Kokusyoku Sumire, Sachi and Yuka. Sumire No Tenmado

Two of the most recognisable faces in the Tokyo Gothic lolita scene are the duo who make up Kokusyoku Sumire, Sachi & Yuka.  If you don’t know them, allow me to introduce you.

Those who have the Gothic & Lolita book will certainly recognise them – they’re in it. But who are they and why are they famous?

Sachi plays violin and piano, while Yuka plays accordion and piano and sings. They perform, model, and run a lovely Lolita Bar in the Golden Gai, called Sumire No Tenmado. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting there and taking tea and cake several times – although the very first time I visited, they were away in Hollywood visiting Tim Burton on the set of Alice in Wonderland!  (But I found my fave punk bar, so it all worked out).

In April this year however, the bar was open and I attended with Valerie from Tokyo Fashion & Art Factory and Jim of Horror High School. (BTW, a great article on Valerie’s blog was in the Japan Times in June). We met some illustrators while we were there – it’s quite bohemian that way!

Next time I will plan ahead and get some good photos of the cafe so you can see how charming it is, with little replicas of cakes, dolls, beautiful artwork and lolita touches everywhere. Yuka serves up delicious home-made cakes and pies with sinful cream and ice-cream, (or hot food if you prefer!)

It really is a must-see for any lolita, or any lover of japanese lolita culture. However, it is so small you may have to wait for a while before you can sit down.  Sumire No Tenmado is open for afternoon tea from around 5pm or in the evening (bar time) from around 8pm. Weekends and holidays it is tea time all day, 12 – 8pm.

Intrigued? Visit the Kokusyoku Sumire website to find out more about them.

Their latest album just released is called Alice in the Underground (see below), again with fantastical stylings, and they toured Europe with it in May this year. You can read more about them and their performances in their blogs – Yuka’s blog, and Sachi’s blog.

They have sumptuous visuals, as you can see:
I love their quirky sound! It’s sort of Rococo Gypsy Lolita. Here is a video so you can hear what they sound like:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu9x4enWKw4]

As I mentioned, Sumire No Tenmado is in the Golden Gai, and the map is here:

You take the eastern exit from Shinjuku Station, walk down Yasukuni Dori, and look for Mister Donut on the corner of Kuyakusho Dori.

Then take the little lane next to Mister Donut that leads to the Hanazono Shrine. This leads you to the Golden Gai area.  It’s the 2nd or 3rd lane, on the upper floor.  Look for the sign – you’ll have to look up to see it!

Sumire No Tenmado
Kabukicho, Shinjuku 1-1-7-2F
Golden City Garden City Shinjuku third
03-3209-1204 03-3209-1204
Opening Hours:
Weekday / Saturday 16:30 to 23:30,
Sundays / Holidays 11:30 to 20:00
Ladies free, cover carge for gents.

Gothic Lolita outfit & make-up for the Pandimensional Halloween Syndicate

I haven’t dressed up in aaaages, and this club certainly warranted it. The flyer said to come dressed in 15th to 19th Century Halloween gear – but said that aliens and time travellers would be allowed in. Hence, pretty much any costume would fit in OK!

For my make-up I channelled a bit of Pat McGrath (MUA for Dior, Galliano etc), a bit of Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter, and a lot of Japanese goth.

The outfit was sort of Neo-Victorian Spooky Gothic lolita, with big pouffy PVC ballgown skirt and puff-sleeved Victorian shrug from Artifice Clothing. AC is just amazing, so if you’re into clubwear and PVC, or just out there fashion, go take a look. I wore a big tutu skirt underneath to puff the skirt out more.
Frilled collar: No Wear UK
EGL brooch at throat: Fan Plus Friend
Corset: Louise Black
Victorian Boots: Pleaser
Cosplay wig: eBay
Straw hat with beaded lace overlay: me

I will do some follow-up posts – one a make-up tutorial to ‘get the look’, and another on the club itself, with pics of other patrons, the performers and fab band “Barons of Tang” (who bill themselves as ‘Gypsy deathcore’!)

Steampunk Club Night – Steamengine IX

Last Friday night was Steamengine IX, a Steampunk club night held at the Red Rattler in Marrickville Sydney.

