Brilliant Star Decorations Volume 5


by Kate Havas, Mio Nagasaki, posted December 24, 2013

The 5th volume of Brilliant Star Decorations took on the cold season with the theme of “Nightmare” and the crowd dressed in appropriately gothic wear. The event opened with the fashion contest, this time divided into two parts: There was one contest for outfit coordination, and a separate contest for home-made items. Lolita icon Misako Aoki joined the panel of designers to judge the parade of unique and elaborate coordinates.

The entries in the fashion contest ranged from elegant princes and princesses to the 20s Shanghai glamour of a qipao with fox fur stole, and several entries tried to spice up their looks with unique accessories such as a gasmask on an otherwise doll-like lolita or a creepy Victorian baby doll carried by a vampric aristocrat. A few showed their performance skills as well, with one entry performing a quick-change on stage from prince to princess, and another staging a murder in a bid for the judges’ attention. Though the contest had been split, the quality of the handmade items was so high it was almost impossible to tell the professionally made clothing from the personal designs. The creators showed great imagination in their outfits, with skirts that resembled whipped cream and circus tents, and wings and braids used to accessorize. Some may have taken their love of creation too far, however—one contestant in a massive explosion of tulle showed well on stage and then spent the rest of the night tripping herself and everyone else in her path.

With the contest concluded, it was time for Brilliant Kingdom to take the stage; Babi in rich red robes and Kaie in silky black. “What kind of dream shall we show you?” the pair asked the crowd. “There is nothing that doesn’t change. There is no night that never ends.” They opened with the fast-paced and frantic “Senen no Zetsuai Requiem,” circling each other with clothes rippling as the crowd waved glow sticks in time.

“When you close your eyes, what do you feel there, in the drowsiness? The perfect world is just a dream,” Kaie said, and raised a golden goblet.

“Even if you hope for it, you’ll never get what you want. The one you love,” Babi agreed, and as Babi lamented the elusiveness of love, they launched into the dark metal sound of “Zetsubou XTC,” dancing with elegant choreography. The crowd squealed as Babi pulled Kaie in for a violent kiss. They continued to entertain with the sadistic barbs and dramatic posing that is their trademark—the show culminating with the soaring notes of “Angelic Blaster.” “Why don’t things go as we plan?” they asked the crowd of waving fans. “We all have only one wing. Alone, we can’t do anything. But with you here, I can fly.”

After a short post-live break, the pair returned to introduce the fashion show. “We’re finally in the dream world,” Babi told the crowd. “Here you can become whatever you want to be. You can shine like the stars and we’ll show you the clothing that can help you do that.” Kaie led out a barbie-like girl in a short, frilled dress followed by a more modestly clad sweet lolita, courtesy of Pina Sweets Collection. The next outfit shown, however, was a different kind of nightmare—a ruffled lolita thong worn by a girl prancing around with a phallic horn adorning her head. Though the next outfits were also short and paired with sexy tights, they were positively puritan in comparison.

“When you dream, you want to see nice dreams, but sometimes nightmares appear.” The statement announced the gothic elegance of Enchantlic Enchantilly and the brand’s popular phantom merry-go-round print. The look was shown in variations of grey, red, and copper, each striking in its own way. Nude Sox then brought out the parade of tights, paired with simple yet striking outfits to create maximum effect. One model was styled as a gothic bride, with a veil and white corset accented by the white stockings, while another had a top hat which added Mad Hatter flair to her asymmetrically striped tights. Overall, the color palette of all the brands stayed on the dark and pale sides, in keeping with the event’s theme. A few coordinates showed consideration for the season, adding jackets and furry winter hats to the lolita looks. All of the outfits were shown in all their various colors, giving the crowd a chance to compare and choose which they liked best—though the parade of identical dresses lengthened the already long event.

“The average lifespan used to be very short,” Kaie said. “You’d likely see your friends die before you. That’s why occultism and spirit photos were so popular in the Victorian age.” That spooky information introduced Triple Fortune with its Victorian-inspired aristocrat wear. A male model in a long blue coat showed the dandy style while doll-like girls in tea-length lolita dresses looked ready for a garden party. Flower crowns added touches of sweetness and innocence to the models. Fur played a notable role in several of the designs, particularly a luxurious white fox stole paired with a veil to create a snow-bride effect. The final outfit was a queen in a massive ball gown with the architecture of the skirt giving it encompassing fullness. A large cross print accented the skirt and the outfit was accessorized with peals that dripped from the model’s hair.

With the fashion carnival complete, the pair returned to announce the winners of both the coordinate and handmade item contests, with a special prize given to an elaborate ice queen costume that stood above the rest in terms of creativity and skill. Volume five marks the end of the Brilliant Star series for 2013 but it is sure to shine again next year as fashion fans use the event to get new ideas for their own looks and show off their personal styles.

VK Exclusive

There are 86 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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