I turned my face to check if my blusher was visible enough and of even vibrancy on both sides (it definitely was – I might as well have emptied the whole block of colour onto my face) and my eyes occasionally flickered up towards the beautiful lashes that framed them. Gosh, yes, it felt good. With one last slick of lipgloss my war paint was complete, and I was ready to tackle the world.
When I opened my eyes and felt that rush of inspiration for gyaru, I knew that it was going to be a good day. It was the day where my gyarusa, QueenE, were hosting a Galentine’s Day gyaru meet and my MA*RS outfit was hanging patiently on my wardrobe door. After a few hours I was all made up, head-to-toe in gal, sitting awkwardly in a jam-packed train to Birmingham.
My 2018, although amazing, had been a bit all over the place as I didn’t have any idea what I wanted or what I was doing. It wasn’t until I wrote about my dream life that I was able to reset my focus, so I want everything about this year to head towards it. Instead of writing resolutions (as I never seem to be able to actually do them) I’ve created a little 2019 check list like I did a couple of years ago… And this is a list that I can’t wait to tick off!
It’s 2010; I am scrolling through livejournal, saving every picture I could find of Yui Kanno and Liz Lisa shop staff girls and dreaming of the day that I would look like that kind of gyaru. Himekaji. Casual princess. I fell in love with the pink blusher, the big curls, and the cute floral dresses. Those were the days that I went to my nearby Miss Selfridge to buy similar clothing (as I didn’t have the means to buy it online back then) so that I could feel like an everyday princess.
Fast forward to now and I happily have an array of himekaji items in my wardrobe from a mixture of gyaru brands and Western brands. I even worked with my favourite himekaji store Kawaii Gyaru Shop, but I feel sadder than I was back in 2010.
And that reason was because there aren’t any himekaji anymore.
What’s this??? Lizzie, DIYing? Haha no, I really suck at DIY but my friend and fellow gyarusa member Dani is an absolute goddess at it. Being able to DIY your own gyaru clothes is a HUGE help for when you’re on a budget, so today we’re going to learn how Dani has created this beautiful agejo dress!
Okay, I admit it – I will put my hands up and say that I don’t talk a lot about gyaruo on this blog, and that’s because I don’t really know much about them. I’ve only met a handful of gyaruo/gyaruo (the male equivalent of gyaru) and, sadly, we only have one in the U.K. (my gal Amber who occasionally does it from time-to-time). So I had a lil’ chat with my friend, Wes, about his life as a gyaruo! I’m going to call this as part of my “Interview with a Gyaru(o) series!” (Catchy, right?) Let’s begin…
Can you believe that the last time I did one of these posts was in February? How long ago was that! Recently I asked you all what kind of posts you wanted to see, and some of you mentioned my ‘one item five ways‘ series… So I’m bringing sexy back and am focussing this post on my leopard print skirt.
I’ve been dying to create lots of outfits with this skirt for ages, and now that leopard print is back in fashion (yay!) it gives me more of an excuse to bring it out again. So, let’s take a look at these outfits, shall we?
“What even is gyaru?” I hear people say whenever I tell them about this Japanese fashion. Sometimes I brush it off and say, “it’s just this Japanese fashion” and let them divulge at their own pace (usually they then follow it with “where you look like an anime doll?” which is very frustrating). Other times I hop onto Google for some inspiration to show them what I mean but then realise that I don’t look anything like the first few pictures of Black Diamond that pop up… And when I finally found one, the stranger has lost interest by then so I just put my phone away.
“I love the look of it but I wish I was more confident to gyaru wear it in public…” is one of the most-used phrases I hear from people who have held back from wearing gyaru. It can be daunting because gyaru, like other Japanese fashion styles, isn’t exactly “normal”. Sure, we can get away with jeans and t-shirts but there’s something about us that sets us apart from Western fashion. Maybe it’s the over-the-top makeup, the curly hair, or the flashy nails… Whatever it is, it makes people look back and wonder “what the hell are they doing?”
I’ve had to deal with more and more ignorant people the more dramatic my style became. It allowed me to grow thicker skin and boy I’m so glad it did because I was a right nervous wreck when I first started! Even now it’s still quite nerve-wracking to be decked out in MA*RS, but my style has toned down because of my laziness so it’s not quite so bad anymore. Here are some tips I’ve learnt over the years on wearing gyaru it in public!
I’ve always wanted to be no.1; when I first joined gyaru I wanted to be the best gaijin gyaru in the U.K., and a few years later it changed to wanting to be the best agejo in the world. My aims were pretty high so I bought as many MA*RS items that my greedy hands could get a hold of, and for a time I believed that I was the best and that I was happy. I tried hard – perhaps too hard – and I called it the golden age of my gyaru life.
That golden age lasted a year, maybe two, before I started my downward spiral. Agejo began to slip away from my fingers and I felt my identity lose its grip. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I began to doubt myself. I loved agejo, so why wasn’t it making me happy anymore? I worked so hard to be the best but it just took the joy out of gyaru and made it into a competition. In the end I was left disappointed and dissatisfied.