Category Archive for Fashion

Tokyo Gothic dance club nights! Midnight Mess Goth party 20th anniversary, DJ Sisen & Selia at Decabar, Shinjuku.

japan goths, gothic club night party midnight mess

2022 was a bizarre year… but on the bright side, Japan finally re-opened to travellers. It felt so good to be back in Tokyo’s alternative / Goth subculture and reunited with friends!

As luck had it, my visit (last September) coincided with the 20th anniversary of Midnight Mess — Tokyo’s longest-running Goth party. I’ve been haunting this Gothic club night since 2008, and my friend Mistress Maya (below) invited me to do a little book release celebration for my new The Little Book of Satanism at her party.

mistress maya kinbaku shibari rope tying goth clubs

Midnight Mess, Tokyo’s monthly Gothic/Industrial EBM club, has been running at various venues since 2002 (if you’re an OG like me, you’ll be nostalgic for the Club Marz Shinjuku days!). Mistress Maya, the talented mistress and DJ behind it all, pulled out all the stops for the nightclub’s 20th birthday — including a cyberpunk bondage show.

tokyo decadance party dj sisen performers club

Speaking of OGs… I also got to celebrate DJ Sisen’s birthday party at the new Decabar S bar in Kabukicho, in space-themed bash featuring Yukiro’s drag performance as Nattmara! Can you believe we’ve known each other since the MySpace era? (Did you put us in your Top 8 back then?)

dj sisen and selia seileen cybergoth japan tokyo djs

The Deca Bar S all-night party featured another old-school diva extraordinaire: Selia, who sang operatic enka and reunited with SiSen to perform as Seileen.

Read on for a “back to the future” blog about two Japanese Goth/alt events that have long been staples of my life and Tokyo’s underground: Midnight Mess and Tokyo Decadance.

lucien greaves girlfriend wife dating The Little Book of Satanism - satanic temple books

After being restricted from entering Japan for 2.5 years, it was a joy to be able to celebrate the release of my latest book at Midnight Mess. THE LITTLE BOOK OF SATANISM is now out — here is more info about it. Thank you for ordering it, sharing the news with friends, and leaving a review!

You can find The Little Book of Satanism on Amazon  Kindle (digital) ♡ Barnes and Noble ♡ Bookshop Simon & Schuster  ♡ Chapters/Indigo ♡ Amazon Canada ♡ Dymocks Australia and other retailers online. Or ask your local bookstore to order you a copy!

midnight mess longest running japanese goth party

A birthday party calls for balloons… Can’t believe it has been two decades since the start of Midnight★Mess! The Goth nightclub’s 20th anniversary party was held in a below-ground industrial space at Sakuradai Pool.

japan goth club kids drag queens fashion makeup

For twenty years, Midnight Mess has always brought in the kindest, most welcoming hosts and guests that love all things dark and decadent. That night, the MC was the scintillating Stefani St. Sl*t, with Julia  “werking” the door in otherworldly style.

(They both perform in Yukiro’s Haus von Schwarz — I’ll share more about the drag extravaganza later in this article!)

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As always, Midnight Mess attracts all types of underground denizens, such as this steampunk gentleman with goggles and rings. (Mess photos by Joey Wong.)

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I made my way to the Cyberpunk Bar, which was run by Gothic model Ruku Kuroi — love her corseted outfit.

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One absinthe, please (the bar even had Mansinthe bottles). Maya and her crew always make the events feel magical by adding decorative touches like the fairy lights and maneki neko.

satanic band party tokyo japan satanism

The space was Satanic already, according to the poster on the wall… And it became even more so, as I was a “special guest” to do a book launch for my The Little Book Of Satanism! (Above is the flyer for the 20th anniversary Midnight Mess.)

satanic wine baphomet cider la cidrerie du golfe satan wines

Ruka, Maya and I wore designs by Kikirara Shoten, an indie label with “dark carnival” hats, corsets, bags, and other handmade creations. Designer Kiki Gotoh brought a “La Cidrerie du Golfe” French Baphomet cider, decorated with one of her black coffins, for the occasion.

