For those that are unsure of what one of the biggest cultural exports and most popular styles to come out of Japan to boom internationally, it is the diversity and uniqueness of Harajuku Fashion! Yet nothing more perfectly portrays Harajuku Fashion than the beauty and charm that Lolita Fashion does! So popular has Lolita fashion become internationally that it has even been classified as a mode of art in some circles! This tremendous power to inspire and stir emotions on such a fundamental level only goes to prove how necessary and essential fashion is as an expression of ones sense of self and thus we must cherish and promote it as often as possible!
Therefore in this article we are happy to introduce to you the new Lolita fashion & art project that is branded, Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette). Premiering the launch of these sure be widely acclaimed brand, an exclusive Tea Party was held in Aoyama, Tokyo in which our valiant reporters “Kuma” and “Yabu No Usagi” were lucky enough to be in attendance!
So read on for an exclusive first-hand account of this wonderful event which is full of details and amazing photography of Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette).
Yet first a quick introduction to the KawaCura staff who participated in the Ocha-kai (Tea Party).
“Kuma” : Resident Gothic camera (wo)man and writer. Core strengths include – high quality, consistent work and an intrepid ability to sniff out key Lolita functions and events! Key weakness / area open for attack – Tomato based pasta dishes!
“Yabu No Usagi”
“Yabu No Usagi” : The “Abbreviated Hare” is another vital staff reporter of Lolita fashion with a love of seafood pasta (particularly sea urchin & squid) she constantly takes snapshots of true beauty and pure essence with her “heart-camera” (the camera within her heart / mind’s eye)!
What if Marie Antoinette was Reborn in Modern-day Harajuku…?
Hosting this first ever Tea Party of Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette) was none other than popular Lolita activist and promoter, Akizuki Ai, who personally invited us to attend the historical event. Ai has become very popular domestically within Japan through her various “Wonder Teatime” event parties and also internationally through her fun and informative YouTube posts. So without further ado, to start off this report of the Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette) tea party, we begin with a short interview with the host, Miss Ai Akizuki-san herself! ♪
KawaCura Staff: When did the Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette) art project actually originate?
Ai Akizuki-san: Very, very recently in fact, which makes it an extremely exciting project to be a part of!! Beginning but a month ago, (September 2015) inspiration stemmed from the premise and imagination of “What would it be like if Marie Antoinette were to be reborn and alive in modern day Harajuku?” Expanding this concept artist and designer Junichi Hakamaki (袴着淳一) created the label and began focusing on unique Lolita fashion pieces.
KC: So what are some key areas that the brand will being paying attention to?
AA: Whilst simplicity is a clean and crisp medium, in a fashion world that appears to be focusing more on the absence of attention, we aim to highlight such attractive and beautiful, decorative designs within a soft and subtle way.
KC: There certainly is no other label which such inspiration and presence! . . .
AA: That’s right! Whilst Lolita fashion was born in Japan, certain Victorian and Rococo influences have shaped the industry, which is how we came to the core essence of “origins” and thus Hakamaki’s alternative inspiration of a current Marie Antoinette in contemporary, funky Harajuku.
KC: Marie Antoinette…?
AA: Yeah! The seed of inspiration and root idea first came about when Hakamaki-san was watching the popular cartoon (which at the time was all the rage), “The Rose of Versailles”. It was here that the nucleus of the concept which formed the art project began.
KC: This is the first official event / tea party to be held (by the art project), right?
AA: It is! This is the first round out of many planned such events to portray and promote the beauty Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette) and to introduce the wonderful pieces to an even greater audience. For it is with the feedback of the general public that the brand will successfully grow and develop a core network of loyal fans and enthusiasts. It is similarly for this reason that Hakamaki-san is also hand-signing his autograph on select pieces at this and perhaps future events.
KC: That’s a very good point! I for one would be very happy and thrilled to have an authentic signed piece from the creator and designer of an up and coming brand!!
AA: Going back to your previous question, there are also many other various key points of interest which the brand focuses on that fans will love, yet to give a uncomplicated answer, the project is aiming to produce individual clothes within a common theme, much like a range of individual art pieces within a collaborated collection.
KC: Clearly all the pieces are beautifully designed and produced so please let us know where we, the common person can view and purchase this fantastic fashion?
AA: Yes well actually, details of distribution have yet to be announced so please take full advantage of today’s event in which you snap up some exclusive and remarkable fashion pieces! C Yet in all truthfulness and full disclosure, this is another principal reason for these tea parties. Being able to get legitimate, real information and feedback from true and loyal Lolita enthusiast is part of the corporate stratagem to aid in the seamlessness process of implementation to the domestic and international market.
That said however, it’s really just a great excuse to come together, dress up and have fun at a tea party!! ♪♪♪
It was at this point that with the majority of attendees present we decided to leave it there and let the “curtains open” to start the official Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette) official Tea Party begin!!
