Category Archives: Art, Music, & Theater

The Bustle Skirt

After seeing the lovely Emilie Autumn perform at Gramercy Theater last Friday, I was inspired by her dark twist on Victorian fashion. Somewhere between Gothic and Burlesque, she and her backup dancers wore beautiful costumes that made the concert seem more like a Broadway musical. While corsets have always had a special place in my heart, I was more fascinated by their modern-day bustle skirts.

2203_Emilie-Autumn2

Condensed from Wikipedia:
Bustles were originally designed to expand the fullness of the back of a woman’s dress during the mid-to-late 19th century. Typically a Victorian fashion, the shape created by the combination of a bustle and corset accentuated the rump, waist, and bosom – resulting in highly idealized representations of female sexual identity, simultaneously exaggerating and concealing the body’s figure.

If I owned a bustle skirt, it would render the illusion of my narrow hips looking fuller and my thick waist appearing more slender – even if just for costuming purposes. I’ve always yearned for an hourglass figure, but genetics have proven it impossible for me. Regardless of how much I work out or diet, the rest of me shrinks while my middle stays the same. ;_; (If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend my fellow blogger Christal’s post about apple-shaped bodies.)

ClickHandler.ashx

Over the years, the burlesque industry has adapted the once-conservative fashion trend into something more risqué. Instead of being worn under a dress, modern bustle skirts are typically short and worn alone over lingerie. The fabric can range from sheer organza to dupion silk, depending on the quality. Personally, I’m completely in love with this elegant piece from Lovechild Boudoir, appropriately named Lady Lovecraft.

LADY-LOVECRAFT2

But as with most things, excellence comes with a price. And I’m not about to spend $100+ on something I may only wear a handful of times. I can definitely see myself frolicking about in one of these at conventions, raves, Halloween parties, and Renaissance Faires.. but I currently have financial priorities. :< Thankfully, there are some cheaper alternatives! Leg Avenue carries a burlesque line of clothing, which includes these adorable striped bustle skirts which go for as low as $14 on Amazon. Flimsy and thin, yes. But practical for the amateur costume enthusiast? Absolutely. :3

81VVGGg7ziL._SL1500_

While we’re on the topic of burlesque, I really wish it hadn’t died out as an art form. It emphasized that curvy women are downright gorgeous, and we really don’t get enough of that in the media nowadays. Rarely am I ever impressed by current society’s standard that “anorexic” is “sexy”. In fact, I am awestruck by the beauty of buxom pin-up models like the legendary Dita Von Teese. So much so that last month I purchased this chemise inspired by her iconic look, courtesy of Wicked Temptations.

166138_big

Maybe one day I’ll even muster up the courage and confidence to take one of those burlesque classes in the city so often featured on Living Social. ;D

burlesque
signature3signature4

Advertisements

The Birthday Massacre

First of all, let’s get this out in the open so that there’s no room to make  assumptions – I love the goth subculture. I know it may not seem likely at first, but from the fashion to the music, I’ve always found its dark influences appealing. So when my good friend Peter invited me to see The Birthday Massacre in concert last Saturday, I couldn’t say no. :) Not only have I been listening to them since early high school, but they had just released their new album a few weeks ago. And while many musicians’ work declines as time goes by, I feel the exact opposite about Hide and Seek. Although it doesn’t contain as many heavy tracks as their earlier albums, you can definitely hear how much their sound and songwriting has developed and matured since they formed in 1999.

102ac32807abc744f0f6fa61382b1a11

The venue was Gramercy Theatre, which I hadn’t visited since I saw Dir en Grey back in 2009, and is also where I will be seeing Emilie Autumn in February. :D We arrived just in time to grab a drink at the bar before the first opening band started playing. Without even knowing who else was performing, all it took was a single glance at the frontman’s mutton chops to know it was Creature Feature. A blast from the past, if you ask me, since I first discovered them on MySpace when I was 14 and haven’t heard of them since. They even played an old favorite of mine: A Gorey Demise, based on Edward Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Next up was Aesthetic Perfection, a electro-industrial duo whose lead singer sounded eerily like Marilyn Manson. (Don’t hate, it’s a good thing.) To be honest, they were my favorite out of all three of the opening bands. Mostly because so many of their songs were so fun to dance to. :P

The+Birthday+Massacre++900x650

The next musician to come on was William Control – who was dressed like a priest,  smoked cigarettes on stage the entire time, and was wearing his hair like Elvis. To be as concise as possible, he sounded like a VNV Nation wannabe. I do admit that his music has a lot of potential; I just think that most of his songs are very rough around the edges. When the time finally came for The Birthday Massacre to perform, I was beyond excited. I love Chibi’s voice, and she sounded even better live than on their albums. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t as energetic as I was hoping them to be. It’s really a letdown when you’re the only one actually moving to the music, and everyone’s just standing there like zombies and occasionally bobbing their heads. :< The band didn’t play too many of my old favorites, nor did they play the entirety of their new album like I was expecting, but I still had a great time. :) All of the photos that I took of the performance came out blurry, so here’s a photo of le boyfriend and I after the concert, instead. <.<;

IMG_4392

And since we’re on the topic of goth – a friend of mine recently commented on my most recent Facebook profile picture to say that I look like Misa Amane from Death Note. Since my hair is currently dirty blonde and I recently cut my bangs into a straight/blunt fringe, I suppose I can see the slight resemblance. :P Side note, I took both of the photos above and below with my old cheap point-and-shoot. The lens is a bit scratched up and I feel like the image quality has worsened since when I first bought it two years ago. Should I buy a new one? I was thinking of saving up for a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V to replace it.

