Two weekends ago, I went with some friends from my seminar house to a 50's/Rockabilly themed party in Shinsaibashi (downtown Osaka). One of my friends, Sarah, (who has a freakin' sweet Youtube channel with a ton of Japan videos!), is really into vintage fashion, and styled us all for the event. We looked foxy as hell! (By the way, a bunch of these pictures were yoinked from other people's facebook albums--hope that's alright! I DID take pictures this night, but on my Polaroid Instax, so I can't share them here.)
From left to right, that's Karolina, Sarah, me, Nancy, and Marie-Lor. We're hot!
I will say, the Japanese know how to throw down with the subcultures. Everyone is so serious about portraying what they're into, and this was no exception. At the party you could dress in both vintage Japanese and Western style, and so there were a lot of people in vintage kimono, as well as attire that was more familiar to me. It was held at a small cafe ("The Garden", if memory serves) and it was perfect--clearly a vintage-inspired place itself, with low lighting and squishy chairs to take a break from the dance floor in. Besides us there were only a few other gaijin there, so we got a good amount of attention. But the real stars of the show that night I think were the characters we met. First of all, there was an okama, or drag queen, present. She was fabulous and very elegant!
Then there was Little Bird. There really isn't much to say about Little Bird other than he is a little old man dressed in a schoolboy outfit with a bird pin and a bird ring, and he's always singing/talking to himself and dancing around gaily. I choose to believe he goes about his daily life in this manner as well.
And there was this guy, Mr. Miyawaki. According to his facebook page, he enjoys Japanese army reenactment. He was very serious the whole time, even for photographs. Later in the evening he changed into a sort of maitre 'd or bellhop outfit.
The music was fabulous, a mix of American and Japanese 50's swing music. At one point, the okama (who's name was Miss Olive, I later discovered) got up and danced and lip-synced to some songs for us. It was amazing! I didn't know the words, but it seemed like most everyone else did, so it was a really fun environment and a great group of people. We had such a blast!
And of course, last weekend was Halloween! Because midterms were that week and it just seemed like everything had been incredibly busy, I sort of threw together a last-minute Marylin Monroe costume on Thursday night (but luckily was able to find a perfect white dress at a vintage store, so it actually turned out pretty good!) I didn't end up going out on Friday night, because I had to get up early the next morning for a field trip to see Takarazuka Review (which deserves it's own post, so I won't go into detail quite yet.) On Saturday night, I went to a rave in Shinsaibashi with some of the same people from the vintage party. It was insanity! The event was actually called the "Yabai Halloween Party" and was at the King Cobra club.
I had always heard from Japanese friends that Japan isn't too big on Halloween unless you're a little kid. Apparently those people had never been to Amemura on Halloween eve. A TON of people were out, and everyone was dressed up. There were a lot of foreigners around (downtown in one of the biggest cities in Japan, so no surprise there), but the Japanese people seemed just as enthusiastic. It was really cool to just mingle and see all of the people in Triangle Park. I had people asking for pictures with me--kind of strange, considering my costume was nothing compared to most of what we saw. A lot of people thought I was Madonna, too--I guess they were getting the names mixed up, since Marylin isn't a hard character to guess. Another thing I found funny about the night was that a lot of guys were whistling and making comments about my low-cut (authentic!) dress as I was walking by, when just about every other girl in the area was wearing about 75% less clothing than me. Seriously, you wouldn't believe the number of asses I saw hanging out of skirts/hotpants. I'm by no means a prude, though--my philosophy is that if you've got it, flaunt it! I just thought it was funny that I got so many comments.
Unfortunately, I don't have any good pictures of my costume; I forgot my camera that night, and I can't find any on facebook. This shot of us girls waiting for the guys at the train station is as good as I can get--and you can barely see my dress!
This is me attempting a Marylin face. It's kind of goofy.
And now I need to get to bed, since I need to get up at a somewhat decent hour tomorrow.