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KIGURUMI AT HARAJUKU LOVELIES LAB: ALTERNATIVE FETISH ART & PERFORMANCE, DRAG QUEEN RACHEL D'AMOUR, DOLLARS COSPLAY, DEPARTMENT H.


KIGURUMI AT HARAJUKU LOVELIES LAB: ALTERNATIVE FETISH ART & PERFORMANCE, DRAG QUEEN RACHEL D'AMOUR, DOLLARS COSPLAY, DEPARTMENT H, life-sized anime characters with full bodysuits and masks, cnngo cnni cnn international

It’s Arts Week on CNNGo (the fabulous CNN Asia website I write for)! I was so happy when I was assigned to cover Lovelies Lab, an alternative arts showcase run by the organizers of Department H. Can you believe they published this photo of me with kigurumi at the opening party…

feathered eyelashes, extreme cosplay eye lashes, fake lashes japanese, tea store harajuku, KIGURUMI KIGIRUMI AT 6%dokidoki LOVELIES LAB: ALTERNATIVE FETISH ART & PERFORMANCE, DRAG QUEEN RACHEL D'AMOUR, DOLLARS COSPLAY, DEPARTMENT H, life-sized anime characters with full bodysuits and masks, cnngo cnni cnn international

… and put us on the front page of CNN International? As my editor put it, “CNN must be feeling frisky today!”

KIGURUMIS AT HARAJUKU LOVELIES LAB: ALTERNATIVE FETISH ART & PERFORMANCE, DRAG QUEEN RACHEL D'AMOUR, DOLLARS COSPLAY, DEPARTMENT H, life-sized anime characters with full bodysuits and masks, cnngo cnni cnn international

I’ve reported on Tokyo’s Department H party several times on my blog (you can search for these posts in the Search box in the sidebar). As I write in the article, it’s “often labelled a fetish party, but it’s best described as a monthly gathering of walking performance pieces. You’ll find a saline injection booth next to a two-person inflatable poodle costume. Meanwhile, on stage, a singer with a fully bandaged face pretends to attack two drag queens with a hammer.”

anime kigurumis, full mask bodysuits, dressing up as anime characters cosplay, AT HARAJUKU LOVELIES LAB: ALTERNATIVE FETISH ART & PERFORMANCE, DRAG QUEEN RACHEL D'AMOUR, DOLLARS COSPLAY, DEPARTMENT H, life-sized anime characters with full bodysuits and masks, cnngo cnni cnn international

Some people are curious about the alternative event, but too afraid to step into the club. So every year, the Department H organizers put on a showcase, Lovelies Lab, that brings the party to the public.

The first event was a meet-and-greet with kigurumi, or dollers: people who transform themselves into life-sized anime characters with full bodysuits and masks. Everyone crammed into the small, bright space above 6%DokiDoki in Harajuku. We took photos and tossed around balloons with the kigurumi, who nodded and made cute expressions with their hands.

KIGuRUMI dollars weird mascots, AT HARAJUKU LOVELIES LAB: ALTERNATIVE FETISH ART & PERFORMANCE, DRAG QUEEN RACHEL D'AMOUR, DOLLARS COSPLAY, DEPARTMENT H, life-sized anime characters with full bodysuits and masks, cnngo cnni cnn international

The following week’s showcase was, according to Yukiro, “a drag queen in the dirt.” I put it more generously in my CNNGo article: “Rachel D’Amour pushed drag beyond the usual light-hearted lip-synching and presented a high-concept performance. The complex set recreated a forest, complete with trees and a mud floor. Clad only in leaves, D’Amour danced. A haunting video, set to the strains of a cello, continued the theme. The artist then took Polaroid photos of the back of everyone’s heads to add to the set’s ‘graveyard.'”

Did the dance leave an impression? “It surely did,” snarks Dravarious, “I had dirt all over legs from sitting on the floor.”

KIGuRUMI AT HARAJUKU LOVELIES LAB: ALTERNATIVE FETISH ART & PERFORMANCE, 6% dokidoki, DRAG QUEEN RACHEL D'AMOUR, DOLLARS COSPLAY, DEPARTMENT H, life-sized anime characters with full bodysuits and masks, cnngo cnni cnn international

Come read the rest of the article here; next week, Lovelies will present a free shibari (rope bondage) showcase in Harajuku. Arts Week continues on CNNGo with my coverage of Tokyo Design Festa… stay tuned for photos and more. (Hint, hint… Miyavi concert tickets giveaway!)

PS: Otaku USA Magazine found me through Twitter and came to the last Midnight Mess. Fernando Ramas wrote a review of the Goth/industrial event, which includes the following: “Then you see a soft-spoken 6’5” Swedish man named Yukiro towering over you with mink-lined, shiny geisha-esque hair, and enough multi-colored eyeliner to make Tammy Faye green with envy. With him, there’s La Carmina, fashion/cat blogger and sometime cookbook author, decked out in a dress that would be right at home in a Malice Mizer concert.” Hehe!