IMG_4466signature2

If You Start A Fire [Be Prepared To Burn]

First of all, let me get this out of the way – I’m not a regular theater-goer. My boyfriend and I simply decided to do something different last Saturday night and see an off-Broadway production of my choice. And to be honest, I didn’t even look up anything further than the one-paragraph blurb on the Mondays Dark Theatre Company website about If You Start A Fire before we went to see it at The 45th Street Theater. And you know what? The experience inspired us to make it a point to see plays more often, even if it’s only once every few months. Why? Because we paid $25 each for a ticket to a show that was worth so much more.

After having dinner and a few drinks at Cooper’s Tavern a few block away, we arrived at the venue fifteen minutes early. (Of course, I picked up some of the promotional flyers laid out on the table at the entrance for my scrapbook.) Anyway, we walked up a few flights of stairs and into the waiting room, where were checked in and were told that it was a full house that night. As everyone was being seated in the theater, I was immediately greeted by 8-bit video game music remixes and the set for the first scene – which, to my delight, was made out to be a small apartment that included things like a Macbook, a Legend of Zelda poster on the wall, a Guitar Hero controller, and several bottles of liquor in the background. It’s the small details like this that already had me intrigued before it even started.

The premise of the play revolves around a young couple trying to get rich in the recession we live in. Lucy is a part-time waitress who is going to school for her MBA, and Chris is a college dropout who just lost his job as a truck driver, along with their health insurance benefits. Tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck, they come up with a plan to “sell the illusion of sex” via the internet through live webcam – and soon they’re making good business. The first half of the show was a light-hearted comedy that explored their relationship, the reasoning behind why selling virtual sex was acceptable in this day and age, and the struggles both had to go through with their paying clients.

But the second half was much darker – delving into the loss of morality, humanity, and self. It really asks the audience, “How far are you willing to go for money?” When things spin out of control, I was shocked by how different of a person Lucy had become. And by the end, you can’t help but sympathize with Chris. Overall, this play was excellently written, and the actors really had me feeling what they were going through. My only criticism is that because the couple was so relatable at the beginning, there should have been a more complex closure to their relationship and the play as a whole.

Trend Alert: Concert Bras

Hey, guys! As you’ve probably noticed, I have a new banner for my blog. :D At first, I thought it was a little vain of me to make a whole filmstrip of my own photos – but now that I’m participating in WordAds, having a profile photo in my sidebar looks awkward. >.<; In other news, my hair is now long enough to have more elegant curls. (click on it to enlarge)

Although I’m making a really derpy face, I’m really pleased with how much better I’m getting at using my DSLR. I’ve been practicing different techniques when it comes to contouring my cheeks, too. Because my face is so round, I’ve been taking a few tips from makeup tutorials on YouTube that teach you how to give the illusion of a slimmer face. I’m all out of bronzer, though, so I’ll have to pick another out soon! :o

Anyway, when I opened an e-mail last week from one of my favorite underwear stores Aerie, I saw that they’ve been advertising their new line of “concert bras.” I mean, I’ve always seen photos of girls at music festivals wearing nothing but shorts and a bikini top or bra, so its no surprise to me that people would wear them while rocking out and/or dancing under the sweltering summer sun.

I just found it odd that they would be marketed so blatantly and specifically towards festival-goers. I do love the style of their corset (above) and bandeau (below) styles, since most of them are very colorful and look very comfortable to wear. I’m just too self-conscious to pull it off. >.< What do you guys think?

Speaking of music festivals, I’ve never been to one. I’m seriously considering either going to Electric Zoo, Bamboozle, or Warped Tour this summer, though! :o I just need a group of people to attend with. I actually went to a concert last Sunday, where all the bands were competing for a chance to play at Bamboozle! The venue was a bar called The Nutty Irishman, located in Farmingdale.

My friend Chris took me there to see his friends, who are part of a band called This Good Robot. Because of my terrible short-term memory, I didn’t actually realize that I’ve seen them perform on my campus before! They were great, and had so much energy. With that said, here’s the only photo I took at the show. I would definitely see them again if they performed more locally to where I live back home in Queens. :P Until next time! ^.^

Spring Dresses from H&M

Exactly seven months ago, I bought a cute dress at H&M.

