geek style · giveaway

10 Years of Le Fancy Geek

On this day 10 years ago I started Le Fancy Geek. How has it been 10 years already?!

2011 was an interesting year for me. At the beginning of the year, I was a fresh college graduate with absolutely zero idea what do post college. I moved back to my hometown and spent my days looking at job listings and being absolutely paralyzed with anxiety by them, and also marathoned lots of shows on Netflix (mainly Psych). Later on in the year I met my fur baby and soulmate, Rory. I also got into my first serious relationship. But out of all these things, starting this blog and Rory are the most important highlights for obvious reasons. lololol

Along with writing, I’ve always been very passionate about fashion and geek culture. Around this time, I was hella into Doctor Who and obsessed with finding ways to incorporate elements of it into my everyday wardrobe. So, as a means to have some sort of creative outlet, I decided to start Le Fancy Geek to chronicle my outfits and random musings. Looking back, it’s astonishing to think of how far I’ve come and what this blog has brought me. And I knoooow… I don’t blog on here as often as I did before, but I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing on here again.

The coolest opportunity blogging has led me to is becoming an ambassador for Jordandene and editor at its sister company Sartorial Geek! To celebrate Le Fancy Geek’s 10th anniversary, I’ve teamed up with Jordandene for a giveaway! Two lucky folks will get the chance to win a $50 Jordandene gift card.

Check out my post on Instagram to see how to enter for a chance to win:

Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the last 10 years! I can’t express enough how truly thankful I am 💜

Cheers,
Nina

geek style · write on

Love Us the Way You Love Pokémon

blackmilk clothing pokemon 2.0 grass type evil tee dress bulbasaur

Instagram is easily accessible, so I’ve been using it over the years to microblog and share things the way I used to on here. But even then, my platform isn’t that grand and my reach is alright at best. So whenever I bring up anything regarding issues in the AAPI community, it feels like I’m standing on a soap box in the middle of a barren strip mall on a weekday afternoon, with the occasional passerby saying “YEAH! YOU SAID IT, GIRL!” and walking away. My words leave an impression on a few, and are forgotten within minutes by others. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it to speak up and put my heart on the line like that. In the end, I always hit “Post” because what is the point of me having a voice if I don’t use it? If I don’t say anything, who will? My community has been silenced for far too long. I only hope I can add more fuel to the fire, however small it may be, to amplify our plight.

It also feels weird to go back to business as usual on social media. Does anyone give a shit if I have a dope new Pokémon dress when my community is in distress? I originally planned to post these pics for St. Patrick’s Day with a punny caption like “What’s your [Pokémon] type? 🌸🌿”, but it didn’t seem right.

I ended up posting them a few days later with this caption:

Pokémon is a source of joy, and revisiting the anime has been a fun escape over the past month. But I can’t help but think of Jiansheng Chen — a 60 year old Chinese American immigrant that played Pokémon Go as a way to connect with his nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. In 2017, he went out one night to play and a security guard shot him when he was parked outside of a clubhouse in Virginia. The reason? He felt threatened. That security guard had it all wrong though — *he* was the threat. My community has NEVER been safe. The violent attacks and senseless killings have been happening ever since we first stepped foot in this country. Over the years, countless members of my community have been verbally assaulted, beaten, or have had their lives taken just because they’re Asian. So many families are left to mend the shattered pieces of their broken hearts and figure out how to go on. Some can’t even stop to grieve because they have to look out for other people in their family. My heart goes out to all of them, including the loved ones of those Asian American women that were killed in the recent Atlanta shootings.

If I’m still thinking of Jiangsheng Chen after all these years when I see anything Pokémon related, then how must his family feel when they see Pokémon too? 😔

A REMINDER: if you also love Pokémon and other aspects of Asian culture such as food, boba, matcha, anime, k-pop, k-dramas, k & j beauty products, kawaii things like Sanrio and San-X characters, Nintendo, martial arts, yoga, karaoke, Buddhism, hell — even Star Wars (yes, you read that right) — you need to be better allies. Don’t think I haven’t noticed how some of you have been doing the bare minimum or nothing at all. What I get from that is that you love what our many cultures bring to the table, but not us. I no longer have room to give anyone grace. Do better.

