Saturday, February 22, 2014

Phoenix, Arizona - Matsuri - Oh The Costumes!

I expected to see traditional clothing, especially with those involved in shows.  I was not ready for the costuming outside of traditional. I have not kept up with what has been happening with the Japanese arts and the youth. or just youth.

I saw several people in animal costumes, hood and all (and it was in the high 70s so this wasn't to keep them warm).

 I finally stopped a young girl in a costume and asked her why people were in different types of costumes.  I guess that I implied that she was in a costume.  (She is pictured below in the blue and pink dress, walking away). She told me that this was how she dressed on the weekends and that she wasn't wearing a costume, but that she had selected this particular little dress because the fabric had an Asian-type print.  She went on to tell me that some may be in costume. I asked her about the animal costumes.  "Oh, those are 'fuzzies' (or did she call them Furries) and they just dress like that because they like to.  (My later novice research identifies this as Sweet Lolita.)
 Well, this is a bit weird for me.  And it was hot. So they are walking around in furry costumes at a festival and without getting paid.
 This guy took his head off so that the little girl would see that there was a person underneath.  Then mom wanted her to go stand by him so that she could take the picture. The little girl was not buying that, so mom gave the camera to someone else and they both walked over and stood by him.  (When MY son said NO...he meant it and there was no convincing him that it was a good idea.)
 This was cute and "in festival topic" but I thought that maybe she made up the hat design from a placement.

 I was scanning the crowd with camera in hand on full zoom and found these two.  Father and son on the weekend. And I thought that attending Saturday afternoon sports games was the way to bond. I guess that you go with what works best.
 This guy looked like he might be a performer. I got caught snapping his photo.  Maybe he isn't a performer...very cute and so serious.  Muscular forearms. Perhaps he is a taiko drummer?
 I don't know what this is all about but I cannot be a critic.  Long red wig, what fun.  A short skirt with a lacy top layer. Would if I could.  And the boots are a bit much but would add height and no one would mess with you. (Later note: My novice research identified this as "Gothic Lolita".)
 I wondered if these two were together. She is all in her lacy summer finest.  If the guy in the black shirt and jeans is with her, he has to be thinking something right about now. (My novice research later identified this as "Sweet Lolita".)
 Ah, another placemat hat.  I decided to search google for an explanation and can only find that this is a traditional rice straw hat.
 I wonder if she is a Steeler Fan?  (Is this Gothic Lolita?)

 This girl was very happy that I took her photo.
 I am not sure if this is Japanese or not but it was very cute on her.  Long trailing skirt in the back and short mini in the front.  I was not able to get the picture as they both looked at me funny.  (Well, don't dress to attract attention if you don't want the photo journalists snapping pics!) (I guess that this is Sweet Lolita, although I do expect more pastels.  If you can identify, please add in the comments without beating me up because I am a novice at identifying this.)

 The colored wigs are a quick change-up that you keep in your backpack so that you can go in to weekend mode in an instant.
 What a mixture of things.  Pink wig on the left, dinosaur horns on a girl dressed in a flannel shirt, and she is with her straw hat and pink umbrella friend.  I don't know the characters that these costumes represent but find them very interesting.  Excuse my ignorance.
 My last one, caught as they were walking away.  (I guess this is Gothic Lolita?)
I was dressed in blue slacks with a slightly glittery bronze top and a brown sweater.  I did put on some glitzy eyeshadow, but it was likely worn off by this time.  It was easy for me to blend in.  ;)


Ladee said...

Hats off to all of the presenters at Ignite Phoenix #16. Videos to be available in about a week. Check the link. This production never fails to amaze and teach me.
One of my favorites:
Fashion Fascism: Japanese Fashion as a Movement - This was a tremendous help and answered a lot of the questions posed in blog post I now have a contact that can explain the Japanese Lolita and gyaru dress. Learn more about this at

Ladee said...

Here is the presentation at Ignite Phoenix #16. This explains a lot.