Brilliant Star Decorations Volume 3


by Kate Havas, Mio Nagasaki, posted July 14, 2013

Fashion fans braved Japan’s rainy season to attend the third installment of Brilliant Star Decorations on June 9. Event hosts BABI and Kaie took to the stage in flamboyant red outfits to look out over the decadently dressed crowd and welcome the princesses and knights to their fantasy world.

“Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies” set a fanciful air as the first models appeared wearing twin lolita coordinates from Enchantlic Enchantilly in blue and copper that featured flair and gathered ruffles. “This is Alice and her mysterious friend,” Kaie said to introduce the pair. “Today we will tell you a story of a real Alice.” The two princes escorted the models off-stage, Kaie escorting Alice with elegant grace and BABI grabbing the mysterious other with enthusiasm.

A sprite in clothing reminiscent of Peter Pan led out the first model, a classic lolita in a rose-trimmed boater hat. The pink on the dress had a hint of glitter, giving the outfit fairy-like sparkle. Another outfit showed a marine theme with a navy and white striped bonnet while the next was gothic in red and white with large roses resting against the model’s hair. The quick parade of different styles provided a preview of the looks to come.

“Wonderland is a fantasy wrapped in reality,” Kaie said as “Hindi Sad Diamonds” began to play, creating a pulsing beat for the next set of models to walk to. The song matched perfectly with the theme of the next set; over sexy yet classy lace-print tights, the models wore simple shirts on their upper halves to draw attention to their dramatically clad legs. Screen-printed garters, roses, and corset lacing snaked up calves and thighs as the models danced and posed to show them off to full effect.

They then continued the ero-loli parade, sending their first model out in a lightly patterned corset and a stiff, micro-mini short petticoat. The clothing then moved into less boudoir fare with a long bustle skirt paired with a pink corset. The simple lines of the clothing were reminiscent of a child’s first doll. Then, a bright pair of country gingham check dresses in pink and blue came out and the sprite danced around the models, seemingly in love.

A scat beat picked up and another model in a pop-lolita sundress dotted with black cats came out with spyglass in hand. She peered at the audience before being joined by BABI and Kaie. Moving to the side, the lolita began a snappy jazz dance as the pair began to talk about the symbolism of black cats.

“Black cats are the partners of witches so many people are scared of them. But some cultures believe good things about them. For example, if you see a black cat at your wedding, it’s good luck.”

The next few models strutted out to the bluesy swing of Hazmat Modine’s “Bahamut,” the music an interesting contrast to the saccharine fairy-kei coordinates that showed off the Harajuku trend. The cute of it melded with dark in an interesting design worn by a male lolita which featured an expansive skirt with a ribcage pattern and tights with candy-cane striping made of bones. This was contrasted with a feminine prince look, accented by a lace-patterned corset and smart top hat.

The black cat then returned, accompanied by a model wearing the same ensemble in mint and pink. The pair paraded cutely, giving off an innocent and youthful vibe. The next few outfits showed pantaloons that were a mix of fabrics and embraced the Japanese spirit of mottainai (waste nothing) with scraps of other outfits coming together to make something new.

“We’re not finished,” the princes said as they returned to the stage. The pair began to tell the history of the Cottingley Fairies in which two young British girls created a sensation by photographing the fairies they claimed to see, a case that fascinated Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the point where they became the subject of one of his books. The pair maintained that the pictures were true for over forty years and while one of the girls later claimed that all the photographs were fake, her cousin claimed that at least one was genuine. “Do you believe, or not? Next, we’ll show you models who are like fairies from Triple Fortune with Pureblack Gothic Labo.”

The first coordinates that rolled out were gothic Triple Fortune with a hard edge found in the faux-leather vests and Pureblack Gothic Labo’s heavy silver accessories. They contrasted sharply with the elegant skirts that came next with butterfly-filled garden scenes and rich stained-glass colors brightening the runway. The skirts were paired with corsets adorned with vintage buttons and bonnets, and hats that created a charming, old-world effect. Other unique coordinates included a child-like nightdress. The model looked appropriately sleepy as she posed and a concoction of shredded layers of taffeta fanned out from under a pink and white corset.

The show-stopping final outfit was a white cloud of gauzy fabric as either the Queen of the Fairies or, possibly, a fairy bride, emerged wearing a crown of flowers and wielding a scepter. Assistants were required to hold the dress as she posed on the runway with a thorn and rose wand, the light catching the shimmer and subtle flower patterns of the fabric.

