When it comes to Southern California anime conventions, Pacific Media Expo, held annually in November, has carved out a niche for itself with its focus on Tokyo street fashion brands. Over the years, they've brought designers like Takuya Angel and Angelic Pretty to Los Angeles. Last year's fashion line-up included the U.S. convention debut of classic Lolita brand Innocent World as well as fan favorite Baby the Stars Shine Bright, who introduced a new designer for subsidiary line Alice and the Pirates.
Last weekend, the staff of the increasingly popular convention stopped by Monterey Park's Cherry Blossom Festival where they set up an anime swap meet and hosted a Sunday afternoon Harajuku Fashion Show. For the fashion show, seven models walked the stage wearing clothing straight from their closet. We met the models after the show and asked them about their outfits.
Model: Ashley Marie
Style: Gothic Lolita
Ashley Marie said that she was "leaning more towards the gothic side of Lolita." Lolita, which we have covered frequently on Style Council, is Japanese street fashion that has become particular popular in Los Angeles. It focuses on full skirts that hit around the knees and old-fashioned embellishments. The style is divided into various categories. Gothic Lolita, as you might have guessed, is the darker stuff.
Ashley Marie wore an Alice and the Pirates skirt with a blouse that she says was a "random find" and a Lip Service corset. Her hat is from Japanese brand Triple Fortune.
Style: "Crazy cat Loli"
"I'm a crazy cat Loli," Bree joked outside of the fashion show. She loves white cats and managed to incorporate a lot of them in her sweet Lolita outfit. Much of what she was wearing came from Angelic Pretty, particularly the "Whimsical Vanilla-chan" collection. Her cat handbag is something she has had since she was a child. The cat in her hair is actually a Beanie Baby.
Style: Visual Kei
The focal point of self-proclaimed "bargain-hunter" Momo's VK outfit was an Edward Scissorhands t-shirt with writing in Japanese scored from Hot Topic.
"No way!" exclaimed one of the models, while another one said, "Seriously?"
Yes, apparently you can find something cool on the Hot Topic sales rack every now and again.
Also worth noting is the cool turntable and mixer belt buckle, which was found on eBay.
Style: Visual Kei
Visual Kei, or VK, is a style associated with visually-oriented, usually hard rock bands in Japan, i.e. X Japan, Malice Mizer and Vamps. Skyler pulled together a visul kei with a skirt from Little Tokyo shop Q-Pop, a bag from the popular Japanese brand Algonquins and "Japanese rock band merchandise." She's wearing a wristband from Vamps.
Style: DIY Lolita
Eleanor impressed us on Sunday with her self-made jumperskirt. The lavender and yellow floral jumperskirt reminded us of the classic Lolita style made popular by brands like Innocent world. She wore this with a blouse from Lolita brand Metamorphose and a homemade hairband.
Style: "Sleaze VK in your face, representing Babel Entertainment"
Ann's outfit revolves around t-shirt she made that proclaims "VK's
Punk's Not Dead." She layered several skirts, pulled thigh-high stockings over fishnets and mismatched gloves to complete the look.
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K-chan look is straight-up Harajuku, she actually bought the h. jelly dress she's wearing there. This is one dress with several layers, notably with a black and gold print over red plaid.
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