Tokyo Fashion Fest at F.I.T.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Lisa, Cathy, Youko, Lee Miller, Hi Toshi Fj, Angel Braizer, Nicole, Tara

On Thursday February 17, 2011 during fashion week, The Fashion Institute of Technology hosted the Tokyo Fashion Festa. That same night, for some odd reason, NY was blessed with some great 60 degree weather during a month of winter storms and freezing temps. It was a small showcase filled with lectures, make up demos, and of course cosplayers and designers. 

To start things off lecture of the history and origins of cosplay. It covered its beginnings as a sub culture in asia and its meteoric rise  in the states as pop culture. When cosplaying its more than just dressing up as your favorite character, its the ability to bring that character to life. Its a passion and a way of life for most. Through cosplay it allows one to gain an understanding of another culture. You go from an obsession with a certain character, to an obsession about the culture. Whether its cosplay or comic books, or even video games, it acts as a bridge between cultures to gain a better understanding. 

Immediately after the lecture the Cosplay showcase began. There were thirteen models all together, all who are students at FIT. The first 10 models' cosplays were inspired from anime, to gothic lolita, and punk gothic. Showing that not all cosplay is strictly anime related. It does range into the actual culture and sub culture. Each model cosplayed one outfit for the show, basically showing their best and their best is what we got. 

Following the fashion, came the make up. Famed Japanese make-up and hair artist Akiko Yoshizaw performed an on stage gothic make up demo. With the help of a translator, Akiko gave the audience tips on eye make up in a gothic style. She demonstrated her technique on a model live on stage while having the translator explain to us the what and the why of her technique. Afterwords, she brought out 2 more models and her assistants and performed a speed demo. After the show a Q&A session was held, and surprisingly there were some very smart questions. The Q&A session concluded the show and an after party was held. The party was a paparazzi fest with all the models involved showing up. They did serve food, mainly treats such as brownies, and coffee&tea. It was a very sociable affair, lots of networking and interviews going on as well.

It was a lot of fun seeing cosplay on display as the true fashion that it is and can be. I've taken photos at the NYCC Cosplay Masquerade, but this was a more intimate affair. Due to the fact that the size of the audience was limited, and the space itself wasn't as huge as the IGN theater. I would love to attend more cosplay fashion shows that are more about the fashion and culture of cosplay. And of course more outfits and models would be nice too.  

Some notable cosplayers:
Lisa Kitsy Szczepanski displaying her amazing Black Butler Ciel cosplay, Cathy Yang looking very beautiful as Hatsune Miku, Youko Sunshine in her stunning white Lolita ouftit, and Angel Braizer in very beautiful gothic lolita outfits.