PPS: Do you like my spotted, feathered fake eyelashes?

Japanese Word of the Day: Drag queen = Okama
Song of the Day: Roger Meno – What My Heart Wanna Say (1986 Italo Disco. I know, I know…)

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SHARE & COMMENT

  • Denise

    This pic looks really cute :) Your hair is like a pretty cat ginger or autumn look!

  • Anime Attic

    Well check you out! ^_^

  • Moon Maiden 90

    very, very neat! You look great!… that person in the article dressed in the leaves though is intriuging o.O

  • Murbela

    Looking awesome! :)

  • Denise

    This pic looks really cute :) Your hair is like a pretty cat ginger or autumn look!

  • Anime Attic

    Well check you out! ^_^

  • Moon Maiden 90

    very, very neat! You look great!… that person in the article dressed in the leaves though is intriuging o.O

  • Murbela

    Looking awesome! :)

  • babycakes

    hello, i was linked here from your cnn-go article! i am really intrigued by the department H party! could you tell me when it was held, and when it will be held next? i’m only in japan for another year, and i don’t want to miss something like that again! thank you!
    ps – i like your eyelashes a lot! i have some like that; they always get lots of attention. i found them at claire’s!

  • babycakes

    hello, i was linked here from your cnn-go article! i am really intrigued by the department H party! could you tell me when it was held, and when it will be held next? i'm only in japan for another year, and i don't want to miss something like that again! thank you!
    ps – i like your eyelashes a lot! i have some like that; they always get lots of attention. i found them at claire's!

  • Hi! You MUST go to Department H… best party ever!! It's held every first Saturday of the month at Club Kinema in Uguisidani. Here are links to my prior coverage:

    http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2010/01/japanese-
    http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2009/04/japan-got… (includes WEBSITE + ADDRESS)
    http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2009/10/animegao-
    http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2009/10/japanese-

  • Domo arigato!

  • Laurie

    La Carmina, your eyelashes are amazing!! Especially with the new hair color. A perfect match. I loved the red, but this new color really suits you.

    I was wondering…as long as you are still in Tokyo, perhaps you can give me some advice. I have some time off and can take a vacation either in early July (Tanabata and 109 sales!) or late August (sunshine and good hair!) I am a little bit worried that the rainy season makes everything terrible and ruins all fun, so I’m leaning toward august. What do you think? Have you ever been in Japan during Tsuyu?

    Many thanks!

    • It’ll be sticky hot, either month… July isn’t much better than August, to be honest. I’d go whenever is most convenient. It’s Tokyo, after all — you’re guaranteed a good time!

  • The kigurumi are totally cool. I love those expressions, so recognizable out of some of my favorite anime, but different at the same time. Those lower lashes you’re wearing; very interesting…

    Roger Meno – What My Heart Wanna Say (1986 Italo Disco.) I don’t remember that song, but boy do I remember that sound. Serious flashback.

  • Laurie

    La Carmina, your eyelashes are amazing!! Especially with the new hair color. A perfect match. I loved the red, but this new color really suits you.

    I was wondering…as long as you are still in Tokyo, perhaps you can give me some advice. I have some time off and can take a vacation either in early July (Tanabata and 109 sales!) or late August (sunshine and good hair!) I am a little bit worried that the rainy season makes everything terrible and ruins all fun, so I'm leaning toward august. What do you think? Have you ever been in Japan during Tsuyu?

    Many thanks!

  • Moon Maiden 90

    I like the spotted lashes alot…but I still like the other ones better lol

  • Ashley

    hehe!!

  • Ashley

    hehe!!

  • akako

    Nya! *q*– I love the cosplays! *q*-!

  • Kelly

    Awesome!

  • Jen

    love the makeup!

  • The kigurumi are totally cool. I love those expressions, so recognizable out of some of my favorite anime, but different at the same time. Those lower lashes you're wearing; very interesting…

    Roger Meno – What My Heart Wanna Say (1986 Italo Disco.) I don't remember that song, but boy do I remember that sound. Serious flashback.

  • Moon Maiden 90

    I like the spotted lashes alot…but I still like the other ones better lol

  • Ashley

    hehe!!

  • Ashley

    hehe!!

  • akako

    Nya! *q*– I love the cosplays! *q*-!

  • Kelly

    Awesome!

  • Jen

    love the makeup!

  • It'll be sticky hot, either month… July isn't much better than August, to be honest. I'd go whenever is most convenient. It's Tokyo, after all — you're guaranteed a good time!

  • They're cute!