Tokyo Telephone were representing over at the brilliant Hyper Japan 2010 this weekend. Barely a stone’s throw from the Japan Matsuri, the venue in Brick Lane was an inspired choice, although given that the event was over-capacity within about 30 seconds of the doors opening, they clearly would have benefited from a slightly larger one! Luckily the huddled masses lined up outside were not treated to grim London rain before entering, and you could not say that it was not worth the wait. The first thing that struck me as we made our way around was that with a very small number of exceptions, this was the first event on this scale in the UK that gave focus to the pop culture of Japan. While I am not one to leave a room when a Geisha enters, it was good to see an event planned with the knowledge that those disparate interests needn’t always be put together, that to a modern audience a girl dressed in Angelic Pretty screams “Japan” just as loudly as a samurai or anime moe blob.
However the fashion on display did match the somewhat geekier figures and manga that were on offer. In Japan the subcultures of Lolita fashion do oft cross with manga and thus the brands that Kera Magazine chose to display and sell at Hyper Japan where very much compatable with the rest of the interests at the show. What I am driving at here is that there are an awful lot of brands given significant column inches in Kera that would have seemed out of place at Hyper Japan, but Gothic Lolita and Lolita fitted the bill perfecty. Perhaps this can be seen as a testiment to the avenues that have peaked the average UK fan’s interest in Japan, and while it would be easy to bemoan that Kera (and alternative Japanese fashion in general) offers so much more than was on offer at Hyper Japan, you do have to be grateful at the very least that this event could happen in the UK, and could sell out, and could be well attended by intelligent fashionable wonderful people who are just as passionate about Japan as we are. It is such a difficult balance at these kind of conventions between welcoming newcomers and rewarding the veterans, and I definately think that Hyper Japan was the closest to striking that balance of any event I have been to. Here at Tokyo Telephone we are always mindful to promote the Japan we love and there is no doubt that Hyper Japan was a perfect introduction to the uninitiated, patroned by many brilliant examples of Japanese fashion to follow.
Do continue reading for an assault of pictures and come back tomorrow for our fashionate Hyper Japan attendees special.
The main event of the day was the fashion show hosted by the very cool editor of Kera – Naoki Matsumura, top model and all round cutie Masako Aoki and UK lolita queen Tania Tanzil (Read our interview here). While Naoki Matsumura was rocking a punky Dr Martens inspired look, that I for one would associate Kera as a magazine with, the theme of the day was Lolita. Not a bad thing at all, especially considering the quality of the outfits that they kitted out the amateur models in. My personal favorite look was the Black Peace Now ensemble that pinned an outfit beautifully on a cape, something I would love to rock.
I was also enormously impressed by the work of Loves Changes and Ageha stylist Mami Honda. She took Tania Tanzil brutally in hand with a flurry of hair pieces, back-combing and hair spray to amazing effect. It is the kind of hair that is pretty damn hard to do yourself, especially in the couple of minutes it took Mami, I have always kind of scorned the hair setting service that hair salons do in Japan, but I guess to have that kind of magic worked on you, it would be worth it.
Masako Aoki being towered over by the compere.
Translators working damn hard to keep the flow flowing.
The panel hosting the proceedings.
The amateur models looking great (and I dare say smug – they did get to keep the clothes!)
A moment of composure.
Ageha hair and make-up artist extraordinaire Mami Honda getting Tania to Gaga levels of epic hair in minutes.
A view of the warehouse-esque Truman Brewery which size limitations aside was a great choice.
Very cute wares at JP books.
Niconico Douga had a booth where they were live streaming Hyper Japan and in particular the Milky Holmes show straight to Japan. Apparently they had 300000 live comments from 25000 live viewers, amazing stuff and I do love NicoNico!
Deco stall with a sweet hime vibe.
The Kera pop-up shop with top brands a-plenty.
A nod to tradition.
Odd how every item here, though simple, could only be from Japan.
Toei smiling at all who pass!
Hope we have managed to capture something of the atmosphere of Hyper Japan, we will be posting the people of the show tomorrow.
I guess the next events that Tokyo Telephone will be attending will be in Japan later this month. I personally can’t wait and I hope we can bring some of it to you wherever you may be. Stay tuned for a very special announcement on that subject at a later date but I can assure you that our schedule is packed.