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Midnight Mess has always been a gathering spot for Tokyo’s Goths. I was glad to see friends like Atsushi again after years apart — many of us had been frequenting Mess for over a decade.

the little book of satanism release party book tour

And as always, Midnight Mess is the place to meet fab new comrades (everyone here is friendly and eager to chat). The MC, Stefani, called me on stage to do a little presentation about my Satanism book — and officially launch it with a Hail Satan!

japanese kawaii gothic lolita black dress doll

One of the performers, Lolita K, poses with a doll and a black ruffled and bell-skirted dress with a bonnet.

tokyo alternative goth makeup artist cyber

There’s so much to experience at Midnight Mess — dancing to industrial EDM Goth music, enjoying video projections and the laser show, grabbing absinthe or cocktails at the bar, watching performers and musicians, or getting your makeup done in dramatic fashion by Hengenshi OLI (above).

mistress maya midnight mess goth tokyo japan nightclub

Here’s the lady of the night (Mistress Maya) about to take the stage. She wears a black veil and corset by Kikirara Shoten (in an upcoming post, I’ll take you inside this boutique).

Cyber rope Kinbaku with Live laser and visual

We watched a Blade Runner-inspired short video, which led to a jaw-dropping replicant kinbaku (Japanese rope bondage) demo with live laser by 100ch.

japanese shibari rope tying ropes

Since what feels like the beginning of time, Maya has been performing and teaching kinbaku / shibari, or Japanese rope tying.

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She bound her two victims with intricate knots, using rope that lit up in neon under the lasers.

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From steampunk fashion to accordion music, Midnight Mess is eternally a place to meet creative alt-Japan types, and be inspired.

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Another sweet touch that makes Midnight Mess so special — Maya brings out a cake for those celebrating birthdays that month. She included a heart for me, and for the event’s 20th anniversary milestone.

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Vincent is a September baby, so he licked clean the doll that topped the cake.

Covenant concert in Tokyo, Japan. Gothika and 4dmode1 Goth band members at Tokyo Midnight Mess, Gothic nightclub event. DJ Sisen of Tokyo Decadance.

I hope these photos and stories convey why Midnight Mess is — and remains — such an extraordinary place to be. Maya’s legendary Tokyo Goth night has brought together so many of us over the years.

Here’s a blast from the past: snaps from a 2008 Midnight Mess! (You can spot Dr John Skutlin, Sisen, Yukiro, Covenant, “I am Sebastian” and others in there). The digital camera quality has come a long way since then, but Midnight Mess remains my favorite Gothic party in the known universe.

dj sisen selia seileen tokyo decadance

Speaking of other space-disco creatures of the night… Let’s continue the party at another Japanese alt/subculture space, Decabar S (run by Tokyo Decadance)! DJ SiSEN invited me to his birthday party, which he was hosting with long-time collaborator Diva Selia (DJ, operatic singer, and other half of his musical project Seileen).

nattmara die schwarze frau tokyo drag queen

And look who else was a featured performer… Yukiro Dravarious as Gothic drag queen, Nattmara! (That means “nightmare” in Swedish, quite fittingly for his devilish drag.)

In addition to performing regularly at Deca Bar S and other venues (like Dragula screenings at Eagle Blue in Ni-Choome), Nattmara runs regular drag queen / king events throughout Tokyo, with her Haus von Schwarz.

