Hyper Japan – Part 2 (fashion)

There were more fashion stalls this year and they were all located at the further end of the hall which was nice as it was further away from everywhere else so you could easily get around the stalls.

Saturday Fashion Show
Unfortunately I didn’t photograph the note that came up first saying who the model, style and brands were. If I find this info out I shall add it in at a later date. I also didn’t photograph the school wear.

The styles in order were Pixie in Kimono, Kimono, Rebecca in Gothic Lolita, Lolita, Scarlet in Sweet Lolita by Angelic Pretty, Elodie in Sweet Lolita by Angelic Pretty, Fairy Kei, Ugko in Hadeko Fashion, Alex in Gyaru-o, Gyaru, Katie, Shani in Mori Girl fashion, Sironuri Style.

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Sunday Fashion Show

Laura wearing a Kimono by Kimono de go, Rebecca in Gothic Lolita, Katie in Sweet Lolita by Angelic Pretty, Elodie in Sweet Lolita by Angelic Pretty, Pixie in Gyaru with Alex in Gyaru-o, (I missed this girls info again) Fairy Kei, Ugko in Hadeko fashion, Tanya in school uniform by Phantasien, Shani in Mori Girl fashion, Antonia in Shironuri style.

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You can find much better photos online, I’m sorry mine didn’t come out very well. I think I may have to look at buying a new camera as its just not quick enough.

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Hyper Japan 2013 – Part One

I went to Hyper Japan for the very first time last year when I randomly spotted an advert for it whilst in London. I just went for the day and I had so much fun that when they held their Christmas event I went for all 3 days.

They held their event again this year in July and again I decided to go for the full 3 days. Its expensive to do due to trains, accommodation and then your entry ticket (not to mention really tiring) but it meant that I could see both fashion shows and if I missed anything one day I could catch it on the following.

Hyper Japan is a convention that celebrates everything Japanese from traditional music, art, geisha performance and martial arts to J-Pop, street fashions, anime, gaming etc. It also has a whole food section too for anyone really in to trying different Japanese dishes and Sake. There are stalls selling anime & manga, super cute plushies, collectables, fashion & accessories, music, magazines etc and other stalls covering trips to Japan and learning Japanese. On top of that it attracts a lot of Cosplayers and holds the ECG (European Cosplay Gathering) preliminaries so it really does have something for everyone.

Here are my highlights from the weekend:

This year they had a special performance by Siro-A. Siro-A are described as being Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group. Their show was really good so I decided to watch it all 3 days! It has a lot of humour, clever visuals and their precision is amazing, they must practise loads! They are definitely worth seeing if you ever get the chance, it’s really good fun. They were also regularly around the convention area wearing a huge tube on their head posing for photos, dancing and promoting the show which I thought was nice. They seemed very friendly and like they were enjoying themselves.
Here is a short video of the beginning of their performance that I found on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UmmUFRU6sI

Siro-A Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SiroAUK

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There were 2 fashion shows, one on Saturday and the other on the Sunday. They pretty much had the same styles both days but with slightly different models and new outfits. They were good and included some different styles too this time rather than being mostly lolita. Everyone looked lovely! I especially liked the Shironuri and Hadeko fashions. I will upload these photos as part 2 which is a more fashion based post.

The Cosplay shows are always worth catching if you are into that. I don’t Cosplay but I love seeing just how talented people are and how they have transformed a cartoon character in to something in the real world. I didn’t get very good pictures this year as I was too far away from the stage – its always really popular so you are lucky to get a seat.

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They also had a Japanese rock band perform this year too called Vaniru. I’m more of a Visual Kei fan but I went to see them anyway, their performance was a bit odd to say the least. I didn’t really rate them but it wasn’t quite my music style so it’s possible other people liked them. They also had some J-pop in the form of Yun*chi who even though J-pop isn’t my thing was much better to watch, her songs are so catchy and upbeat.

Youtube video of Vaniru performing Cosmic Night on the smaller stage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWf87GM8U-8

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Here’s a video I found on youtube of Yun*Chi performing Shake You:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bvUWRSCkdE
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The Geisha talk and performance by Sayuki and her Japanese Geisha sisters was also really interesting. Sayuki who gave a talk about Geisha is the first westerner to have formally debut as a Geisha. She spoke about how she managed to become one, a bit about the training process, kimonos, differences between Geisha from different Japanese districts, the traditional Geisha clothing etc as well as then performing traditional music and dances as a group. They also created a mini Geisha house within one of the stall sections where you could watch them getting ready, performing and doing a tea ceremony.