To be honest, I didn’t get there til after 11pm, so missed the fashion shows, cabaret, burlesque and piercing display. But I got some cool tunes from the DJs, a bit of atmos, a fun time chatting to fellow steamers…and a goody bag for best dressed female!

People were not all dressed strictly steampunk (some were goths), but there was a lot of colour and creative dressing, which I liked. We heard the sounds of Abney Park, Dr Steele, Voltaire and more from the DJs, and the band Cybridian, who played last.

Without further ado, here are some pics of the night.

Voila the main organiser, Sharon (of the “In Visible Light” store on Enmore Rd, Enmore), and co-host for the night, Luke

Me with some o’ the lads
Stunning Matt Bylett rubber corset below left. Matt is a Sydney based designer whose work you’ll have seen in Farscape and Xena – yes, really! (I must feature him soon)
 
The insane clown posse?
Some cool looking guys, up to no good…
 
There were gorgeous red velvet chairs upon which some airship pirates lounged
Some ladies in colour…one a lolita!
There was a lot of red and black…

Do ya wanna see my Frye button boots? I think you do. But first, the overall outfit. Note my lovely vintage looking hatbox under the chair, that served as my handbag.

Finally, a few close-ups of make-up – me and the delightful clown Hexy

I wore odd crazy lenses and Takuya Angel eyelashes.

If you’re coming to Sydney and want to see if it’s on, check out the Steamengine IX facebook page. It’s a hoot! Theme for the next one is Airship Pirate, so I’ll be getting out of my ladylike attire and into my breeches, leather harness, distressed aviators cap, leather gloves and accessories…and goggles!

Romance Was Born jacket, Peace Now skirt

The other week, I got a tip off from Emily of Little Black Book that Romance Was Born was having a sample sale. I deliberated a long time between buying a pink/purple dress that exactly matched the colour of my hair (heavily embellished with safety pins, no less!), and a tuxedo jacket with pointed hem.

While the dress had the bling factor, I don’t know how often I’d wear it. Whereas a good tailored jacket…well, it becomes a wardrobe staple, doesn’t it? Cost per wear, it definitely is the best option, despite being 3 or 4 times what I would normally pay for a jacket.

I wore it out on Saturday night, pairing it with a ruffled blouse from ebay that I’ve had for several years, and a new Peace Now skirt I bought in Japan a few weeks ago (it’s a gothic lolita brand). The skirt is a gorgeous high-waisted design with diagonal stripes in black & taupe, with lovely pleated details and a pointed hem. Enough babbling; here’s the outfit.

 
Lack of good pics, however, meant that I had to recreate the look at home.  This time I wore thigh high boots instead of the spiky wedges.  I like how the skirt matches the zebra light switch.
 

And now with the jacket on – see the serrated hem edge?
It has a great nipped in waist and folded material detail
The jacket is absolutely beautiful, and with the ruffled blouse has an equestrian/lolita feel. I think a riding hat may have been in order, actually.
I wore odd circle lenses on the night, both DollyEye, but one in Green and one Violet.  Not to be a Manson or Bowie wannabe, but one of the violets was irritating my eye, and this was my last minute solution. No-one seemed to notice.

Electric Alice – lolita, hime and fairy kei fashion coming to Australia

Attention all aussie lovers of  Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita, Hime Gyaru,
Fairy-kei or Mori Girl style.

There is a new webstore Electric Alice, bringing to Australia the famous Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku brands your little hearts have been waiting for!

Labels such as 6% Doki Doki, Swimmer, Wonder Rocket, Black Peace Now, Dangerous Nude, Care Bears, Chocomint, Dangerous Nude and Metamorphose are winging our way as we speak, with Milk coming on board in May. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about it!!

I’ll let owners Imogen and Nina explain it to you (seen below in Harajuku):

Electric Alice is a concept store dedicated to bringing hand-selected Japanese clothing and accessories to Australia and translating them into coordinates that work for Australians. Whether you’re into mixing a few quirky pieces with your regular wardrobe or are inspired by entire coordinated looks, we’d love to help.

You should head over to Electric Alice, as in addition to the fantastic blog and online shopping (going live any day now), there is a great section called “Style Guides” which describes each look in a nutshell, and gives a few ideas for achieving the look.

You can also check out Electric Alice at their Facebook page, Livejournal, MySpace, and on YouTube.

Electric Alice has just received its first shipment of clothing and accessories – so let the shopping commence!