Brilliant Star Decorations Volume 4

Fashion

by Kate Havas, Mio Nagasaki, posted September 2, 2013

At the latest edition of the Brilliant Star Decorations fashion show series, a few summery yukata were mixed in with the usual over-the-top lolita and aristocrat outfits and the cutely dressed maid emcees gave an overview of the event’s schedule and rules.

This time, the coordinate contest was first on the menu of events. Three-time winner Mari joined the designers on the judging panel and they were treated to a wide array of inventive coordinates. Some, such as a rabbit and red queen pair and a mother and daughter working a “Jewel Pet” theme, showed a performance, while others, such as a pair of handsome boys in yukata and a cat-girl in black leather and glitter, got applause for sex appeal. While most went with elegant looks, a few had a more Harajuku street style, including one girl in neon colors with plastic forks and spoons in her hair. The Angelic Pretty pack was back again to work the “Eat Me” theme as well, this time all wearing Wonder Party and waving wands made of cutlery. One of the cutest and most surprising entries was a pair of enthusiastic Brilliant Kingdom cosplayers who used their moment on stage to pose like the princes themselves. “I feel like we’ve seen these two somewhere before!” one of the maids quipped.

After the fan offerings, it was then time for the musical portion of the show and Brilliant Kingdom appeared in regal outfits. They performed “Senen no Zetsuai Requiem” in tense harmony, their cloaks fluttering and moving with the flashy choreography.

“Listen to this tale of darkness. Even a beautiful, shining world has a dark side.” An apple suddenly appeared in Babi’s hand. “Adam and Eve were forced out of Eden because they ate from the tree of knowledge.” Kaie then grabbed the apple and took a juicy bite.

The music became dark and discordant as Kaie began to choke. Babi glowered. “Why won’t you be mine? Why can’t we be one? I will eat your heart.”

A heavy guitar wail brought on “Zetsubou XTC,” and the pair stalked each other around the stage, the fans squealing as they got close enough to tease with airy touches and mimed kisses. Babi pulled out a whip but it was grabbed by Kaie as the tables turned. Yet, the poisoned prince proved unable to maintain control and Babi laughed cruelly, countering the whip with a knife as the catchy beat of “Namida ni Furue Seinaru Yurushi Kiss wo Shiro” began to pulse from the speakers. Babi sliced Kaie across the chest, a shower of red sequins pouring out before the victor posed alone onstage, musing about death, darkness, and solitude.

“What is the darkness in your heart? If you reach into it, you find emptiness. Who can say where your “heart” is? In your mind? In your physical heart?”

A change of clothing then had the princes in sparkling jackets and the fans pulled out glowsticks to wave in time to “Gekka no Binetsu Gensou.” The pair danced to classical accompaniment, striking highly choreographed poses. Kaie offered Babi a rose, showing unflagging devotion as the music flowed into the fantasy-infused “Bloody Rose.” The pair sang in a round style, voices flowing over and into each other, and crowd and performers alike swayed with the melody.

“Do you live in reality? Do you feel the gap between this world and the real world? In that gap is truth,” continued the narration.

The pair encouraged the crowd to shoot away their own weaknesses, miming the firing of shots in “Angelic Blaster.” Fans called their names in rhythm with the music and the song finished on a triumphant note, all fists in the air as the curtain drew.

When the pair returned to host the fashion show, Babi was dressed as an aristocratic white rabbit. They praised the thin waists of Victorian women which set the tone for the first outfit whose key point was a lacey white corset pulled tight on the model’s waist. It was followed by an A-line dress with a retro scarf-headband and a summery jumper, both looks that have a timeless appeal. A few more corsets in more unusual colors and patterns such as mint and rose were shown next, worked into ero-lolita outfits that still maintained a girlish sweetness.

“Sugar, spice, and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.” With those words, they introduced the newest dresses from ultra-feminine lolita brand Enchantlic Enchantilly, and as the first model walked out, the princes teased her with cupcakes. “Alice grew and shrank with what she ate,” Babi said, noting the model’s “eat me” hat styled after those literary sweets. Babi then tried to take a bite out of the model who  stormed off in a huff. “Oh,” the prince said with a chuckle, “looks like the pudding is angry.”

