in attendance : New York Comic Con

New York NY, October 8 to 10 – Comic Cons have clearly become a battle of the coasts.  With San Diego attracting major production companies and crowds numbering up to 120,000, it would seem to be the clear winner.  This year’s New York Comic Con might change all that.  A three-day convention at one of NYC’s largest venues, The Javits Center, tickets sold out on both Friday and Saturday, making total attendance upwards of 100,000, over 20,000 more than last years.  Thus, while cavernous, the Javits Center was unpassably crowded for most of the weekend.  This was particularly true of the vendor’s floor, where small-but-strong indie companies like RockLove Jewelry and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab appeared alongside with megaliths like DC Comics and Square Enix Games.

O So Wrong, O So Right in NYCC’s The Never Ending Closet Fashion Show

The New York Anime Festival, something of a subdivision of NYCC, was in a separate space in the Center.  A collection of artists, panels, and events here with a far more communal feel.  The rest of the con had a lot of that quintessentially New York City activity, pretending to pass others impassively while surreptitiously ogling their outfits in awe.  Anime fans, a decidedly younger set than the rest of the Con, involved a lot more giggling and impromptu karaoke in their day.  It was in this section of Comic Con that The Never Ending Closet Fashion Show took place.  Showcasing mini-collections from six young American designers, it was introduced by Takamasa Sakurai, a Japanese Pop Culture Diplomat.  The designers delivered the way only New York could.

The first collection, from TwinBee had an unfortunately kitschy yellow and black theme.  Otherwise well constructed pieces that meshed western trendy with Lolita-cute could have benefited from a step outside the bumblebee theme.  Next, Perianth drew from Dolly Lolita, a very new look out of the ever-dividing Japanese fashion scene.  This one draws on earth tones, and old-world, woodsy aesthetics and blends them with the familiar frills and petticoats.  The result can be a truly stunning look, something like the glint of gilt beneath the dust on an ancient tome.  Perianth, only a year old, seems to be getting close to westernizing Dolly Lolita, but could use with a little more elegance.  O So Wrong, O So Right followed with the perfect Rococo confection aesthetic, pastels and frills and Antoinettian levels of detail.  Artificial Intrigue, perhaps the most interesting of the group, somehow managed to mix exoskeletons, ball gowns, and decay together.  The sharp-edged, torn apart, and the cruel found there place in this impressive collection, I Do Declare used more masculine touches and structured pieces with their cupcake silhouettes and fluff.  They even ventured to use primary colors in their Lolita pieces, and what’s more, did so effectively.  Heartless Revival, which, more than the other designers, dabbled effectively in street fashion and club wear came last, finishing with a flourish of the post apocalyptic.

TwinBee

TwinBee left, Artificial Intrigue right

Each of these designers represented a valiant attempt at the meets west with surprising originality and artistry.  Most importantly, they pulled the whole thing off with a level of professionalism, a knowledge of what a good fashion show looks like that you can’t find anywhere but the fashion capital of the Americas.  Even though this was clearly low budget and these artists clearly quite new, they executed a perfect show.  So San Diego really ought to be watching, because once comic conventions reach New York levels of sophistication, there will be no going back.

– Rena Finkel

photos : Knightmare6 Photography

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6 comments on “in attendance : New York Comic Con”

  1. Love the Twin Bee men’s ensemble but I agree, I would want another colorway than yellow and black. But I’m guessing that was just part of the concept of that particular runway show, there model mayhem shows use of colors other than yellow and black, thankfully!

  2. Awww thanks Rena for the mention – I hope you had a great time! Comic Con was INSANE… I highly recommend it for all you alt sceners since no longer is it just about manga toys and fat nerds with plumber butt – it’s really grown to be about media, fashion, and couture geekery!

  3. I’m so glad you liked the show! I was the organizer of the event and came upon this article while browsing through other reviews of New York Anime Festival and New York Comic Con. It’s interesting that New York Comic Con and New York Anime Festival has grown to the point of fans expressing their fandom in other ways other than manga and comic books. Japanese fashion is suddenly more of a prominent influence and getting public attention (i.e. Japan Fashion Now exhibit at FIT).
    Especially with this fashion show, the aim was to show Japanese culture, in terms of fashion, was more than just cosplay (while that is a big part) and kimonos.

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