Author: Emily S. Whitten

Pop Culture SquadCast: The Runway to the 2023 Her Universe Fashion Show: Interview with Co-Host Michael James Scott

Pop Culture SquadCast: The Runway to the 2023 Her Universe Fashion Show: Interview with Co-Host Michael James Scott

San Diego Comic-Con is right around the corner, and one of the events I am most looking forward to is the ninth annual Her Universe Fashion Show 2023, which this year will be celebrating 100 years of Disney with designs focused on Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more. The “geek couture” show, which will be held on July 20 at 6 pm in the Harbor Ballroom, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel and is presented by Her Universe and Hot Topic, was created by Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein. Actress and entrepreneur Ashley is well-known as the voice of Ahsoka Tano on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and in 2010 founded Her Universe – a groundbreaking fangirl fashion company and lifestyle brand. (Groundbreaking is not an exaggeration, either – just over eleven years ago I was writing about how it was hard to even find a geeky shirt in a women’s cut.  Now, thanks to Her Universe and other brands, there are many more, and more fun and fashionable, ways for us to flaunt our fandom!)

Shortly after the founding of Her Universe followed the fashion show, an immensely fun and stylish event held yearly at SDCC, which I have had the privilege to cover several times in the past. There, models walk the runway to display original geek couture created by talented designers from around the country. The judges and audience then vote on winners who will go on to design a special fashion collection with Her Universe (now a stand-alone subsidiary of Hot Topic, Inc.). Continue reading “Pop Culture SquadCast: The Runway to the 2023 Her Universe Fashion Show: Interview with Co-Host Michael James Scott”

Who Are BTS? A Crash Course on the World’s Biggest K-Pop Phenoms

Who Are BTS? A Crash Course on the World’s Biggest K-Pop Phenoms

Two months ago, I would have asked the same question – “Who are BTS?” And yet a short while later, I am a huge fan, and well down the rabbit-hole of listening to, viewing, reading about, and absorbing the many, many facets of this powerhouse group – from music; to music videos with complex choreographies; to live vlogs, interviews, and fan videos; to fictional universe storylines and the connected webcomic; to reality TV shows; to solo projects; to unique cultural aspects; to live performances; to merchandise; to social media interactions and the online presence of their devoted fans, affectionately known as A.R.M.Y. 

What. The Heck. Happened??

 Simply put, I saw videos of their live performances on Saturday Night Live, and that was all it took. On April 13, 2019, BTS made history as SNL’s first K-pop musical guest. They performed two of their songs live: “Boy with Luv (feat. Halsey)”

[the peppy-sweet pop single from their latest album, Map of the Soul: Persona; and “MIC Drop”

 a more driven and aggressive hip-hop number that came out in 2017. For both acts, while singing they danced in crisply coordinated and charismatic choreographies. The performances exuded a mesmerizing group energy and yet also showcased individual talent strengths and personalities of each member, a magnetic combination that (along with their stunning K-pop idol good looks) is one of the many reasons this group has an insanely large and dedicated fan group.

Immediately after seeing SNL, I found myself seeking out and listening to their music, and somehow discovering that they were going to be doing a live performance very soon and conveniently close to my childhood home in New Jersey, a reasonable distance to travel from D.C. – and one of only three U.S. appearance locations on a limited six-date U.S. tour. Of course, I recognized that this opportunity might not come around so easily again and curiosity got the better of me – were there any tickets left? Oh look, there were – and they were hella expensive; but not quite expensive enough to deter me from purchasing – which I did. But hey – if I spend that much money to attend a concert, let me tell you, when I get there I want to know the music and what to expect well enough to enjoy it.  Continue reading “Who Are BTS? A Crash Course on the World’s Biggest K-Pop Phenoms”