A Hello Kitty Con’s fashion installation curated by JapanLA’s Stephiee Nguyen to celebrate her 40th anniversary, showcasing high-fashion works inspired by Hello Kitty from 12 designers coming from all over the world!
There are many things to love about the first ever Hello Kitty Con, which was held at The Geffen Contemporary of MOCA located on the Little Tokyo district, Los Angeles. The four-day (Thursday, October 30 – Sunday, November 2) celebration of Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary was fantastic, obsessive, and rather mind-blowing. Regardless, I must say that I was VERY impressed with Lovely Kitty Wonder, the fashion installation segment of Hello Kitty Con, featuring 12 designers from Los Angeles area and beyond.
The actual format of Lovely Kitty Wonder on the official days of Hello Kitty Con itself (i.e. from Thursday, October 30 to Sunday, November 2) was straight-forward; JapanLA set up a fashion installation corner behind the Hello Kitty Vintage Shoppe area, with all of the looks from 12 designers modeled on white mannequins on elevated blocks for all attendees to enjoy and take pictures of. However, the installation felt extra special during the opening night on Wednesday, October 29, when the VIP reception and media preview was held from 5:30pm – 10pm. There were gorgeous models, each of them wearing one specific look of different designers, complete with elaborate makeups and hairstyles.
All looks from all the designers stunning examples of how versatile Hello Kitty as a fashion icon can be. From kawaii going-out outfits, girly or bombshell latex dresses worn with a mask or a headdress, wedding dresses, pink explosion ball gowns, avant-garde couture dresss, magical nymph royalties, and beyond, Hello Kitty is anything and everything these designers dreamed her to be. The models further amplified the designers’ visions by showcasing these outfits so spectacularly; from the poses to the attitudes. It was perfect and magnetic. Well done, JapanLA’s Stephiee Nguyen! This fashion curation was truly amazing.
For those who missed Hello Kitty Con or haven’t seen the complete looks from all the 12 designers who collaborated with Sanrio for Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, here they are! Each of the designers presented two looks for the fashion installation, except for two groups of two designers, who each created two looks. In total, there were 20 looks altogether and they can all be viewed below. Enjoy the pictures :)
Photography by Mira Musank
This New York-based experimental fashion collaboration of Elena Kanagy-Loux and Stella Rose Saint Clair presented two bold and playful looks. They’re both very youthful, modern, slightly costume-y (nothing wrong with that), and all Hello Kitty. Check out the Jeffrey Campbell boots, too! It’s a high power girl culture coming to life.
Ms Friesen is from the Netherlands and you might’ve seen her on the Dutch version of Project Runway Season 3. The white cage dresses were breath-taking…can you see Hello Kitty outlined on the dresses? The lavender hair was the icing on the cake for these contemporary high fashion looks.
Ms. Greydanus is a FIDM Los Angeles graduate who focuses on latex for her base material in creating fashion. Clearly it has been working out great for her; she has collaborated with Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Sofia Vergara, as well as Elle magazine, MTV, NBC, among others. Her Hello Kitty-inspired latex dresses are very pop, very girly, and of course, very pink.
Oh wow. I’m sure Cassie Wanda, who’s an emerging designer focusing on fantasy designs that are high fashion, have gathered a lot of demands for this Hello Kitty-inspired wedding gowns. They are beautiful, very Hello Kitty and yet not gimmicky, which made them have the universal appeals to many women, even if they are not hardcore Hello Kitty fans.
Very edgy, very bold, and very sexy. The collaboration of Shhh! Couture’s Shoshanna Ani (from the UK) and Miss G. Designs’ Caley Johnson (from LA) were beautifully ruthless. Their kind of Hello Kitty girls are gorgeous and badass, the kind that you won’t want to mess with. I guess that’s what you’d expect from Ms. Ani, who creates the one-woman empire handmade latex to enhance female’s bombshell silhouette, and Ms. Johnson, who heads a company that produces one-of-a-kind handmade headdress creations.
This was another successful Hello Kitty-inspired collaboration on Lovely Kitty Wonder. Mildred Von, an avant-garde fashion designer who loves creating angular, asymmetrical, armored looks paired up with Kerin Rose Gold, who creates artisanal, hand-crafted eyewear with rebellious yet fun designs. The sparkly mask is something beyond what you’d normally call an eyewear, but it’s super cool nonetheless.
I really love Ms. Ophelia’s over-the-top designs and & overdose aesthetics. Moreover, she’s a do-it-all kind of artist; model-designer performer hair and makeup artist rolled into one human being. What else? She’s from Germany, and she creates costumes, corsets, wearable art, headdresses, accessories, wigs, and God knows what else. Check out her blog to read about her behind-the-scenes process of this Hello Kitty’s 40th year anniversary collaboration. Girl, MAD RESPECT to you! And yes, that’s her modeling her own creation. Isn’t she gorgeous?
Susan Lafica of Italy has always been a “flower child,” and it was no surprise that La Fiori means flower. For her Hello Kitty-inspired fashion, she mixed hard and soft, steel cage-like structures with flowing transparent fabrics, complete with intricate Hello Kitty accessories for details. Stunning!
Another one from LA! Vanessa Walton presented her other worldly designs. Oh my gosh, the model wearing that red number with her magical makeup, hairdo, and a pair of tree branches as antlers really spellbound me. The whole presentation was so gorgeous! No wonder Ms. Walton has already showcased her work in international magazines and fine art galleries.
Pink cotton candy explosion! The ball gown was puffy, girly, and sassy at the same time (thanks to the model). JapanLA clothing is all about combining fashion with cute and iconic characters, and they have been collaborating with Hello Kitty since 2011. They continue with more Sanrio characters collaborations, and ultimately wants to become THE kawaii clothing brand. Well, all the best to JapanLA!
Since I was so drawn to Lovely Kitty Wonder fashion installation during the VIP reception / media preview night, I took more shots, so here they are! Who doesn’t love bonus shots, right?
If I can be critical about one thing, it has nothing to do with the professional qualities presented by the designers, models, and curators. Rather, it was a perhaps small but rather unfortunate fact that some designs were placed underneath the wrong designer name they were supposed to represent. Had someone come to see Lovely Kitty Wonder only on the opening night, they would perhaps make mistake in associating the outfits with the designers. Thankfully, I came to Hello Kitty Con on Thursday, October 30 and was able to identify each designs with the correct designer(s).
Nevertheless, it was such an exciting treat to see these Hello Kitty-inspired looks. They were wonderful and beautifully executed; I wish all of the designers all the success they are no doubt going to have! To be perfectly honest, seeing this live fashion installation on Wednesday night really made my week. It was that awesome :)
Thanks for reading; until next time,
Photography by Mira Musank