h.NAOTO Steam, The Initial Fashion Show


by Leela McMullen, tara.christofes, posted July 17, 2014

On Sunday May 25, h.NAOTO Steam held a fashion show event at their Harajuku store featuring the many different ways to create steampunk-inspired outfits from their Steam line. Pulling suitable items from different sub-brands of the h.NAOTO label to combine with the official Steam wear, the show made creating different looks with the new items seem easy and fun.  Introducing these looks were designers Hirooka Naoto and Ibi, who showed off their own steampunk fashion.

What sets the Steam line apart from the other h.NAOTO lines is the use of color.  While most of the clothing lines under the h.NAOTO label stick to black with hints of reds and purples, Steam uses browns, creams, and sepia tones to set itself  apart.

IBI and NAOTO both used the term “gear lolita style” to describe the lolita-inspired looks, explaining that they contained a lot of cogs and clockwork in the designs.  The tights that all the models wore made a great example of how the clockwork and gear motifs were central to the line, the prints displaying detailed drawings of the inner workings of machinery.

A key feature of most of the coordinates on display was the corset; a staple of steampunk gear. The Steam corsets are fun and quirky, some featuring playful golden doorknockers down the front.  One outfit in particular featured a double dose with a black underbust corset underneath the Steam version.  The designers commented on how cool it looked but that it was probably quite difficult to wear.  The rest of the coordinate—a sweetheart neckline, skirt flounce, and a top hat with goggles—finished this stylish outfit.

Not even the menswear was safe from corsetry. In what they called an ikemen (hot guy) coordinate, IBI and NAOTO discussed the outfit as an outfit for a “cool guy.” With skinny stretch pants, cut sew, and a clockwork corset with a boy-style lace jacket and tie, the cool guy outfit they presented was stylish and showed off a pop of red in the shirt.

The cream and beige color scheme was lovely for the lolita dresses, giving clothing the coloring and effect of old books and leather. One of the skirts had sharp, origami-style folds in a beautiful mix of the Frill and Steam lines. This was followed by a girl in the coined gear lolita style and then their recommended coordinate of the evening, a beige and ivory bell-shaped dress with chiffon bow and prominent bustle. The overall effect was that of a pretty, steampunk princess.

The show was a short but wonderful look at the Steam line. Every outfit had different ways of styling and coordinating the Steam pieces to fit seamlessly into the h.NAOTO look. t the end of the show, IBI and NAOTO encouraged everyone to try something new with the Steam line—to branch out and try new colors and styles so that everyone could look good together.

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Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt! http://twitter.com/#!/LeelaInTokyo

Tara Christofes was a Japanese major from America. After coming to Japan with the JET program years ago, she teamed up with a friend to become one of the only foreign doujinshi circles in Japan. She love lolita and aristo fashions, cooking, and manga. You can follow her on twitter, @shigeruhiko.

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  1. I think the show looks wonderful while the clothes look weird.