Hello everyone! Here’s a little post about Kawaii in Manila 2, which was a much-awaited event for the local Japanophiles for months now! I’ve been very, very excited for it myself. While there are cosplay conventions popping up left and right, there isn’t really a dedicated event for Japanese Fashion and culture, so it was just about time that Kawaii in Manila 2 arrived! This blog post is more of a personal take on the event instead of a coverage. (Partly because I brought my camera but forgot the memory card, haha—Some of these photos are cross-posted on my sister’s blog at FlaringFelicity.com, since the camera we used was hers. ^^)

We arrived just in time to see local j-fashion brands La Princesse Tea Doll and Dorotee Sweetlips walk down the catwalk. 

 photo kim2_4_zps2eb1d404.jpgDorotee Sweetlips’ collection had visible gothic and punk inspiration all throughout their collection, with blacks, reds and a consistent UK flag print. It’s definitely for the edgier lolitas out there. A favorite piece of mine (not pictured because yes I forgot my memory card) was the dress that had a parasol decked with playing cards walking down the catwalk.

 photo kim2_8_zpsdba53a5c.jpg

La Princesse Tea Doll is a new local lolita brand and their collection in the event was mostly floral prints in Rococo-influence silhouettes that would resonate with Classic Lolita gals–or even Sweet ones with the mostly pastel pink colors. I see it as a marriage of the Classic and Sweet styles. The photo above is one of me and my sister’s favorite for the day, from La Princesse Tea Doll. It’s more inclined to my currently Classic tastes. This is just so classic and rich. I’D BUY THIS. <3

 photo kim2_10_zpsb13ab51b.jpgLocal Mori-kei brand Forestale Shop also showcased their collection, but we arrived just as it finished! D: But I got a photo together with Jeyel and Kyo, who modeled Forestale’s “Don’t Eat the Candy” collection. I first met them in 2010 and we all debuted our first cosplay the same time that year. Over the years they have just improved so much and I look forward to seeing their costumes in events. It was refreshing to see them in J-fashion this time! please feel free to crop me out my color scheme is so out of place with them xD

seeing them all the time makes me wish I had a significant other who’d dress up with me

 photo kim2_11_zps009edbcd.jpgI ran into Katz (Nekomi-Kasai on Facebook) who was in her anthro/human version of Catbus from Totoro, with Sammy as Totoro~ They’re real sweethearts. <3

 photo kim2_12_zpsaab7b220.jpgAJ Cross Cosplay came as Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. I love how the Ghibli group came in cosplay that’s still very relevant to the event. I may even go so far as to say that Studio Ghibli works is an own subculture in itself, haha! Sese Cosplay was also there as Sophie, but their group seemed pretty busy getting together for a shoot so it was awkward to be interrupting them. ^^;;

 photo kim2_6_zps92ffb9cf.jpgWe checked the art gallery next. All the pieces were just bursting with kawaii-ness and skill. I hope next time the artworks are bigger and we have a wider space for the gallery too!

 photo kim2_3_zpsbf31b177.jpgThe kawaii life is also all about DIY–decorating and blinging out stuff is really popular among the girls of Japan! It’s nice to have live DIY workshops in events, in this photo they’re having a polymer clay workshop. I picked up some of the clay they were using, which is a fairly new brand that I haven’t used before called Flexi Clay. Will post a review of it soon. ^^

 photo kim2_13_zps59f54746.jpgLucyPop neckties! <3

There were all sorts of shops which have taken up booths in the event, and you can walk out there with your complete dose of cuteness or with a totally new look if you wanted!

 photo kim2_14_zps3878f940.jpgFrom Spring Marionette‘s shared booth. ^^

I love how you could sense the passion even from the sellers in the booths here. The great thing about booths like these is that they’re manned by the artists and owners who are also passionate about the kawaii movement, even dressing up to match! Even sellers were decked in their best kawaii outfit!

 photo kim2_9_zps753aa7bc.jpgFrom Abbey Sy’s booth–my brother attended their lettering workshops before. ^^

Kawaii in Manila also gave out “bingo cards”–flyers that get stamped whenever you visit the booths listed. If you bingo, you get a raffle entry! I like how it encourages people to go around and meet the shops and booths. The venue was just right for the number of attendants. While there’s congestion here and there which is unavoidable, it doesn’t get to “omg dying” sort of frustration which is what happens when organizers try to pack too many people into the event.

 photo kim2_7_zps7ea26365.jpgLolita with an attitude (the good sort)! I wonder what print she’s wearing? And those bags are just perfect!

 photo kim2_15_zps57eaf02e.jpgDolldelight designer Cyril with her good friend, also modeling Dolldelight.

 photo kim2_2_zps1dfaa4c0.jpgomg lolita senpais noticed me—-*fangirls* I feel so underdressed next to them! xD I’m a fan of dolldelight creations since I found them on facebook, and it’s a pleasure to meet Cyril in person! Cyril has started a group for dolldelight fans in the Philippines, so please check out the group and join if you’d like to be in the loop!

 photo kim2_16_zpsf37a48ad.jpgCute photo-op walls in the venue. ^^ A pet-peeve of mine is the wrist-stamp though, I always hate it when I’m in a nice coord or costume and then in my photos I always have some stamp on my arm showing—xD

I came in a little classic-lolita coord that was self-sewn in two days… with my sewing machine needle breaking just when I was about to finish it. D: It’s far more casual than any of the lolita coordinates in the event.  xD

I love lolita, and while I don’t dress in the other subcultures, I enjoy seeing them all the same. But I am not in close contact with other people who enjoyed Japanese fashion or culture in general and just “got it”. Kawaii in Manila 2 was a true eye-opener and experience from me in the sense that from one event, you just knew that there were others like you who were passionate about the same things. And even if the subcultures in the event were many and varying, it was refreshing and there was just a feeling of community from just being there.

I hope Kawaii in Manila becomes an annual event, and comes back bigger and better next time. It was a huge success and I’d like to congratulate all the organizers for all the passion they put into this event.

See you in Kawaii in Manila 3!

 photo kim2_0_zpsb97226c5.jpgMe and my sister. Thank you sis, and my family, for putting up with me, lace and frills and all!

xoxo

Xarin