The theme was continued with dresses that showed tea party table settings in their prints with small, tight ruffles reminiscent of squiggles of icing. Even the colors called to mind sweets, with outfits in peppermint and cream. Sometimes, the details were more subtle such as a knife and fork placed on the hat of an otherwise plain outfit and, other times, the dress prints made the food theme obvious. The final two outfits, however, were a departure. One was a bright red, sleeveless and ruffled dress paired with fishnets that said “tarty saloon girl” more than “lolita,” while the second was a floral dress trimmed in an indigo that matched the model’s wig.

A swinging jazz beat picked up as the next series began. First was a gentleman in what could only be described as couch-potato brolita with bloomers paired with a plain white undershirt. The next outfit was more exciting, though, a carnival look of top hat and short tulle skirt paired with doll-joint tights. Many of the outfits showed bright combinations of pink, blue, and purple, giving them a youthful, flirty vibe. One coordinate took the frenetic energy of the series into a dizzying new realm by using fabric covered in tiny dots that actually made one a bit motion-sick to look at as the model turned and swayed. As always, the outfits were paired with unusual tights, including bloody stitches, a card print, and one pair that had a silhouette of Alice tumbling into wonderland on each leg.

Kaie returned with a cane, pacing moodily, and was joined by Babi. “Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins,” the blonde prince warned.

“It isn’t a sin to have appetites,” Kaie countered, and the next model appeared as a prince draped in fox, with a full fox around his neck and tails hanging from his hat like a perverse take on the nine-tailed kitsune legend. The next outfit merged Japanese and western styles with a bell-sleeved kimono top and garden-print skirt, the obi pinned with a silver medallion. It was followed by a blend of hakama and dress in a fall wagara pattern that called to mind the cross-cultural fashions of the Meiji era.

A female dandy in a cage skirt also had fox-fur trimmings, as did a funerary outfit in dark grey. The mood was then brightened by a pink and teal coordinate with a massive bonnet and rose trim that looked like Little Bo Peep come to life, and the outfit was followed by a less poofy and more mature take on the same outfit with pearls instead of roses dangling from the hat.

Several outfits made use of an elegant green, cream, and brown color palette, one even topping the coordinate with a vine and flower wreath that brought a whimsical feel to the classic lolita look. Continuing the seasonal theme, an interesting skirt design had a flying pheasant with the bird’s front on the skirt’s front and the tail on the back. The skirt was paired with a leather buckled corset, giving it a rugged touch. Between the fox, the pheasant, and the leather, country estate hunting seemed to be an inspiration for many of Triple Fortune’s fall looks.

One of the most unique pieces shown was a chandelier cage skirt with large crystals tinkling and swaying as the model moved. The sparkling headband of the model matched her skirt and made a dazzling impression. A fit and flare gown trimmed in faux-fur was also memorable, that particular silhouette rarely seen in subculture fashion. The show was topped off by a huge, brown velveteen dress paired with a caplet of fur and feathers and a rhinestone-encrusted wedding dress trimmed in silver fox.

Finally, with the show concluded, the maids returned to announce the winners of the fashion contest. Awards went to a sparkling butterfly coordinate, a gothic girl who had a taxidermy crow on her head, a cage skirt outfit trimmed in roses, a pair in white who were praised for their use of a difficult fabric, and a pair who looked as if they had stepped out of a Versailles masquerade.

“Next time, our chosen princesses will be special judges,” Kaie announced as they said their goodbyes to the crowd. The next event will be held on November 4 and will likely showcase such themes as snow queens and sugar plum fairies as the season changes and winter fashion takes the forefront.

VK Exclusive

There are 94 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Kate Havas first became interested in Japanese fashion and culture in college when manga, anime, and visual kei were just beginning to make their way to America. An art and English major with a love of clothes, Kate signed onto ROKKYUU in order cover fashion and report on Tokyo trends, but was quickly also recruited to the music side of things and has been having an adventure expanding her knowledge of all things VK since. Follow her on twitter at keito_kate!

Mio Nagasaki is a freelance photographer lending her time, skills, and love for the genre to ROKKYUU Magazine.

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