Apologies for the late post. Despite only being able to attend Hyper Japan on the Saturday, I had a very packed weekend in London. I was so tired and when I woke up yesterday, the last thing I felt like doing was sitting on my laptop all day!
So, as the title suggests, I attended Hyper Japan Christmas on Saturday! I would have loved to attended on the Sunday, when the kawaii fashion show was being held, but I wrongly predicted that most of the fashion stuff would be held on the Saturday. Also, it was a friend's birthday as well, so I was too busy eating Thanksgiving Biscuit flavour ice cream with cranberry sauce (I love you, Chin Chin Labs!) and admiring dinosaurs. I am very sorry for the upcoming rant, but I was not impressed by the organisation of the fashion events this time around. I understand that there were some lolitas out there who were doing their best behind the scenes to make sure that we at least had something going on at the event. I am not blaming those people at all and I am grateful for all your hard work. But I felt that one of my favourite parts of the last HJ back in February was the Bring and Buy stall, which wasn't here this time. I heard that there had been some complaints because this stall didn't pay the stall fee. I do feel it was a real shame. I think that with a bit more time to organise, we could have all grouped together to get the stall fee and got people to help run the stall throughout the weekend. UK lolitas, I say that when the next HJ gets announced, we make it our mission to get the Bring and Buy stall back! To make things worse, BABY were not there this time either. I did think that some of the BABY stall items were a bit overpriced last time, but I think they still made a lot of sales. And they had lucky packs there too. Thankfully, about 6 weeks ago, a kawaii fashion show was announced (for the Sunday only). But overall, it did feel that a lot of the fashion stuff got pushed aside. Considering the amount of publicity the lolitas gave HJ back in February (UK lolitas even got featured in Marie Claire!) I think this was a mistake. When I was walking about on Saturday there was a significant drop in the number of lolitas in attendance. A lot of people were trying to sell their Saturday tickets and I felt like there was less excitement about the event. I really hope that Hyper Japan listens to these complaints, as it could affect future attendance. Okay, rant over!
I think I will start with my outfit! I have been more drawn to dark colours lately and I decided to wear Nostalgic Chess by Meta. A lot of my outfit is similar to an outfit I wore earlier in the year, with a few little additions. I was wearing my new Secret Shop crown shoes, I had additional accessories on and I made a chess piece headpiece. Compared to my last HJ outfit, this one is pretty understated. Although, that could be due to the fact that I didn't fully carry out all of my plans. Let's just say I did have something a bit more interesting planned but I was unable to locate some materials. If I am able to get all the stuff I need together, it may be part of a future outfit...
This was the best photo on my camera of my chess headpiece. The original idea was to wear my Lockshop hime wig with this headpiece on top. Unfortunately, the hime bump sits quite close to the front of my head and when I put the headpiece on, the chess pieces all tilted forwards. I couldn't quite get it to work. So I just loosely curled my hair and fluffed it out a little bit. My hair got a little bit messy towards the end of the day so it was a shame I couldn't have worn my wig. As you can see, I picked up a bottle of peach flavoured Ramune soda from the Tofu Cute stand. I had only previously tried the original flavour, but I think I prefer the peach one now.
A jewellery close-up picture. Kyra was very pleased to see me wearing her book ring! I made myself a gold pawn ring to match my headpiece. The rest of the jewellery is from Angelic Pretty and Paris Kids. The bow clip attached to my bolero is off-brand.
There were lots of very interesting stalls this time. I think my favourite has to be the Tofu Cute stall though. Look at those giant alpaca plushies!!! I really wanted to get one but then I would have had to carry it around and I don't think it would have fitted in my luggage. In the end, I got a smaller alpaca instead. I can't get enough of these cute alpacas. The Tofu Cute stall was also stocking lots of other cute things, including loads of Chocomint accessories, more alpacas and even some Loris bags. I already have a Loris shooting star bag, so I know what to expect quality-wise. I was going to buy one, but decided against it. I am currently having storage issues and the last thing I needed was yet another bag! Maybe next time...
My favourite stage performance was the Kamui samurai sword artists. It was a really exciting and fun performance. The group leader had appeared in the first Kill Bill movie. It was an action packed show and there was even a Q&A with the group leader.
I was very pleased to see my favourite macaron makers were back again! I prefer On's macarons to Laduree (and that is a huge deal, because I love Laduree). I loved the 'Valentine' macaron, which was raspberry with a chocolate ganache. My favourite is still the peach champagne flavour, so I was glad they still had that flavour available.
So with the kawaii fashion show being on the Sunday, us Saturday fashion attendees got to see the Marble Collection. Now, if I am being brutally honest, I was not impressed. For a large chunk of the hour, all we got to see was a video. The video basically explained what the collection was about and went behind the scenes of their most recent show. I do feel that a video was not really enough. This is the sort of thing that you could probably find online pretty easily. It lacked the 'wow' factor. After the video, the people who run the collection got to come on stage, along with some familiar faces from the UK J-fashion scene. This part was a bit more interesting as we got an insight in to the ideas behind the Marble Collection. But overall, I think this offering was bland. I did see a few people around me walking off as they lost interest. I think what was wrong with it, was that there wasn't much for the audience to interact with. I didn't feel like I was gaining any inspiration or really 'connecting' with what I was being shown. Perhaps it would have been better if we actually saw some more fashion on the stage instead of watching the video.
I thought this stall was very cute. They were offering a Christmas present wrapping service. I love the traditional looking Japanese feel the examples had.
The Wii U console was also at Hyper Japan. When we finally got our hands on it, it stopped working! FAIL! And by the time it was working again, a bigger queue had formed. So we didn't get the chance to have a proper play with it. But from what I saw, it does look very exciting. I am not sure I really want to buy another new console though.
So I would say that this is probably the weakest of the 3 Hyper Japan events that I have attended. There were a lot of stalls to keep me occupied. I felt the fashion side of things was disappointing and I ended up enjoying the swords display a whole lot more. I picked up a load of sweets. I finally got my hands on a box of Melty Kiss chocolates and some KitKat flavours I haven't tried yet. And obviously I loved the alpaca plushies and Chocomint stuff. But I really hope that next time, there is some more exciting fashion stuff going on. I think there are still some issues with the organisation that needs tweaking. I also think that the organisers need to give their ticket buyers more of what they want. What I love about Hyper Japan is that it offers something a bit different to a lot of the anime conventions we have here. It is more focused on Japanese culture. But if it carries on like this, it will eventually become an MCM Expo clone. I do enjoy the MCM Expo, but do we really need Hyper Japan to become more like it? I would hate for HJ to lose its identity. Here is hoping that next time, there is much more excitement!