Remembering how much I loved the fit, pattern, and relatively inexpensive price tag.. I sought out another one the other day. It’s the perfect time to buy a new Spring dress anyway, now that the weather is getting nicer. :)

While browsing the racks, I immediately fell in love with the romper shown on the left in the photo above. I would have purchased it right away if it weren’t for the fact that I had difficulty closing the zipper over my bust. Although a size 6 fits my waist and hips perfectly, I find that clothing at H&M is usually not accommodating to women who have a C-cup or larger. Which is a shame, since I felt that it was very flattering to my figure. :< On the other hand, I did find the black dress above to be the complete opposite – draping over my body to the point where I looked shapeless. ;_;

And between the other two dresses I tried on in the fitting room, one had sleeves and a collar that were a tad too conservative for me, and I was undecided as to whether the light blue shade of the other dress flattered my skin tone. After some reassurance from an employee, I ended up buying the latter.. which I wore to a casual lunch and karaoke get-together with some friends back home. :D I especially like the pattern of white hearts all over it. It’s a little too long for my short legs to be considered a “mini dress”, but I’m sure the hem will get hiked up a few inches after throwing it in the washer and dryer. ;)

While I was catching up with everyone over some drinks, my friend Kristiana introduced me to the world of instant cameras. I had seen her bring one to functions before, but I never asked much about it until now. Especially since I had recently stumbled upon a plethora of old-school film cameras at Urban Outfitters, I was more interested than ever to get my own!

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S Instant Film Camera pictured above is the one that I’m looking to purchase after I save up some money. It costs about $63, not including the film – which can easily be $15 for a pack of 20. I hear that it’s much cheaper to buy the film on eBay, though, which is what I’ll probably end up doing. Anything to save a few extra dollars. :P

To me, instant cameras are a fun variation of casual picture-taking. It’s always super exciting to see the prints develop right in front of you, too! They also provide you with a tangible souvenir of the experience, something that the age of digital photos has somewhat lost. I can’t wait to start up this new hobby! ^.^

How To Make a Pikachu Headband

Hey, guys! Sorry if some of you received my unfinished draft of this post in your e-mail. I accidentally clicked “publish” instead of “save”. :P Anyway, I promised many of my readers who messaged me via Twitter and Skype that I’ll be showing you all how I made my DIY Pikachu headband. It only took me about 2 hours of trial-and-error, and my method was greatly inspired by this YouTube video:

THINGS YOU WILL NEED:
-ear template (I downloaded mine from shnugglebunny)
-fabric marker (the Sharpie in the photo below proved to be ineffective)
-hot glue gun
-yellow fleece
-black acrylic paint
-paintbrush
-pipe cleaners
-scissors
-cotton balls
-headband

Although I bought the majority of my materials from the craft section in Walmart, my mom provided me with the hot glue gun when I went home the other weekend. :P I was actually pretty nervous, since this was my first time using one. Surprisingly, it went better than I thought – yes, I may have burned a finger or two, but it’s certainly much easier than sewing! :o

Anyway, I decided to use fleece instead of felt. Although felt may have been sturdier in the long run, I couldn’t resist how soft this package felt in the store! Unfortunately, this was the smallest size they carried. Which I don’t really mind, since I might make a Pikachu tail with the leftover fabric if I’m not too busy with school and work stuff. (Would you guys be interested in that?)

Continue reading

Garnier Nutrisse: #53 Medium Golden Brown (Chestnut)

Hello! Again, I’m sorry for the hiatus. Things have been very hectic with work and school, and I have yet another exam later this week. Thankfully, I’ve found some free time to update you all with what’s been going on with me. But first.. my new hair color! :P At this point, I’ve tried out most of the Garnier Nutrisse shades, so I picked one at random that I haven’t. What did I have to lose?

I was getting sick of my black roots anyway, and although Medium Gold Brown lightened them, the length of my previous color was darkened significantly. I still have the gradient effect going on, which I can’t seem to get rid of ever since the last time I bleached my hair last Spring, but I don’t really mind.

Under indoor lights, the result does look somewhat golden. But as you can see in the photo below, the shade is more of a chocolate brown in flash photos – same goes for in natural sunlight. I was just really relieved to get rid of the brassy orange undertone that my hair had developed prior to dyeing it.


Yes, that is a pineapple rum cocktail in my hand! :)

So what’s been up with me? Stress, and lots of it. It’s not even necessarily my workload, either. Between trying to juggle my academic responsibilities, keeping up with Resident Assistant work, and enjoying my last year of college as much as possible – I’ve just been exhausted and drained all the time. It’s kept me pretty productive, though! Check out my bulletin board for this month:

I thought it would be useful to my residents to put up vacationing tips, especially since I know that many of them are going out of the country for Spring Break. Not only did I take this opportunity to promote safe traveling habits, but also safe sex and responsible drinking. :P I also designed a poster for a passive program that my staff is implementing. My boss is going to blow it up really big, laminate it, and hang one up in both laundry rooms in our building. :D

Again, I apologize for not updating as often as I once used to. I’ll keep trying to stay active, but the several hundred other things in my life must take priority. This next photo accurately explains my current mindset. Until next time! :)