Hello Kitty Turns 50!

Candace Abbott: So world’s favorite feline decided to throw herself an over-the-top birthday bash. Yes, Hello Kitty turned 50 and I was invited–along with a throng of other devoted fans.

In true HK fashion I was loaded up with a few glittering accessories, those painful sky-high platforms (I’ve gotta stop wearing those) and my trusty Windows Phone. I walked through the opening of Barker Hangar at Santa Monica airport in Los Angeles and was thrust right into a Hello Kitty carnival. Blow-ups of the crew — HK herself, Keroppi, Pochacco and a few others hung overhead. The place was outfitted in all things Sanrio — from Yogurtland to Beard Papa’s, a Pink’s Hot Dog truck to specialty Sanrio water. One word–unbelievable. I had no idea that a Thursday night go get so sweet. Thankfully, I was able to share this with friends at home, but uploading the excitement directly to my Facebook (wink wink at the sharing feature).

And since we’re on the subject the photos, the ones I captured are really the stuff that my 7-year-old dreams were made of. Between marveling over the candy-colored sites and noshing on Hello Kitty Tropical Marshmallows, I watched a few stars arrive. No the Twin Stars weren’t among the bunch, but big names like Ashlee Simpson and her hubby Pete Wentz were there along with Tarina Tarantino (the designer who started the kitty couture movement), Jenny from Bravo’s “Flipping Out,” Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up” star Bella Thorne, celebrated journalist Lisa Ling and the most fabulous HK supporter of them all, Kimora Lee Simmons, whom I managed to score a photo with. This might have been the highlight of my night. But then again, I was really into eyeballing the glistening goods from the Hello Kitty Beauty preview suite — hosted by Sephora, naturally (due out January 2011; for now I have photos) And I just gushed over Sanrio-inspired art, the tricked out SmartCar (bearing Miss Kitty’s face), the Small Gift LA pop-up shop and the carnival games. My Melody milk bottle toss anyone??

Still swooning over my moment with Kimora and standing in front of Playmate Bridget Marquardt at the Grilled Cheese truck had me ready to end the night with two things — a game of miniature golf and a ride on the Sanrio ferris wheel. Not only did I get a break from those heels, but I captured photos from high above the event.

Note to self, always trust a kitten wearing overalls and an oversized bow in her hair. She throws a good fete, gives a killer goodie bag and sees that you go home with a camera-roll full of memories.

Check out all of Candace’s pics, taken with her Windows Phone!