Decabar Super bar shinjuku golden gai kabukicho

“Galaxy greetings, cosmic kitties…” DJ Sisen’s party was themed after Space Channel 5, the intergalactic 1999 music video game (which arrived at the height of human civilization… Everything has been in collapse since ’99, if you ask me). Many wore Y2K / candy rave / cyber alien fashion themed after the stylish game.

pentagram spell witch book tome spells

Others wore Gothic fashion, and other Harajuku / subculture styles. How cute is Nattmara’s pentagram tome of friendly ghosts? (Speaking of the Devil, I was interviewed about my book and the revival of the Satanic Panic for Dazed Magazine.)

tokyo deca bar s performers

Over the years, Tokyo Decadance’s parties have been held in a variety of venues, and their own namesake bar has moved a few times. The current Decabar Super is in the heart of Kabukicho (down the stairs, in the basement of the Asahi building at 1 Chome−9−8 Shinjuku).

tokyo ladyboys party club decabar

Tokyo Decadance hosts regular alt and queer nights at Decabar S, such as a recent “Welcome to Pattaya” party.

casket of horrors japan drag queen performers events

The queen of the night got glammed up in the tiny (and rather precarious) backstage area behind the stage.

dj selia tokyo decadance dance club shinjuku

Outside, Selia and other DJs played sets that included anime songs. Guests in cyberlox and Lolita dresses bopped along to the music on the dance floor.

cyber japan subculture club harajuku fashion rave

While there is no dress code, you’re encouraged to dress up in creative fashion — from cute rave cat ears to devil horns and kimono.

nattmara yukiro drag queen performing dancing

And then, Yukiro took the stage as the deathly Nattmara. I’m proud of how far come her drag performances have come since our earliest days together.

tokyo japan drag queens clubs

Now, she runs the monthly Casket of Horrors –a queer cabaret featuring international artists — along with other drag queen events throughout Japan. There’s info about her next drag extravaganzas on her Haus von Schwarz page.

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Sisen brought his alien baby with him (looks like he wants food or cocktails from Decabar).

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I’ve also been going to Tokyo Decadance parties since 2008, when they were mostly held at Christon Cafe (RIP to the kitschy Jesus-themed restaurant). The events always bring in artists and creative types, dressed to the nines.

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While Gothic and Sweet Lolita fashion isn’t as popular as it once was, you’ll still see Lolis at events like this one.

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A new and risky addition… If you pull this lever, you have to spend 20,000 yen on drinks for everyone!

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The bartenders are always smiling and full of multi-dimensional kandi energy.

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True to the 1990s theme… Teletubbies made an appearance.

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Dance, dance, dance til you death-drop. The music ran until 6am, and as always, there were lots of amiable party animals on the dancefloor.

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Lots of original outfits and makeup for me to photograph. Both Selia and Sisen wore horns (a mix of Japanese oni and Satanic inspiration).

seileen selia sisen goth opera

Selia took the stage to bless us with her glorious operatic singing. I was moved to see her perform again after all these years — her presence is as powerful as when I first saw her. Later, she reunited with Sisen to perform tracks from their Gothic-industrial band, Seileen.

japanese witch witches singer

Naniwae Wami’s witchy singing was also out of this world. The amount of time and detail that went into her handmade costume, nails, makeup… wow!

center gai golden gai shinjuku entrance sign

Between sets, Nattmara and I went for a stroll through Kabukicho and Golden Gai, the “red light” and small bars districts of Shinjuku.

tokyo halloween bars pop up stores

We came across Halloween random-ness — love this about Tokyo.

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Of course, the over 6 foot tall drag queen caused a stir in the streets. Quite a few men stopped to take selfies with her highness.

host boys signs kabukicho clubs

Kabukicho is the domain of host boys and host / hostess clubs — here are some of the latest neon signs.

shinjuku love hotel signs kabuki cho

And you can pop into one of the love hotels for an hour or so… They tend to have cheesy names and decor like: Hotel Labio, The Art of Time.

club science shinjuku tokyo visual kei jrock venue

Our nightlife superstar also runs events at Club Science and Club Heist in Shinjuku. It’s a concert venue for Visual Kei and J-rock bands, as well as her witch-themed Goth nights. You can also check out her next drag queen events, which are announced on the Haus von Schwarz Insta page.

haus von schwarz drag queen night

What a relief to see Tokyo’s Goth / alt nightlife blossoming again, after 2+ years of unease. My recent nightcrawls at Decabar and Midnight Mess were a much-need reminder of how life can and should be. Much more to come from my Japan reunion — so much has changed since I was last there.

