and would totally do this again. These kinds of Harajuku Fashion Walks and meetups happen all over the world! Search the internet and Facebook for groups and events in your area.

If My Blog Was An Outfit

I don’t do Polyvore kinds of posts because I know it’s a beautiful black hole I’d never escape. But “If My Blog Was An Outfit” was like kryptonite! I first saw this over at The Nerdy Girlie and her post inspired me to do my own. It actually started as a link up party with A Dose of Paige and Hairspray and Highheels blogs. If you’re a blogger, join in on the fun and share your post with us on Twitter!

Of course I had a hard time just picking one outfit that represented my blog so I picked a day and night look. As I thought about these looks, I wondered what, if any, difference there was between my personal style and my blog style. Since my blog is pretty much an extension of myself, I felt there would be little to no difference in my blog style. There are some blogs that have specific themes, but Girl Gone Geek contains my personal thoughts and experiences about the geek culture that I’m passionate about. I try to stay true to my voice and personality and I think these outfits represent that.

There’s another reason why I wanted to create two looks other than simply wanting to play internet dress up twice. It would be difficult to include the two sides of my blog into just one look without it looking a hot mess.

The day look represents the lighter and fun content I talk about on my blog. The night look represents the more serious topics. It just so happens that this pretty much reflects my personal style as well. My closet ranges from bright multicolored prints to enough black to be an honorary Addams family member.

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Tank / Shorts / Necklace / Sneakers / Sunnies / Earrings / Lipstick / Polish

Just like my blog, this outfit is a mix of geekery and my personality. I’m a big fan of incorporating my favorite fandoms in subtle ways. Although the Platform 9 ¾ tank has large print, you may not understand that it’s a Harry Potter reference unless you’re a fan. (I have one just like this.)

The only sneakers I wear are these black high top Chucks. I wear them out until they have holes. The Batman studs are another subtle way I like to show my geek pride. I’ve actually gone through at least 3 pairs of these because I keep losing them. When they aren’t MIA, my Batman studs are my default earrings.

Because I wear regular glasses, I don’t get to wear sunglasses unless I wear contacts which is usually just on the weekend. Because of this, I’ve developed an above average love of sunnies. I own the black version of the ones here.

I usually don’t coordinate nail polish with one outfit because who really has the time for that?! But if I did, I’d probably rock black nails because I already have a lot of colors going on in this outfit.

I’m a sucker for pink and red lipsticks which is why I picked this shade of pink. I probably own my weight in lipstick. I used to be big into eyeshadow, but the last few years I’ve just been rocking a cat eye and bold lip when I go out.

The brightest pieces of this look are the African Ankara wax print high-waisted shorts and African-inspired necklace. Just like I have to rep my geek flag, I also have to rep my culture. Where I’m from shapes how I experience these geek cultures, just as it would for you.

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Top / Skirt / Jacket / Earrings / Cuff / Clutch/ Shoes / Lipstick

My night outfit represents the heavier topics I talk about on my blog like death, underrepresentation, sexism, etc. But it’s still super cute! ;) Like I said earlier, I tend to wear a lot of black. I have several long black skirts like the one in this look. The crop top and platform wedges transform this look into party outfit.

I like to wear a bold red lipstick when I do my “all black everything” outfits. Sometimes, you have to treat bold lipstick like an accessory and make sure it’s not overpowering an already “loud” outfit. Since this is all black, this “Joker Red” lip fits perfectly. I actually own the Game of Thrones “Valar Morghulis” cuff . I have a stack of 8 bracelets (give or take) that I never take off and that’s one of them.

The Killing Joke jacket from Black Milk isn’t something I own, but rather something I want… very badly. Of course, I have to wear my default Batman earrings which go perfectly with the Joker jacket. Last but not least there’s the beautiful iridescent green clutch inspired by The Joker’s green hair.

Wow, who knew I could talk about clothes for so long!

Check out all of the fly “If My Blog Was An Outfit” posts:

Etsy Crush of the Week Junior: Pop & Moo, FrillyMonster and The Albino Hare

So, I was trying to figure out how to give the illustrator and tattoo artist,  Imani,  something extra as thanks for tattooing the beautiful Neil Gaiman Sandman quote on me. But I didn’t really have to look for too long, because a few minutes hanging out in Etsy I found these kawaii accessories perfect for my favorite lolita! Huge shout-out to the shops featured for being awesome!

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Pop & Moo

Kawaii cloud pin by Pop & Moo on Etsy

Pop and Moo- Kawaii cloud hairpin

More Goodies from Pop & Moo

Pop and Moo- Cute Cat Hair Clip

 

Pop and Moo-  Kawaii kitty blue canvas mary janes

Pop and Moo- Kawaii felt cute hair clip

Pop and Moo- Red kawaii rocket brooch

Pop and Moo- ZAP! Comic Brooch

 

FrillyMonster

Frilly Monster

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Hand drawn Dalek necklace by FrillyMonster on Etsy. Who knew Daleks could be so darn cute?

More Goodies from Frilly Monster

frilly monster Hello Kitty 1:2 Plugs

Frilly Monster- Skeleton Hands Collar Jewelry

Frilly Monster- 8g Light PIink and Green Rose Plugs

Frilly Monster- Adventure time Character Necklaces

Frilly Monster- Hello Kitty Nerd 0g Plugs

The Albino Hare

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The Albino Rabbit- Puffy Pastel Dripping Frosting

The Albino Hare- Meowmaid Mermaid Kitty Felt Brooch

The Albino Hare- Hot Pink and Green Coro Coro Kuririn Hamster Earrings The Albino Hare- Ghost Kitty Felt Brooch The Albino Hare- Bright Green Pouting Bunny Post Earrings

The Albino Hare- Cute Hot Pink and Bright Yellow Bunny Felt Brooch

 She loved her goodies!

Jamila Girl Gone Geek Imani tattoo artist ipukekawaii