blackmilk clothing pokemon 2.0 grass type evil tee dress bulbasaur
blackmilk clothing pokemon 2.0 grass type evil tee dress bulbasaur

It’s frustrating to have people literally comment on any of my past posts and tell me they hear me and are willing to learn and do better, and in turn literally post pics to celebrate Animal Crossing’s one year anniversary and bubble tea without one word about what’s going on. I want to believe people can be better, but I keep being proved wrong. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of people being performative in their activism. I’m tired of all the hate we receive for us as a whole, but the endless love and appropriation of the many entities Western culture has taken from us. Just love and support us the way you love Pokémon, dammit.

Cheers,
Nina

PS: Sources to help support the AAPI community can be found here. Please donate if you can, and if not please share.

PPS: In case you’re wondering, BlackMilk Clothing Pokémon dress can be found here and here.

write on

It’s An Honor Just to Be Asian

it's just an honor to be asian t-shirt sandra oh

Steven Yeun recently said, “Sometimes I wonder if the Asian American experience is what it’s like when you’re thinking about everyone else, but nobody else is thinking about you.”

This quote has been on my mind a lot. It so perfectly sums up how I’ve felt all my life. I constantly feel like I’m juggling other people’s feelings along with my own. Always worrying that I’m overstepping if I say something about what I’m experiencing or hurting from because it’s not on the same level as someone else. Basically devaluing my pain. But at the end of the day no one cares about me.

Or at least until now…? Despite all the conversations I’ve had or posts I’ve put up on Instagram talking about the increased attacks on the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, it goes over everyone’s heads. Sure, people have posted things. But the fervor in which it’s done compared to last year with their declarations to become better allies to marginalized communities… well, they just proved to be empty promises.

The tragic events that occurred on March 16 — a mass shooting of 3 different Asian owned massage parlors that resulted in the death of 6 Asian women — led to a massive push. The next day I was greeted with messages asking me how I was doing, that people were there for me. That they see me and hear me. Though it was all said with the best of intentions, I couldn’t help but feel enraged.

It led me to write this on Instagram:

What can I say that I haven’t said already? I feel like myself, my sister, and friends in the AAPI community have been screaming into the void since, well… as long as we can comprehend. We’ve shared our struggles not just in the form of info graphs on our IG Stories over the past year, but have brought them up in actual conversations — everything from the rise of hate crimes since the last president uttered “China Virus” + “Kung Flu,” to talking about issues of representation in the media, to our own personal experiences of facing racism firsthand. But they always fall upon deaf ears. Sadly, it’s not surprising as our plight constantly flies under the radar. I’m tired of being invisible.

Why did it take a mass shooting of 3 Asian owned businesses that took the lives of 6 Asian women to be the catalyst for so many of you to REALLY pay attention? To start posting more? To check in on your AAPI friends? Have our collective cries for help in the past few months not been enough? I appreciate those who have checked in on me, but it’s really not necessary. Because I’m not okay — I’m angry, bitter, sad, and more scared than I’ve ever been in my whole life and I don’t see this changing anytime soon.

I implore you, please LISTEN to us. I feel like all the info graphs that circulated last year were for naught. So many of you who went all out in sharing resources and committing to being better allies have barely said a peep about what’s happening to my community until recently. Your silence has been disappointing.


There’s a link in my bio with resources to support the AAPI community, please donate if you can. I’ve also included my Venmo here for the emotional labor I’ve done in trying to raise awareness. Please consider sending money to your AAPI friends who have done the same.✌🏼We have screamed about our struggles into the void for far too long.

I feel like I have so much more to say, but I just can’t will my fingers to type every single thought flashing in my head.

To my fellow AAPI — I see you, I hear you, I feel all your pain, your sadness, your anger. All of it. You matter. Please be safe and take care.

Cheers,
Nina

geek style

Hope Right Here

bts fashion style j-hope hobicore living dead clothing skater dress a shop of things smiley purse avocado pins beret

One of my BTS biases, J-Hope, recently celebrated his birthday on the 18th! If you happen to follow me on Instagram you might’ve seen all my Hobicore related outfit posts to celebrate his special day 🥳 J-Hope (along with V) is my fave because of his super sunny disposition. He is sunshine personified, and is just the absolute cutest. Since falling down the BTS rabbit hole in November 2019, their style has trickled its way into my closet too. So much so, I even have an article in the winter issue of Sartorial Geek dedicated to the different types of BTScore style aesthetics! You can find that here.

