This January 18th - 19th I attended the North American Gyaru Summit hosted by the Black Out gyarusa in Chicago. Gyaru summits are held all over the world but I’ve never been to one so when I heard there was to be a summit right here in Chicago I had to go! Even though my jfashion focus is on decora and fairy kei I’ve had a long time goal of getting into gyaru fashion. There’s a lot of culture intertwined with this style that I felt I could get immersed in during this event. I had so much fun and I took from it a few a ideas of how we could create more community in other jfashion events.
I’ve just gone through a very family gathering heavy season with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Plus since I’m married and my parents are remarried, I have double the events to go to sometimes. I wear some level of j-fashion to most family events with varying levels of acceptance depending on who I’m with. I know it can be hard to find the courage to wear your clothes around family especially if they don’t support you so I just wanted to share my experience with it.
It can be really hard to keep pursuing a style when you’re far from a support system. By going to swap meets you can get affordable items, at fashion walks you can get real life examples to emulate, and building relationships helps you feel like you’re not alone.
As I’m writing this, Anime Expo 2018 is coming up very soon! I’m SO excited to travel to LA and visit one of my best friends Monique! We’re planning on hitting up every jfashion event AX has to offer plus few AX adjacent events. This is the perfect opportunity to make some outfits with OTT effort and try some new styles. I’ll explain how I’m going to go about it.
A question I get a lot on the streets or while on panels is if I dress like THIS everyday.
By THIS I think they mean colorful makeup, wig, bold clothing, a ton of accessories aka a full decora look. When I get this question I feel the pressure to answer a certain way. If I say yes, I can appear more authentic to the fact that this a fashion for me and not a costume. I can also seem completely bonkers to the wrong person haha. Saying no to some would put what I wear in a costume category and would prove that dressing this way is for the childish. I feel like there’s some sort of street cred you get from being a lifestyler in the jfashion community. If you dress hardcore in your style everyday and live in a pink house you get 10 gold stars more than if you only wear it at conventions. That’s not necessarily unwarranted because I’d LOVE a completely kawaii life so it’s inspiring to see people who can get close to that but the goal itself can be intimidating and impractical. Just because you don’t dress like this everyday doesn’t make your jfashion participation any less authentic.
If you've seen me before you know that style wise I tend to hover between decora kei and fairy kei. The artwork for my brand can be used for either style as well. However when I sift through the pictures in Facebook groups relating to those styles I still feel like I haven't achieved the classic look of either style or at least I don't practice it often. My fairy kei outfits forget to be inspired by the 80s and my decora kei coords don't have nearly enough layers or hair clips sometimes haha Even with these realizations I am confident in my style. I don't HAVE to be kawaii like others are kawaii. Frankly, I don't want to.