My taste swings to the sweet side of things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other J-Fashion styles. Former h.NAOTO chief designer, Daisuke Ichikawa, put on a superb show at AnimeNEXT. Distressed fabrics and tough attitudes along side neko mimi and pearls combined to make what I can only describe as fancy punk. The coordinates for the girls were both pretty and edgy. The guys sported jackets that were tailored perfectly for country club life were it not for the bold spray painted stencil details.
Bassist Yo of the visual kei band Matenrou Opera modeled along with many local amateurs. Yo has modeled for Acryl agitt in the past in Japan however this was his first apperance modeling in the US.
I couldn’t keep count how many coordinates made their way down the catwalk. Truly an impressive number of pieces and models. Not only did the clothing make an impression but the make up was delectable.
This weekend was the crescendo to an exhilarating spring. I’ve been to Tokyo, San Francisco, St. Louis and spent a week in Manhattan. Enjoyed a lovely sail in the Hudson, started my 5th semester of Japanese, and attended my first “con” AnimeNext. Just in the past 5 days I meet shamisen virtuoso Agatsuma and lolita fashion kami-sama Akinori Isobe.
Baby the Stars Shine Bright Tea Party
It was only by chance that I was able to attend the Baby the Stars Shine Bright Tea Party on Sunday. My friend Grace was the original owner of the ticket. But unfortunately she was unable to make it and was sweet enough to extend her ticket to me. I owe her big time!
Only 10 precious tickets existed so it was a very intimate affair held in a small room of the hotel hosting AnimeNext. Everyone gravitated to sitting around the dinning table with a cup of green or black tea in hand. Isobe-san, the CEO, and his two designers Masumi Kane and Saki Tachibana, stood at one corner of the table entertaining questions from the attendees. MC Melody Doll and a translator assisted with the conversation. Petrina of Lolita and the City accompanied the party as press and snapped lots of candids. Can’t wait to see them.
At first there was no mistaking that everyone was nervous. But gradually the questions became more relaxed and casual. We learned that Masumi plays piano and takes inspiration from classical music for her design process. While Saki is influenced by books and spends time in the library and bookstores. I learned that I had something in common with Isobe-san. When inquiring about what types of music everyone enjoys, K-Pop and Visual Kei bands for the girls, Isobe-san said he isn’t as much into music these days but was really into techno. To this I can relate (see my last post.)
After the tea we all stepped out into the garden for photos. As you can see there was a group shot, individual shots with the designers, and then some of just the designers. I wish I had a photo of all the camera’s lined up, waiting their turn; lots and lots of photos should be filling Instagram and Tumblr by now.
The party concluded with the designers handing out small gifts to the attendees. Inside the little bag was a handkerchief featuring a recent print, an Usakumya snap bracelet, and a small package of cards and notepaper. We were also given a choice of a poster from either Baby or Alice and the Pirates.
My bag included the navy Twinkle Polaris version of ☆Twinkle Constellation and the Stars of Confeito☆ design. But Stephanie and I traded. She likes darker prints but had received the white Dreaming Vega color. Which means I now have a handkerchief to match the skirt I bought when in Tokyo. Yay!
The tea party provided me an opportunity to wear my first ever Alice and the Pirates coordinate. I picked it up on Saturday at the Baby booth in AnimeNext. I fell in love with the Tricolour Toy hat the minute I saw it. But turned away as I have nothing to match it. But then the JSK also lured me in. All of this with a bit of encouragement by Nancy who was working at the booth. Well and you can’t stop there, so I ended up with the matching socks too.
Throw in a blouse from Bodyline, red tea parties from Antaina, as well as Angelic Pretty’s Fantastic Ribbon necklace, and voila! Felt very English school girl. I think this is a start of a new love for me. I am crazy about the pink sweets, but this really felt comfortable, more familiar, somehow more me. Perhaps I’m a pirate now?!?!