Hobicore is all about being cheerful, colorful, with fun prints, rainbows, and happy faces. So when I was looking at Living Dead Clothing’s going-out-of-business sale last summer, I added this flower dress to my cart immediately because 1.) it screamed J-Hope and 2.) I thought it would look really cute with my J-Hope inspired beret by Avocado Pins. 💜💛💖

Along with BTS, I’ve been using shopping as a coping mechanism for… well, everything. Haha 😅 I’ve always loved supporting small businesses. Discovering new artists and small businesses at comic conventions is one of my most favorite things, but it doesn’t seem likely we’ll be getting to go to those anytime soon. So I’ve been trying to shop small or second-hand via Poshmark and Mercari as much as possible when I do find myself going into a shopping spiral. It makes me feel less guilty when I know I’m supporting a small business owner rather than a large corporation! lolol

bts fashion style j-hope hobicore living dead clothing skater dress a shop of things smiley purse avocado pins beret
bts fashion style j-hope hobicore living dead clothing skater dress a shop of things smiley purse avocado pins beret
bts fashion style j-hope hobicore living dead clothing skater dress a shop of things smiley purse avocado pins beret
:: OUTFIT DETAILS ::
J-Hope pin: AmojinPH (buy here)
J-Hope beret: Avocado Pins (buy here)
purse: A Shop of Things (buy here)
dress: Living Dead Clothing (n/a) | jacket: A New Day (n/a)

If you’re into BTS, who’s your bias and when did you fall down the rabbit hole? Or what are some of your favorite small businesses that you love to support? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Cheers,
Nina

bloop

2020: My Year in Review

2020… how can I even recap it? I almost don’t even want to make my annual Year in Review post, but I’m not one to break tradition.

To say it’s been a weird, sad, maddening hot dumpster fire of a year would be the ultimate understatement. I’ve found myself angrier and even more disheartened by the state of the world and many of the people in it — particularly in the United States in which I live. From those who choose to not understand the Black Lives Matter movement, racial injustices seen in BIPOC/POC communities, to COVID-19 non-believers, it’s hard to look at how other countries are taking better precautions in social distancing and taking care of small businesses and its citizens financially. Must be nice to live somewhere where everyone considers the community as a whole rather than themselves as individuals. Le sigh.

Sometimes I get upset with myself for not accomplishing a whole lot this year. I didn’t even reach my GoodReads goal despite changing it 3 times. Like… that’s something I thought I could accomplish, but alas! I’m trying not to get down on myself because as my friend Sara told me, we’re all dealing with a pandemic. We’re not required to do X, Y, and Z when we’re just trying to survive, so everyone should give themselves grace.

And I’m still alive and [somewhat] well, so that’s something! I feel like some friendships have grown stronger throughout this year, so I’m thankful for the Zoom calls, Google hangouts, and barrage of text messages. They definitely helped me cope and get through 2020.

BTS was an unexpected godsend, too. I started listening to them last November and my love for them has flourished since then. While I’m sad 2020 robbed me of seeing them live in April, a lot of stuff they came out with wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the pandemic — and that includes some bonds growing stronger with friends who fell down the BTS rabbit hole after ‘Dynamite’ came out in August. And of course, I love how they brought my sister and I a lot closer 💜

A few cool things did happen this year such as…

  • being invited to be a guest on The Star Wars Show Book Club to discuss Leia: Princess of Alderaan
  • promoted to Content Editor of Sartorial Geek with some articles in 3 of their printed issues this year
  • successfully co-hosted 4 Sartorial Geek Fashion Fix challenges
  • successfully co-hosted 2 Animal Crossing events with Sartorial Geek
  • did a couple collabs with friends for fun content such as EK Johnston’s Queen’s Peril contest (I won a bookplate!) and Julie and the Phantoms costumes for Halloween
  • helped organize and execute a virtual Star Wars Celebration with a few of the girls from Galactic Coven in just 2 weeks, including panels, small business features, and a Galactic Gala
  • asked by Loungefly’s Stitch Shoppe to model a few pieces from their collections
  • learned how to trim my own bangs
  • got to watch 3 BTS online concert events
  • got to watch Riz Ahmed’s online performance (was also supposed to see him in April)
  • started taking Korean, Spanish, and French lessons on Duolingo

Okay, so that last one isn’t that exciting but I’m like… HEY, I am learning something. Haha! And most of my accomplishments were via Sartorial Geek, which is pretty effing cool.

