My Style Inspirations

Otouto started a blog of his own last month, Style – Confucius, and wrote about his fashion inspirations. That got me thinking about who has influenced my J-fashion styles, and the following is what I came up with.

Most of my style inspirations come and go. I’ll choose from outfits or elements of an outfit from different J-rockers when I’m putting together a visual kei-inspired ensemble. Same goes with the Lolita and the looks I see in the Gothic and Lolita Bible. However, there are three individuals who have played a huge role in defining my personal style.

1. Nana Osaki from NANA
Photobucket (from Shoujo Beat Oct 2005 –

I should also say Mika Nakashima as Nana in the live-action films because once I saw her wear those real-life versions of the outfits in the manga, I stopped trying to emulate Nana in a cosplay manner. Instead I found pieces that were close replicas of what she wore and started wearing them in an everyday setting. Check out the red and black sweater I found in the local mall when I lived in Japan.
Photobucket nana-movie

Although I was already into punk, fishnets, and leather, Nana gave me a feminine twist on the style. I started wearing miniskirts, thigh highs, and more jewelry and putting on make-up. I also developed a fondness for plaid and stripes, which I avoided due to their “loudness”. Nana inspired me to dress more boldly and explore high fashion. I never knew who Vivienne Westwood was prior to reading NANA, and now she’s my favorite designer.

Her influence is so deep that I now unconsciously pick out things that may be similar to what she wears. I also take a photo of Nakashima from the movie to the hairdresser when I want short hair and can’t think of a new style.

2. Ciel Phantomhive from Kuroshitsuji
ciel(from kayurachan at Anime Paper)

Ciel is not my first ouji kei inspiration, but he epitomizes the style in my mind. I based my Gari Ouji persona off of him. I was drawn to the refined elegance of his clothing. They’re over-the-top but no so much so that it looks uncomfortable. He also strikes the right balance between youth and maturity; it never looks like he’s a little kid playing dress up. I like looking boyish, but I want it to be natural.

While my clothing is not as extravagant, I have adopted a more youthful ouji look (I suppose I used to lean more on the dandy end of boystyle, which was on the plain side with what I had to work with). I wear shorter shorts and higher socks, and now I am not afraid to incorporate ruffles. Sometimes I even use an eyepatch as an accessory.

3. Moon Kana

kana (from Moon Kana’s facebook page)

Moon Kana’s influence on my style isn’t exactly obvious since I tend to shy away from Sweet Lolita and ero-loli. However, she is partly responsible for introducing me to Lolita and boystyle. I remember seeing Gothic and Lolita Bible scans and thinking that there’s more to Lolita than just frills. She added a bit of edginess that appealed to me. I also came across images of her in ouji style, and that later became a reference as I started to experiment with ouji and dandy. I admire her versatility.

Perhaps unconsciously I have been influenced by Moon Kana. I have a hat with panda ears and used to wish that I could get my hair up in buns like that. Also, she was doing military Lolita long before I came up with the idea on my own. Maybe some day, I will put together a Moon Kana-inspired look to honor someone who helped me get into J-fashion.

Who are your J-fashion inspirations?

Listening to: “Utareru Ame” by Nana Kitade (who would have been my 4th inspiration)

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1 Comment

  1. Hi there, I’m Harumi. Well actually my name is Tonisha, but everyone calls me Harumi. ^^ I apologize for emailing you out of the blue like this, but trying to find out where Laura Brickman has disappeared to and trying to get her email led me to your LJ page and from there to your website, lol. I used to volunteer for Askew Magazine last year before it shut down, I wish it hadn’t I loved helping. But anyway, I noticed you also worked for them last year covering Askew at A-KON. I was wondering if you would be attending this year because I want to do a project for the headlining act this year which is D. They are my all-time favorite band/artist and I am pretty depressed that I can’t go like I planned this year. It would have been my first time going, but my parents got too worried about me and protested me going so now I can’t. I was excited that I would be seeing them live, but now I can’t. So if you are going I was wondering if you would help me with a

    I am trying to find a way to get in touch with Avex Trax or D to make known the fact that many fans would enjoy a USA tour. Initially other fans were also asking for a European tour and now there will be one so I would like to try making a petition and a fan project perhaps for fans to acknowledge how important and meaningful it would be for D to have a USA tour, but the main tour stop would be Georgia because of course this is where I live. If I can’t go to D I am hoping D will come to me, lol. But I think that perhaps contacting them through letter or email would be too hard to do as I have no idea how to contact them or write in Japanese (I am hoping to find someone to help with this bit) so I figure since they will be at A-KON it can be directly handed over to them and they can look at the petition themselves and will perhaps take it to the company and discuss if this is an option they would like to consider. But I can’t do something like this on my
    own so I really need to band together all the fans I can find and bright people that either have good connections or can get places to promote it. If this is something you’d be interested in helping me with I would love it very much.

    Please let me know as soon as you get this, I would love to hear from you. I’m sorry for rambling on so much, lol.

    Thanks for your time!


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