Hot alternative designer: Cosmic Couture; ‘To Gothics’ Tokyo

I’ve discovered an amazing alternative fashion designer from Berlin, namely Cosmic Couture. Designer Tatjana Warnecke utilises pvc and boning to fashion post-apocalyptic crinolines, glamazon corsets, sci-fi pants and jackets, gothic gauntlets as well as LED lit up leather outfits. There’s a futuristic, dystopian feel to her work which, though undeniably costumey, has a force and presence that transcends the gimmicky and charters the waters of alternative couture.

 

 

The ribbed PVC is called “future rib” and is used to great effect in many garments in the range, even on headwear!

  

The boys aren’t left out either, with fantastic jackets, pants, gauntlets, corsets and kilt-skirts:

 

 

 

Tatjana has outfitted the Rocky Horror Picture show cast in Berlin, as well as the German pop artist Monrose in her “Like a Lady” video – check out a small preview:

Want more eye-candy? Marquis magazine has been featuring the work of Cosmic Couture since 2007, and there is a gorgeous calender out now for 2011, featuring the Best of Custom Couture.

As you can see from the images above, she very much maintains her alternative point of view, and often works with alt/fetish clubs. On Thursday night December 16, Cosmic Couture staged its first show in Tokyo, appropriately at the “to Gothics” club, in association with Marquis Japan LLC.

What an amazing night it must have been! Performances by Trippple Nippples*, Tokyo Dolores (gothic lolita pole dancers/aerial artistes!!), and a huge line-up of DJ’s including VJ Liki with DJ Lau (originallyof Hong Kong, often plays Tokyo Decadance), DJ Rinko (who plays at Torture Garden Japan), gorgeous androgynous model and Dj Leo Candycane (of Fancy Him parties), and more. For the complete listing of people involved, see the To Gothics rundown at Liki’s blog.

*For more on the Trippple Nippples (pictured below), see the excellent article and interview at Dazed Digital. In it, they describe how they get a lot of materials for their whacky costumes from Tokyu Hands, a huge and wonderful DIY supplies place. See my post on Tokyu Hands here, and also here.

  

For clubwear that is out of this world, you can’t go past Cosmic Couture (bad pun intended!)

(I’ve included links to the Cosmic Couture/Tatjana Warnecke site now, so you can check it out yourself)

Ales Wigs and Extensions, Harajuku

While wandering around the backstreets of Harajuku with Valerie last week, I came across the fabulous store Ales.

I used to be hugely into dreadlocks and falls, and am still into wigs in a big way, so seeing this showroom made my heart go giddy-up!
 There were more dreadlocks than you could poke a stick at, more fringes, extension hair in every colour, even the fashionable new twotone…

        

oh, and a vast array of false eyelashes as well…

But really, it was all about the wigs, baby! There were styles for lolitas, gyaru, disco babes, sensible girls…everyone!

Honestly, if you are into fake hair at all and you come to Tokyo, you MUST visit this place!! You will be soooo tempted…as I was….

Kawaii!! Yep, I was so taken with the wig that I bought it. (Waddya reckon, by the way?) And I have my eyes on some others for next time….

Ales Wig & Extension Showroom
Hours: 9am – 8pm every day
Address: 2F Tominaga BLD. 6-9-1 Jingumae Shibuya-ku Tokyo JAPAN 150-0001
Email: alesplannnig@ales-web.co.jp
WEBSITE: http://www.ales-web.co.jp
Nearest station: JR Harajuku Station. Subway Meiji Jingu Mae Station

13th Moon and The Cracks @ Shinokubo Earthdom

I just had to visit Harajuku on Saturday, and caught these stunning looking gothic girls on the cosplay bridge (I *THINK* they were all girls)


I also checked out Sex Pot Revenge, and chatted to old pal Ryo who manages the store:

After a visit to La Foret and Takeshita St, it was time to rush home and get ready for the gig at Shinokubo Earthdom.

With fantastic energy as always, despite the oppressive heat, Nao pranced around the stage as a devilish ghoul dandy, and the band 13th Moon gave us our money’s worth. I later chatted to him and fellow deathrocker Eve-kun.

I also met Nao’s lovely girlfriend Miwa, who may look familiar if you checked out the models in the Nude n Rude magazine I linked to in my post the other week.