I’m not really sure what else to say. I’ve mainly been cooped up at home lying on the couch scrolling endlessly on Instagram or TikTok, immersing myself in BTS content, watching a k-drama or random show on a streaming platform… yup, that’s pretty much it. 😅

I don’t know if anyone reads my blog anymore, but if someone happens to be reading these words I hope you’re well and doing the best you can, and that you and yours are safe. And please wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

Here’s hoping 2021 will have a light at the end of this pandemic tunnel. On that note, I’ll leave you with ‘Life Goes On’ by BTS. It definitely gives me some hope in this strange and scary timeline we’re all living in. I wish it can do the same for you. 💜

Cheers,
Nina

pup life

Happy 9th Homecoming, Rory!

Today marks 9 years since I brought Rory home! I would say it’s his Gotcha Day, but I think that would technically be when I first met him on August 7 and was like, “Mmm hmm, yes. He’s the one.” Nevertheless, I still like to consider today his Homecoming Anniversary. 💜

It goes without saying, but finding the good in these trying times has been hella difficult. I miss the obvious things like hanging out with friends, seeing family, going out and about, and traveling. But one thing I haven’t taken for granted is that I’m able to spend more time with Rory — especially since he’s now considered a senior. AH! It hurt to just even type that 😩 He’ll always be a puppy to me! I can’t even tell he’s aged since he’s all white and is still super energetic.

I remember last summer, I was at a shopping outlet out of town [le sigh] and I had Rory in a stroller — this woman came up to me and asked if she could pet him, so I said sure and when she asked how old he was and I said 8, she goes, “Oh cool, a senior dog.” 😨 I still can’t believe it’s been 9 years though. Getting a dog has been a dream of mine since I was just a wee baby, so even though all this time has passed I still look at Rory sometimes and think to myself, “Holy crap, I have a dog!”

Rory tolerates me terribly singing “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey to him or my own original silly ditties. Also me walking by and shaking his butt saying “SO FLUFFY!” And in turn I tolerate him barking at anyone or anything that walks by our house while he looks out the front window (most recently he barked at a hummingbird), or playing hard to get when it’s time to put his harness on before we go out for a walk. Or when I ask him to come over and he just stares at me and walks away. He’s basically me in dog form and I don’t know whether to be amused or annoyed 😅 I love him unconditionally anyway.

Cheers,
Nina

bloop

Not Bad For the End of the World

I started writing this blog post at the end of March to post on April 1, but that obviously didn’t happen, because WTF it’s already the end of May.

So I’ll start over.

With the pandemic going on, many of us who aren’t considered essential workers have been laid off from our jobs (hi, it me). And with sheltering in place and only being able to go out for essential things I thought, “wow, maybe this will bring a blogger resurgence!” — like, LiveJournal/Xanga status kinds of blogging. Getting all deep and introspective, or just writing a lot in general. Because what do we have but time on our hands now? But alas. This is the first post I’ve written since NYE 2019. Haha!

At the beginning I was on constant edge about covid-19 (or as I’ve been calling it La Rona); I’d wake up with what I call hummingbird heart because it felt like mine was beating 250 beats per minute from all the anxiety built up. Sometimes I’d wake up with trouble breathing, and panicked even more because it made me think La Rona got me. Everything had me in a constant state of worry. But slowly, I’ve been able to keep it under control thanks to distractions like group chats and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Honestly, Animal Crossing has been a true godsend! It helps me take my mind off everything, and I’ve been able to keep in touch with my friends and sister in a fun new way. Last month I also co-hosted another Sartorial Geek Fashion Fix Challenge, and participated in some fun projects with the Galactic Coven (like the pass the brush challenge). It’s nice to have those spurts of productivity in a time like this, especially since I feel like I haven’t been that productive. My room is still a mess and I haven’t read a book since February! It’s not for lack of trying — my mind just doesn’t want to shut up every time I pick up a book. And I get very overwhelmed with my piles and piles of clothes. I’m thoroughly annoyed by it.