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I did more socialising this year so I didn’t properly see some of the other stage events and didn’t get the best view for some either so unfortunately some of my photos aren’t great – sorry. Here are some photos I took from the convention in general.
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Sum Up: I like Hyper Japan as a convention because it has such a wide range of stage events and has a decent fashion section. It also attracts a lot of J-fashion wearers too so you get to see lots of different street fashions and meet people. It’s also smaller than MCM which means you can actually move around the convention fairly easy and get to the stalls. It also has some downsides though like the food portions being generally quite small and very expensive, though this is true for most events. For certain stage events there just isn’t enough seating which when you are on your feet a lot of the day anyway just makes you extra tired. The lighting in the hall was awful and really yellow so it spoiled a lot of photos – even the press photographers were struggling to get nice photos. Events usually run a bit late but not excessively so and usually the staff are good at keeping you informed about what’s going on. Then also this year there seemed to be some queue and capacity issues. I bought a weekend ticket and although I had to queue for maybe 30mins or so on the Friday (I got there for the doors opening so its to be expected) I got in straight away on the Sat and Sun when I arrived in the morning. It seemed that the staff were telling people the venue was at maximum capacity so they couldn’t go in until people came out but it never seemed that full inside the venue, especially compared to MCM. I hope this situation is sorted out for next year as some people were stuck in a queue for 2 – 3 hours outside in the boiling hot sun.

News:

Sorry for not posting for a while, things are just really busy this month and next with events and things. Anyway I have a few updates for you today.

The first is that Kawaii International airs again on Saturday 31st on NHK World. This time they are looking at sweet art, or rather art using food and sweets. This is what it says on their page “A very popular model AMO-chan, who love Sweets item will be on the show! AAAAANNNDDDD!!! CookieBoy will introduce art using real cookies. George will show us the latest trend of Latte Art! Second part of Minori-chan’s Paris Report will be on too!” It airs here in the UK at 8:10pm on August 31st and then is repeated roughly every 4 hours until the last showing which will probably be at some point on the Sunday evening. Currently I can’t check that far ahead on the NHK World website. (View the NHK World website or my previous posts on Kawaii.i to see how you can watch it).

https://www.facebook.com/KawaiiiOfficial

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/schedule/index.html

Saturday 31st is also Frock On! which is a large lolita event happening here in the UK. It is run by The Tea Party Club. As well as some large Japanese brands coming there will be indie brands and designers from all over the world represented, a lot are from within the UK and Europe too – yay shopping! There will also be a bring and buy stall, photo booths, brand catwalk shows, a brand vs off-brand show (Gok Wan type style), tips on how to do hair, makeup, put together a great outfit, how to tie a bow properly etc. I shall take lots of photos and do a little write up on it afterwards. Tickets for this year’s event have sold out but they will have another event next year. More info can be found here:

http://teapartyclub.co.uk/

Then in September on the 13, 14, 15 it’s the largest UK Steampunk festival called The Asylum. It happens in Lincoln and it will be its 5th year. I know it’s slightly off topic and not Japanese fashion related but it’s always full of wonderful creative outfits and I have seen some Steampunk lolita’s there in the past. I won’t do much of a write up on it but I will include any wonderful fashion photos that seem relevant. If you have an interest in Steampunk, Neo Victorian, Gothic type stuff then the Asylum is well worth going to. It’s so much fun!! Their website should have more info added around the start of September, it’s a bit empty currently.

http://steampunk.synthasite.com/

My final piece of news is that I have been invited to do a talk on lolita fashion at next year’s S-Con. How exciting is that? If you read my blog regularly you will recall that I went to S-Con this year in April, it’s a small convention that happens in Scunthorpe and covers all sorts of popular Japanese culture like Cosplay, anime, manga, karaoke, gaming and last year had a sushi demonstration and some live music too. I’m not sure what else they have planned for next year’s event but I will update you when I know.

https://www.facebook.com/SConAnime

Rainbow Fun – Mint Coord on a budget

Last weekend I went to a lolita meet. It was a ‘rainbow’ themed meet, everyone was randomly given a colour about 2months or so in advance– I think they put names in a hat or something. I ended up with mint as my colour and typically I owned nothing in that. I didn’t want to spend too much on an outfit as it was mainly just for a meet. After quite a while of searching I found a dress on ebay. Then lots of searching around various high street stores turned up some minty accessories, mostly in the sale! Yay for bargains. On the day we took lots of photos, went to see some jousting at the Royal Armouries and then went for a meal in a vegan/vegetarian café after. It was so much fun!

This was my initial planned outfit:
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Feather Hairband – Internacionale, sale item 50p
Rose Hair Clips – H&M, sale item £1 a pair (I bought 2 lots)
OP – Bodyline, but bought 2nd-hand on ebay £16
Heart Bag – bought from ebay, about £6 (i think)
Bracelet – found in a charity shop £1.50
Small Rose Ring – ebay shop, £1.78
Rocking Horse Ring – Little Mizz Kitty, £3
Mint Nail Varnish – MUA Superdrug, £1
Shoes – Primark £5 (i think)

Full Total Cost of Outfit:  £36.78

Outfit on the Day:
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Bag: is my Mum’s, lol
Tights: H&M, sale item, £2
Cardi: found in a charity shop, paid £4 at the max
Large rose ring: Peacocks, sale item, £1

Oh look, its a rainbow!
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Photo Credits: Beccy