Life is short, so let’s slay it in 2023 and onward. As Yukiro puts it, “Always forward, but never straight!”

Visiting the Sailor Moon Museum in Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan! Pretty Guardian manga anime exhibition, fashion, tickets.

tokyo roppongi Sailor Moon Museum fashion design Exhibit

My purple evil queen and I were reunited at last in Japan… and sashayed our way through the Sailor Moon Museum in Roppongi, Tokyo! 

sailor moon museum sony roppongi exhibition

Let Yukiro Dravarious and LC show you around the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 30th anniversary exhibition, which is the largest one in history. The magic is taking place at Tokyo’s Roppongi Museum until December 30: get tickets here while it remains open.

sailor moon black lady wicked lady chibiusa

Three decades ago, Japanese manga artist Naoko Takeuchi created the Sailor Moon comic series — and it took off with anime adaptations, merchandise and millions of fans worldwide. To commemorate “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon,” Roppongi Museum put together the largest ever retrospective with a variety of colorful exhibits.

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Yukiro and I grew up watching the 1990s Sailor Moon cartoons, and of course, we love the evil characters the most!

My visit to Japan’s Sailor Moon museum inspired me to dress as Wicked Lady (also known as “Black Lady”) for Halloween. The pink haired mistress of the dark is the grown up bad girl version of Chibiusa, Usagi and Mamoru’s daughter. (I had all the cosplay fashion items in my closet already, and put my hair into space buns with an upside-down black crescent moon on the forehead!)

roppongi museum japanese sailor moon exhibit

Located in Roppongi Museum, Japan’s biggest ever Sailor Moon exhibition debuted earlier this year. It is only running til Dec 30, 2022, so be sure to get advance tickets from the Sailor Moon museum site.

sailor moon fans 30th anniversary manga anime museum

“Moon Crystal Power Make Up!” Yukiro and I practiced our sailor scout poses beneath the banner of Sailor Moon and her main posse: Sailors Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. (Photos by Joey Wong)

pretty guardian sailor moon museum tokyo video wands

The museum tickets have timed entry, so be sure to arrive before your slot. When you walk into the first hall, you’ll encounter a large immersive screen, as well as recreations of the wands used by the characters.

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The famous theme song plays, and the characters display their planetary powers on-screen. You know how it goes… “Fighting evil by Moonlight! … Sailor Mars! Sailor Jupiter!”

usagi sailor moon serena art visiting museum tokyo japan

Looks like Serena / Usagi is about to get her moon crystal snatched by a fabulous purple villain! (For the occasion, I wore a princess dress from Manon Tokyo boutique in Shibuya 109, and put my hair in Sailor Moon “space buns” — aka dumpling or meatball head “odango.”)

sailor moon museum tokyo japan tickets entry hours visit

Super-fans will recognize the pink wand as an exquisite recreation of the Spiral Heart Moon Rod from season 3.

sailor moon museum tokyo japan

The Sailor Prism Theater used moving images and laser effects on the big screen to bring the universe of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon to life.

sailor moon museum tokyo japan

Then, we entered a room that displayed original drawings from the manga series — using a shimmering holographic effect! As we walked through, these famous scenes took on a different light.

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The silver creates a rainbow refraction above the evil Koan, the youngest Spectre Sister of the Black Moon Clan.

sailor moon museum tokyo japan

The holographic manga panels were a unique way to tell the 30-year-long history of Sailor Moon.

sailor moon manga anime retrospecetive roppongi

The next room was as fabulously decorated in rainbow gradients. The walls show original drawings as well as video clips from the various Sailor Moon movies.

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There have been many Sailor Moon anime and films, and it was fascinating to see the evolution of the character design over the decades.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Museum japan

Isn’t it obvious why we love the evil lady characters the most?

