Harajuku Fashion Walk Interview
Colourful hairstyles, eye-catching outfits, unique accessories… It is inevitable that everyone will stop to stare. And everyone truly stopped and stared on Saturday, February 20 which marked the very first Harajuku Fashion Walk that came to the streets of downtown Vancouver.
It brought together all lovers of Japanese street style that were waiting in excitement in front of Vancouver Art Gallery and did not seem to mind cold windy weather. And what is Harajuku fashion? It all started with Japanese teens that decided to mix traditional Japanese attire with Western pieces. This mixing and matching resulted in many subculture fashion styles such as Lolita, Gyaru, Fairy Kei and Visual Kei just to name a few. While many tend to confuse Harajuku fashion with cosplay, cosplay is more about imitating a certain character whereas Harajuku Street Fashion comes from expressing one’s inner self through fashion.
I chatted with the founders of Vancouver version of Harajuku Fashion Walk Candy and Atsumi. Scroll down for what these inspiring girls have to say.
Can you tell us little bit about yourself?
Atsumi: I am a Japanese graduate student working in the field of Harajuku subculture. I will be a PhD student in UBC from September. I’d been in Vancouver for almost six months and left in the end of February [to go to Japan].
Candy: I am an international student from Japan. I study English here. I have not planned to go back to Japan.
Whose idea was to start Vancouver’s Harajuku Fashion Walk?
Atsumi: It was Candy’s idea. She wanted to do it but didn’t have a chance. Since I had participated in the original Harajuku Fashion Walk back in Japan, we could plan it. I have met her in Japanese festival at Nikkei center.
What comes to your mind when you hear words “Harajuku fashion”?
Atsumi: Lolita and decora, and other kinds of unique style fashion, mostly
I absolutely loved your and Candy’s decora style? How long did it take you to put it all together?
Atsumi: Thank you so much. It took us about one hour to put all together!
Do you always dress up as decora girl or have you tried different styles too? Which one is your favorite and why?
Atsumi: I don’t always dress up as decora girl, only at special occasions such as hanging out with my friends or going to a fancy place. I tried gyaru, lolita, fairy and punk style before. My favorite is decora since it makes me happy and I feel liberated when I wear decora dress.
Candy: I always dress colorful clothes. I have tried lolita, goth-loli, punk, fairly and every kinds of style. My most favorite style is decora because I like colorful dress.
Where do you shop for Harajuku fashion decora dresses and accessories?
Atsumi: If I’m in Japan, I usually go to Harajuku or Shimokitazawa to get decora stuff such as 6% dokidoki. Since I’m in Canada right now, I purchase decora dresses at Clair’s, kids clothes and online.
Are there any sets of rules for the kawaii fashion or is it more about having one’s own sense of style?
Atsumi + Candy: We don’t think there are any sets of rules for the kawaii fashion. People wear whatever they consider as kawaii. Our friends always try to put on something not conventionally categorized as kawaii such as eyeballs or gas masks in order not to be seen as one of “kawaii Japanese girls”. The concept of kawaii seems to be broadened day by day.
Do you plan another Harajuku Fashion Walk here in Vancouver anytime soon?
Atsumi + Candy: Yes we plan another Harajuku Fashion Walk in Vancouver. But we have not decided when yet.
Do you have any social media channels where our readers can follow your colorful world?
Atsumi: I don’t have any Instagram or Facebook account but I have Twitter.
Thank you very much girls for the interview 🙂