ACEN_Fashion__by_Whitney-Hopkins (1)Could you tell us about your coordinate today; such as what you’re wearing and your theme for the day?*

Firstly the main theme is the graphics which are from Alice In Wonderland’s scene of the Mad Hatter’s tea party; where Alice finds the remains of the tea party. The image of my skirt frills are from the table cloth image of tea party. The over-skirt is the image of draperies and this is to create the frame for the scene on the underlay skirt.

One characteristic of my design is that the overlay skirt has a bustle which has a string to control the drapery, that way I or the wearer and control which part of the underskirt will be shown. If you don’t want to show a particular area you can release the bustle and let it drape all the way down to cover that area, on the other hand if you want to show the whole story or concept of it you can bring up the bustle, just like a stage.

So I would like the wearer of the dress to be able to express herself by actually creating her own originality by thinking about her dress. Over here, on the sleeves, is the same concept, you can change if the cuffs will be fluffy or stay tight. There is a lot of mystery in my dress, and I wish all the people wearing my dress to be able to enjoy coordinating their own originality.

The scene on the skirt, is it painted on – is it an original painting? Some dressed are painted as the wearer wears them,  so I’m wondering if that’s the case.

This is a silk print. This is an original, not from the fabric itself; it was added later on. We did a pencil drawing of this design first and screen-printed it onto the dresses material.

Did you collaborate with another artist to create this scene or did you draw this yourself?

There is a professional illustrator. I’ll talk with the illustrator about how the design should be, and then decide upon the actual design of the illustration.

How long does it take to make an outfit like that – the one that you’re wearing? Is that typical in how long takes or is that more complex than usual?

When you say creation of the dress you have to think of it from the time that I start illustrating the original design concept. So it will take approximately three months.

Is the dress you’re wearing typical of how long it takes to make a dress?

Three months is average, and the time it took for this dress was three months as well. However, there are times when some of the designs take to approximately half a year.

Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?

My best inspiration is to actually meet with the girls who are wearing my dresses. We are going to have a tea party today – with people who wear my designs. So to meet with them, to see them wearing my clothes is the best inspiration I get.

The way I get inspiration and the way I make my dresses are to think about all these girls enjoying dressing up in my designs. So to actually meet them is the best way for me. The dress does not stand by dress alone, it’s worn by someone, and then it’s a dress.

Throughout the world who has the most demand on these dresses, is it Japan, America?

Currently it’s about half and half between the US market and Japanese market.

And so there’s pretty much a back-order of different designs right now?

Yes, it can’t be helped.

So if I wanted to order a dress it would take three months to make one?

Unless you try to create something original… if you just want to purchase a pre-existing design then you can buy it immediately in our stores.

Following up to that, do people actually commission you to make a dress specifically for themselves?

There was a case of a stage dress being specially ordered. It was by a Visual Kei band that wanted their stage clothes designed.

Which band?

The band was BLOOD STAIN CHILD.

How and when did you get started as a designer?*

I started out liking to dress up since my childhood, like in my middle-school time. Of course I was a student I didn’t have much money, so I started to create my own dresses. That’s how it all started out. Especially as time went on I found out the kind of dress I wanted to wear didn’t exist in the market, so it became apparent that I had to design and make my own dress.

Also in most cases the clothes sold in Japanese markets don’t fit me, so I wanted to make the clothes that would fit me the best.

I went to the fashion show on Friday and it was amazing, thank you for putting it together. How did you appreciate the reception?

Later on we had customers coming to our booth saying that it was very enjoying, so I think it was a great success. I was very happy to hear that.

Who is your favorite American designer if you have one, or more globally are there any designers who influence your creativity for designs.

Vivienne Westwood, and Betsey Johnson.

What could you tell us about the Loli-goth culture and how it got started; some of the history and how she got involved in it?

I started making these dresses even before the time where there were such terms of Gothic Lolita design. At the time when they started making Gothic Lolita design as a new term for the fashion, the person who coined in that term started making a magazine in Japan and that was right around the time I was working for a different company’s Lolita brand. During that time with this fashion trend going on I became independent.

Do you have a favorite color combination?

White and Black. ((In English))

What has been your favorite design that you’ve made so far?

My favorite is one that I designed about five years ago; it’s been a long time best seller. It’s called Enchantlic Onepiece, it has multiple layers of frills; going all the way down for three layers. The image of it is like a shortcake. Many of our American fans are also wearing  that dress too. Fortunately many of our fans love that design so much that they are people buying it multiple colors.

What made you want to make the move of selling through Harajuku Hearts?*

About five years ago I was invited to Fanimecon and during that time Harajuku Hearts was at a separate booth beside me. They had seem my designs and they wanted to sell my design at their store, that’s how it got started. ((at the closing of the press conference the translator kindly informed that it was not at Fanimecon, but rather a separate Lolita fashion event))

Over the years Lolita fashion has changed drastically going from heavy lace to now beautiful prints, where would you like to see it go in the future?

Certainly I think it will get much prettier and cuter.

How did you get involved in the American market?

We let Harajuku hearts take care of it!

What are you favorite fabrics?

Polyester.

What is your impression of Anime Central and how well you’ve been treated here?

I get to meet with so many customers who wear my clothes so cutely, it’s so nice to see all the different combinations of the cuteness.

* = Visual KEIOS’ questions

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This Anime Central 2013 fashion coverage was written by Whitney (bibi) Hopkins,  and edited Alicia R. Thomas.

 

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