Cosplayers, culture and cuteness galore! As mentioned in our tour post, Samuel & I were fortunate enough to attend the Japanese Art Festival in London this past weekend – we had a great time and can’t wait to see some of the lovely people that we met again soon!
One of the highlights of the event was the Kawaii Culture panel hosted by Akemi Solloway & 6%Dokidoki. 6%Dokidoki are currently in the middle of a world tour; to celebrate their 15th birthday, Sebastian Masuda and his crew of glittering rainbow-festooned girls are travelling from Harajuku to London, Paris, LA and San Francisco to spread the word kawaii across the globe. We’re betting on world domination sooner rather than later!
I’m sure our readers are aware that we’re no strangers to kawaii (check out the tag!), so it was refreshing to be able to listen to Masuda talk about his pet subject in person. It could be said that 6%Dokidoki exemplifies the traditional image of Harajuku in many people’s minds: key is the mix between pastel and neon shades; wild hair styles and colours; jewellery made from kids toys; bold make-up; and often mis-matched leggings & tights! Harajuku has long been a Mecca for many an aspiring fashionable teen, Japanese and foreign alike, and Masuda wondered whether Camden was London’s answer to Harajuku – we’re personally not so sure about that one (it’s just not like it was in the old days!), but with 6%Dokidoki’s fashion show in Camden market and the planned collaboration between themselves and Cyberdog (see here), I’m sure we’ll be seeing a little more kawaii brightness edging slowly but surely on to London’s grey streets.
We particularly enjoyed Masuda’s view of kawaii as a global movement, and as the new punk – we love this idea! Kawaii, although aesthetically removed from punk fashion, shares it’s rejection of societal norms and the adult world which it finds dull and restrictive. Not only this, but it can also be argued that kawaii is Japan’s indigenous version of punk. Rebellion just got a whole lot cuter! Masuda also linked kawaii to the ‘flower power’ hippy movement of the 1960s; a time when war was at the forefront of many people’s minds, and the youth turned to nature and psychedelia as a way of self-expression. Putting kawaii in a context such as this, it’s no wonder it’s taken hold in Japan with such force.
Self-expression is what it’s all about – we think it’s about time to share kawaii with the rest of the world!
Rebecca & Samuel