This year Hyper Japan had a whole area dedicated to Kawaii as they teamed up with ASOBISYSTEM (who produced Kyary Pamyu Pamyu) to bring a range of Japanese models and street fashion to the UK. You can learn more about it in this special feature programme as all the features at Japan Expo in Paris were also here in London at Hyper Japan.
Hyper Japan did a post asking for people to take part in various fashion projects – showing off your own street fashion styles, being a model and taking part in a photo book. I submitted a photo, hoping to get chosen for a small part as I thought it would be nice to be able to show off a style I’m passionate about especially if I could feature some of my handcrafted items too. Anyway the event got really close and I hadn’t heard anything so I assumed I wasn’t picked. Eventually though I got an email and it turned out I’d been picked for the main show and would be modelling actual Japanese brand clothing! I never expected to get chosen as an actual model, it caught me totally off guard and filled me with slight panic which wasn’t helped due to the lack of information provided and how last minute it was (1 week before event). I also couldn’t make it to the run through the night before as I couldn’t get down until Friday lunchtime which didn’t help my nerves.
Anyway, after a few emails back and forth (they asked to confirm some stuff and send a natural hair pic) it got to Thursday evening (the day before the event) and all I knew was go straight to the backstage area for a dress rehearsal when I arrived Friday. It was really confusing trying to figure out where to go and who I needed to talk to, I found the fashion bit but didn’t want to just walk through the door as I wasn’t 100% sure it was the right bit. Typically everyone who came out only spoke Japanese and couldn’t understand me but luckily I eventually spotted a London model and she took me to who I needed to see. Unfortunately the lady sorting things only spoke Japanese too and the translator wasn’t around so trying to understand what was going on was difficult but eventually I did the dress rehearsal – I was so flustered though that I put the top on back to front first. Ooops! So embarrassing, she must have thought I was a right idiot.
This was this first time I got to find out exactly what I was wearing. It was by the brand SPINNS and was a sailor moon themed oversized short top and skirt. Not only was the skirt A LOT shorter than I usually wear but I had bare legs, short ankle socks and platform shoes. I’m quite tall and was on a raised stage in platform shoes too – I was terrified that people would be able to see up the skirt if I wasn’t careful and that I may fall over. It was also pale yellow and white which are not colours that particularly suit me. Also because they had asked to see a photo of my natural hair I assumed it meant I couldn’t wear a wig, though a couple of the other girls did so maybe it would have been ok, it all got too last minute so there wasn’t chance to check. I really don’t like my natural hair, I feel really self conscious as it’s very fine and flat plus it frizzes in the rain/damp atmospheres and I’d got rained on slightly on my way there (typically!). Wigs definitely give me more confidence. So yeah to say I was nervous was an understatement! I’ve always had issues with confidence and how I look and I just felt really exposed and out of my depth/comfort zone. Plus I just felt so out of place against the other models who were all so pretty, I felt like a clumsy oversized giant, with massive clown feet and chunky legs. I’m sure if I’d submitted a different picture I wouldn’t have been picked. Anyway basically I was really nervous and when I went out on stage I saw the way some of the audience looked at me, like with an expression on their face of how exactly should she be modelling and I lost my nerve and did a horrible performance. I just looked so awkward on stage and went the wrong way and couldn’t decide how to pose or anything 😦 It was bad.
Still I did it and I feel that’s important. It’s too easy to hide away from things that scare you and to let others put you down. I’d been chosen, rightly or wrongly, so I tried to keep that in mind on the Sunday and I think I looked a bit calmer and more confident – I still didn’t do a great job, clearly being a model isn’t for me. It was also really important to me that I didn’t just quit/back out, how can I write my blog telling people to ignore comments from others and embrace/express who they are no matter what they look like if I can’t do it myself. I really want you all to believe in your self and to try and battle your nerves/confidence issues, its ok to fail at something but its much better to at least try than to run away from it. It makes me really sad that we live in a world where society places so much judgement on others over appearance and that we then inflict these sorts of thoughts back on ourselves 😦
I’m sorry the photos aren’t great, the lighting is not good in the venue, my phone doesn’t take the best pics and I can’t see myself when taking the photo so I need to guess plus I was comfortable about it all.
This was Fridays hair and makeup:
Sunday’s hair and makeup:
Oversized short-bodied top in pale yellow with print on front and back
White skirt with sailor moon print
Red choker with gold star
Small pouch (to put your phone in?)
White ankle socks with a flower on
Platform white sandals with see-through base (which were not actually my size)
I don’t have any photos and can’t find any online (thank goodness) but there are these two videos: