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
(from Shoujo Beat Oct 2005 – nana-nana.net)
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.
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
(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
(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)