Stay strong and be kawaii

Hello Lovely Blog Readers,

This is a slightly off topic and unplanned post. I came across this particular article and just had to speak out about it. It will probably keep being re-tweaked but currently they paint a very negative picture of the ‘kawaii’ Japanese street fashions and make it seem more like a joke.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2386757/I-felt-like-Grayson-Perry-What-happened-normal-Home-Counties-girl-tried-wacky-Japanese-Kawaii-trend-day-.html

Like with all the other similar articles done recently on the Japanese street fashions it is terribly inaccurate. There are so many mistakes it would take ages to correct them all. My main concern though is over the negativity it puts out. The people doing the makeup at Hyper Japan are professional makeup artists but sadly no-one filled them in on how to do any of the makeup styles properly. I saw a few girls having their makeup done over the weekend and they were all plastered in it which is not the correct way. False lashes in lolita are usually un-naturally long but not to the extreme like some they were using. Also it’s a personal choice about how long you want your lashes and if you wish to stick gems on your face. Some girls do it, but more don’t (look at any of the sweet lolita brand photos for a reference). Also, nearly everyone I know who dresses in Lolita or other street styles are usually at least in their 20s. Done correctly you can look lovely in sweet lolita even in your 30s. I strongly believe that you should be able to wear what you want, you only live once so please don’t miss out on doing something you want to do. Hyper Japan is a great place to come to be yourself and express your love for the fashion in a safe environment, on the general street reactions can be very different so if you wish to avoid such confrontations then its safer to be careful when and where you wear it. It shouldn’t be that way but unfortunately people seem much quicker to want to judge and make people feel bad rather than say anything nice. I’m 28 myself and I don’t intend giving up wearing lolita anytime soon or until I wish to. I really hope that you are never knocked back by articles like this, if you want to give the fashion a go then you should and if its not quite you then at least you know. The transformation booth at Hyper Japan was a bit of a letdown to be honest and didn’t give a true idea of the fashion at all, it was more like playing dress up which was embarrassing. If I had known what it would be like I wouldn’t have promoted it on here beforehand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure lots of people had fun and I’m sure some loved their makeup too, its just it wasn’t an accurate portrayal of the styles.

Stay strong and be as kawaii as you want, never let others put you down!

Lolita Fashion at Hyper Japan

So it was Hyper Japan last weekend and I had lots of fun! I will do some sort of actual blog post on it at some point when I’ve had chance to sort through all my photos etc. So many Japanese street fashionistas turned up to the event too, everywhere I looked I saw people looking lovely – made it impossible to decide who to photograph as they were everywhere. All sorts of different styles, it was really nice to see, plus there was an official fashion show both days too. Here’s a lovely video by Lolita Fashion UK on youtube that documents lots of the Lolitas and cute fashion that was present on the Saturday of Hyper Japan. (I’m in this video too, lol)

Bodyline Wigs – Review

At a meet up recently a couple of girls were wearing Bodyline wigs and they looked really nice. I did a quick search online and found other good comments about their wigs so when I spotted a couple of reduced ones I decided to buy them and see for myself. The brown shoulder length wig was I think £4 and the long wavy black was £8 plus then the £6 shipping  would make it £18 in total. I checked out in yen though instead and actually paid just £13.99 taking it just under the £15 limit for customs charges. I ordered on 2 June (which was a Sunday) and selected airmail which is dispatched on a Tuesday (so the 4 June in this case) and they arrived on I think the 12 June so it was just over a week this time.

Like with my other wig reviews I just took the wigs out the packet, gave them a gentle shake and put them on. Sorry about the bad photos, the lighting was just really bad for some reason.

Stock Photos:

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The wigs are in separate clear bags and have a strip of card around them for protection. They were inside a standard plastic packet like most bodyline stuff.

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The brown wig named ‘wig003 Color:(lrebr)’ is about shoulder length, made of nice soft fibre and is quite thick. Its not really shiny either. The fringe seems a little uneven but thats easy to fix. As you can see though its either not styled well or just doesn’t keep its style well as it flicks about all over the place rather than curling in towards the face like the stock photo. I’m hoping I may be able to sort this somehow. On top of that because it’s a wig, the curls always seem to bounce and spring about more than real hair would so it just looks crazy when you walk and it bounces everywhere. I don’t know if bodyline wigs can be heat styled, I will have to try and find out. It seems to be nice fibre though, I like the colour, it fits well on my head and really for about £4 its great!

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Wig number two is a long black wavy wig called ‘wig053 Color:(blk)’. I really love this wig, its really nice and thick, the fibre is soft, its not really shiny, has pretty gentle curls. It fits well too, plus its cheap and really long. I’m really happy with it, I couldn’t find any faults or complaints. It did look quite fluffed up underneath after just trying it on for a very short period of time but some of my other wigs have done that too and usually it untangles really easy plus its just something that happens.

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I hope they both wear well (will have to add that info at a later date) and that I can find a way to re-style the brown one slightly.

Score: 5/5