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I want to dress up as Koan as well, maybe next Halloween…

sailor moon museum tokyo japan

Riveted by the original storyboards and sketches for the TV shows and movies.

sailor moon dresses fashion clothing museum exhibit

Sailor Moon and her friends / enemies are known for their transcendent outfits, so of course there were fashion displays at the Tokyo museum. Here’s a wedding dress and suit for the Silver Millennium, worn by Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion (the previous incarnations of Usagi and Mamoru / Tuxedo Mask).

sailor moon museum 2022 tickets location roppongi

Designers created ballgowns inspired by Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Love the rainbow gown with moon symbols, and the prom version of her seifuku sailor school uniform.

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Naoko Takeuchi said she created the series to celebrate strong women and their close friendships — which is certainly part of what draws so many fans to the manga and anime.

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These glass cases showed rare SM collections including Bandai figurines, game consoles, and plush toys.

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There are endless collectibles based on Sailor Moon, like Luna and Artemis cat pillows… I have some clothing items myself.

sailor moon  rare figurines toys museum tokyo japan

Did you watch or read Sailor Moon growing up? And do you own any collectibles?

sailor moon anime manga collections library japan

Love how the museum design makes you feel as if you’re part of the series.

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In the next room, we fawned over tiny costumes used in the various theatrical musicals inspired by Sailor Moon over the years.

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Some of the outfits were from a Sailor Moon Takarazuka, or performance by an all-female musical theatre troupe. The costumes are intricately designed, using real feathers…

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… and fine materials, as you can see from this choker detail.

serena usagi mural painting sailor moon museum tokyo japan

Another room showed how various artists depicted Sailor Moon characters and scenes in their own style. Many have been greatly inspired by the storylines.

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Luxury shoe designer Jimmy Choo did a version of Sailor Moon’s red high-heeled boots.

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Fittingly, the experience ends by exiting the Door of Space and Time (no need for a space-time key to get past the hanging fringe). I wore a dress from Shibuya 109’s Manon Tokyo store and styled my hair in a tribute to Serena / Usagi.

sailor moon museum store gift shop

But you can’t leave without browsing the exclusive Sailor Moon merchandise at the museum gift shop!

sailor moon museum shop cafe

While you can find Sailor Moon merch all over Japan, the Roppongi Museum sells limited edition items only available here.

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From buttons to cookies and stationery, there’s something for every fan.

sailor moon and mamoru tuxedo mask toy

How about a chibi plush toy to remember the occasion?

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Luna is one of the most popular characters, so there were many items with the black cat on it.

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Even the restroom signs match the theme of the temporary exhibit.

sailor moon museum cafe restaurant food tokyo japan

Finally, we stepped into the Sailor Moon Museum café for a themed meal. This pink cake is decorated to look like the Cosmic Heart Compact.

sailor moon theme cafe menu food decorated tokyo japan

The theme restaurant dishes include omelette rice with an image of Sailor Moon on the side.

sailor moon museum cafe drinks coffee

Of course, there’s a lot of pink and cuteness, including on the lattes.

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Sailor Moon burger slider, anyone? (The pop up cafe and museum are only running til Dec 30, but there are often other SM theme restaurants or food items available in Japan. And there’s a permanent Sailor Moon boutique at LaForet Harajuku; photos soon.)

sailor moon themed food cafe restaurant popup tokyo japan

I’ve been dreaming of visiting the Sailor Moon Museum since it opened earlier in 2022 — thank you to the press team for inviting us! Be sure to get tickets and check it out before it closes at the very end of the year. (Address: Roppongi Museum, 5 Chome-6-20 Roppongi, Tokyo.)

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It was a cosmic injustice for Yukiro and I to be separated over the past few years due to The Collapse… We made the most of my time in Tokyo, and have much more to share from our subculture adventures.

(Voguing in front of “Polychromatic Skin – Gender Wall,” a Roppongi mural by Sebastian Masuda of Kawaii Monster Cafe fame. This work expresses gender in many colors through a diverse range of materials.)

Til then, you can see a feature about us in Tokyo Cheapo’s article about the Goth Scene (Then and Now), as well as my Metropolis Magazine guide to Japan Halloween spots. And add us on socials @lacarmina and @dravarious for more of our evil shenanigans.