Experience with Clothes as Art…
AA: So! Here we all are, and welcome to this tea party! The event will feature a photo session later in which everyone can express and flaunt their hair, make-up, accessories and clothes. This space dedicated to the beauty of art, creates a truly dreamlike experience so be sure to enjoy! Therefore, let’s raise our glasses and have a toast to celebrate the start of this historical tea party!
A non-alcoholic champagne toast of “Chanmery”!
A look at some of the fantastic fashion that will be displayed!
This may not be the best “first” photo to display the prominence of the style and beauty that is on offer, yet if you look closely you will be able to notice the intricate designs and attention to detail that is Les filles de Marie Antoinette, even down to the attention to beautiful hair ornaments!
Elegantly and regally perched upon chairs and awaiting photographic capture, these Matsuoka-san hand crafted knits are unbelievably cute! As it may be hard to discern, a little background information should be revealed to properly understand the amount of care and attention to detail that went into these cute little critters. The intricacy and heartfelt devotion of over three weeks of continuous ten hour days of meticulous diligence is what created but one of these indescribably beautiful works of art that if cared for properly, will last for well over a century!
Choosing a favorite dress to wear. So much beauty! … What to Choose???
Time for the Professional Hair & Make-Up Artists to do their Magic! ♪
With hearts pounding and hearts a fluttering it was nice to have the specialists take care of everything, which they did expertly by noticing the subtle intricacies of certain facial expressions to create a perfect professional look! ♪
Whilst everyone’s hair and make-up was being carefully attended to, so was the “to-die-for” original sweets and cakes that were about to be presented! First off was the Uber-kawaii strawberry cake that looked like it fell right out of a fairytale story book! ♡
A Brief Presentation of the (Prepared) Participants in Attendance
So after a much awaited and well deserved interval, please enjoy a look at some of the fabulous fashion that was on display at the Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette) official Tea Party!! (Again, a massive and heartfelt “shout-out” and thanks to all in attendance & for allowing us to use certain images!)
Obviously, first off the bat is the host herself, Miss Ai Akizuki, sporting a pretty pink outfit with cute ribbons and a hidden giraffe motif! …So divine!!! ↓
Second up is Rei-san who was another key contributor to the successful operation of the event, wearing a beautiful black ensemble which is both stylishly cute and cool! ♪ ↓
Dressed in a typical Marie Antoinette style of voluptuous short skirt with exquisite make-up this look is remarkable … including the Godzilla-like hair which further adds intensity and appeal to this already fabulous look! ↓
This coord is nothing sheer of fabulous! With delicate fabrics and gorgeous shading this photo does not do it justice, as in the proper lighting the subtle, elusive and iridescent appeal of this ensemble literally shine through! ↓
This unique and trend-setting fresh design of a light mesh-like cape / shawl mixed elegantly with Lolita fashion is sure to catch on within the fashion market and enthusiasts hearts alike! Light to the touch, airy to the eye and dreamy to the viewer this piece is a definite winner! ↓
This particular dress which is full of elegant class and decorated with a plethora of gorgeous ribbons is truly a brilliant adaption of the Marie Antoinette style! ↓
This outfit also features a number of large eye-catching ribbons, yet due to the subtle and stately silver tones a level of sensitive elusiveness is still attained within the overall gorgeous elegance. ↓
Along with the beautiful presence that the clothes provide, this cute animal knit pouch was also specifically custom made in collaboration to wear with this particular outfit, which as you can see creates a wonderful “Kawaii” atmosphere! ↓
Continuing on with the Tea Party…
Due to certain time restraints, not everyone was able to be properly photographed, so the next series of pictures are from another event taken by Mr. Hakamaki himself! So please scroll down to see the wonderful ensembles!
In a full volume skirt and cute top combination that is true to Miss Akizuki style this outfit has a unique sense of presence and impression that is great for when wanting to make that perfect statement! ↓
This white coordinated look with mesh and lace fabrics is both elegant and sophisticated yet at the same soft and sexy to the observing eye and universally appealing to all! ↓
The animal knitwear produced by the designer Matsuoka-san is so cute and huggable that it seems to have leapt straight out of a picturesque story book! ↓
The coordinated and at times subtly contrasting styles of these three are absolutely to die for!! With delicate lace petticoats, silky smooth satin, fashionable footwear and adorable accessories, WOW is the only expression that suffices! ↓
Here we have a group photo of the above individual members who, whilst looking stunning individually, come together regally and eloquently as a whole so much so that it is hard not to imagine yourself in the Rococo courts of Marie Antoinette and the Palace of Versailles! For us here at KawaCura, seeing this juxtaposition of modern and tradition warms our hearts and puts an eternal smile on our faces! (Just as we hope it pleases you all too!)
The Charm of Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette)
As can be seen above, the featured photograph above with all participants dressed in beautiful outfits, truly does appear to be the daughters of Marie Antoinette! So let’s now turn to the designer Hakamaki-san to hear his thoughts and views on the event.
