Fanime Con is Japanese culture convention held in San Jose, California the last weekend in May. This convention features anime screenings, fan panels, dances, gaming, and much more. For the first time, Fanime had a J-fashion department, which hosted a variety of events throughout the weekend at the Hyatt Place, directly across the street from the convention center. Some of their most anticipated events were their Elegant and Pop Fashion shows!
On Sunday May 29, the Pop! Fashion Show graced the halls of the Hyatt Place in downtown San Jose. Just like the Elegant Fashion Show, people were clearly excited to see the fashion show because there was a line that stretched into the lobby of the hotel! Doors for seating opened at 2 PM and the room quickly filled up.
The Pop Fashion Show featured 7 designers with more than 30 looks. Just as the Elegant show featured lush textured fabrics, layers of petticoats, and dramatic silhouettes, the Pop show featured bright colors, delicate ruffles, bold graphics, and daring color blocking. Styles ranged from casual loungewear to elevated streetwear to quirky wa-fu.
The first designer was local brand the Black Ribbon with a collection of kimono and kimono inspired looks. Designer Halley’s favorite look was the Taisho inspired look, featuring a kissa printed kimono and lace bolero. (The kimono is still available in their shop!)
Next was northern California brand Caliko Studios. Their collection featured 4 adorable pastel kawaii looks. The layered coordinates had lots of fun textile details, including ruffles, sheer fabric, and lace. Their cute knitwear would be cute in both fairy kei and sweet lolita.
After that was LOMO Loungewear, whose luxe collection featured comfy joggers, sweaters, leggings, and more. Their loungewear has a delightful gothic edge to it, so even their sweeter designers (like their black forest sweater) would be right at home in your gothic friend’s wardrobe.
Next was Los Angeles brand, Nerdy Bit. Their graphic apparel speaks volumes on it’s own, but their models each brought personality and style to the runway. It was a delight seeing them on their way back down the runway, because many of their designs featured cheeky messages on the back, including their “Hella Thicc” shorts.
Designer Sudibear was next, with a mix of shirts, sweatshirts, hats, sweat pants, and joggers. Their designers range from the adorable (their bear shirts positively oozed kawaii) to the absurd (like their “Dead inside” Pikachu design). Sudibear’s embroidered items were amazing up close – many of their designs also have fun textures added to the embroidery.
Sugarstar Cafe’s collection featured kawaii accessories including hats and headdresses, as well as main pieces like a printed JSK anda patchwork sleeve sweater. Their fuzzy bear bucket hat was a particularly cute piece!
Finally, Yokai Sekai’s bold oversized designs took clear inspiration from 90s design aesthetic.It comes as no surprise that their designs are inspired by the creators early love of anime! Their collection was dominated by light blue and magenta with black and white accents.
The show was photographed by artist Leechy, who captured action shots on the runway as well as more posed photos backstage. (They also traveled from North Carolina to photograph for the j-fashion show, how cool is that?) The photos they captured conveyed the sense of movement that the models brought to the runway.
Given some of the unusual designs on display at the Pop Fashion Show, it’s clear how much a fashion show can highlight a garment that might just not pop on a hanger or in a static photo. Seeing the ruffles on Caliko Studios bounce as the models walked or seeing how Yokai Sekai’s proportions looked on a person made the designs come to life.
If you missed out of these brands at Fanime, you can find Sugarstar Cafe, Nerdy Bit, Yokai Sekai, and Sudibear at Anime Expo July 1-4 in Los Angeles, California.