Even though I feel okay most days, I can’t help but feel sad — which I know is totally normal and okay. I don’t know how long this is going to last, or when it’ll be safe to see my friends and other family again. I had so many plans that are now postponed until who knows when. April was supposed to be a fun month with a trip to LA to watch Riz Ahmed with some of my Bodhi Brigade sisters, and a BTS concert in the Bay Area with my mom and sister. SDCC was also cancelled, and I’m sure Star Wars Celebration will be too. And if it’s not, I’ll probably skip it because I wouldn’t feel safe going.

I miss being able to travel and explore. I miss random trips to Target just to walk around. I miss my family and friends. 😦

Whoever is reading this, I hope this finds you safe and well. Ideally at home and practicing social distancing. I mean, for those of us lucky to have a place to call home anyway.

Cheers,
Nina

geek style · out & about

2019: My Year in Review

Not only is today the last day of the year, but the decade! Oh, Time. Where have you gone? This decade has brought me love, heartbreak, disappointment, clarity, happiness, and friendships to last a lifetime. Though I often feel like I’m stuck in the same place and nothing’s changed, I have to give myself credit where credit is due. I’ve evolved. I can feel it. The hardships that have been thrown my way over the last 10 years have only made me stronger and changed me for the better.

And I became a dog mom, which is probably the highlight of this decade!

2019 wasn’t a hot-garbage-fire year like previous ones. In fact, I feel it might be my best one yet! It’s only fitting for me to welcome the new year and new decade going out on a high note 🙂

A goal of mine for 2019 was to travel often and experience new things. This year alone I’ve…

  • watched Sarah Kaye + Phil Kay in San Francisco
  • watched Waitress the musical in Sacramento
  • saw Ken Jeong live in Stockton
  • met Karen Ashley, the second yellow Power Ranger at StocktonCon
  • went to a Kook’s concert in Oakland (my bff’s fave band)
  • went to Disneyland for a Bodhi Brigade reunion
  • flew to Las Vegas for Janet Jackson’s residency
  • went to Disneyland again for Marvel Night
  • I went to New York in April and watched Hadestown and White Noise
  • I went to Philadelphia for a day and went to the Franklin Institute to see the Marvel exhibit and the Museum of the American Revolution and learned about “diaper butt”
  • went to G. Willow Wilson’s book signing in Oakland and got to tell her how much I love Ms. Marvel
  • got to model for one of my fave small geek shops, Jordandene!
  • went back to Disney for a third time to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
  • went to my 13th San Diego Comic-Con International (or 12th? I can’t remember if I missed 2 or 3 between 2004-2019)
  • planned a “Basic Autumn Bitch” trip for the third week of October to visit Boston + New York — I fell in love with Boston and went to Salem for a day, and I watched Betrayal (with Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox, and Zawe Ashton) on Broadway, and Little Shop of Horrors off Broadway with Jonathan Groff (where I got a terrible selfie)
  • finally saw the original Winnie the Pooh toys at the New York Public Library which has been on my bucket list for ages!
  • watched Hamilton for the second time in San Francisco
  • unexpectedly booked another trip to New York for the first week of October after being invited to be on a geek fashion panel at New York Comic-Con thanks to the Sartorial Geek
  • was a panelist for the first time ever at a convention!
  • became a staff writer for the Sartorial Geek
  • co-hosted 3 geek fashion challenges this year
  • saw Jo Koy live in Stockton
  • saw my one of my best friends get married to the love of her life
  • gained 2 furry nephews and a furry niece thanks to my other best friend
  • went to Feel the Force night at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

I did all that in a year! HOW CRAZY.