With the fashion show thus concluded, it was time to move to the fashion contest, and the looks entered had only gotten even more elaborate and creative since the last event. One contestant performed a series of quick-changes, displaying three sexy-gothic looks in one while a candy kingdom prince had rabbit ears made out of carved cookies and blew bubbles at the crowd. The cheerful candy-rabbit was followed by a dark rabbit with a skull which she kissed to the shrieks of the crowd. Several contestants went as a themed group such as a mistress tugging along two ribbon-bound Lolita dolls and couples offering romantic poses to try to make the judges swoon. One large group had an example of every one of Angelic Pretty’s carousel themed dresses which not only gave a cute impression but also a visual history of lolita.

While the judges went to deliberate, Brilliant Kingdom took the stage for the live portion of the event. “Welcome to the world of night. You’ve been spirited here by fairies. In an instant, you crossed the mirror into wonderland.” The pair then listed some of the famous fantasy worlds children had tumbled into in literature. “But it’s not all fun. If you go to Neverland, you’re separated from your family; you’ll never grow up. In Pinocchio’s Toyland, children are turned into donkeys. Even Alice can’t stay forever in Wonderland.”

Fans brought out their glow-sticks for the dramatic “Senen no Zetsuai Requiem” as the pair performed with practiced flair. Cloaks and feathers rippled as they danced around each other, the crowd following their movements with enthusiasm. The performers raised glowing glasses. “Let’s drink to this dark story,” BABI purred. Suddenly, Kaie fell as if poisoned and the crowd gasped in shock as BABI put a booted foot on the fallen prince’s back. “This is comfortable.”

“You betrayed me!” Kaie gasped, to which BABI sneered, “To you, I am a god. Get on your knees.”

Cymbals crashed as they began “Zetsubou XTC”, BABI swinging Kaie’s limp body violently while laughing. The fans chanted along with the chorus and waved with the sharp drum beats. Kaie regained some strength to sing the dominating tones of “Namida ni Furue Seinaru Yurushi Kiss wo Shiro” as BABI posed dramatically on the couch. Then, BABI grabbed Kaie again, this time holding a knife.

“Fine,” Kaie spat. “I don’t need this body.” What followed was a staged murder-suicide, with BABI slicing Kaie’s jacket open to reveal a torrent of red sequined fabric. Then, after a manic and despairing monologue, the betrayer decided to join Kaie in death rather than continue alone.

After a costume change, they returned in outfits of glittering gold. “Where is the heart? Everyone has emotions but you can’t see them, can’t touch them. Some people seem heartless. The things you can’t see, they are what really matter. The things you believe when you’re in the frightening night. The world of night is coming.”

Gekka no Binetsu Gensou” was a dark anthem that led nicely into the Spanish-infused fantasy stylings of “Bloody Rose.” The pair performed gracefully and Kaie knelt before BABI, only to get kicked in the face. Despite this, Kaie continued to reach out.

“Fantasy stories are worlds created by their gods but a dark fantasy turns into a dystopia.” Light flickered across the pair. “Yet even after all evil had been unleashed on the world, the last thing in Pandora’s box was hope.”

A clacking beat brought an aura of danger. “Are you living in reality?” BABI asked the crowd. “Do you see the truth? Let’s strip it all down to reality. Even if it hurts, you have to see what you really are.”

“Angelic Blaster” finished the set on a fast-paced note with fans miming shooting motions to the song’s lyrics. The crowd shouted through the catchy chorus and went wild as they were rewarded with blown kisses before the pair took their leave.

With the performance concluded, it was time for the announcement of the prize winners. The carnival team and the three-in-one outfit both took prizes along with some simpler yet perfectly done gothic and country lolita coordinates. Brilliant Kingdom returned in full regalia to present the winners with candy bouquets. “We promise we’ll invite you to our beautiful dream world again,” they said with a wave.

The next installment will be July 21 and no doubt the bonnets will be bigger, the skirts wider, and the competition more fierce as everyone tries to be named best-dressed. Meanwhile, the pair of princes will be there to shock and astound, keeping this event at the top of the entertainment scale.

VK Exclusive

There are 77 photos in this visual kei exclusive.

Kate Havas first became interested in Japanese fashion and culture in college when manga, anime, and visual kei were just beginning to make their way to America. An art and English major with a love of clothes, Kate signed onto ROKKYUU in order cover fashion and report on Tokyo trends, but was quickly also recruited to the music side of things and has been having an adventure expanding her knowledge of all things VK since. Follow her on twitter at keito_kate!

Mio Nagasaki is a freelance photographer lending her time, skills, and love for the genre to ROKKYUU Magazine.

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