Hyper Japan: Fashion Show
Hyper Japan is a London based Japanese cultural festival that embraces and celebrates all that is Japanese, from food to music, gaming, cars, tea ceremonies and fashion. Now in its third year, the expo has grown to occupy the large Brompton Hall in Earls Court, and is brighter than ever.
The Hyper Japan fashion show was a showcase of all that is cute, fun, edgy, and interesting about Japanese fashion, with models wearing a range of styles from various subsets of lolita to visual kei inspired outfits and even gyaru style. Soft, girlish candy-pinks of sweet lolita clothing mixed and contrasted with the neon brights of pop kei and the grittier designs of punk, showing once again that style from the streets of Harajuku and Shibuya can at once be innovative and fantastically elegant.
The first two models showcased classic lolita, as UK Kawaii Star Scarlett and the show organizer took to the runway in two beautiful Baby the Stars Shine Bright coordinates. The highlight was the elegance that the parasol brought to the outfits.
Next up was Sweet Country, a delightful outfit with strawberry print dress, the berry theme continuing into the model’s socks and wicker basket to make this outfit perfect for a summer picnic.
The final Lolita style on show, bittersweet, followed with candy prints of sweet lolita, married with darker shades. The balance of black and pink worked well in the Angelic Pretty outfit, which was topped off with a bear-ear head accessory for added appeal.
Following the lolita styles came three subsets of fashion that have emerged from the bright and colorful shops on Takeshita-dori, the famous Harajuku shopping street. Fairy kei, pop kei, and decora were represented with models wearing pastel and neon fluffy skirts, bright t-shirts, and a multitude of hair accessories.
The fairy kei was a bit softer in its colors than usual, and took more from the candy themes in lolita, with the model sporting a cake bag and giant teddy bear. The pop kei was out there, bringing back memories of ’80s kids TV shows in a fashion that mixes branded with homemade items, such as a pink top from Tra La La with a Candy House t-shirt. The model with the giant, oversized Gameboy hanging around her neck scored points for ’80s nostalgia. The decora styles took this to another extreme, clashing colors and prints with a colorful accessories overload.
After lolita and decora came the edgier styles of punk lolita and visual kei. One model was in perfect oshare kei mode with a bright pink and black jumpsuit that appeared reminiscent of SuG’s styles, while another put together a tough SexPot Revenge parka and Hell Cat Punks t-shirt with a giant oversized hair bow and panda trainers.
The more demure otome (maiden) style came next with two models in the most popular otome brand, Emily Temple Cute. The first wore an outfit with accessories and a rather Parisian beret that picked out the vivid pillar-box red of the Jam Jar print on the skirt. The second wore a popular mint whipped cream design dress, with rose pink jumper and polka dot, mint-colored box bag.
The final two models wore gyaru and gyaru-o styles, both heavily accentuated, sexy designs. This common fashion, for which department store 109 is a shopping mecca, takes influences from Western ideals and emphasizes western features in boldly colored blonde hair. The models were showing a heavier style of gyaru, with metallic accessories, thick makeup and talon-like nails.
After one final walk from all of the models to close the show, they were brought together to give a brief explanation of their styles. As a group, it was fascinating to see the range and versatility of styles now spreading far beyond the hip streets of Tokyo as shown by the stunning British efforts at Japanese fashion.