Alice In Magicalland Fashion-Live Event
On February 5, the worlds of anime, idol, and visual kei came crashing together for Alice in Magiclland, a music and fashion event featuring Peace Now. Taking place at the high-tech Nicofarre, a studio with 360-degree LED display walls designed for performances on live-streaming website NicoNic
o Douga, fans walked into a pastel world illustrated by gothic and Lolita artist Eri Kamijo. Typed messages from those watching at home flew around the screens causing heads to whip this way and that.
“We’ll lead you to a place where you can see magic,” subtitles on the screen read as trippy butterflies flew out around the room. Suddenly, a girl with long pigtails and a schoolgirl uniform appeared, first on a computer screen, and then live on the stage. She introduced herself as our hostess for today, the real-world version of Magicalland’s Alice.
“You all know Ryosuke Miura, right? I hope everyone here will be excited!” Fans cheered and waved decorated folding fans as the idol took the stage and performed two hip-hop and r&b song and dance numbers while wearing a sparkling tuxedo-inspired outfit.
“What did you think? He’s so cool!” Alice exclaimed, returning. She then shifted to “Fashion Mode” and invited viewers at home to do the same, telling them they could log in to download a mini Alice to their computer. “I want to wear lolita like Alice,” she mused as the Peace Now logo appeared on two of the screens and the LED displays exploded with the brand’s colorful yet grotesque characters.
First on the runway was the popular model/actress/dj Neeko, her hair styled into a giant orange heart that stood out against her dark blue distressed shirt as she strutted. She was joined by another model with a giant bow and contemporary jacket, and the pair made their way across the stage and through the crowd. Next was Angelic Pretty’s RinRin, wearing a very different look from usual. Her outfit was schoolgirl-inspired with an oversized cardigan and trendy fashion frames. All the models carried baskets decorated with playing cards and tossed candy to the audience.
The first lolita look came with a white-on-black star print in an underbust jumper skirt that was slightly open in the front to reveal layers. The outfit would have worked better with a headpiece other than the giant red bow, but the design was cute. Next were two outfits in fairy-kei pastels, one with a bit of volume in the skirt and another featuring a retro-style pink and mint sweater. Both had polka dots, a recurring theme for Peace Now.
The music and mood then darkened for Peace Now’s darker sister brand, Black Peace Now. Heavy chimes sounded as the first model took the stage, a boyish girl in an aristocratic coordinate. The dark wine blouse and fitting vest created an elegant line and the model moved well to the beats of the music. She was joined by a girl in boy style, the model’s long hair and feminine makeup contrasting with the elegant men’s style jacket for a sexy look.
Next came a pair of lolitas, one in black with a mini top hat and one in a dress with purple lace paneling and corseting. The pair touched hands and waved at the crowd, a sweet picture despite their dark clothes. The hostess Alice even made an appearance dressed in multiple layers of white ruffles, starkly contrasting black gothic with white. She took the arm of a girl in a prince outfit whose short pants and mini top hat made her look the perfect young master of the manor.
A high-waisted corset skirt decorated with embroidered balloons and fleurs-de-lis was paired with a blue, short sleeved blouse in the next coordination, the gathered fabric creating puff sleeves and volume. The aristocratic lolita model was paired with a sexier take on the lolita look, one with an open-laced back and tight jacket. A giant white corsage accented the model’s hair.
Next came Black Peace Now for Men, modeled by three visual kei musicians: vocalist Minami from Rogue, bassist YAHIRO from Logiq, and guitarist Kotaro from Uchuu Sentai NOIZ. Minami was dressed in grey print and a vest, a casual men’s look that used layers to create a relaxed yet fashionable feel. YAHIRO wore a bowler hat covered with studs and piercings and one of the brand’s signature fitted gothic jackets, posing dramatically on the runway. Kotaro wore another casual outfit with a blue-grey shirt that had a structural design, the shirt’s architecture creating three-dimensional draping. The music
then shifted to a techno beat and all the models came out to take a bow.
A surprise performance by the vocalist of HarleyGazelle, an animated vocaloid band, followed. With the vocalist perfectly represented in 3D by a carefully styled cosplaying model, the fans were excited despite the obvious lip-syncing. The hostess and the show’s emcee then took the stage. It was revealed that Alice’s real name was Arisa, and she was actually a “gravia idol,” a kind of Japanese soft-core pin up girl. “Usually I wear a lot less, bikinis and things,” she joked, saying that she wasn’t used to lolita fashion.
Entertainer Neeko who had kicked off the show then came out to explain her fashion of the day. “It’s all holes,” she said in her trademark voice, half-gravelly, half-pitchy, showing off the purposefully ragged shirt. “Plus my hair is orange, so blue suits it. And Valentine’s is coming up, so my hair is a heart shape.” Messages to Neeko from viewers at home popped up on the walls of the room, the most common being “Is that your real voice?” “I was born talking like this!” she answered with a laugh.
Neeko had to leave early, but the rest of the models were on hand to talk about their coordination. Ban showed off her loose jacket that resembled a poncho and her playing card accessories that suited the Alice theme. Lolita model RinRin was next, and used her native English to introduce herself to foreign viewers and voice the show’s title, “Alice in Magicalland,” with proper pronunciation. Choco, an anime cosplayer, was amused by the contradiction in her outfit. “The hoodie has cat ears, and the necklace is a small bear. I’m a cat, but I caught a bear!”
Ai, a coordinator of Waseda University’s gothic, lolita, and punk fashion club pointed out that her hoodie had not only skulls and bones, but also strangely cute amoeba. The next model, Rin, was an ex-maid turned Akihabara idol who felt at home in her coordinate because it was “a maid-like dress.” The model of the first Black Peace Now coordinate had a surprising occupation: She is usually a race queen, waving flags at Japanese car events, but she enjoyed the chance to wear the versatile high-waisted skirt. Her modeling partner Saki liked that her outfit was boyish but with a hint of color, a combination of cute and cool.
Yume Takeshima liked her corset and showed off the sexy lace panels while Arisa said she’d been looking forward to trying lolita even though it’s something she never wears. Two of the other models were quick to point out that they were normal girls who had normal service industry jobs, but they cheerfully explained the charms of their respective boy style and lolita coordinates without a hint of nervousness. Last of the female models was Chitako of TokyoDOLLS, the idol group whose hyper-pop music had served as the background to the show. The screens lit up with fans across Japan sending her messages and cheering via emoticons.
The boys took the stage last. Minami said that his outfit, though it had been loose and easy to wear, was a big change from his usual style. “I wear UniQlo,” he admitted, and Black Peace Now was a far cry from the budget casual-wear chain. YAHIRO pointed out that while his outfit was simple, the accessories were what brought it together, particularly the treasure-box pin on his lapel. Kotaro joked around, saying the pants made his legs look short, and as he posed, the screens flashed messages of “Alien! Alien!” a shout out to his band, Uchuu Sentai (Space Squadron) NOIZ. There was one more guy left, however, and Ryosuke Miura returned to cheers both in person and online. Fans at home, shielded by anonymity, also wasted no time in telling the idol he was too skinny and should eat something. “I eat!” he protested. “I’m not even hungry right now!” Even though he wasn’t hungry, his upcoming birthday prompted the organizers to bring out a cake and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” as he blew out the candles. His birthday wish? “I want to keep my youth and coolness.” As a final message, everyone thanked the crowd both online and off and invited those attending to fill out surveys about the event, which they could then hand to the models personally at the door as they left Alice’s colorful land of high-tech magic.
There are 46 photos in this visual kei exclusive.