The biggest setback I’ve faced this year was getting laid off from my first “big girl” job. I worked for a fashion app for a good 3 years in San Francisco. I started as an unpaid intern and worked my way up to contract worker, to full-time as their Customer Success Manager. On top of that, I was also a stylist (and still am) on their app and earned many rave reviews. Of course I was sad and angry when it happened. It was a blow in all kinds of ways, but also a blessing because now I can figure out what it is I truly want to do. What that is, I haven’t figured out yet. Haha! But in the meantime I’ve been able to go back to a part-time job I never thought I’d go back to. And you know what? I’m feeling okay about it. It’s changed and so have I.

Here’s to more adventures and new experiences to come in the next year/decade.

Cheers,
Nina

out & about

Way Down, Hadestown

hadestown preview night broadway

Long time, no see! I can’t believe I haven’t updated Le Fancy Geek since February 😱

I’ve been up to A LOT since then. I’ve traveled to New York, Philadelphia (for a day), Las Vegas, and Disneyland twice — once for Marvel Night and then for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! In New York, I got to watch Hadestown while it was still in previews back in April. It was by far one of my favorite theater experiences ever. And it’s gone on to win 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical! With the rest of the songs from the Original Broadway Cast album being released today, I thought it would be the perfect time to do a #FlashbackFriday post about my trip to the underground.

Purchasing my ticket to Hadestown is by far my most extravagant impulse purchase to date. I was a bit more detailed in my reasons for getting it in the first place in my first post of 2019, so I shall spare you from repeating myself. But I can tell you that Hadestown was entirely worth every penny! And I still can’t believe the random date I chose was the same day as my fellow Bodhi Brigade sisters, Alice and Cat, and new geek pal Sherry!

The women who played the Fates had the slickest and most haunting harmonies I’ve ever heard in my damn life, and Eva Noblezada was a force to be reckoned with as Eurydice. Reeve Carney’s portrayal of Orpheus was a sweet cinnamon roll that kind of makes you go “UGH” because he reminds you of every arty poetic guy you ever had a crush on (or is it just me?). Everyone involved was incredible! I’m at loss for more synonyms to say “amazing.” I guess all I can really say is if you’re a lover of mythology, poetry, and musicals, Hadestown is for you.

I’m going to try and find some time to write up about all the fun things I’ve been up to this year! From catching the train to Philadelphia at an ungodly hour for a day of museum hopping, to seeing Janet Jackson rock the stage in Las Vegas, to being a pilot on the Millennium Falcon — 2019 has been a whirlwind of AWESOME! What have y’all been up to? Let me know in the comments!

Cheers,
Nina

PPS: Catch the OBC’s performance of my favorite song from the 2019 Tony Awards!

#lampography

(photo of Reeve Carney courtesy of Alice Fanchiang)

geek style

You’re Just As Sane As I Am

I found this post just hanging out and collecting figurative dust in my drafts. It’s too cute to not share though! If you know me, you know I love getting dressed in theme when I go places or for certain days. I wore this outfit on September 1st aka Back to Hogwarts Day! Since it’s a Luna Lovegood outfit, why not post this on her birthday? 🙂

I’m a Hufflepuff through and through, but I’d like to think that Luna would be one of my best friends if I went to Hogwarts. We’d hangout and read the Quibbler together and I’d listen to her talk about nargles and other weird things, and we’d have fun craft sessions (making cool jewelry and papier-mâché headpieces for quidditch games).

Both my Luna skirt and beret are from 1138 Clothing, a super cute geek small biz owned and run by my girl Linda. Linda sews all the dresses, skirts, and tops for 1138 Clothing and will even customize pieces to fit your exact measurements. The silhouettes/style of her garments have a retro/vintage feel with a geek twist as she uses fabrics adorned with characters from all kinds of fandoms — from Harry Potter to Disney to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — there’s something for every geek!

:: OUTFIT DETAILS ::
skirt & beret: 1138 Clothing (buy here & here)
glasses: Zenni Optical (buy here) | top: Old Navy
shoes: Dexflex Comfort | belt: Lane Bryant
purse: Kate Spade | bag essence: Tokyo Disney

Who’s your favorite Harry Potter character and what house are you in? Did you get sorted by Pottermore or did you figure it out on your own? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Cheers,
Nina

PS: Happy Galentine’s Day!!!