Next band up were “The Cracks” – and they were awesome, pumping out Psychobilly tunes like mad things. I filmed them, but forgot to take a pic. The singer had a pig-like mask with dangly bits hanging off -a bit like one of those mutants from House of 1000 Corpses.

However, what really impressed me was the wrecking crew down on the dancefloor in front of me – it made me feel right at home! The scene here is much the same as the scene at home – the guys with the uber-sharp quiffs and Meteors t-shirts, the vintage girlies with victory rolls, 50′s dresses and flicked Von Teese eyeliner, and the ubiquitous tatts and piercings. Later I got pics of some of the boys and their rad hairdos.

After that, it was time for me to get back to the hotel and change, in readiness for the Seileen night at the Decadance Bar. This was a fantastic night, and you know I’ll be posting about all the fab goth peoples there in a post soon…

h. Naoto gothic lolita fashion designer extraordinaire

I recently posted about the upcoming h.Naoto goth night. Although  I didn’t get to the fashion show itself, I did drop into Hirooka’s new store in Cat St, Harajuku – and managed to have a chat with him, model some clothes and take pictures of the collection.

The store itself is not very prepossessing at the moment, being behind scaffolding. I found it as a) I knew it was next to Putumayo, and b) because it had posters on the front door advertising the goth night.

Inside the walls were stark white like a gallery, to display the clothing effectively. And what clothing! Fabric had been treated in various ways to achieve texture and interest – bleached, frayed, distressed etc, to lend that very gothic feel.

I tried on a tailored halter top that was very aristocratic in feel, made of brocade – then they snapped me in it (please excuse the lack of make-up)

I was wearing some Black Peace Now bloomer/shorts I’d bought the day before in La Foret:

The shop staff/models (see below) then spotted my Cue striped jacket and wanted to see it on me…

and when they saw me in the jacket, one gave me her tophat to wear, and declared me kodona (aristocrat), or as I like to put it, a Dandy. Here is the Fashionate Dandy:

I had to get a shot of the man himsef, Hirooka Naoto. He’d been draping a girl in various Naoto clothes, so I got him to pose with her. He’s such a nice bloke!

And here’s the video of the show:

Tokyo Clubs & Events August 27th to September 4th

I always start to plan my nightlife soon after booking my flight, and this is what’s coming up in my next jaunt.

(If you’ve just started reading, I go to Japan twice a year to soak up the culture, check the gothic fashion, sample the food and nightlife, and catch up with old and new friends).

August 27th – Gothic Bar Heaven

Run by D’s Valentine, it’s one of those clubs where there are very few foreigners, so while it can be a little more daunting than, say Midnight Mess or Decadance, it definitely is authentic, by Japanese for Japanese.
Something I’ll miss the fortnight before, but sounds great is the Artism Festa – a 2 day extravaganza bringing together the people and sounds of all the various artism nights – Gothic Bar Heaven, Classic Alamode, Decora Alamode, Tokyo Cyber Monster and Club Theatic. Bands include GPKism, Calmando Qual, Suicide Ali, Velvet Eden, Iruma Rioka and the Cabinets!! (The Cabinets are a punk band with a sweet lolita as their singer)
The latest Alamode magazine no 7 is also out – must grab a copy while I’m there:
Check out GBH and the other clubs, events and publications at artism.jp
August 28th – Grim Rock Stomp
GRIM ROCK STOMP Vol.4 “HOLE”

Featuring the bands: GRAIS, CRACKS, THE PRISONER, and my fave +13th MOON+ (Singer Nao)

DJ’s:
DJ/MIYAKAWA(THE PSYCLOCKS),BAKABILLY,MASUMI(Dr.Martens)
 

And at the very end…

4th September all Punk festival - Shibuya Crash
as mentioned in this post.

4th September – Tokyo Dark Castle

And then on the Sunday I’ll be packing and heading back to Oz. In between these though, be sure I’ll be shopping (and checking out the latest trends), hitting some hotspots, interviewing some designers and bands and generally finding out what’s happening in the Tokyo alternative scene right now. As I always say, stay tuned!
What places would you go, if you visited Tokyo in the next few weeks? What would you like to see me cover in the blog?