Post Tsunami Tokyo Decadance

Originally, my Tokyo dates coincided with Japan Fashion Week, but meant I missed out on Tokyo Decadance. However, due to the tragedy on March 11, Adrien rescheduled (whilst having some R & R in Thailand) – meaning I got to go!

The first part of my evening involved me going to see one of my fave Japanese paddy punk bands, the Cherry Cokes (who I’ve written about before here and here). I’ll save them for another post all their own :)

Home from Shimokita after the gig, I changed and got ready for Midnight Mess – also the first after the earthquake and tsunami.

Well, I expected it to be a little quiet and I was right.   BUT the faithful few, both Japanese and western residents, gathered for their first time to party after 2 weeks of mourning and gloom.  How good it was to catch up with old friends like Tara (see below), Kenny, Maya of course, and meet some new people too, like Lily. It was like old times listening to Selia of Seileen sing…

 

But, I had other old friends to see, and the splendour that is Tokyo Decadance to experience for 2011, so off I went to the Christon Cafe, swapping my D Squared skeleton heel shoes for flats for the 10 minute walk through Kabukicho.

Tokyo Decadance

The theme for this TD was white and yellow (white for White Day that it was originally scheduled to celebrate; yellow for giving or charity). This meant you were supposed to dress in white or yellow :/

Easier said than done for those of us of the gothic persuasion! Although I did have that fluoro yellow/green belt, I opted for my favourite white corset with the ribcage on the front, and white tights, hoping this would earn me some discount off the price. It did.

But I tell you, if I wasn’t dressed to the nines as I usually try to for Tokyo Decadance, the other party goers went all out as they always do. I was staggered yet again, at their ingenuity and creativity.  Whether just amazing make-up & outfits, or actual costumes, everywhere you looked, people looked fantastic – in the truest sense of the word!

There were these three, for example, in some kind of cyber-militia space suits:

When I first walked in, I had barely scanned the entrance when I got leapt on and given a big bear hug by a guy with an eyeball hanging off his face – yes, Ryo, of Sexpot Revenge fame! Here we are below left, and right is us last year at the White Decadance (see more at my post here).

 

OK, so yes, I used to dress up quite a bit more…this time I don’t even have a wig on or fake hair attached to my head! But having come from a punk gig and with little time to change much, it just had to do :)

One old friend down, and a few to go! Next up was Suzanne and Jab – but doh! Suze had just left to go looking for me at Midnight Mess! But before long, we were reunited, and photos were had.

Soon we were joined by the swoonalicious Kenny, also clad in white like the others:

And let’s just see those shoes of mine that I wore, shall we?

I stayed until almost the end, but headed off just before as I had to get some shopping done the next day before heading to the 13th Moon gig. Hey, it was  after 5am!!

I should really have got lots more photos – including some of Jab who took all these ones, and Kenzo, Coco, Adrien, Kengo and all the familiar Decadance bods. But I really just went to enjoy myself and catch up with friends, chatting with them about how it was for them the day of the quake and since, hearing their stories. That I achieved in spades.

Sometimes for me, just being a person takes precedence over finding content for the blog. If I happen to get a few good pics on the way, fine, but be sure, I’ll always have had a good time, and have given my friends my time and attention. So yah, I ended up pretty cheery, and with a few pics that were too blurry to post, and video that wasn’t really useable. Hey ho – maybe next time!

Coming up soon – Cherry Cokes, Haggis and 13th Moon gigs.

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)

Seileen Night at the Decadance Bar (again)

After a few Aussie posts, I think we’re well overdue for some more eyecandy from Tokyo, neh?

I did already post about the Decadance Bar and my first Saturday night there for Seileen. However, my friend Tsuya has posted some great photos that I wanted to share with you all.

Like this one of Tim and Tim. These guys were in Tokyo doing a travel doco, and had just been to an Anime Convention that day with La Carmina, hence their get-up. They were filming again that night.

I think I got filmed as I was talking to Jab (with the black sclera lenses), but we’ll just have to watch the show when it comes out.

Kengo, below, was an amazing bartender and party animal, while Sisen is also consistently interesting to watch.

 

There were some lovely girls in attendance too, with Mori and Dolly Kei influences on one hand,

and Fairy Kei on the other

 

 

And a couple of other interesting bods, Tara with her fangs out, and Jab looking confused:

 

Less interestingly, there was me, seen here with Tsuya

 

La Carmina and Lauren looking naughty – you may have seen them on another famous blog, heh!

OK so it’s just more party pictures – but they’re so purdy!

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?

After Tokyo Dark Castle

Another post from March 09 – after pulling an all-nighter at Tokyo Dark Castle, I stumble into the light and interview people…

Bear in mind we’ve been drinking for 6 or 7 hours, and it’s 6am. So we’re drunk and silly :) I’m with Utarou and Miki from Baal, Nao – singer from deathrock band 13th Moon, Sisen, assorted TDC regulars and Chihiro in the background.

Miki has a touching message at the end for Dom, Karl & Amelia, saying “we need you back in Japan”. Aww…


After Tokyo Dark Castle
http://mediaservices.myspace.com/services/media/embed.aspx/m=55586512,t=1,mt=video
trashtastika | MySpace Video

If that doesn’t work on your pc, here’s the link:
Chatting with Nao & Sisen after Tokyo Dark Castle

And here’s the link to the Harajuku one, where we walk down Takeshita Street and meet Sisen at Takuya Angel.

Harajuku
http://mediaservices.myspace.com/services/media/embed.aspx/m=55592113,t=1,mt=video
trashtastika | MySpace Video