With roughly 20 or 30 pieces of each design, at a maximum expected production will be at 99 pieces per design.
In an effort to maintain a “boutique” style of quality and exclusivity the current production of each Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette) design is around the 20 ～ 30 mark. Yet with an expected growth in popularity that number is sure to rise, however, regardless of demand desired maximum production levels are scheduled to a maximum of 99 pieces. It is in this fashion (sorry, pun intended) that each official piece will be specified with a distinct numerical serial code which will further add a sense of exclusivity and regality and thus (hopefully) be cared for and cherished as, we the designers and producers, care for each and every item!
The History & Story Through Illustrations are also so Cute!
In a prime example of how beautiful the designs of Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette) are, simply pay attention to the sophisticated exquisiteness of the above illustrated design! This original illustration is from Hakamaki-san himself, with a history as full and deep as the design itself! In such,
- The location and circumstances of Marie Antoinette’s capture and confinement.
- A path / stairway to heaven.
- Imagined images of Marie Antoinette walking down the famous Harajuku street of Takeshima!
When viewing this beautiful skirt, try imagining the illustrious life and death of Marie Antoinette and all that her presence and persona has come to be identified with. So be sure to get your hands on this iconic piece that will without a doubt become a historic face of fashion and enjoy! ♪
All pieces being made within Japan, this Lolita fashion is full of Quality and perfection!
At a time of international globalization when so many products are produced offshore it is refreshingly sustaining to know that certain brands still stick to locally made products here within Japan. Whilst of course some components are imported from overseas, the bulk of production and creation is done domestically! Needless to that that obviously many different regions produce high quality work, in many factors within Japan there is a certain domestic pride that is also admired internationally. Which is why the majority of sewing and production is done in the heart of Fukuoka, Kyushu performed by a team of 60 to 80 year old women run by a 79 year veteran who has accumulated a wealth of experience and talents which make this brand so beautiful in both design and quality! It is also with this confidence of quality that the label accepts custom shapes and orders. This challenge to provide excellence is an important aspect of the brand and level of commitment.
With Innovative Colors and Motifs, The Mode of Lolita Fashion has been Re-Invigorated!
At this event, the stance of presenting progressive Art Modes through the medium of Lolita Fashion Modes resulted in inventive designs incorporated with innovative fabrics and materials! For example, by using both high end fashion runway style fabrics along with everyday Normal Mode Fabrics the level of complimenting contrast and in both aesthetics and touch was truly remarkable!
In addition, by integrating the latest of fashion techniques a new style of skirt was created. With light fluffy materials a “sporty” style of Lolita skirt with a beautiful impression was conceived.
(The above photo was taken by Hakamaki-san himself and features the “Sporty” styled skirt and one piece dress).
According to Hakamaki-san, the calming and soothing colors of the pieces further increase the elegance and delight of those who wear and view them. Whilst they can be worn by any and all, they are recommended for those in the twenties or thirties who are after a more mature and regal look.
Clothes that can be Appreciated by All!
— マリーアントワネットの娘達 (@LesfillesdeMA) October 17, 2015
Daughters of Marie Antoinette
Combining mint x pink pastels on theses patterned tights, topped with a Godzilla head accessory the balance of impact and subtle cuteness is perfect!
# Marie Antoinette Tea Party
The fashion of the Daughters of Marie Antoinette works beautifully as a whole coordinated ensemble or even as individual pieces used with other Lolita brands. So when looking for some key aspects in a creative outfit, then try freely combining the various elements of Les filles de Marie Antoinette (Daughters of Marie Antoinette)! ♪
Enjoying the Art Project of the Daughters of Marie Antoinette Together!
So! Hopefully this introduction to this fantastic new brand has inspired you to try and sample some of the exclusive and exquisite pieces of the label.
Starting from full-fledged dress-up, hair and make-up the beautiful tea party and photo session events have seemed to stimulate attention amongst Lolita enthusiasts. The event was actually run over four separate occasions and can be seen in more detail on the official Twitter account (see below), so please be sure to check it out today! Therefore, we hope to see you all at the next event where new items and pieces can be exclusively seen at ahead of production. ♪
So! Hopefully this introduction to this fantastic new brand has inspired you to try and sample some of the exclusive and exquisite pieces of the label.
Official Details and Contact Information
An Introduction to the Artist / Designer Hakamaki Junichi.
Having moved to the United States at the age of 18, Hakamaki-san has spent the last 30 years living and working out of such fashion meccas as New York, Florence, Milan and currently based out of Paris – he has been an active designer with brands the likes of Calvin Klein, Salvatore Ferragamo and Gucci etc.
It is irrefutable to see how of late the Lolita styles and Harajuku fashion scene has become more and more popular internationally and amongst famous foreign fashion labels. So it is with this harmony of art and fashion that the designs of Hakamaki is sure to make a huge impact worldwide!
So! Hopefully this introduction to this fantastic new brand has inspired you to try and sample some of the exclusive and exquisite pieces of the project!