CONVENTION REPORT – DragonCon 2018 (Atlanta, GA)

DragonCon is a truly massive event on an epic scale – so the story goes. While experiencing the event this year, you felt it from the crowds pressed together in the halls of each venue which hosted them, to the parties and main programming held during the entire 24-hour escapades spanning over 5 days in downtown Atlanta, GA.

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It is thing of beauty to see so many nerdy souls gathered together to celebrate nerddom. From Wednesday before the convention to the Monday after, you can find all manner of panels, workshops, demos, industry and professional product reveals, costume contests, and of course parties all hours of the day and night. While must of the convention is oriented towards adults (especially after dark) there are many spaces that are kid friendly – such as the panels and the ever-popular parade held Saturday on the busy streets of Atlanta.

My visit to DragonCon this year was as a representative of the Japanese Fashion subculture, however, I was hardpressed to find what I was looking for. It just seems that the Japanese Fashion (JFashion) programming just isn’t there yet, though there were people around that I knew from the community attending. Also, I did manage to spot a lone Sweet Lolita in a crowd (darn my exhausted feet for being unable to chase after them fast enough!) and, I also managed to run into the amazing Tori L. dressed in her famed unique eye-catching makeup and a rainbow-cyberpunk style adapted from the many forms of Jfashion she wears. You go girl!

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This DragonCon, I did make it to a Jfashion panel hosted by Silk Road and Jason Merrill (Owner of Blackbird Finery) for a panel “Dapper on a Dime” where we discussed wearing gentleman’s clothes for daily wear and where to find them, or how to alter items, inexpensively. There was also a discussion of various Jfashion styles that would suit the genre, including EGL (elegant gothic lolita), Aristocrat, and Ouji. Additionally, Steampunk and Historically inspired clothing not related to Jfashion were discussed. I got to see an authentic matchbox + stamp holder accessory that Merrill had brought with him, which was fascinating to me as it wasn’t something we use today, yet was enough of a staple for gentleman in the Victorian eras that this little charm was tiny enough to fit in your pocket and sturdy enough to look brand new decades after it was created.

By far the highlight of my DragonCon weekend, however, was modeling for ZETA Fashions (Tampa, Florida) during the SECRETPARTYS FairyTale Ball. Held at the super late hours of Saturday night in the Marriott main programming, you could find creatures of all sorts decked out in dark attire, sexy go-go dancers, and all the music you can stand to listen. This party was dark, electrifying, and sensual. The massive crowd filled the entire ballroom throughout the party and fashion show, the energy was intoxicating all on it’s own. If you ever get a chance to see a SECRETPARTYS event in Tampa or Atlanta – especially at next years DragonCon – do it! You won’t regret the experience.

Big shout out to Jason Freer for organizing and running the event (he’s the skeleton man you’ll see in the stage photos) and also to our amazing photographer Eddie Clay @v0ightlanderphoto

Check out these exclusive photos from DragonCon 2018:
(all photos courtesy of Eddie Clay)

Until next year – Cheers!

– Renée Marie
Freelance/Contributing Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
@thisismymirror

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