Thursday, 22 January 2015

My Jfashion journey *picture heavy*

So I had to title this as "Jfashion" because most people have a certain style they've developed over time such as forms of Lolita or Gyaru. However for me it was just...TRY EVERYTHING. TRY EVERY DAMN THING YOU POSSIBLY CAN!

It made coordinating quite difficult because I had to try fitting every kind of colour into my wardrobe for example, trying to match one top perfect for fairy kei when the rest of my items were shades too dark to make a well executed coord.

Like many of us who have developed a love for Japanese fashion I was into alternative fashion beforehand, adorning myself in studded belts, band t shirts, skinny jeans, neon hair accessories and converses. The obsession began around the age of fourteen when the little-emo-me discovered Death Note - a Manga and Anime series. Anyone else familiar with this should have come across the character Misa Amane (who is annoying as f btw) and is portrayed wearing Harajuku fashion. To be honest I'm not sure what you'd title her style as? A hybrid of punk and goth with a Japanese edge to it? I remember distinctly in the final episode of Death Note she is shown wearing a Lolita dress which was my first encounter with the fashion.

I pretty much wore these kinds of clothes already so naturally I was drawn to her style and I used to always wear my hair in little ponytails - what a weeb. You can see the influence here ~ also in the top right hand image I'm actually wearing a Death Note T shirt xD.

I fully discovered Japanese fashion when I was reading an article from the mangaka of Death Note - Takeshi Obata - explaining where he got Misa's fashion inspiration from and mentioned the magazine Kera. 
It was like discovering the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, it was so colourful and expressive yet still alternative which is what I wanted to start experimenting with. I fell in love with Lolita fashion but being an unemployed 14 year old school student I didn't exactly have the money to start a wardrobe of Angelic Pretty. So I bought my first dress at Sai Sai in Camden (who's collection of Lolita dresses have really improved a lot over the years). Back then though, a lot of it was Gothic and quite ita-looking which was my very first mistake purchase.
Seriously, it actually hurts my eyes.
Too many frills and the black and white combination is the perfect recipe for an ita dress. I even read up on ita beforehand and it never once crossed my mind that I actually was one.

One of the good things about my journey through Japanese fashion is that I developed and made many mistakes alone. For six years I didn't know a single person who shared common interest - mainly because I was too shy to start speaking to a huge group of fabulous Jfashion girls at expo.
Although it was lonely, I am glad no one witnessed the many god awful mistakes I went through but now here I am, displaying it for all of you to see! xD. Looking back, I would have benefited greatly having a few friends to give me tips and how to use shipping services though.
Most of my items were all from the UK and back then getting anything remotely similar to any type of Japanese fashion was so difficult to obtain. I began using eBay and shopping in Camden because I was so scared to order from Japan and get customs or use a shipping service and end up paying extortionate prices. I remember braving myself to order from Bodyline for the first time and was surprised that it wasn't that expensive even with customs charges.
When I discovered fairy kei I struggled a lot to create coordinates because these colours weren't in season and only found in the kids sections a lot of the time. Here are some of the outfits I had managed to make with high street brands
I also hadn't discovered wigs by this point either and I think my natural hair colour really doesn't suit this style. Its much too harsh and contrasts with the soft aesthetic to this type of fashion. Also I am missing a lot of accessories which fairy kei heavily makes use of. 

When I did eventually discover how useful wigs were (and discovering that half the models in Kera wore wigs xD) I purchased a cheap synthetic pink from eBay. I bought this wig for my cosplay of Miwako Sakurada (Paradise Kiss) and the wig tangled pretty much after the first use and wasn't wearable after that.
It came from China and at this point I had no clue about fibres and what colours suited my skin tone. As you can see above I have quite an olive undertone.
Here are some more cringe-worthy images of myself in my god awful cosplay wig. 

There's so much shine to it and my eyebrows were still thick and black at this point. Just not a good combination in my opinion. From this experience I ended up discovering Gothic Lolita wigs and experimented a lot more with new wigs, fairy kei and Lolita although I had a lot of trouble finding print JSK's that were the right length for me since I'm 4ft 9". So again, I improvised using Hell Bunny, making my own skirts and using pannier skirts from Bodyline.
As I progressed I still couldn't let go of the dark aesthetic which I originally started wearing. At University I enjoyed wearing darker colours a lot more because I was studying fine art I spent most of my time in a dirty art studio.
During 2011 I remember pastel goth was gaining popularity and since I loved dark shades and pastels, combining the two was ideal for me.
It didn't last for very long though as I grew bored of the style and preferred to keep the two separate instead. Around this time I bought myself a ten pack of eyelashes for £1 on eBay and began wearing them more and more frequently.  
After realising the difference eyelashes made I purchased my first Japanese lashes and circle lenses from and this is where I finally started expanding and experimenting more with make-up, wigs and lenses to really pull the outfits together.
The summer came around and I really got into cult party kei :3 I love this style because of the combination of textures, accessories and pastel colours gives it a very angelic feel to the style.
So here are the styles I tried out for Cult party kei below.
From this I realised how important hair and make-up was to complete an outfit which is how I began trying out Gyaru. Originally, I always felt intimidated by Gyaru because I felt like the make-up was much too difficult for my noob skills and I had no idea how on earth I'd achieve such big voluminous hair. 
Here are all my transitions from oldest to newest of the different Gal sub-styles I have tried out so far ^^. My very first Gal attempt was Hime Gyaru at Hyper Japan back in 2011 which you can see below...don't judge me!! Haha

I am still quite a noob with Kurogal, the hair baffles me! I also need to obtain some brand items. Everything I have at the moment is offbrand.
Anyway this post needs to end now, its so long winded, so if you've made it to the end - well done! Here are collections of all the other sub-styles I have tried out and how far I have developed since the beginning.

I hope you enjoyed my mental journey and if you're a newbie just getting into any kind of Japanese fashion do not be afraid to make mistakes! I actually cherish all of my old cringe-worthy photos because if I hadn't had experimented the way I had I would never have developed into what I've achieved now.
I never thought I looked bad back then and loved my style; obviously seven years later it hurts my eyes to look at but maybe in another seven years time from now I'll look back on the photos I have posted now and say the same thing.
Just have confidence - have an album full of things that inspire you and try making your own style, mix styles together and see what you come up with. At the end of the day its all about having fun so go go !
Until next time
Bye Bye


  1. Really enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing your cringey adolescent fashion snaps. ♡ I actually really like the coordinate with the pink wedges and the kitty?faced blue top! XD

    1. Sorry, I did reply to this a few days ago but clearly it didn't post!
      I'm glad you enjoyed it <3 I'd love to see everyone's progressions and we can all laugh at our noobie photos haha :D
      Aw thank you, I got that top from H&M many years ago, the wedges are so comfy though <3

  2. Aaah I love your style progression! You tried out so many styles~ Makes me want to discover other jfashions but I love gyaru too much <3

    1. Thank youuuu, it was such a long progression xD
      Ah Gyaru is amazing, but to be honest I usually do Gal make-up now with all these other styles :3. Its nice to try things out but its expensive to get things to match together DX