A-Kon in Fort Worth, Texas has always been a personal favorite convention of mine as a cosplayer and attendee, but over the past few years it has gotten quite large in the J-Fashion world as well. In 2018, the J-Fashion programming included a tea party and fashion show as well as several brand-specific panels, like one co-held by indie brand Puvithel about menhera.
I didn’t have time to go to all the J-Fashion programming, unfortunately, but one thing I made time for was the J-Fashion Showcase. The showcase spotlighted Ota-Q Apparel, I Do Declare, galaxxxy, Puvithel, Alice and the Pirates, and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright.
The first brand, Ota-Q Apparel, is a Texas-based indie fashion brand that makes everything from button down shirts to dresses to hats, one of their newer items. The designs are heavily influenced by kawaii and harajuku fashions. They are very wearable, and can even be worn in the hot Texas summer! Among their newer designs is several inspired by manga, magical girls, and idol culture. Take a closer look at their work here or follow them on instagram at @otaqapparel!
I Do Declare is a brand that is heavily influenced by vintage fashion and based in New York City. For those of you who want a sort of vintage lady warrior/iron maiden feel to your closet, look no further! The brand designer frequently models her own collections, and it doesn’t take long to find her designs coorded with swords and armor. I personally have loved this brand for a while simply because the photography is amazing! Check out their website here or follow them on Instagram at @ixdoxdeclare.
galaxxxy is a popular brand, I’ve learned, but it’s one that I didn’t have much exposure to before this fashion show! Their clothing is extremely fun and relaxed, and all of the models were high energy and let their personality shine. Each model wore two outfits. Onstage during their second rotation, they were given bubble guns, which was a nice touch that both gave the models pose ideas and added more energy. To see more of their brand, visit their website or follow them on Instagram at @galaxxxyrocks.
I’ve been working with Puvithel for a while now. Their designs are always so imaginative, and each one has a fascinating story behind it! Most well-known for their Crystal Heart jewelry and accessories like coffin bags, they also make clothing for lolita fashion and menhera. This particular show focused a lot more on menhera than other shows that I’ve seen, and it seems like the brand is very quickly moving more in that direction. To see all of their designs, visit their etsy shop here, and keep an eye out on their Instagram at @puvithel.
Ah, the brands we all know and love.
I was very excited that Baby was appearing in this show since I haven’t been able to photograph them yet. Two of the designers flew from Japan to appear at this convention, and it’s always wonderful to have Japanese guests making such an appearance. At first, the warm lighting threw me for a loop, but once I adjusted my camera settings, things were golden (quite literally). I loved seeing so many elaborate designs and dresses, like those shown below. If you haven’t already, take a look at both Alice and the Pirates and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright on their website and follow them on Instagram at @babythessbofficial.
I was lucky to be able to get a good seat at this fashion show! I know that the show was being recorded, but I can’t tell you where the video is unfortunately, if it’s even finished yet! Overall, I believe this was one of the longest fashion shows that I have ever photographed, and I’m super happy that the fashion show was able to have so many different brands appear! As always, I’m looking forward to seeing what guests A-Kon brings in next year.
Kal from Lightningsavage Photography specializes in creative portrait photography for J-Fashion enthusiasts and more. He has served as the J-Fashion event photographer for Oni-Con 2016–2020, as well as fashion shows, meetups, and personal shoots. He is also a co-owner of Kuroshiro Kawaii. You can follow him on Instagram at @lightningsavage_photography and @kaldec_
He is currently into visual kei and EGA fashions.
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