Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Interview with Misako Aoki - Kawaii Ambassador of Japan

misako_awa__by_jeong-choi_Visual-KEIOSAnime Weekend Atlanta saw its first Lolita guest as with the appearance of Misako Aoki, Lolita fashion icon and Kawaii Ambassador of Japan. On Sunday, some short hours following the tea party she hosted with Putumayo's Shunsuke Hasegawa, Misako kindly took the time to speak with us.

Anime Weekend Atlanta

VKEIOS: How was your experience at your first Atlanta tea party?

Misako: I was really happy to see all of the cute and creatively coordinated Lolita’s in Atlanta. I heard stories, but to actually see them for the first time was really, really nice experience!

VKEIOS: I really enjoyed the fashion show on Saturday, and I especially enjoyed your performance afterwards – How do you feel the performance went, and what was it like working with the models?

Misako: The models at the fashion show weren’t all professional models, but rather applicants from AWA attendees. Everyone was really creative and they all loved fashion, and knew how to showcase the pieces that they were wearing, such as certain motifs that you would want to show off during a fashion show; I was really surprised at their knowledge.

In regards to the performance, we only had a very limited time to learn all the dances. They basically had a link to a video featuring the choreography. They practiced really hard and we didn’t have much time to rehearse, but their performance was really great. I was so surprised all the girls were able to memorize the dance.

VKEIOS: Everyone did great, I really loved it. Next, could you tell us about your coordinate today?   

Misako: Today was the tea party, and my coordinate was Alice themed. The dress is by Putumayo, it’s a really popular style in Japan as well. In my mind a tea party is synonymous with Alice, so I’m head-to-toe Alice. Alice-themed dress, socks, and my does as well with the card suits.

Lolita & Kawaii

VKEIOS: I asked a similar question to Shunsuke this afternoon; I’d like to know your opinion about the evolution and exposure of Japanese street fashion.

Misako: Starting around four or five years ago, there started to be opportunities for Lolita Fashion to attend these bigger anime conventions or Japanese culture events. Now I’ve been to so many different countries and I’ve definitely seen an increase in attendees and I’ve been seeing a lot more people wearing Lolita fashion.

Interestingly, Lolitas in Japan actually are not aware that there are so many Lolitas around the world. So what I hope to do is bring back the stories to Japan and tell them about all the Lolitas around the world. When I’m in Japan, I want to spread the word about Lolitas around the world and when I’m in foreign countries I want to spread Lolita fashion itself.

VKEIOS: Spreading Lolita fashion is part of what you do as Japan’s Kawaii Ambassador, what kind of impression do you want to leave overseas through your work as an Ambassador?

Misako: Lolita fashion started in Japan, and I really love the quality and delicate details; the lacing, ribbons and frills. So I want people overseas to actually see it, and actually wear it for themselves.

VKEIOS: Being such a well-known Lolita icon overseas do you ever feel any pressure to maintain or evolve in your sense of style, or any pressure to pave the way in fashion trends?

Misako: I actually feel no pressure at all! Whenever I go to foreign countries there are a lot of other Lolitas attending the tea parties or helping me. I’m really just so happy to go different places and see all of the Lolitas that I don’t feel any pressure.

VKEIOS: What are your tips to making a successful Lolita coordinate?

Misako: When I choose my outfit for the day, I start by choosing the main garment first; such as the main onepiece. Then I’ll pick the matching accessories like socks, head-bows and different things to create my outfit. Also, I think about what I’ll be doing that day; if I’m going to a tea party I’ll dress Alice-themed, or if I’m going out with my friend I might want to twin with them and wear the same thing.

VKEIOS: During the panel on Friday you were dressed in Autumn colors. Do you have a favorite season in particular that you enjoy coordinating ensembles for?

Misako: Summer. Just kidding! Not Summer, but Spring, because Lolita fashion is all about layers, so if it’s too hot I won’t be able to layer. Spring has a nice Spring breeze and I can coordinate well.

VKEIOS: Thank you so much for your time, do you have any last comments for our readers?

Misako: Everyone, please enjoy wearing Kawaii fashion!

Official Blog

putumayo_awa__by_ARThomas_Visual-KEIOS (36)


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This interview with was written and conducted by Alicia R. Thomas. Many thanks to Misako and Harajuku Hearts for making this interview possible!

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